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My Super Personalized Ikea Desk

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I’ve been wanting a desk for awhile now. The folding dining room table just wasn’t cutting it and even though I have a laptop, I find using it on the couch fairly annoying and nonproductive. I thought having a cute desk might make job hunting and tedious applications slightly more enjoyable too.

Here’s what I used to get the job done:

  • Ikea Vika Furuskog table top: just plain ol’ 2’x4’x1″ unfinished pine
  • Ikea Vika Furuskog cabinet: also unfinished pine, and perfect for holding all those “important papers” Brent has lying around as well as some of my junk too
  • 2 Ikea Vika Curry table legs: black to go with everything
  • 2 cans of Rustoleom Lagoon satin finish spray paint
  • 1 quart high gloss pure white paint
  • 3 coats of clear gloss polyurethane
  • 3 adorable Anthropologie elephant handles: I have a thing for elephants
  • And the result of 3 weeks of on and off hard work:

    The Lagoon color is looking very blue in these photos, but it’s definitely more dark teal in real life, so yeah. Basically I’m saying that even if you think this desk looks good (which you should), it looks way cooler in person.

    The handles are totally ridiculous. I get that. I really do. But like I said, maybe some ridiculousness will make the job hunt more light-hearted, right? Plus I love them. A lot.

    I had to use more leftover contact paper to cover that ugly particle board bottom again, so even the inside of the drawers has personality.

    Brent thinks he’s going to share this desk with me, but I don’t really see that happening. It’s too “Victoria” for him. He’ll have to design his own.

    Oh, and here’s the price run-down:

  • table top: $40
  • cabinet: $80
  • legs: $7
  • handles: $24 (down from $54, which would have been even more absurd)
  • paint, polyurethane, and supplies: $25
  • For a grand total of $176. I don’t think that’s too bad for a super personalized desk that I adore. I’m so happy with the way it turned out! About half way through the project I was a little bit concerned that it was too much of a hassle to be doing this on a tarp in my tiny office, but it worked out well. Oh, and I did it all myself. I even used Brent’s power drill and assembled it alone. Maybe not that big a deal, but I’m usually lazy/wussy about these things so I was impressed with myself.

    And it’s a perfect place for blogging! ๐Ÿ™‚

    The Guest Room

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    Brent and I (mostly Brent) are the type of people who focus on function and necessity. That is most obvious when it comes to our home. The house we owned in Indiana was 2100 square feet and I would estimate that 400sq. ft. were actually furnished. And I used furnished liberally. I’m not exaggerating. In the five years we have been married we have never owned a bedframe, or even a dresser. Remember that apartment tour? That was not that out of the norm for us.

    Well, with my newfound massive quantity of free time, and the fact that people seem to want to visit us more now in Seattle than in Fort Wayne, I’ve decided to try and make it look like adults live in our home. This will be a very slow process. I don’t have a job, so the budget is pretty low. Because Tessa (the bestie) is coming to stay (TODAY!!) I chose to focus some energy on the guest room first. This is what the guest room looked like yesterday morning:

    Who wouldn’t want to stay there, right? Ha. Ok, obviously we needed a bed. In our prior homes all guests, including friends and my parents, slept on an air mattress. It’s true. Brent’s brother even lived with us for 3 months one summer and his bed was an air mattress. We are clearly not awesome hosts. I decided to (very slightly) step up my game and buy a real mattress. I went with the cheapest mattress set from Ikea. I wasn’t expecting greatness, but it was actually pretty comfortable. It got delivered yesterday morning at 10am. Great! The guests now had a place to sleep. Still no bedframe, but I did add a bit of pizazz by upholstering a headboard. It took 15 minutes and made me feel รผber crafty.

    The process was simple. I used a 1/2″ thick piece of plywood cut to size by the nice folks at Home Depot. I used two layers of high density quilt batting pulled snugly around the sides and stapled with a staple gun. Then I pulled my chosen fabric around, again pulling snugly and stapled that. Then I cut off any excess fabric and Brent mounted it on the wall for me. You can see the finished project at the end. I also made one for my bedroom. Here’s the cost breakdown of the headboard:

    For a total of $92, which I thought was reasonable.

    Headboard, mattress… now we need linens. We used the down comforter and duvet cover from our old bed, as well as two extra newish pillows we had. I washed the comforter and cover. Did you know you can wash down comforters? I always had mine dry cleaned, but I washed it yesterday in cold on the delicate cycle, and then dried on low for 3 hours using dryer balls and no fabric softener. It worked really well! To round out the linens, I bought a simple white queen sheet set from Ikea for $40.

    There is a closet in the bedroom with a few hangers in it, but we need a dresser. Brent did not agree with that use of need for that sentence, but I felt it was a necessity. He went for it when I pointed out the Rast dresser from Ikea for only $29.99.

    Plain, old untreated pine. The dresser may not have been fabulous, but I knew it would work. First, I painted it white. I believe the actual color was called Popcorn, which I found funny. After three coats of white paint, some sanding, and some satin polyurethane, I had a plain white dresser.

    I used the drawers to jazz it up by adding a patterned contact paper to the bottoms. This served the dual purpose of adding cuteness and hiding the fugly particle board that comprised the drawer bottoms.

    I love this paper. Love. To add visual appeal to the outside, I broke the bank and bought adorable knobs from Anthropologie. I knew I wanted a green glass knobs, so I just went for it. I am positive you could find a cheaper alternative.

    I think the dresser turned out so well! I sent Brent pictures of it while he was at work and his response was, “That actually does look really good.” I don’t think he had a ton of faith in me.

    It is so pretty. I can’t wait to do one for my room. Here’s the cost breakdown:

    • Dresser: $30
    • Paint, Polyurethane, and supplies: $30
    • Knobs: $36
    • Paper: $15 (but I have most of it leftover for future projects.

    For a total of $111. Not too bad. I was shooting for under $100, but since I love the result, and I have leftover contact paper I’m happy with it.

    So here’s the room now, Tuesday morning:

    Things I still need to do some time in the future: bedframe (probably a cheap wood one that I can paint or stain), curtains, and at least one lamp. I would have like to have gotten curtains for Tess’s visit, but privacy isn’t an issue because the window is a foot away from a concrete wall and is six floors up so it’s impossible to see into. Because of that, the room is extremely dark, and really needs additional sources of light. The bed is also super low, but it’s still infinitely better than an air mattress.

    It’s clearly not going to win any design awards, but at least now it’s functional. ๐Ÿ™‚