We're still getting settled in the new house, but high on my list of priorities was a work space with a beautiful new desk.
I had a great office when we lived in Chicago, with a lovely standing desk that I built myself from scratch:
Here it is in cartoon form, because when you love something that much, you turn it into a drawing:
I loved that desk, and we took it with us when we moved to Boston, but it was never quite the same. Part of that was probably because our new apartment was teeny-tiny and the desk got shoved into an unglamorous corner. Part of that was also because I was super pregnant and the desk was hard to work at.
After the kid came along, I didn't like working at a spot that had my back to the rest of the room (and her), so I worked at the kitchen table, where I could keep an eye on things and where I had to clean up my stuff every night and set it out again every morning.
It was not ideal and it was not conducive to good work, so when we found our house in Cambridge, I immediately started planning where I'd put my office.
Thankfully, the house has a beautiful, open, high-ceilinged third floor, with hardwood pine floors and skylights that open for cool breezes. It is the perfect place for an office, and I couldn't wait to get my desk in there.
I love building furniture, so I was SO excited to build something custom for myself, with everything I could possibly want in a desk. I went through a couple different designs. My first had lots of build-ins: bookshelf, peg board, trash and recycling, and even a built-in dog bed for Miss Abby.
But when I started to put the plans together, I realized it was going to be HUGE. Huge and clunky would not work for the bright, airy space, so I pared down. I started looking at simple, minimal pieces:
My new design would feature a two-level top, with drawers for storing my keyboard and laptop, plus pens and pencils, books, and outlets and cords. To keep things extra sleek, I wanted a hole in the top that would let me run cords to a hidden power strip and down to an outlet. I love the look of natural wood, but I also didn't want it to clash with the floors, so I decided to paint the desk white but leave the desktop natural (and shellacked to death with enough poly to turn it into a mirror). And for a little extra glam, I decided to add some gold leaf to the drawer edges.
And so, after some trial and error and several trips to the hardware store....here she is!
Ooooohhhhh I loooooooove it so much! It's beautiful, sturdy, functions great, fits in perfectly with the room, and--most importantly--it is mine. No more fighting for space on the kitchen table, no more running around the room to track down missing books and pens. Let's take a closer look!
This is the double-level top that I LOVE. The built-in cubbie on the left is perfect for storing all my wires, keeping them off the floor and off the desktop. In the middle, I have my notebooks, wireless keyboard, and my laptop's home at night. And all the way to the right is a bin of the essentials: a bunch of Pilot EasyTouch pens in black (the best pen) and my startling large collection of various Sharpies (the brush one is my new obsession).
Putting on the gold leaf was surprisingly fun and easy (and had the added benefit of making my hands reach *`*unicorn levels*`* of sparkliness). Plus it looks great against the white of the legs and the natural wood top. And keeping with the glam motif:
Because what office is complete without a gold trash can?
A big reason why I wanted to build my own desk, rather than buy one, is so I could make it to my own weird specifications. It's extra tall, so I can use it as a standing desk (beautiful standing desks are shockingly hard to find unless you want to mortgage your house for one), and I also drilled this handy hole in the top, so I can hide all my computer wires:
The wood top is gorgeous and probably my favorite part of the desk. It goes so well with the rest of the room (refinishing the pine floors of this room was the first thing we did when we bought the house, because some criminal had painted them), and it adds a lot of warmth to my workspace:
Even though it's been approximately 83947 degrees in this room (thanks, Boston summers), every morning I happily climb the stairs with my pot of tea and notebook, and it has been just absolutely wonderful to have my own space, free of dirty dishes, piled-up mail, missing baby socks, and keys to nowhere. My new desk makes me focused, happy, and rarin' to get to work, and I couldn't be more thrilled with it!
Of course, now that the desk is done, I've got to pay attention to the rest of the office! Like deciding what to hang on the walls...or how to organize my bookshelf...or how many dog beds to put up there (just kidding, obviously three).
Thanks for indulging my desk pictures and check back soon for more peeks into my office!