One Room Challenge-Fall 2020 | Week 4 -The Desk Build

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Welcome back for another update on progress for the One Room Challenge!  As you know I am working on creating a Home Office and this week I got started on making a desk for the space. 

My project started with the room and design plan below, and I feel like quite a few of the major pieces are coming together now!

To catch up from previous weeks, visit the links below!

The Desk Build Cut List

I built a desk for working from home back in the spring, and I love it!  But it's also pretty massive.  So I wanted to create a new desk in the same style, but scaled differently.   I actually went back to the Fancy X Table plans from Ana White, but modified the cut list to make it smaller.  I've started sanding and staining the wood before assembly of my furniture pieces, because some joints become difficult to get to once assembled.

Selecting a Stain

I have a stain combo that I've used for years, but I wanted to see if I could replicate it with one stain mix.  My original furniture finish that I've used for years is Minwax Provincial with a white glaze buffed in before sealing.  I tried several combos, but the one I loved the most was a mix of Varathane Briarsmoke and Minwax Simply White.  

It didn't look much different from the original in the cup, but you can tell placing them side by side on the wood.  It's about a 50:50 mix of Varathane Briarsmoke and Minwax Simply White

It's the sample in the bottom of the picture above.  I hadn't even planned to try that combo, but I thought I needed more than two colors to play with. I like that Varathane stains can be re-coated in an hour.  But I also like that with Minwax stains I feel like I have more time to go back and work in the stain as I am working on a piece.  It's a slightly different, feel from my original stain combo, but I like it!

Building the X-Bases

So desk construction begins with assembling the X-bases.  That detail, to me, is what makes this basic woodworking project feel special.  I ran into a mishap building them, which was funny, but not so funny, because I have built them several times before!  

But after taking it apart and wrestling nails and screws out of the wood, I was able to reuse all but one piece and got it put together correctly.

I stayed up late and got the stain done on the bases last night, but here they are in the light of day.  Aren't they gorgeous?!  The above pictures were taken overnight.  The one below is the most accurate representation of the stain color...sort of a dusty gray brown.

Upcoming Projects

So now we are getting down to the wire with two weeks left until the beginning of reveal week.  Technically I think we have a 10 day window to reveal our finished spaces, but I am going to work hard to be done in the next two weeks. Here's my remaining project list:

  • Finish Desk Build
  • Install Bookcase Lights
  • Install new Ceiling Light (still semi-hunting for one)
  • Install 3 New Wall Outlets and Light Switch
  • Caulk, Prime, and Paint Crown Molding
  • Touch Up Wall Paint
  • And finally STYLE the Bookcases and Desk for the Reveal
A few bonus projects that I would like to do, but may come after the challenge are:
  • Sew 2 Sets of Linen Drapes for the Windows
  • Find and download vintage Art Prints
  • Create a Framed Linen Pinboard
Follow along on Instagram to watch the progress thru the week!
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One Room Challenge-Fall 2020 | Week 3 Foraged and Crowned

Thursday, October 22, 2020

My goodness this last week flew by!  We're already halfway thru the One Room Challenge.  It's a bi-annual event hosted by Linda where over the course of six weeks you makeover a room.  I've been hard at work continuing on the built-in bookcase hack, but I took a moment to enjoy the progress and the beauty of the simple, white bookcases over the last weekend by styling them with some foraged grasses and weeds.  

My second favorite thing that happened this week was installing the crown molding.  Originally I planned to just install it on the bookcase wall.  I had used this pin from Sawdust Girl to install the crown molding for my DIY vent hood.  But it would only work for a specific size trim.  So, I had planned to scour the internetz, but had recently come across info from Marquita over at Far From Cypress that showed me a way that would work for any size crown molding.  So I thought I would give it a try.  I still had a few hang ups since quite a few of my corners weren't perfect 90 degree angles.  But I was able to figure it out with some help from Insta-friends and we made it work!  And now the room has crown molding thruout!

The 'piece de resistance' in the office, to me, are the bookcases.  Today I was finishing the final trim on them, and I am literally getting the final coat of paint on them as I write this.  So bear with my pictures this from this evening.  I'll do a future post breaking down all the different trims I used.   Let me know if you have any questions in the interim.

Can you believe those built-ins started out as this?  I mean it's a pretty good looking bookcase, but adding paint and trim takes it up a notch!

A little refresher on the design plan:

To have posts delivered to your inbox, subscribe over in the side bar!  Cheering on my fellow ORC participants as we finish out the next three weeks!

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One Room Challenge-Fall 2020 | Week 2-Vertical Shiplap + Bookcase Hack

Thursday, October 15, 2020

It's Week 2 of the Better Homes and Gardens One Room Challenge.  There is a lot of amazing work being done by everyone!  This week has been all about the shiplap and bookcase wall for me.  I've been wanting to install shiplap for a long time, (aka since before Instagram was invented), so this was a dream project for me.    

My current design obsession is vertical shiplap.  I have a whole folder saved on Instagram dedicated to all these old english country homes and rooms with the beaded wood paneling. I actually haven't found anywhere that sells it here.  But there are so many other options for a more basic shiplap, starting from ripping down a sheet of 1/4" luaun plywood or 1/2" MDF, to actual shiplap boards, and v-groove interlocking paneling. I think I will definitely try some of these other options in the future. 

I decided to go with actual shiplap boards and followed a really amazing tutorial from Michelle at Blushing Boho.  One of her best pointers, to me, was the tip about using 1/4" plywood strips to create a backer board to tie your planks back to the wall studs.  If the shiplap were being installed horizontally they would naturally tie back into the studs because they would run perpendicular, but since they are running parallel with the studs only about 1-in-4 boards would.  So the plywood strips behind the paneling makes it more secure.  

I will only add a few extra steps I did for install.  One is adding trim to cover seams.  I planned in advance to add crown and baseboard molding to the shiplap wall.  So I cut each board about 1/2" shorter than the height of the wall, for ease of install, and butted it up against the ceiling.  Also I don't have a table saw, so I ripped my last board down with a circular saw, and lets just say it's not the prettiest edge, but I plan to use lattice trim to cover both ends of the wall. 

For cutting around the one outlet on the wall, it fell almost perfectly between two boards.  Since I don't have a jigsaw yet, I used my miter saw to cut small lines into the board, knocked the 'teeth' out with a mallet, and used a handheld hacksaw to cut it down a bit more.  Had it been in the middle of the board, I would have used a 1" or so hole drill bit to start a hole in the board, and then a maybe a small handsaw to cut out the opening.  I add this to say, you don't necessarily have to have all of the woodworking tools to do a project.  There are inexpensive manual options that will get the job done.  I used a miter saw and circular saw to install this wall.

The second tip I will add is, if using a darker color, to paint the shiplap or at least the grooves before install.  It isn't some thing that I did because I painted my shiplap white, but I feel like if I were going with darker color, I would have wanted to paint those grooves before install. As a whole the shiplap is everything I imagined it would be!  It adds such an amazing texture to an otherwise neutral wall space and is a beautiful backdrop to whatever is placed in front of it.   

As I mentioned last week, I am hacking my old Target bookcases to make them into built-ins.  I was able to get a good start, getting them painted and secured to the wall along with the height extending bookcase I built to make them taller.

I'll be continuing on the bookcase trim work this week, so follow along on Instagram to see the progress!  And visit the One Room Challenge blog to for more inspo for home office designs and almost any other space you can think of!
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One Room Challenge-Fall 2020 | Week 1-Home Office Design

Saturday, October 10, 2020

I'm a little late, but I've decided to join the One Room Challenge as a guest participant!  I will be working to create a home office.  If you've never heard of the One Room Challenge it's hosted by Linda Weinstein every spring and fall and has 20 Featured Designers that makeover rooms over the course of six weeks.  But anyone can participate as a guest with the same goal in mind.  I participated as a guest back in the fall of 2014, so this will be my second time participating.    

(The beautifully styled shelf in my design board is by Sherry Hart)

I've had the idea to create a home office since last year, and with my husband working from home more now, it's more needed than ever.  If you remember, I built a desk back in the spring for additional workspace, but it ended up becoming my son's desk.  We moved another desk upstairs to an empty bedroom for hubby.  But the lighting wasn't great and the room was bare, so he ends up working at the dining room table when he is at home.  But that's right next to the kitchen, so we end up tiptoeing around during calls which is hard to do when you're working in a kitchen.  So getting him moved to a space off the beaten path is important.    

But even before this current need arose, I've wanted to turn this space into a home office.  It has served as a guest room for several years, but all of that has been moved upstairs. 

Last year, I was dreaming of adding built-in bookcases to our living room, and was thinking of where I could re-use my existing bookcases, and considered making an office in this room.  So while it may temporarily serve as a work-from-home office, I'm really looking forward to working in this space too.  But enough of the backstory, let's talk plans and projects!

The DIY Projects
Install Vertical Shiplap
I have been wanting to add shiplap SOMEWHERE in my home for years (like since before Fixer Upper was a show, lol), so I will be adding vertical shiplap to the back wall you see when you enter the room.  The room was blue when we moved, but I painted the walls SW Alabaster and the doors SW Iron Ore. I still love the combo, so it will stay and the shiplap will be painted Alabaster as well.

DIY Bookcase Hack
The shiplap wall will serve as a backdrop to what I consider the biggest project for the room...hacking some Target bookcases into built-ins.  I had been brainstorming, sketching, and creating cut lists for some custom built-ins from scratch for several weeks.  But the price for materials alone was getting to be more than I wanted to spend.  So I scaled back to just using these existing bookcases and leftover lumber I have on hand to add  to them to make them taller and then trimming them out to appear built-in. May the caulk and trim be with me.

Paint Windows Black
When I painted this room a couple of years ago, I skipped painting the windows because they are a pain to paint. But I've since learned about window film, which makes it easier, so I will be continuing the black/white theme and painting the window mullions SW Iron Ore.

Wire and Install Bookcase Sconces
I found some black/gold sconces online to add to the bookcases, but they're meant to be hardwired.  So, I'm planning to wire them with a plug-in cord and run the cord along the inside of the bookcase down to the outlet below. 

Build Fancy X Desk/Table
I plan to build a desk that's sort of a mash up between the Fancy X Farmhouse table and Farmhouse desk by Ana White.  I want something shorter but wider than the desk I built in the spring, but I will probably go with a similar stain color. 

Replace Ceiling Fixture
Below is a picture of the room when we first moved in.  It's been painted and new flooring added, but the but the 1980s fan and light have yet to go.  While I'm changing that out, I'll update the light switch and all of the outlets from the original almond colored ones.

Add Wall Art
My go-to art is always bird prints!  As of right now, I plan to reuse the existing bird prints I have in the space.  But I may look for some art prints to download from Etsy.  I also have a large chalkboard that I may bring down to use in the space as is, or maybe turn it into a pinboard.  

As you can see, some ideas are fleshed out, and some things will be decided along the way.  And there's still seating to decide upon.  Ultimately, it will be nice to see these ideas come to fruition and gain the much needed functionality, and this was just the extra motivation I needed to get going.   Are you following along with the One Room Challenge already?  Or thinking about joining?  Let me know!  

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