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!


  1. Beautiful! Love the stain, so thanks for the tip.

    1. Oh good! Slightly rustic with a vintage wood feel, yes please!!