Remember when I had this fantasy of that beautiful desk next to this massive A-frame window, looking at the trees full of snow? That fantasy ended this week as it was clear that I was far too “available” to our kids, and they were too distracting to me. The biggest issue was the zoom calls with the soundtrack of Annie BLASTING in the background, so I had to go into the guest room near the wifi and sit on the ground. But don’t worry because the garage was still full of decor and furniture options from the shoot last year, so I pulled something together, but it’s not good YET. Let’s start with “the desk”…
That table has a story. Last year I found it at a thrift store for $20 but it was orange-y and shiny (as shown on the left). We were attempting some fun stories on how to updated thrifted pieces – great idea. I was drawn to the clean lines and Parsons style, and it was solid wood. Also great. It could be a lovely entry table, sofa table, console, etc. So Emily B. and Grace (and myself) were just going to simply strip it to its original pretty wood, so easy. But then it started raining in the middle of our DIYing. So Emily took it to Ross Allen’s shop who gave us shelter. Then, for whatever reason, we didn’t finish it there (oh I think because we wanted to shoot the process), so she brought it back to her backyard where we shot the content (that we now can’t find). Hilariously, it started raining again so we had to wait till the next day to finish. I think Emily B. finished it on her own time inside, I don’t remember BUT THE POINT IS, HOURS – likely a day and a half of time was spent on this table and guess what it turned out to look like? A CHEAP IKEA TABLE. That’s right, hundreds of dollars of someone’s time to make a simple vintage $20 table look like an IKEA TABLE. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice, but considering it cost so much it was a fail. Keep reading and/or just watch this behind the scenes video (after the ad) if you want more of the story:
We meant to post about it on stories mostly because it’s HILARIOUS that a stupid design DIY blogger spent $300 in time + likely $100 in materials on a $20 “IKEA” table, but never did. I kept the table because thought it would work in the entry up here, but when it was a bit too deep so I shoved it in the garage where it became a shelf for props.
So last week I pulled it out and thought maybe it could be my desk but it’s not desk height. It’s 22″ tall when a normal desk is between 28″ – 30″ tall. BUT I came up with a genius hack (as a reminder I won Design Star for a reason) – you just put each leg on a paint can of your choice. It could be any color, any brand – so much flexibility!
So my options are as follows:
- Live with the paint cans and maybe if I wasn’t a blogger/designer I would do that – I’m secretly janky like that, but the legs have fallen off a couple times…
- Duck tape the legs to each paint can – I love a good metallic accent. 🙂
- Buy a new desk. But meh – feels like I can make this work and I’ve already accidentally invested so much into this stupid “desk” so I may as well use it. Plus the size, color, and style of it is actually kinda nice in front of this door.
- Buy leg extenders and attempt to drill them into current “desk” legs. I looked to see if I could just replace the legs altogether, but it’s actually solidly made – they don’t just screw off. So I need to buy new sofa legs, and I need at least 6″ of height, and the width of the legs is a little over 2″, which was harder to find. BUT GUESS WHERE I FOUND THEM? MOTHER LOVING IKEA. So now I’m like, is this an actual vintage IKEA table?? I honestly couldn’t find these legs anywhere else and the almost perfect match in style, color, and dimensions happen to be sold there. You guys, I like IKEA, that’s not it – I just think its HILARIOUS that I’m now sinking even more money and time making a vintage “IKEA” table to look like an actually less expensive IKEA table. The legs are called BURFJORD by the way. BURFJORD! Seems appropriate.
Now the dimensions of those new legs might be 1/4″ off so they might look super dumb. I was thinking of painting them white so if they are off at least they’ll look intentional. I did look around but everything else was more decorative, looked try-hard, and dumb. No castors were more than a few inches and 6″ was the minimum I needed (and that’s with the low sherpa chair. The other “normal height” chair was OK but I couldn’t cross my legs and – read in English accent, my goodness I am a lady). These stupid IKEA legs are 7″ high so I might be able to use with a non-lounge chair (although I kinda love sitting in this warm hug of this chair – if you are in the market it’s affordable and so comfortable.)
Sorry, this room was crazy backlit so it’s really hard to shoot – and yes I, like you, miss having professional photographs. Now onto the chair. Regardless if I use the sherpa lounge chair or the vintage dining chair, I figured I’d reupholster its seat. But I don’t want to order yardage for this small of a project, so I need to pull from my fabric hoard or maybe massacre one of my blankets or Brian’s vintage Grateful Dead shirts. OMG should I do that for father’s day? Take his favorite vintage Dead shirt that he probably spent like $70 on off of Instagram and upholster a chair in it then wrap it in a big bow for him? HAPPY FATHERS DAY! He’d LOVE THAT. Well, ok first I’m going to try some green velvet fabric I found since it’s simple, I have enough, works in the room, yadda yadda – don’t worry I’ll do an IGTV of it.
Lastly, I found that pleated shade (with four others) for a dollar at a thrift store in Palm Springs a couple of months ago with the plan of painting it. But then I stuck it on that Target lamp base that I had in the garage and realized that maybe I don’t need to paint it? I liked the idea of doing it dark, but now I think I actually like it light. In this room, which is super neutral it doesn’t look bad – it looks kinda good. I would paint it green (to work with the headboard) but imagine how hilarious a green shade on a brown base would look (even though the tree motif is my favorite one to employ as seen in Elliot’s first and second nursery.)
As I was writing this post, I realized that this set up under the window could be better – so I tried it over there.
Not bad. Kinda nice actually. But you see we have the “one leg on a rug” problem which enrages me as a human being designer. We could pull it forward to “clear” the leg/paint can. But then only two legs of the chair would still be on it and while I can live with having legs be on paint cans, I truly don’t think I could live with having the left two legs of a chair on a rug and the right two on the floor. I would have to blindfold myself daily before going into that room.
I tried it for a couple of hours and I just didn’t like sitting there as much as in front of the doors, which is odd. And yes these doors are functional but right now they go out to a dirt patch that will be our future hot tub deck/room (also any recs on a hot tub??).
Once the legs get here I’m going to try to make it cute enough to show you (I need a tree, guys – any online plant resources? update – that post coming this Saturday).
But now lets party in the comments about the “desk” legs, lampshade color options and which chair. This is the “making it work” content that is what OG blogging was about, before production budgets, professional photographers and partnerships. It’s admittedly very fun to look around and find something to “make it work”.
In case you are wondering no, the kids don’t leave me alone still. They both beg to eat lunch in here with me even though I offer to come to the table. It’s pretty darn cute and I’m in the “don’t say no to your kids wanting to snuggle you” phase of life right now so it’s fine. In the mornings I pour coffee and check all our numbers and comments and now Charlie asks to see “how the blog is doing” (Our traffic tracking system has a daily graph that shows how it’s going for a “regular Wednesday” for instance). I guess seeing Brian and I both “working” for the blog has been super fun for them.
Anyway, it’s hard to be motivated to make this work when I have such a pretty loft office, but maybe if we stay here long term I’ll bring that whole set up down here, store this bed and Brian can get his dream shuffleboard up there… Thoughts?