Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Office Space Makeover - Plans


At the start of March I put about 200 items into a kid's consignment sale. I've sold through this sale twice in the Fall, but this was my first time doing the Spring sale. I've learned to start early and started prepping for it back in January, just sorting through boxes occasionally or stain treating & washing clothes. Surprisingly I didn't have a ton of clothes this year, so I dove deeper and started going through all of the toys, shoes, socks, bibs, baby carriers, blankets, etc. Some of those actually sold really well, and in the end I brought back considerably less stuff and just over $200!

Normally I would put that money towards new kid clothes, but naturally I also *shopped* at the consignment sale and had already bought them both new wardrobes. My husband wanted me to spend it on myself after all of the prep work I'd done, but I had recently bought myself some clothes as well. I decided the money would be better spent on a larger item, and it didn't take long to choose... I really needed a new desk!

Desk, before

My old particle board desk was handed down to us when we were married 11 years ago. And considering I work at home (and am an internet addict), this thing has gotten a lot of use! The desk worked great in my sewing workroom, but when I switched to ambigrams & we had kids, it moved out to a more prominent spot near our living room. While the desk is functional, it's not that pretty to look at. The open shelving makes it worse, since there is a lot of clutter going on, and the supports for the upper shelving make my workspace very crowded. I can barely plug cords into my laptop! I've wanted to replace it for years, but there is always an endless supply of more important things we need for the house. Finally, the time had come!

New desk plans

I'd previously planned out my ideal desk, and while I don't require much, past searches had shown me that it wouldn't be easy to find. My main requirements were drawers on the left side (or both sides), some leg space at least 2 feet wide (I usually sit cross legged in my chair!), no keyboard drawer above the chair, and overall not wider than my wall. Oh, and it had to have an interesting look and not be too pricey! I thought I might have to give up after I found nothing at Target, Walmart, Craigslist, or Wayfair, but I finally spotted this funky desk on Overstock (an exclusive item) ~ 

The yellow runs around $160-175, depending on the day. I used a 12% off coupon code & got it for about $155. It comes in teal and white too, which run a little pricier. I was also pretty impressed with this more traditional desk, but it looks like it's out of stock for good.

Along with a new desk, I needed to get some wall shelves to replace the attached shelves I was losing. I really love the look of 2-3 floating white shelves above a desk, like these ~

via "HGTV"

And they need to be topped with some color coordinated office supplies & deco! ~


Unfortunately, all of the 48" floating shelves that I found either had terrible reviews, were crazy high priced, or both. I decided I didn't want to risk it, so I bought these white melamine shelves from Home Depot, $17 each

Edit: Do not buy shelves from!! They arrived covered in a thick layer of dust, banged up all over, and with black marks that wouldn't clean off. I ended up taking them back to the store, and found nearly identical 48" inch shelves in the store for $7.50 each! Less than half the cost! Ridiculous.

Shelves from

The brackets were a real challenge. I wanted something a little decorative, without breaking the bank. At first I was eyeing these wooden scrolls from Home Depot ($17 for 2), but then I realized that the scroll was cut out of a flat piece of wood & not carved with rounded edges like I was picturing. My next choice was these pretty silver art deco style brackets ($8 each) ~


But I wanted to check Hobby Lobby before buying anything. They actually had a pretty good selection of cheap, ornate metal brackets, and luckily they were 50% off that week! I chose these for $7 each, $3.50 after the sale. Score! I'm planning on painting them either yellow or silver before hanging them. 

Metal Brackets

My current desk is normally quite cluttered, and my husband was a little worried when he saw the new desk only has two small drawers. I'm pretty excited about those two drawers though, since that will finally give me a spot for my pens, Pots-its, scissors, tape & such. I realized there is not actually a lot of stuff on my shelves, but the surface of the desk accumulates papers and random things. I'm definitely going to buy a nice paper tray and basket to collect those things.


I was super in love with this bright yellow magazine file from Target for $8, and the only other similar files I could find were $20 and the wrong color (and I didn't even like the design as much). It was only in stock at two stores though, so the next day I drove 40 minutes (with my two kids) to the nearest store, which now said "limited stock". It had apparently had been put on clearance and was nowhere to be seen. I begrudgingly drove another 40 minutes to the 2nd store, where it was still "in stock", but it was missing there as well. The employees were polite, but the only help they could offer me was suggesting I walk around the entire store to check the back of every aisle where they keep their clearance. Uggh! We went home exhausted and empty handed. In the end I remembered I had two plastic gray files I bought years ago at the Target $1 section with a decent pattern that I could paint, but if I had found that metal one on clearance for $2 it would have been glorious!

After I fill the drawers, I won't have much left to put on the wall shelves at all, so I'll need some pretty decorations. I'd like to do yellow, silver, and white, but I have a lot of red/burgundy things too, so I might add orange to help tie things together. Otherwise yellow + red is gong to make me think of McDonalds! I already know from our living room that yellow decorations are hard to find, so I might have to paint the yellow and orange stuff myself.

 I'd also like to rip down the wallpaper and paint the wall gray *before* hanging the shelves, but we'll see!

1 comment:

Nicholas Taylor said...

Using the money that you earned to buy a new desk was a good idea. That is an investment in your work. The old particle board desk that you had certainly got a lot of use. The features on your ideal desk are nice. Having a lot of leg space will help you to avoid painful sitting positions as you work.

Nicholas Taylor @ Vancouver Business Brokers