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new {free} desk

February 8, 2011

We picked up this beauty on the curb on the way home from a lunch with friends.  It must have been last summer.  Maybe even spring?  Anyways, we drove past it on our way to meet our friends, and I announced that we were going to pick it up if it was still on the curb when we went home.  Jason rolled his eyes, probably hoping it’d be gone by the time we got back to it.

But it was still there.

And so, I committed my first act of dumpster-diving (unless you count the bagel thefts of 1997-1998 – don’t worry, we didn’t eat them, just dumped large piles of them in friends’ driveways as a prank).  Maybe we could call it “freecycling” instead, though?  Because it has a less bad connotation, and also! look how I am saving money and the environment when I use that term!  I’m so trendy and cool!  Bonus for me!

{note to Rico: if you ever attack my furniture with a fat, black sharpie, there will be no love involved – especially if your use of apostrophes is inappropriate.  You’ve been warned.}

This project took  So I will give you the abridged version: citristrip x 3+ plastic scraper removed the paint, discover that 3 of the legs are 2 inches shorter than the rest of the legs, cut piece of wood to screw on to the bottom of said legs, realize that might not work out, spend 3 weeks thinking about the leg issue, decide that it doesn’t matter what said legs looks like — if the project doesn’t go on soon, another piece of unused nonsense will be taking up valuable garage space and BTW the desk was free so if the project is a FAIL no one will cry about it, sand, sand, sand, wipe sandy goodness out of eyes, nose, & mouth (even though a mask was worn at all times), sand again, sand even more, call it good enough, stain x 2, polyurethane x 3, let desk sit in garage for 4 months because you’re too sick of the project to deal with it anymore, finally decide, amidst snowfall, that the desk needs to come inside and it needs to come in NOW. {for those of you who are concerned – the sat-in-the-garage-for-4-months part of the above saga means that it’s been done & sitting in the garage since October — no fetuses were harmed in the staining of this desk.}

Tada!  Done.  And it pairs perfectly with the banker’s chair I refinished a while ago.  Rock on.  (Am insanely proud of this project – in good condition, these desks go for like $600-1400 – cost for mine?  maybe $30 in sanding & staining supplies).

(Although the pic is a little dark b/c it sits in front of the window.  Oops.  Will have to take better office pictures another time when there’s less sun reflecting off of the snow outside the windows.  And given that it’s winter in MI, I’m sure that’ll happen soon.)

The rest of the office was rearranged also.  I want to hang a few more pictures, stick a comfy chair in the corner, make/buy curtains, and find a better way to hide the dog kennels.  Then maybe I’ll be “done” in here?

And, speaking of dog kennels – we have two kennels – one large & one small.  So it would be really logical for the large dog to go in the large kennel and the small dog to go in the small kennel, right?  Not our dogs.

They are a total mystery to me, these two.


24 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2011 2:33 pm

    I have not been on in so long. I happened to read Making it lovely and saw your comment. I had to rush over to your site and just say CONGRATS!!!! I am so happy for you two and cannot wait to read all the updates!

    • February 8, 2011 2:42 pm

      Aww, thanks, Danielle – I noticed you’ve been missing from the blogosphere lately — hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

  2. Kelsey G. permalink
    February 8, 2011 2:40 pm

    Hey, that looks an aweful lot like my Grandi’s desk! You did an excellent job, congrats!

  3. February 8, 2011 3:46 pm

    WOW!! The desk turned out amazing!!! And that fact that is was free is beyond perfect!

  4. February 8, 2011 4:05 pm

    Great job on the desk. A very funny post. I enjoyed it. 🙂


    P.S. Love your dogs. 🙂

  5. February 8, 2011 4:17 pm

    Absolutely beautifully done!

  6. February 8, 2011 5:17 pm

    What a find…fantastic job on the re-do and I dig that sweet desk chair too!

  7. February 8, 2011 5:21 pm

    Your desk looks beautiful!

  8. February 8, 2011 5:56 pm

    Awesome awesome job, Jen!

  9. Mom permalink
    February 8, 2011 7:23 pm

    I never thought the desk could look that good! I sure hope the person who threw out the desk doesn’t stumble upon your blog…

    Um, do you think Barley is giving Jezebel the bigger crate in case she has puppies one day?

  10. GGG permalink
    February 8, 2011 7:25 pm

    Some peoples junk can be other peoples treasures! That desk is fantastic! I got an idea for those dog kennels. Put a wood top on them and maybe some legs and use them as tables. The smaller one could go next to your comfy chair (if you got room) and maybe a book case on one side of the big one. Just a thought 🙂

  11. February 8, 2011 7:38 pm

    Jen! That came out amazingly well. I am so impressed!

  12. priscilla permalink
    February 8, 2011 7:43 pm

    your dogs make me laugh

  13. February 9, 2011 10:47 am

    Your desk is gorgeous! Your doggies are too. 😉

  14. February 9, 2011 3:12 pm

    Hahahaha! That’s funny! I should show you a photo of our lab sleeping in the bed meant for our mini dachshund!

  15. February 9, 2011 7:11 pm

    Oh my goodness, that is gorgeous! Great job!

  16. February 9, 2011 9:59 pm

    hehe… have to laugh at the dogs in the kennels. Cracks me up.

    The desk is AMAZING! It is perfect. I love our big old desk, too. But, yours is totally better. And that chair makes it perfect.

  17. February 10, 2011 9:35 pm

    oh my gosh! oh my gosh! your desk turned out amazing! nice job!

  18. March 3, 2011 4:22 pm

    Thanks for joining the party! (really more of a general get together at this point…)

    I love that you stripped the desk and stained as opposed to repainting. It’s perfect. It’s almost as if that chair was created just for that desk!

    That pic of the dogs cracks me up! They’re all “Mo-om, why are you taking pictures of us instead of letting us out”… Too funny!


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