Welcome back for Week 2 of the One Room Challenge! If you missed Week 1, take a look at it to read about the problems and plan for the home office/craft & sewing room I’m working on.
Remember how the Mister stole my desk when he got a new job? Well, I needed a new space to work in, so I decided to create a little work nook in the area where the sewing machine was already situated.
This area is actually the interior of the dormer window over our garage, so I have a nice view of the trees – and in the winter time when I’m still working as the sun sets, a great view of the sunset – and natural light during the day.
This meant there were three items to complete in my new little work nook:
Make a new corner desk out of craft shelving unit. These square craft shelves that I accumulated over a year or so from Michael’s have been configured several different ways in the six years since I bought the first one. I have loved each configuration, but the most recent one has certainly turned out to be the most practical.
|This was an awesome way to store a bunch of craft supplies, but the updated configuration is better!|
I actually started this particular project a while back. Last summer, I reconfigured the cubes and plopped a TV tray down in the gap to fill the role of desk top until I could get an actual desk top made.
It turned out that I had the exact right number of cubes for both sides of the desk to have three stacks of two cubes. Lucky coincidence!
This setup left a big gap on the far left of the desk, directly to the right of the sewing machine.
I decided that the new desk top should extend beyond the cubes under the window, from corner to corner, to provide a couple extra square feet of desk to create an almost continuous u-shaped desk around the entire nook.
I drew up a plan, but the project required a diagonal cut, which I have no ability to make by myself. My father-in-law, who has lent a hand and awesome tools on previous projects, graciously helped me cut the wood panel into the right shape – and even trusted me with the saw.
I chose a nicer – and therefore more expensive – type of wood than I normally would since I’m staining it this time instead of covering it with paint.
|That’s a pretty costly item! About a third of it is left for a future project, though.|
Next I stained and sealed the wood. Using a hole saw, I drilled a hole in the corner for computer cords to go through.
Then the Mister helped me nail the wood into place.
I love my new desk! There is so much surface area, especially with the extension out toward the sewing desk where the thread now sits. When I’m ready to switch from computer work to sewing, I barely have to move my chair.
|I don’t have everything situated on the desk or within the cabinets and drawers exactly as I would like it yet, but this is a major improvement!|
Repaint sewing table. When I painted the table in 2015, I accidentally used outdoor paint. Turns out, outdoor paint stays a little sticky, which has caused every speck of dust and bit of snipped thread to stick to the surface. Oops. It was actually very difficult to clean off all the bits of thread when I was preparing it for paint.
Before I painted it the first time, I asked readers which color they liked best:
The response was mainly for aqua, but I loved the contrast of the knobs against the navy, so that’s what I chose.
Turns out, I should have listened to y’all! When I repainted it this week, I decided to use the aqua paint. It felt dark in my little nook, and I think the aqua will brighten things up a bit.
I also got some ribbon and thread storage hung on the wall by the sewing machine. I haven’t decided whether I want to stain, paint (white or aqua), or leave them natural wood yet.
|The picnic basket is a gift from our neighbor, who let me look through his mother’s things when she had to move out of her house recently. It holds clothes waiting to be mended or altered.|
Update upholstery on desk chair. It was a great find at $20 but was originally covered with some kind of vinyl fabric. Vinyl gets sweaty and sticky after coming into contact with human skin for any period of time longer than five minutes, so it has been covered with a sheet for most of its time in this house. I considered painting it white, but I love the color of the original stain (which is a pretty close match to my new desk top) and like that it’s naturally distressed from use, which is the only kind of distressed furniture I like.
I decided to leave it as it was, but I cleaned it up with some Pledge.
Before ordering fabric last year, I did some watercolors of a few different options. The one in the center was the winner.
I first chose white fabric for the back of the chair, but it made it look like I had just forgotten about the back, so I undid the top to replace it with pink for a fun pop of color.
I actually don’t love the pink, either, but I am not re-doing it again. First, I don’t think the chair would hold up to me pulling out all the staples again, and second, I don’t think I would hold up to re-stapling it yet again. It was a pretty tedious process. I do like how the detail of the chair stands out better against the solid colors than it did against the original plaid.
After I got the pink fabric in place, I also added some trim around the front of the back of the chair. The last step will be to pick up some brads to better hold the trim in place.
Here’s a before/after of my little nook:
Next week, I’ll be working on curtains, cornices, and a new shade for the Eiffel Tower lamp!
Something that I didn’t discuss last week was how much $$$ I plan to spend on this project. The really vague answer to that is “as little as possible.” I don’t have an exact dollar amount in mind, but I plan to keep it in the double digits, well under $100. I bought fabric, furniture, fixtures, paint, and other materials the first time I re-did the office space for the ORC, and what I didn’t use then is still sitting around waiting to fulfill its intended purpose. I know I’ll have to run out and pick up some random materials over the next few weeks, but I plan to keep the spending down by focusing on finishing the projects I set out to do in 2015 – and getting rid of a bunch of stuff.
Dollar-wise, I came in pretty low this week: I only spent $1.27 for the piping to create the trim on the back of the chair. The brads to secure it in place should only cost a few bucks. Everything else I already had on hand (including the desk top wood, which I bought last summer).
That’s all for this week! I’ll be back next Thursday; in the meantime, check the progress of the other bloggers here! And if you missed previous posts in this series, you’ll find them here.
Thanks for stopping by!