So we’ve covered the 8 foot view (because it’s a small room) of the office, but I figured I would bring things in for a 8 inch view and show how it all kind of came together and outline some of the larger struggles.
First the desk.
It came out of two doors from our friend Fred. He had pulled them out of his house when he remodeled and they had been in his dirt-floor garage for years. I measured the amount of space we had in the room and was able to figure out how to cut them down without cutting into any of the recessed areas. Then I added a couple of large mending plates to hold it together.
The legs are simply six Menards pre-made legs and mounting plates. You can see in the top photo they come natural so they can be stained or painted. We found a dark brown that lets them disappear under the desk.
We got a pane of glass from Koonse Glass downtown. It wasn’t very expensive, but it cost almost as much to have it delivered as it did to have them cut it. Once we did that the desk was instantly usable.
In the bottom corner you can see my cheap chest of drawers that I’ve used since I was a kid. It’s been everything from a bedside/end table to a TV stand and now it’s desk drawers (again). I think it came from my grandmother’s house—it’s made of some cheap wood, but cheap wood of that era so it’s still in pretty good shape. That said, the handles were cheap plastic and always breaking.
So I used a wood filler to fix the holes from the old knobs, got a few new ones from Home Depot, and gave it a coat of paint to match some old file cabinets of Carrie’s. (By the way, that trip for drawer handles turned into a “What other projects can we find to do?” trip and we ended up starting the process of replacing all the door knobs and hinges in the house)
Now the bookshelf, or: No hardware store has enough of what I need when I need it.
So we had Dean Koontz’s old bookshelf (yes, it actually was from Dean Koontz’s garage sale) in the office and it was great, but it was very full (I had paperbacks two deep) and we were continuing to struggle with where to put all our books. I figured if we built in some shelves we could go all the way to the ceiling and a denser shelf layout.
A trip to Menards got us all the mounting hardware we needed. Still not sure about the shelves, we stopped by Home Depot as well. We found some we liked but they didn’t have enough, so we walked away with five and ordered two more. Then we went home and started putting holes in the wall.
Now here’s the thing. I love our walls. I’ve lived in several old houses with different types of plaster walls. They are great, but they are a pain. Hanging things is a pain. Finding studs is a pain. Mounting anything that needs to support weight is a pain. So it takes some major anchors to mount something like this to the wall.
Well I put up two vertical supports, the shelf mounts, and the shelves in record time. Then we started loading the books. We quickly realized that the shelves were too weak to hold the books with only two mounts. They sagged on the ends. After much frustation, a few profane remarks, and a trip back the hardware store, I was even more frustrated because they didn’t have enough for me to finish the job. I was able to get a third vertical support. So I pulled off the two I had, patched a bunch of very large holes, relaid the supports 16″ from center, and remounted the supports.
In the photo of the bookshelf nearing completion, note the white spots on the walls from the patched holes, the lack of shelves, and the lack of mounts.
I hate wires. Cannot stand them. My job is all about wires and I’m always looking for a way to eliminate them. As you can imagine from my home desk setup, I have quite a few wires to deal with.
This is what it looked like under my desk. The metal bowl was to keep the dog from chewing on the power adapter to my scanner.
So we picked up a CableBox from BlueLounge and immediately bought two more. It made a huge difference under the desk. I still want to do more organizing, but there’s a lot going on here and it will take some time.