Friday, December 10, 2010

DIY desk, completed

I wrote a few weeks ago about my reasons for wanting to build a new desk for my office in my new apartment. Over the Thanksgiving weekend my dad and my husband and I worked together to cut and build the two bookcases and desk top that make up the desk, then last week I painted it and transported it from our work area to my apartment.

I was so excited to install it, and was momentarily confused when the desktop didn't fit it into the space as planned. It was about two feet too short. Then I realized that when I went back to paint the pieces, I had inadvertently painted the wrong table top piece. There was an eight foot long piece (the correct one) and a shorter one that we had cut the ends off for a different part of the desk, and since I hadn't labeled them, I just picked up the first one, thinking it was the right one.

Oh well. It meant I had to wait another few days before I could go back and paint the correct piece and switch it in for the wrong one. But now the desk is in, it looks great and I'm about 80% done with putting away my belongings in the new space.

What's great about the long surface area is that is gives me so much more workspace than before, plus it hides the boxes and bins that I use to contain my files and supplies. The bookcases hold a ton of books, and I have space to stow my camera bag, purse and organizing work kit neatly, which I love. There's more refining I can do, and I have yet to hang a big piece of art on the wall above the desk, but I'm very happy with the results. What do you think?

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email


  1. Lelah, it looks great! And so much surface space. My desk has tons of surface space, but no storage places (especially underneath) and I think you came up with a great solution. And it looks good!

  2. Thanks, Katy! I like how when I'm at my desk, I'm not distracted by the stuff being stored underneath, yet it's all accessible when I want to find something.

  3. Thank you for this! I was looking for the right desk and realized it'll never be perfect unless I design it myself. Hope all is well! <3