Thursday, January 19, 2012

89 Basement Progress: Studio Desk Part 4

We are almost done with the desk!  Now it's all about "moving in" and organizing and putting on the finishing touches.  All the girly, fun touches.  I. Can't. Wait.

But how did we get to that point?  The last time I left you with an update, we were hardly desk move in ready.


The first way to make this space actually functional, was to drill a hole in the desktop, through the plexiglass and the bi-fold door {which is what the desktop was actually made from}.  The hole would be the passageway for the computer cords to the outlet.

My husband got out a 1" circle bit for this step...


This baby went straight through the plexi and bi-fold door like butta!



As you recall, my intention with the plexi top, was to use it for smooth writing, and also to allow me to pop pretty paper or fabric under it, to act as interchangeable desktop decor.

Since I was just working with what I had, we used the plexi as a template to cut out a strip of leftover wallpaper to place down until I can find something I like better.


We did not tape/glue/mod podge/affix the paper to the desk in anyway.  It's not at all permanent, completely switchable.  The weight of the plexi keeps it right in it's place!


We will search for a desk hole plug thingy {that is the technical term}, but the really cool part that makes me all warm and giddy inside is that when we feed cords up from the outlet, all of the excess length can just hang out inside the cavity of the desk {since it was a hollow bi-fold door}.  No cord clutter!


Moving on...  we also added a couple of small task lights.  We went with some Sylvania LED puck lights, found for around $12 each at Home Depot {similar to these}.


We affixed each one under the floating shelf, one on each side to avoid directing light right over the top of the computer monitor.  We just used the sticky that came on the back of the puck light to stick it up.  I didn't want any cords.  Or anything that would create too much visual clutter.  And after speaking with the lighting special at our home improvement store, they recommended these lights and said the LED would be bright and the batteries should last me a long while.  So now we are left with this!


But I didn't stop there.  Remember how I mentioned I went shopping at IKEA for drawers/doors?  They actually make specific pieces for the Expedit that fit right inside the cubes.  They are costly, but I didn't think we would be able to DIY them so I took a hard hit on this one.

When deciding on the investment of the doors and drawers, the choice was completely personal that not everyone would have to make if working on this project, as a way to save some pennies.  I knew for me, that I wanted to hide some of the office storage behind doors to keep it looking clean and tidy and reduce the visual noise that comes with so much open storage.  I also  knew I wanted some drawers near my desk since the desk itself didn't have any.  I like drawers for all of my office supplies, vs. keeping them on the smaller workspace.



We also drilled a hole {with the same 1" bit} into the side of the Expedit and into one of the cabinets, so we can put our desk scanner and external hardrive in one of the cavities and wire it to the computer.


We were finally done enough to pop the computer on the desk and plug it in!  Can you hear my sigh of relief?  Over a month later from coming up with an initial plan!


Wanna see how bright those little lights are?  Here are a couple of shots to show...



All of those little updates really pulled it together.  A quick before and after of this last week's changes?




This weekend, I am planning on putting on the finishing touches and begin actually using this awesome new space!  And will share all the details next week! {Imagine updated knobs, books, boxes, accessories, storage, oh my!}.  And I will be sure to end it all with final measurements and a cost breakdown of the entire project in that post as well.

Anyone else excited to be wrapping up a long, ongoing project this weekend? 




89 comments:

  1. I LOVE THIS! and those lights are just perfect! Is it wrong that I also got giddy when you mentioned the cord storage inside the hollow door? ALL desks should be like that. Such a great idea. Can't wait to see it all finished.

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  2. I love how your desk is coming along! I am totally jealous haha! Keep the inspiration coming!
    amy
    @homehappyhome

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  3. UM...AWESOME!!!! I love that none of your cords are hanging down and around. I need to figure out a solution for that. Hmm maybe a future blog post for you?

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  4. Holy Cow~ This is amazing and it looks fantastic! I love it!

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  5. Haaa? How it can be so fantastic. Serious jeolous with the idea.

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  6. WOW!!! that is an awesome desk cannot wait to see the finish product

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  7. Oh, my goodness. Those lights are AWESOME. Love the circular drill thingy {technical, I know}. Just threw some fabric under my desk glass as well. Fun way to add print. I LOVE the wallpaper idea. Your space is going to be amazing.

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  8. I love all your ideas-- I can't wait to see the finished product!

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  9. I love this so much! I'm new to your blog so this is the first time I've seen the desk project and it's just brilliant. I'm inspired! We'll be doing a closet/desk project for our daughter's new bedroom sometime in the near future and I'll have to check out the Expedit shelves to see if we can make them work. Such a great idea!

    I love the plexi desk topper too, keep things neat and easy to clean!

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  10. i still want you to build this desk in my house. =] i love it!

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  11. This is beautiful Jen! May it inspire your creativity juices to flow freely and in abundance...haha! Can't wait to see how you organize it!

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  12. I had no idea that IKEA made drawers for the Expedit! I have an extra Expedit hanging around in my garage from a previous project (but then I decided to go with something else)...now gotta think of how best to use it. Hmmm, the possibilities.

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  13. Don't you love ikea! Looks fab. Love that you can change out the desktop.

    xo,
    cristin

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  14. Jen, your desk is fantastic! I think I'm just as excited to see it all prettied up as you are. :) Good call on the drawers, too. Enjoy that pretty new work space. You deserve it.

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  15. LOVE the hollow door as a cord hider! Isn't it great when things work out like that?!

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  16. I really love your work!!! I love this idea! I'm really wanting to make a desk for myself instead of sitting in the kitchen table all the time! :( Living in an apartment is really hard to modify... Great job and I love your site. Is there any way I can contact you via email for some suggestions...

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  17. Great desk. Love how its symmetrical.

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  18. I really liked your statement that deciding on what to invest in and what to pinch pennies on is a personal decision (or at least that's how I read it!). I'm being "spendy" in some areas of our bathroom overhaul, but stingy in other areas. What's important to people is as diverse as, well, people!

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  19. It's looking great! I would probably have put the drawers one section lower just for seated access, but I'm sure you thought long and hard about it. I can't wait to see what you think when you start using it a lot!

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    Replies
    1. Lol, we did think about that, it's where I really wanted them also, however, it was also the best place to drill the hole for the cords to feed over from the computer, and still be concealed. The drawers and cabinet doors are not screwed in yet, so it may change if I can problem solve the cord situation a little better.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. ha I was thinking the same thing but wanted to see if anyone else had commented.. I must admit I like sitting on my chair and just flicking a drawer open.. but you will figure it out once you sit down.. you will probably ahve the stationery you need on the desk when you work and then pack it away.. Looks fantastic.. I so want this!!

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  20. Wow it glows in the dark!
    Fantastic...! Your desk top pattern is lovely!

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  21. It looks great! Beautiful and functional. I can't wait to see it when it's complete!

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  22. I'm really loving the wallpaper under the plexi. It looks as if it was meant to be! Simply gorgeous!! <3

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  23. LOVING the wallpaper idea!!!!!! Maybe a glass topper for it? and the drawer pulls are beyond fantastic! We put ours on hinges b/c the hubs has anger issues with drawers (haha!) so i've got a shadow-boxy situation going on with my entertainment center at the moment.

    Come help me finish mine and ill help you with yours? =) haha girl can dream! keep it up chickadee!

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  24. I am totally jealous! This looks awesome. Can't wait to see it all done up! ~ Will you be leaving your desk area in the guest bedroom?

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    1. We are leaving the other desk as well. It's a great place for guests to place their belongings or sit down to write. I also sneak in there for some quiet time every great once in awhile to write out cards or journal... I think no matter what, it will always be one of my most favorite spaces in our home.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  25. That looks incredible, Jen! I am in love with all the Expedit shelves and want one for every room in my house :) So far the family room and guest bedroom are the only lucky ones.

    One quick question for you...where did you get your plexiglass from? I've been wanting a plexiglass top for my desk as well but have no idea where to get it. Thanks!

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    1. I actually had it cut at our local Ace Hardware. They stock it and cut it right in our store. Now that I know that, I am excited to use it for all sorts of other projects! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    2. Thanks! I'll be checking there for ours!

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  26. like most everyone else....what a great idea to use the puck lights! i have a small lighting issue in our office & have been racking my brain for an easy way to solve it w/o having to buy/install new lighting! you just took care of that for me! you've also given me ideas for how to reno/redo my existing desk setup to gain more storage. yippee!!

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  27. The desk looks beautiful!! and I love the wallpaper you put down too!

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  28. This desk is awesome! I love that wallpaper Idea! Where is this in your house? I wish I had a space for that....hmmm now I'm thinking. LOL. Great job! Can't wait to see it all finished.

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    1. Hi Danielle -
      It's leftover from when I papered the back of our built in bookcases here: http://www.worldmarket.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12437968&clickid=cart It's lovely! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  29. That is awesome!! I would love to have this for myself because I have same IMac desktop as yours. Is yours 21 inches screen? Cant wait to see your organizing in office!

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    1. Yep, it's 21". I got it last year and have only been on it once or twice so I haven't really gotten to play with it much yet, have been waiting for that desk to get done and just working from a laptop in the interim, so I have even more reason to be excited about finishing the project, lol. :) Do you love your mac? Was it hard to switch from a PC?

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. I love my mac. I have had mine for 5 years. This was my second desktop I got last year! At beginning it was hard to change from PC to Mac but I fall in love with Mac pretty quickly! I know you will love it. It is super easy to use I promise! My mom got hers last year with 27 inch screen and loving it. I had to teach her since switched from PC.

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    3. Jen,
      The word processing program that is from mac is AMAZING! Pages (MS Word), Keynote (PowerPoint), and Numbers (Excel) are great. The Pages program has templates that are far better than I found with Word. Have fun with your "new" computer! We have the same one and LOVE it!! Big enough that it doubles as a TV when you load a Netflix. ;-)

      Shelly
      forloveofhomeandcountry.blogspot.com

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  30. Beautiful job! I love that you can switch out the pattern under the plexi-glass! That is so great!

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  31. LOVE this idea! Wish I had a spot for this ...

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  32. The light from those puck-lights looks really good and not as blue as LED typically look...is that the case in person?

    That is the one reason I have shied away from using those types of lights, but if these give off a more clear light I might have to get some!

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    Replies
    1. They are really good, pure light, not at all blue or yellow, which I LOVE!

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  33. Wonderful desk and I like the cords hidden in the hollow door.

    I do have one question/suggestion - if you have extra paint, why don't you paint the desk top and all of the edges of the holes that were cut? I know that you won't be looking there, but it would make it more finished and someday, you might just want to have the white top with one or two special pictures.

    And wouldn't it seal the wood incase any moisture got in that area?

    liz

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    1. Hi Liz!

      I could - I am going to add a ring/plug to the hole to finish it off, so I don't think I need to paint that. And the rest of the top may be painted someday, but I am not worried about moisture and for now, I am going to let go of my OCD and leave it be... :)

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  34. Hi Jen,
    As always you inspire me like crazy! Thank you girly!! I am updating my kitchen and was wondering what your thoughts are on using the wallpaper and plexiglass as a backsplash?? I have seen it done with glass but that makes me a little nervous since I have busy boys :-)

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  35. Serisously - that is BRILLIANT! Mad cudos to you for creating such a fantastic work area!
    You are amazing! Thank you for all your ideas!

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  36. I love the MAC too! It was a little hard to switch, but I'm loving it now!!! I was wondering where in your house did you build this desk? Is it in it's own room or is it on a wall in a common area, living room etc. Can you see you kids from that desk?:)

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    1. Hi Danielle. The desk is going in the future studio - here is is a picture of what it looked like: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-s9bq0yJqqn8/TnhQDxXatRI/AAAAAAAAMv4/BWM92vmx9l4/s1600/StudioProgress.jpg

      We sold the little white desk and the new desk is going on the wall where the table is in that photo.

      I really need to share a floor plan of our space, but it's basically a U shape, studio, family room, playroom. The family room is the connecting room and it's all open and wraps around the staircase.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  37. I love how you customized the desk to make it perfect for your needs! The wallpaper on your desk looks gorgeous and that's so cool that you can change it out whenever the mood strikes. I look forward to the day when I can create my own office (instead of a tiny computer armoire) and will definitely getting inspiration from you. Can't wait to see all your finishing touches :-)

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  38. Hi Jenn,

    Love the desk! I am going to try to finish my household binder this weekend. I put in a request for a custom order on your Esty page but haven't heard a response. I am looking for the cleaning list but with all of the cleaning items already there. (I am horrible at this)

    Thanks!

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  39. Fantastic. I didn't even know Expedits had drawers available. This looks amazing and I bet it will be a great work space :)

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  40. http://www.leevalley.com/en/hardware/page.aspx?p=50444&cat=3,43597,50658

    Here's the link to the grommets that will finish off your desktop hole(s) if you haven't already.

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  41. This is FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could REALLY use something like this too! Can't wait to see how you ORGANIZE it all! XO, Pinky

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  42. Can't wait to see all the finishing details! Just trying to dig my way out of my chaotic office now. No new projects allowed until I get back to square one and can see my desktop:). At least that's what I keep telling myself. I might sneak in a couple small projects when I need a break from my paper piles:).

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  43. Do you think I could do something similar with the Expedit shelves in dark brown? I'm so afraid that they are too dark in my little room, but I have the gray-brown Hemnes glass-door cabinet with 4 drawers for my school books and scrapbooking supplies and dark brwon Besta shelves and I love both, and I cannot imagine putting a third wood color in that room ... There is a lot of light in the tiny room, because there are two windows. It#s a pity they don't have expedit in gray-brown, but wait - soon after I'll buy the dark brwon version, there'l be the new addition to Ikea stores worldwide - expedit in gray-brwon!!! ;)
    Jule

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    1. Hi Jule!

      I think you could, you would probably be able to color match when painting any molding and any "add ons". I would say, just do a really pretty light light gray wall, and it should be ok having all that dark furniture.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  44. I love the lights! And you'll be almost "cord free" with the holes to put them through. Just beautiful...I want one!

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  45. All that, in one month of coming up with a plan?! I just have one question. When do you do the work... and how?! Do you wait until the kids are asleep? I just have one kid, and I never get anything done! I'm seriously in awe.

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    1. Hi Jen,

      It's actually been really slow going with the desk, all of the work has been done when the kid's are in bed only. It really wouldn't have taken taken us that long had we done it in one shot, but things have been so busy, that hasn't been an option. We have a goal each week to work on one larger project and maybe one smaller project, and have learned to be OK with the fact that it all can't happen overnight, and spreading things out over time to do them right is the way to go. :) Don't be too hard on yourself, this is now part of my job so sometimes we are projecting when we are exhausted or turning down another obligation to get something done, it's all about how we decide to manage our time and where we are placing our priorities.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  46. Cannot wait to see the "moved in" product! You are such an inspiration. I know it will be fabulous!

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  47. I LOVE the LED lights!!! We're going to be building a double desk for our bedroom (no other office space) soon and the LED lights would be perfect! Love how it will give it some light without need to fill up desk space with a lamp.

    We're also in the middle of re-doing our living room (I like to call it a first-do on my blog since we've never really done it to begin with). Hopefully I can finish that this weekend!

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  48. This is such a beautiful project! My friend just sent me your link because my husband and I are also working on a very similar project. (Here's my latest post on lighting the shelves: http://www.viewalongtheway.com/2012/01/let-there-be-fancy-low-watt-high-tech-light/)

    I LOVE how you used wallpaper under the plexiglass. So pretty! I can't wait til we get to plunk our computer monitor down too!

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  49. Congratulations! It really is looking amazing.
    ididtellyou.blogspot.com

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  50. Great job. I love it. Especially the interchangeable paper. I want that tool that your husband used. It could come in handy.

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  51. I am absolutely in love with this desk!! It is exactly what I have been envisioning for my office! I have one question for you. The computer screen is really close to where you are going to be sitting. Have you tried it out and it isn't too bad or do you plan on adding a pop out slide underneath to move a bit farther away from it? I have a Mac and I love it!!!! You will too!

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    1. Great question! We have definitely been popping a desk chair in there as we build and go to make sure it's going to be comfortable since it seems as though I have been spending the majority of my days at a computer. We made sure the desk height was set to me and the keyboard actually has plenty of room. Hopefully once I am using it consistently for awhile I will feel the same way, as adding a tray now may be a bit of a challenge. :)

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  52. hi jen! love this! did you off set the holes in the hollow core door so the cords could snake through and not fall out? or do the holes on the top and bottom line up? if so, do the cords stay put? thank you and i may be stealing this fabulous idea!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Betsy! Great question. I think you could totally offset the holes. We didn't as we never intended to use the door to hide the cords, it was just a happy surprise and a "wish we would have thought about that and done it intentionally" moment. Since our computer only has one cord, it's perfect and coils up inside just fine.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  53. iHeart your desk! Does your husband do seminars cause I know a husband (mine) who could use some tips. Ok, fine, can he just come build me one?! ;)

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  54. ok, this is genius! I was already thinking about getting a plexiglass panel with something printed on it and then use it on a coffetable that maybe I dont especially like. But just putting some paper/cute/thingy under a plain panel it's great too - much cheaper and you can change the paper whenever you want. Great blog btw I'm totally going to check it out regularly (;

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  55. Look at Lowes for the hole plug, you may find what your looking for there, look were they have the bolts and special screws in the drawers. They have a drawer with odd things like this.

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  56. This is so so awesome!! How inspiring!! Hope you don't mind, because I'm totally stealing this idea!! My IKEA desk right now is huge. I got the longest tabletop. (thinking bigger MUST mean better) Boy was I wrong!! It just leaves more space for clutter. :-( This is PERFECT!! Now I can have a functional desk with plenty of storage AND I can get rid of some of the other furniture in the office so the kids have more space to play!! (and I have more space to craft)

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  57. Great desk! You can buy the desk hole cord thingy from staples, they are hiding with the office furniture.

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  58. Unbelievable Jen! I absolutely LOVE it! Cords hanging everywhere bother. It's a current annoyance in my living room that I am trying to remedy and I love how you can yours in the desk/door. I look forward to yous posts about the desk and I can't wait to see the final touches!

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  59. Wow! Looks great so far! I'm running to Home Depot for those lights, just what I need for my craft room/office:)

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  60. Looks fabulous, Jen! LOVE those LED lights :) May be getting some this weekend for some dark spots around my house!

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  61. Love it! Can't wait for the reveal.

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  62. Love this desk and the way you used the IKEA storage systems for it.....question for you though. on the trim work you added and the desk top what paint did you use to match the existing shelving from IKEA and what finish did you use.....thanks.

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    Replies
    1. I actually brought a piece of the IKEA unit into Home Depot and they custom color matched it, sheen and all, to Glidden paint. That would be the best way to do it! :)

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  64. hello is this all Ikea stuff?

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    Replies
    1. Much of it is Rebecca. :) You can link back to the beginning of the project throughout each update. Hope that helps!

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