Create a Studio Desk

We started piecing things together using some wainscoting and easy to assemble IKEA furniture:

Installed a new desktop out of a bifold door:

And installed some “finishing” touches so I could start moving in!

And move in I did!

First, my apologies for the photos.  I am a bit picky when it comes to doing my best to get the brightest, happiest photos and this room is a dungeon.  Zero natural light filtering in from anywhere.  So I am struggling a bit with that… not just in photography but in general. Sigh…

This whole project was a giant two month splurge and save deal.  We decided to bight the bullet on some pieces and then do our best to get creative and use what we have and purchase less expensive IKEA items to save in other areas.  The point is to keep this piece forever, whether for my current blog/etsy biz or just to use as a craft/office space 20 years from now.

All sorts of things are going on in this giant project, as you had seen so far, I lined the drawers, added new hardware and added some decorative stripes to the magazine files.

I sat down and analyzed my storage needs.  This was easy for me since I was really lacking and living without for a few months now, and living with piles of insanity.  I knew exactly what I wanted to keep the area useful for me:

  • Magazine files for my favorite inspirational reads and current shop catalogs
  • A safe spot to rest my camera in-between uses
  • A comfortable chair to support hours of sitting at a time
  • Pictures of my little men
  • Cord storage for all of my gadgets and devices
  • Containers to keep my laminating and label sheets easy to access and protected
  • Containers to better manage my mailing system; a place for “to do” and “to mail”
  • File storage
  • Media storage
  • A receipt system
  • Small desk accessory storage
  • A clutter free desktop
  • A calendar
  • Lots of labels
  • Task Lighting


I started by swapping out the temporary paper for some pretty, bold patterned fabric.  I went with the Waverly Cross Section Charcoal, and just ironed under the edges so it sits nice and pretty on the desktop.

I really love that it’s subtle with color, but still bold enough to add some playfulness and texture to the space.

Because the fabric is covered with floating plexi-glass {which I had cut to size at my local Ace Hardware store}, I can tuck all sorts of items under the plexi to keep them protected.  Like this monthly calendar I will be referencing frequently:

Super slick!

By splurging on all of the cabinets and drawers, I was able to conceal some of the less sightly items.  But you can take a peek just so you can see how I organized it:


I actually still have not installed the drawers or cabinets permanently.  I wanted to try living with a couple arrangements first.  I thought I would want the drawers higher initially, but later decided that putting them lower was the way to go {they can’t go right next to the chair since we have holes drilled in the sides of the cabinet for cords to our scanner}.

The top cabinet has a fabric bin for me to toss my receipts in throughout the course of the week.  Then, they get scanned in and filed, so everything is all corralled together.

The drawers were lined with wrapping paper.  I just stuck it down with a couple of small pieces of double sided tape.  Then, popped in some acrylic drawer organizers I already had from our last desk space, and things were working fab!

And the other side:

These cabinets hold my every day items.  Notebooks, planner, address book, etc…  The soft sided green bin is where I keep my camera when not in use and the blue boxes are for my “to do” and “to mail” items.

The bottom drawer holds all of my punches:

The floating shelf is a great way to store books I like to reference, my craft markers in a white vase and some added drawers for my laminating sheets and printing labels.


Speaking of labels, I made sure everything was all labeled and ready to go!

I have a tendency to get some pretty yucky back pain, especially when sitting for longer periods of time {which I definitely do when I write up a blog post or personalize a slew of Etsy orders}.  I hit up my local habitat restore which intentions of recovering something and taking drab to fab, but I knew that nothing I would find there would offer me the daily support that I need to work.  So I went with a simple gray nail head chair that I found on clearance about a month ago at  Part of the reason I went with something more neutral is because I wanted something that would be versatile enough to also work in my bedroom, guest room, living room or family room, if I ever decide to switch things up {which seems to happen sometimes!}.

So now I am officially, as of yesterday, all moved in and smiling!

Here is the desk build project budget breakdown:

We purchased things bits at a time and in phases to help ease the pain a bit.  And when I look at the cost of some of the higher scale designs for similar pieces which run anywhere from $800-$2800, I am happy to have a custom piece that we did ourselves for a fraction of that price.

And, the price includes a lot of special features or “add ons” such as puck lights, fabric, doors, drawers and knobs, all of which the desk could still be functional without and give you some extra savings.

I am still debating on calling this project “complete”.  I think the drawer and doors are asking for some decorative molding.  Or paint.  But until that day comes, we are in love with what we have done so far!  So so very in love.

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