Monday, June 27, 2011

Living Room Ideas and a New Desk

My husband came home with a gorgeous chair a couple of months ago that sparked a desire in me to build a writing desk to accessorize it.  Knowing I was going to put that desk in our living room, rather than our den, I decided to give the whole space a redo. 
First, the desk.......I used table legs that I salvaged from an old table, so, no cost for those.  The top is constructed of four 1 x 6 planks that were 4 feet long.  I used inexpensive pine from Lowe's in the lower grade section.  This is good wood, you just have to look through it and make sure you don't get warped boards.  It has more knot holes than the more expensive pine, but if you are going to paint it, that isn't a concern.  The entire desk cost me just under $30 to build.  A very similar version of this desk sells at Pottery Barn for $600!!  I don't know about you but that's a little out of our budget.  :)

To build the desk, I followed the same plan as my rustic kitchen table.  However, since I wasn't going for a rustic style with the desk and instead, a more polished look, I attached the apron (sides) to the inside of the legs at the joint (instead of the outside) using L brackets, as shown in the photo below, very similar to how I built my dining room table.
For extra stability and sturdiness, I also inserted 2 large screws down through the top of the table into the top of each leg, pre-drilling the holes first.  Since this would be a painted desk, I sunk the screws, filled with spackle and sanded the entire piece, after completely dry, for softer edges.  This is how the table looked before I painted it. 
The table legs were previously stained a dark walnut, so before I painted them white, I primed them with spray primer so I wouldn't need so many coats of white paint.  I painted the entire piece with Valspar ultra white paint.  It was a pretty easy desk to build and we are so excited with the results!
It fits perfectly into the corner I visualized it in, and I love how it pairs with the vintage chair.  This bookshelf was previously black and I didn't care for it.  It made the corner feel like a big black hole.  I primed and painted it with Valspar ultra white and now it really makes our favorite books stand out, I love that, and a room full of books is a cozy one.  And the large basket I picked up at a yard sale for 3 bucks crowns the top perfectly.
The accessories on the desk came from my wonderful hubby from one of his "picking" trips.  The antique wood box is very old and a great place for note cards and stationary.  The envelope holder holds, well, envelopes and some of my vintage post cards from 1905.  The little blue green bowl is perfect for snacks.  Most of the other things in the room I already had.  The wood crate also came from hubby.  They are great for storage.
The curtains and pillows I made from canvas dropcloth.  I stenciled the G on the pillows by combining black craft paint with textile medium to create a washable paint that is also soft and doesn't harden your fabric.  The center pillow I made from an authentic burlap coffee sack that I ordered after Carla at Hammers and High Heels mentioned a great place to buy them in this post.  Thanks Carla!
About this coffee table......it used to be a dining room table!!  I picked it up at a garage sale but it was too small for us to use as a dining table, so, I cut the legs off so that we could use it as a coffee table instead.  Perfect, huh!  The set of hand carved oars were another picked item from hubby.  I like the element of fun and energy they add to the room.
Here's the other side of the room and the wall art I made for hubby for Father's Day.  What do ya think?
I am loving the retro surfboard console table so much that I didn't want to put anything on it, other than this fan cause I didn't want to cover it up.  It's so fun!
I'm so excited to finally have a desk to write and blog at instead of the dining room table.  Thanks for stopping by today!  And thank you for your kind comments, I truly do appreciate every one of them.  Have a great day!

P.S.  If anyone is wondering......the paint on the walls is Manchester Tan by Benjamin Moore. Also, linking up with The Lettered Cottage today! Come join the fun!
The Lettered Cottage

59 comments:

  1. I freakin' love this Diana and when I first saw the pics, I thought it was from a magazine! I cannot wait to get your assistance when it comes to ideas for our new farmhouse plan!

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  2. I love it all! That desk turned out just perfect, great tutorial as well :) Thanks for the shout out too! That makes my day! I am glad you got some of those coffee sacks, I think they make for great decor, you totally scored with the one they sent you, I like the neutral colors (mine were blue). That surf board table is too cute as well! Love, love, love your living room! The paint color is so lovely too! I'll have to show my hubby this!!!

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  3. The desk it perfect! I'd like to make one and use it in our guest bedroom next to the bed, a desk/nightstand combo. And, your living room is delightful!

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  4. I love all the accessories in the room. It gives me some ideas for my own living room!

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  5. You are just amazing! (And don't you have four children too??) It is SO inspiring to see how a creative person as yourself can pull together such a beautiful room with so little money, and of course, a lot of elbow grease. What a hard worker you are. Your room is twice as beautiful as anything in a catalog, and most of all, because you had a vision and did it yourself. Your hubby is so sweet to scout for things for you too. Love, love it all!

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  6. Wow, your living room is beautiful! I love the new desk! And that dining table-turned-coffee table is genius.
    www.inside-outdesign.blogspot.com

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  7. Love that little desk! You make that look so simple. Maybe I'll look around for an old table that will donate legs!
    You're living room is lovely, too.

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  8. Wow, is there anything you can't do?? :) I showed my husband your blog the other day and he goes "You should be more like her"! Haha, I'm going to try and start building my own simple stuff too!

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  9. Thanks all! Linden Townhouse, thank you for those sweet comments. I do have 4 children, however, my daughter is married and I have a college boy, a teenager and one under the age of ten. So, although I'm busy, I'm not as busy as I would be with very young children. :)

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  10. This room is absolutely beautiful!! I love everything about it! Great job on the new desk!!

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  11. I LOVE this room...and even better, my husband loves it! :D I was showing it to him to give him an idea of what I'm going for in our living room, and he even asked me to send him the link to the photos! I also have to ask where the sofa came from...I'm looking for a similar loveseat. Thank you!

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  12. Lisabella, thank you! We've had our sofa for years and bought it at a local furniture store that is no longer open.

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  13. i love your room. its so serene and clean yet personalized. its an area i battle, trying to make it mine without clutter.
    well done lady. its probably here somewhere but could you share with me the wall color?
    thanks

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  14. You are so talented and you inspire me to try things I never thought I could do. You & Layla ( TLC ) .......... Amazing ! I look forward to your blog ! I ask about your walls in your bathroom redo if you textured them or where they that way and you must of forgot to answer.

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  15. Love it Diana! Great Job! The room looks great!

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  16. You did such a great job all around! I am actually helping a friend refinish and paint a huge solid wood 6 drawer dresser. I have a new found respect for people who do this often.. lets just say my arms STILL hurt from all the sanding! (It had a massive amount of varnish on it) You totally gave me the gumption to get up and and help tackle that project :)

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  17. Sorry brockey, I only know how to answer by commenting here. The texture on the walls was already there when we moved in so I don't really know anything about it. Sorry :)

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  18. Such a beautiful room! The desk looks perfect in it's spot! I looked at the post this morning and could tell it was going to be a treat so I saved it so I cold take my time and enjoy every photo tonight. :)

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  19. It all looks so beautiful...and clutter-free. What talent you have! Love to you!

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  20. Diana,
    I just found your blog and love your style and admire your talent! I look forward to following you and seeing what your next project is! I wondered if you made the picnic table in the picture on your sidebar and if so, have you posted plans? Also, a nail gun is on my wish list. What would you recommend?
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful home on blogland!!
    Terri

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  21. Your living room is beautiful! Thanks for sharing it with us. I love the new desk & the surf board inspired sofa table. You really are so creative!

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  22. Okay seriously we are on the same wavelength. I swear! I just had my brother make me a very similar desk about a week ago, and posted on it! (I also have that exact same fan, but got mine in Oil Rubbed Bronze.)

    You and I have great taste. Bwahahahahaha!

    Blessings,
    Sasha

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  23. We do think alike, Sasha! :) Thanks Jamie! Terri, the photo on my side bar is from Country Living, so I can't claim the table.....though I might have to try making my own. lol......it is gorgeous. :) I'm so drawn to anything with an X in the design, it's one of the reasons I love barn doors so much.

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  24. Thanks so much for sharing all your GREAT ideals!! I just LOVE your house it is so pretty. Your blog is soooo AWESOME, it is my favorite blog!!! I check it everyday!!! Thanks again. :-)

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  25. Thank you Carrie! Your comments made me smile.

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  26. Love the basket up on the shelf!

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  27. Terri, I'm sorry, I didn't answer your question about the nail gun.......I don't really know that much about them because we just got one. However, I'm pretty happy with it....the brand is Powermate and I think it is a smaller one. Hope that helps. :)

    Thanks Layla! :)

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  28. What a fantastic room, it is quite beautiful.

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  29. Love what you did with that desk. By the way....you have a beautiful home

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  30. The desk is great.... and you did an awesome job on it........but this room???? Over the top DEEEEEE.LISH. I love the softness and simplicity of it.... it's just yummy.

    Warm blessings,
    Spencer

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  31. Found your through "The Inspired Room" and HAD to become a follower! Shared post with residential architect hubby and we both agree that your creativity, eye for design, generosity and clarity in sharing your ideas, inspiration and content, make "Our Vintage Home Love" a terrific read. It's also left me jazzed about learning to do some carpentry!

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  32. Just saw this post. Such a gorgeous room! You make me want to paint our living room over...again! LOL! I would love to have white woodwork but am not up for all that work...just yet :-) Thank you for the beautiful photos as inspiration. I'm a white lover too!

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  33. Oh wow...love this. Want to come to my house to decorate??? :)

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  34. Diana,

    Did you also make the chevron pillow in the pictures above with canvas drop cloth (If so it looks tealish, can you share the color)? Also, can you describe more about the textile medium you add to the paint-- I want to do this to my own pillows, but have never heard of such a product. Thanks. Love everything on your site

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  35. Hi Angie, no, I didn't paint that pillow. It is fabric that I purchased at fabric.com called zigzag blue/natural. I bought the textile medium at Hobby Lobby. It's with the craft paints and is called Textile Medium. Hope that helps! :)

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  36. Where is your couch from!? I love it!

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  37. what color are your walls?

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  38. Just found your site and loooove it! Are there sheers in your windows? if so, how did you hang them? I need a little bit of privacy for my living room windows but have blinds up now that I'd love to take down. Also, did you make your curtains?

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  39. hi Diana, i'm a lover of recycling, and in the midst of moving house. i'm so crazy about vintage style, and loved what you did....wished i could do the same. i've painted some old suitcase, and recycled several things, but have never tried making a table. you are so brave, i'm so inspired and impressed. -amy

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  40. The design of your living room is pretty lively. It shows how clean you want your living room to be. The white concept of each and every piece of furniture stands out whenever the sun shines on it. And that shows that your windows are perfectly place too. Nice!

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    this is so useful and we can get more information .....

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  42. The room shows how creative the designer is. It is so cool and really great.

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  44. Did you paint the book shelf and the table with a brush or did you spray it?

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  45. This blog is really great. The designs are so cozy that when you live in such a home, you would certainly have all the comfort you can have. Vintage designs are just so wonderful.

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  46. Hi Diana! I was wondering where you got your couch? Did you put a couch cover on it? I love them! They look like they are pretty durable too! I bought microfiber couches about three years ago and they already have some tears in the cushions so I was looking to recover them.

    Thanks,
    Casey!

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  47. The square plates(?) on the wall between the bookshelf and the window, where are those from? Love!

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  48. Love the whole living room - inspiring me to re-arrange my corner for my desk! Thank you for sharing!

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  50. Awesome designs of antique desks within your living room. The information that you shared here regarding antique desks is amazing. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post .

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  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. Please could you tell us what colour you have painted the walls?
    We've been searching for this kind of colour for months!

    Thanks!

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  54. This looks great! I am moving soon, and I have been looking at Living Room Furniture for awhile now. I found some that looks kind of like this stuff, its pretty awesome!

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  55. I just stumbled across this blog via Pinterest and I'm loving it!! So inspiring to see all your DIY handiwork. Your home is totally beautiful and just what I aspire to do when we own our own home. Thankyou so much for sharing your cleverness :)

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  56. Beautiful! I painted my kitchen/dining room Manchester Tan a few days ago. What did you use on the ceilings? Also, what sheen do you use on walls and ceilings. My husband talked me into satin, usually do flat. It's growing on me. Thinking I should do eggshell for the ceiling, though. Thank you!!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment today! I read every one and they always put a smile on my face! Thanks for stopping by!