Thursday, April 10, 2014

Our Little Office Workstation

Wait?  You're thinking, that's not an office or a workstation.  That's a kitchen.

Okay, so yes.  When we were building this house,  I knew we wanted a workstation in the kitchen.  In our old house we had a computer in the kitchen, and it changed my world.  The office we had loved before became obsolete, and all our needs were being taken care of in our kitchen.  The only problem was in our new house the little nook where this "office" would be was WAY bigger.  Like three times bigger.  That tiny desk we bought to fit in our old kitchen, would definitely look super out of place in our new one.

So, I got thinking.  And I became very close friends with the internet.  I was browsing on ikea, and I saw a little workstation.  That started my wheels turning.  We could make a workstation there.  It could be more than one desk. Maybe two people could sit there.  So we measured, we thought, and then I got crazy.  I realized there could be three workstation spots.  Are you kidding me?  All my school age kids could have a spot.  Weird.  Wonderful.  Wow.

I knew I wanted to use the ALEX drawers as the base of our desk.  In all honesty, these are good, but if I had my preference I would get something with little drawers and some hanging files.  I miss that a bit. But, the prices of the ALEX couldn't be beat.  And if you know me at all, you'll know that price is a big deal to me.  So, now for the top.

This was hard.  I tried to find anything that could be a countertop for a good price.  I found butcher block counters...a great price too.  Except, darn it, the shipping was as much as the counter.  NOPE.  granite?  I needed 12 ft.  Yes  12.  That's a little crazy, and a little expensive.  That also meant that prefab anything was out.  I found a solution of using 2 x 12's.  After looking through many of those, we realized that none were straight enough.

Finally, we came to the conclusion we could use plywood.  You know, "fancy" ply.  We used maple, cut the length in half so it was 24" wide.  For the 2 side pieces we used the remaining wood, we turned it so the grain was going the opposite direction (to give it interest, and make it look intentional), and cut those pieces to give us the length we needed, and of course kept the width at 24".  Using a friends biscuit joiner, we joined the pieces, and then added some finish wood around the 3 edges that would be seen.  The back was going up against the wall, I felt adding the finish wood there was overkill.

****Funny side not my husband will love for everyone to know.  He didn't calculate correctly, and the desk was 1/4" to big to fit in the space. Luckily, he knows how to use his tools.  He cut off a little stained it again, and it is perfect.

Next we stained it.  The color of our kitchen is kinda a gray/brown color, and white cabinets.  So, I stained this with all gray stain.  And then lightly stained it with brown over top.  It turned out just like I wanted it to.  We used a water based poly, and can I say, I won't ever do that again.  Yes, it washed out like a dream, but it totally created bubbles that is not what I wanted.  But, that's what these projects are about....learning.. right?  Well, that's what I think.

And here's the finished product.  Three workstations.  All the computers in our house in one location.  A space to work without a computer, and 2 other spaces with computers to get those papers done, and all that other stuff kids need to do. 

 I honestly love this.  Someday I might even decorate it to make it look "cute."

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