Monday, June 2, 2014

Designing Our Home Office

Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
As promised from my last post, Creating Our Home Office, here is how we designed our home office from scratch. It all began with a custom-made desk that my husband built and I painted!

Building an industrial desk; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
In order to utilize as much space as possible, we wanted an L-shaped desk that tucked into two of the room's corners perfectly. My husband came up with a design where two desks' surfaces would meet. This would give the effect of one large desk.

Building a office desk; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
To the left, the smaller desk is made up of three legs, and to the right, the larger desk is made up of four legs. Leaving out one of the legs from the pair would continue the look of one large L-shaped desk.

He cut and threaded 3/4 inch black metal pipe into 22 different pieces to make what you see above. Crossbars held the legs together, pipe caps were put at the bases of the legs, and flanges were put at the top to hold the surface of the table.

Building a desk with Butcher Block; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
Now for my favorite part…the painting. I thought the wood colors in this butcher block were too beautiful to paint over completely, so I decided to do a semi-transparent whitewash on the block. First, I lightly sanded (with 220 grit sandpaper) and cleaned the surface to make sure it was completely smooth.

Whitewash an office desk; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
Next, I used a water-based white paint and cut it with water, approximately half to half. Marking my measurements in a cup made it easier to achieve the exact proportion the next time I needed more paint.

(Note: if you use a straw to stir the cup of paint and water mixture, don't mistake it for a milkshake! It looks pretty delicious, but don't be fooled :))

How to whitewash wood; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
With a good brush, I painted the butcher block with the grain of the wood.

How to whitewash wood; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
Using a towel rag and taking small sections at a time, I rubbed the paint off almost as quickly as I put it on. (Leave the paint on the wood for too long and the wood will no longer show through.)

Whitewashing wood; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
Here is the tabletop half whitewashed, half unfinished.

Whitewashing a desk; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
Whitewash complete!

Once the wood was completely dried from the whitewash, I brushed the wood with three layers of Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic in a clear satin finish. This ensures the longevity and stain-free life of the wood. The satin finish gives the most matte appearance possible. (For a finish that's even more matte, use wax, such a Briwax. However, note that wax will not protect the wood as well as a polycrylic.)

Black pipe legs for office desk; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
Next to paint were the legs.

An oil-rubbed bronze spray paint by Krylon took the base of our table from this:
Black pipe for office desk; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest

…to this:
Black pipe painted oil-rubbed bronze; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
A few coats of this spray paint and it's ready to go.

Office desk we built and painted; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
The table was securely fastened by bolting the flanges to the butcher block with screws.

Office desk; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
The pair of tables becomes one table in our new office.

Create an Office desk; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
With the desk in place, it's now time to decorate.

But first, let's look at what this room looked like before we purchased our house.

Before:

…and After:

Create an Office desk; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest

By replacing the old windows in this room with large, double-hung windows; by painting over green and purple striped walls with white paint; and by giving the room a large working space with this desk, the room has been transformed.

Create an Office; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
The industrial looking desk paired with the natural colors and elements is sleek yet cozy. Black leather Eames era chairs are a nod to the mod aesthetic.

Accesorize an Office; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
Complete with a miniature tree, old books, and a dome with a shell...

Natural Elements for our Office; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest

View from our Office; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
…a view of the hills, palm trees, cypress trees, and bougainvillea…

Wise Owls and Old Books for our Office; Designing Our Home Office; Nora's Nest
…and of course, the wise owls….

And I'd say we love our new office!!! For more pictures and decor details of our office, please see my last post, Creating Our Home Office.

Thank you for visiting Nora's Nest! I hope you enjoyed, and come again soon :)


Love,






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