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Surviving the Flat Packed Box

The corner of the studio across from my (sad) desk had been a mis-matched balancing act for far too long (since last July; but who’s counting?). My rolling, stackable file bin was perfect for my old studio due to space constraints, but my need for an actual file cabinet returned with every frustrating frenzy to find a document – only to realize it’s been buried in the bottom bin:

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An attractive file cabinet is not easy to come by, and if they are attractive, well, the price tag reflects that. At first, I wasn’t sure what price point I felt comfortable with, and sacrificing quality wasn’t something I was willing to do. It’s a dreaded balancing act; you know the feeling.

I checked in on Craigslist often, and made the rounds on Overstock, CB2, Ikea and the like – but nothing was wide enough for the space (we had a 60″ width to play with) or the finishes were a bit too traditional for our tastes (think: dark cherry walnut). Months ago, I found this one from Home Decorators Collection and had been eying it ever since, but I couldn’t commit to the price with so many other projects on our plate. But as luck would have it, during a recent check in, (likely during yet another moment of frustration, in which I was ready to hurl my files across the room!) I was thrilled to see that they were having a 15% off sale with free shipping (saving another $50!), so, I went for it – yay! Much better:

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On a side note: Yes, we still have a bare hanging light bulb from our landing. That junction box was moved when we reconfigured that opening (remember when it was a wall?), and we’ve yet to settle on a fixture. It drives us nuts, but what’s a bare bulb when you still don’t have a closet?

This guy came in two huge boxes, each weighing in at about 60 lbs, and after just surviving the flat packed boxes from the workroom’s Varde, I thought, well, what’s one more? The reviews on the file console warned of a tedious construction process, but oddly enough, I sort of enjoy piecing these beasts together. It’s a perfect formula, and it’s so satisfying when completed. (I’m a very meticulous person, so, surprise, surprise!) Of course there’s no point in us showing you the step by step of the process, but after putting together our fair share of flat-packed-furniture, we’ve picked up some lessons along the way to make it easy (we promise!):

PREP. Take the time to lay everything out, check off the supplies list and double check that every last piece has been accounted for. This can sometimes take a good 30 minutes, but it will make the build time go much, much faster. Afterwards and before diving in, set aside all the foam/cardboard and packing materials so they’re not in the way.

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MAKE ROOM. Give yourself plenty of space and lay down a drop cloth – or work on a carpeted surface. Flat packed boxes will almost always have a lot of dust and MDF bits that can rough up the surface of the product, especially when rubbed against a hardwood floor.

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USE THE BETTER TOOL. We never ever ever rely on the small tools that are provided in the box. A power drill / screwdriver / hex kit will speed you up ten fold and ease (or completely eliminate) frustration. Make your life a little easier, won’t you?

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MAKE A PLAYLIST. While working, make sure you set yourself up with a good go-get-’em playlist! Our go-to has always been Girl Talk or LCD Soundsystem, but a so-bad-it’s-good 90s shuffle will make you forget you’re spending your lunch break hunched over particle board.

GO AHEAD, MODIFY. Don’t be afraid to make changes, big or small! This is the easiest time to do so, as your furniture is still in pieces. In our case, we replaced the file console’s standard rubber feet for shiny gold casters. Using a pair of pliers, we reverse-screwed the bit that was inside each leg, and the caster hardware fit right in – no drilling required!

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I am so happy I went with this cabinet, although there’s still one more step – those knobs. After putting it all together, the plain wooden knobs felt so sad to us (I believe Scott called it Holly Hobby), so I searched online for something to complement the casters and landed on these. They’ll be here soon, and this little corner will look even better! Even still, I’m loving the new view from my desk.

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The television you saw before will ultimately be mounted onto the wall above the cabinet, and I’m also thinking that’s the perfect space for a small gallery wall to finally bring in color – if only to conceal the television a bit while giving me something pretty to look at (always important!). I’ve already begun digging through our frames and photos that we’ve yet to hang, but I’m also thinking of incorporating a thing or two that’s new.

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Organization! Love this feeling. (Just don’t look at the baseboards… er, lack thereof.)

  • Laura @ Rather Square - April 17, 2014 - 7:01 AM

    Really like this file cabinet – we’ve got some standard black ones that I’m thinking of painting (can’t commit to new ones entirely – they’re still in good condition), but this MS one is really tempting. It looks like actual furniture! Great solution (and deal).ReplyCancel

  • angela - April 17, 2014 - 7:38 AM

    Love it! It has a perfect furniture feel rather than being overly office looking. And the casters are fantastic!

    Angela @ Number Fifty-ThreeReplyCancel

  • Angela - April 17, 2014 - 9:04 AM

    Ah! I’ve been looking for a filing cabinet too, and the options are so sparse. Thanks for this tip, and I love the casters and new knobs!ReplyCancel

  • jenn aka the picky girl - April 17, 2014 - 9:12 AM

    Oh yea! I was really concerned about the knobs (shouldn’t have been) but didn’t want to say anything if you guys liked them, but they are a bit sad for such a nice piece. Those knew knobs will really look nice. Good for you guys!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 17, 2014 - 9:22 AM

      Jenn, always feel free to chime in! You don’t want us working in a room with holly hobby knobs, right? ;)ReplyCancel

  • Kate - April 17, 2014 - 10:49 AM

    Looks great! I’ll bet you have answered this question elsewhere, but a quick search left me unable to find it… are the walls in the studio a pale pink? And if so, could you share the paint color, please?

    Thank you muchly!ReplyCancel

  • Heather {A Fire Pole in the Dining Room} - April 17, 2014 - 11:57 AM

    When you’re living in a semi-unpacked state, how is it possible that what you need is ALWAYS in the bottom box? This has to be a second Murphy’s law, right? Right?!ReplyCancel

  • caroline [the diy nurse] - April 17, 2014 - 7:23 PM

    Oh my goodness I love it! I’ve seen the sexy CB2 ones and you are so right about the price. I wouldnt have imagined liking something so big but it fits the space perfectly. And really, you could put castors [esp gold ones] on just about anything and I’d be game. Anything.ReplyCancel

  • Tori - April 18, 2014 - 4:11 PM

    Great makeover! I love reorganizing and redecorating things, and if you can still hide all the organized stuff, all the better!ReplyCancel

  • Kristine - April 18, 2014 - 9:51 PM

    Wow your space is so bright!! Is there really that much natural light? Super jealous. So you have a trick for getting such great bright pics? My house doesn’t get the greatest natural light and I am really struggling to take decent pics. Any advice?

    Kristine@ http://dreamingdecor.blogspot.comReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 20, 2014 - 10:54 AM

      Hi Kristine! I almost always use a tripod with manual camera settings to allow enough natural light into my photos. But yes, the second floor studio is nice and bright. It was a huge selling point for us!ReplyCancel

BACK TO TOP

The Patio’s Starting Point (+ a Giveaway!)

After the world’s longest, most torturous winter, the exterior of our house is just horrid. It’s filthy, yes, but not a thing had been done to it after we moved in last summer. After initially spending all of our time indoors (knocking things down and building them back up) and working with contractors up until Thanksgiving week, the weather became too brutal to devote any energy outside – until this past weekend!

You might remember when we had to remove the siding around our entry, reinforce the front door and install our transom window, and as a result, we had fresh 2x4s that met up with our old, dingy front patio. After losing The One and finding The Real One, the sizable patio was a huge selling factor (a rarity in Chicago!), and while we did enjoy many, many drinks on that patio last summer, it received no attention whatsoever. We’d been talking about the day when we could focus on our home’s exterior, and we’ve finally reached a phase in our home renovations – weather permitting – where we can think about how we’d like it too look.

But! First things first. As with everything within (and, obviously, outside) these walls, a lot of our time has to be put into prep, prep, prep. We’re looking forward to the day – this summer! – when we can rebuild the front stairs, paint the patio and plan for flowers, bushes and pavers. It’s so easy to want to dive in, but we first have to put in the sweat to get to our starting point. Up until this weekend? Our patio and siding had been covered in grime and sludge – from the weather, contractors and decades of neglect (us included):

Not having a need or use for one until now, we picked up a Craftsman 675 Series gas powered pressure washer as a part of our collaboration and partnership with Ace Hardware and got to work! (The kids at Ace? They’re awesome.)

I’ve never used one before, but I’ve always had this idea that a pressure washer is a magical tool that changes lives – and luckily, it’s true! It’s true! I watched Scott for a little while before I gave it a go, and I was hooked. It’s so easy! It’s so fun! It fulfilled my love of instant gratification, which quite honestly, is wholeheartedly embraced during this DIY ride.

For almost four hours this past Saturday, Scott took over and transformed the patio, siding and lattice on the front half of our house (not including the second level). We’re both enamored with the results – if not a little grossed out by what used-to-be:

We’re thinking that our cute (but too small) bistro set may eventually have to go for something with more comfort, and omg we cannot wait to paint the front door – and, of course, the patio! (Now if only the weather forecast will allow for more than one day of sunshine…)

And because Ace Hardware loves you as much as we love them, together with the Ace crew, we’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader! (The best part of our partnership? We think so!) The giveaway runs through this Friday, April 18th at 5pm CST, and the winner will be announced within this post by Friday evening. Simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck and happy entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting those that support us! 

  • caroline [the diy nurse] - April 15, 2014 - 7:42 AM

    I can’t believe that- I thought the first photo was before you replaced the flooring. It looks great! We’ve only did it once and I couldn’t believe what a difference it made. We’re due again for it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 15, 2014 - 8:48 AM

      Oh man, wouldn’t that have been something?! We will likely be rebuilding the steps up to the porch, if only we can convince Scott’s dad to come up and help with that… ;)ReplyCancel

  • Isn’t this kind of transformation amazing! We are needing to do this on our siding. I am sure that when all is said and done, I will be so grossed out by how much grossness was hanging on!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - April 15, 2014 - 10:09 AM

    I’ve been dreaming of a pressure washer since I knew what they were. You see, my job as a kid in the summer was using a paint scrapper to remove the gunk from the decks cracks. We had a two story wrap around deck. We lived in a forest with pine trees and such. Spoiled white kid complaints, I know, but that experience put pressure washers on a pedestal for me.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 15, 2014 - 10:19 AM

      Whoa, I can’t even…ReplyCancel

      • Haley - April 15, 2014 - 10:26 AM

        Granted, I usually got out of doing the whole thing, but still I liked Fall/Winter/Spring chores better. We got to burninate the country side aka burn brush to reduce fire hazards.ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square - April 15, 2014 - 10:17 AM

    And now it’s all covered in snow again… ;-)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 15, 2014 - 10:20 AM

      I can’t even talk about it!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah K. - April 15, 2014 - 10:26 AM

    We had someone come do our siding last spring — part of which is under a poorly constructed tin patio roof that allows water to drip down the side, resulting in green nastiness. We also had him do our wooden privacy fence. He worked for well over 6 hours, but the transformation was priceless. We’ll be getting this done every spring for sure!! We’re working on a mini patio makeover this spring, too — can’t wait to see what you come up with (and steal some ideas!!)ReplyCancel

  • Staci - April 15, 2014 - 2:26 PM

    What a transformation!!!
    Crossing my fingers for the ace card ;)ReplyCancel

  • Sam - April 15, 2014 - 7:32 PM

    Man, the power of a pressure washer can really be amazing, right? It looks so great!ReplyCancel

  • Sf - April 15, 2014 - 9:35 PM

    I have really dirty white siding, but I’ve read that you should never power wash siding because it pushes water under the siding panels, leaving one at risk for mold, water damage, etc. Did I get some wrong information? I’m not looking forward to cleaning my very tall house with a garden hose and rags.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 15, 2014 - 10:33 PM

      That’s a totally valid concern, but I’m not entirely sure that’s the case… A quick google search has a handful if tutorials for pressure washing siding, but I’ll definitely do some more digging before we finish the rest of the house. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Laura C - April 16, 2014 - 9:36 AM

      I had a similar question/comment. I always thought it was OK to power wash siding using a fan nozzle and lower setting, but only if you do it from above, so that the water isn’t going up under the overlapping boards.ReplyCancel

  • David Vargo - April 16, 2014 - 8:19 AM

    Kim, I would be more than happy to help with the deck steps. Please send me pictures from all angles.ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - April 16, 2014 - 9:42 AM

    I have a power washer obsession ;) they are so much fun and make such a difference.ReplyCancel

BACK TO TOP

The Farmhouse Desk: Starting Over

Scott and I are a little bit all over the place with house progress. With the workroom being completed (packing Shop orders was life changing last week!), I’ve got my sights set on the main studio space, but we’ve also been working on the entryway baseboards during the weeknights, we’re really itching to find a rug to set under our soon-to-be navy sofa, and we’ve got a few plans to get started on the exterior this coming weekend (hello, spring! Kind of!). Nothing is terribly overwhelming (ha!), and we’re taking it one step at a time (well, one step here, then one step there), but isn’t that the general feeling during the changing seasons? Wanting to do All the Things?

But back to the main studio! It’s completely functional and fine – but remember how excited I was to pick up this farmhouse table? And then we both spent hours and hours reconstructing, sanding and refinishing it? I loved all of the little imperfections – after all, it’s from the 1800s! – but one day, I noticed that a teeny little split on the front edge started to grow. It grew some more, until eventually, it forced the center leaf to have a 1/2″ gap. And then another one of the – ahem - ‘adorable’ imperfections split, too! It split across the width of the entire table.

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Of course I was super bummed (Scott too!), and we thought, did we over sand it? Is that even possible? Was the wood too dry? I wasn’t ready to just let it go that easily, as my visions of a big, hunky farmhouse table was still very much alive. But as the cracks not only grew in length but also in width, well, it became clear that it just wasn’t working.

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Two other issues came up along this table journey, which I tried to fight at first (Kim = stubborn):

  • ONE. The aprons are too tall! When we lengthened the table overall, we mimicked the original 6″h aprons, but I’m kicking myself for not going a smidge shorter. Crossing my legs while I work is near impossible, and the arms of my chair just barely won’t fit underneath. If only I had given myself an extra inch of breathing room – that’s all!
  • TWO. I imagined that with such a large table, I could have a pen cup or fill a small tray with my stapler, tape and scissors – but what about my painting supplies? Originally, I thought they were going to live in the workroom, but as the plans for that space unfolded, it made more sense to have them on hand at my desk. Right now, my paints and desk supplies are living on a rolling cart nearby, which works – for now.

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I’ve finally admitted that I need to switch gears completely, and I need to take this as a lesson learned. (Boo.) What I’m imagining is something just as wide as the 6′ table space I currently have, as one half is perfect for my computer, and I can still roll out my drop cloth on painting days without disrupting the laptop, hard drives and random camera accessories – but with two large front drawers. There have also been days when Scott will work from home in the afternoon, and I love being able to have enough room for us to sprawl out in the same room. This Ikea desk sort of fit the bill (at least it met my drawer requirements) – until I realized it’s only 15″ deep. What?

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I do think this table could still be saved as a dining table for someone else someday (go figure, it’s intended use!), and the turned legs still make my heart happy – but I’m slowly realizing that I’m making too many concessions and I’ve reached a point where starting new beats more modifications. I need clean. I need sleek. Maybe stained wood, maybe not. And if we can make our actual dining room table, I told Scott, well, we can make a desk too! Right?

Does anyone know where we went wrong? Or was it really a fluke? We’d love to learn from this! And if anyone has made their own large desk, can you recommend plans?

  • Sarge in Charge - April 10, 2014 - 7:34 AM

    Ooooh NO. Not being a woodworking expert of any kind, I really have no idea, but this same thing is going on with some of the beautiful, 100 year old built-ins in my apartment! I can only imagine it is a combination of improperly treated wood and really dry air after a harsh winter?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 10, 2014 - 9:35 AM

      UGH, on built-ins?! Sadness.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah K. - April 10, 2014 - 7:45 AM

    Bummer!! We’re on the hunt for an office desk too, something long enough to work for two people — we’re thinking facing the opposite direction — but not too large for our small office. No luck anywhere, and I’m not sure we have the ability to make one. We’ve been thinking about doing one with small bookcase “legs” which could be in our skills capability.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - April 10, 2014 - 8:31 AM

    So my question would be, how long did the table sit in your house before you put the top back on and screwed it together? I’ve had this happen before and usually it’s because the wood didn’t acclimate to your house and the pressure changes. I’ve used wood from our shed and noticed it warped or pulled apart when I didn’t let it acclimate inside for a few weeks before touching it. On the other hand, we renovated our bathroom last summer and then installed central heat and air six months later. All the trim in the new bathroom, and a door we stripped and sanded and polyed all warped a little. The pressure and humidity changes made the wood pull apart and crack in places. It seems to have settled back into place a little with the change of season from winter to spring, but it’s also mostly held by nails instead of screws, so I think it has some room to breathe. I don’t think the top of your table can be rescued in its current state, but you could cut your aprons down and attach a new piece from here. Honestly I’d just attach a solid top and let it do it’s thing from here as a dining table. Or harvest the legs and make some sweet half wall tables. Good luck!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 10, 2014 - 9:33 AM

      Lindsey, you’re a rock star. Thank you for this feedback! We did consider that we likely eff-ed up with the weather conditions, and I forgot to mention that in the post itself. It was about 50 degrees when we were working on this in the garage, so there was definitely a temperature change when we brought it in. (In fact, when we made our salvaged wood shelves in the workroom, we brought in the studs we wanted to use a week prior to building for this very reason!)

      I like the idea of half wall tables AND putting one solid top (and them maybe trimming the sides with 1x2s?), but at this point, once we decide on our NEW desk, I’m thinking this might get re-listed on Craigs for someone else wanting to take on that challenge… (I say as I sit surrounded by 100 other projects…)

      Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square - April 10, 2014 - 9:10 AM

    I wouldn’t blame it on anything you did or didn’t do. The table is over 100 years old – maybe it’s just an age-related thing. Wood does its own thing – it’s organic, after all, and we can’t control the nature of nature (ooh! I just made that up all by myself there!). I think, like the too-tall apron, it’s a sign that the table just isn’t meant to be your desk. Above all, a desk has to be functional, so it’s good that you’re looking for something to really fit your needs long-term!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 10, 2014 - 9:34 AM

      The hardest part is finally admitting it!ReplyCancel

  • Liz - April 10, 2014 - 9:50 AM

    What Lindsey said is part of the issue, wood shrinks and swells with humidity and temperature. So, come (hot, humid) summer, those cracks will close up.

    Remembering back to my education on wood members and structures, looking at the end grain on your boards, those boards are cut from close to the middle of the tree. You can see the rings forming tight arcs, where if they were cut from further out in the tree, those arcs of the tree rings would look wider. Wood that cut from closer to the centre of the tree is more prone to cupping across the width of the board as it shrinks and swells. Generally wood cut from the centre is cheaper than cuts from the outer portions because of this.

    So, unfortunately, you have two things going against you on this tabletop! You wood is shrinking with the dry winter air, and the temperature changes, plus you have your top boards literally curving away from the straight plane.

    I bet you could use two of that Ikea desk back-to-back, even with a bigger desktop spread across them if you wanted. They look like a great table!

    I just picked up this desk (http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/S99014550/#/S99001982) for my sewing space and I love it! The trestles are height adjustable, which is great if you’re switching between sitting work and standing work (or you can even angle it like a drafting table!)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 10, 2014 - 9:58 AM

      Thank you SO much! This is new information for me. So many things working against me for this table – blech.

      I also like your idea of the back to back table, just not sure I’m willing to spend that much for v.2. Hmmm…ReplyCancel

  • Life On Hill Street - April 10, 2014 - 9:56 AM

    Ugh oh no! I’m sorry that your farm table is cracking! I’m with Lindsay though and think it’s temperature-related. We ran into the same thing with some barn doors we built in our basement. We ended up having to scrap them and re-do it, but yours doesn’t seem as bad. Maybe you can re-seal it? Or at least wait and see what happens? I understand the desire to move on though – it’s hard when there are SO MANY projects! Good luck and keep us posted!
    ~Amy
    http://www.lifeonhillst.comReplyCancel

  • Whitney - April 10, 2014 - 10:54 AM

    I’ve always loved that IKEA desk, until I went and looked at it and realized it’s super rickety (at least the floor model is). I’ve found a lot of sturdy gems at IKEA, and that desk isn’t one of them. Such a bummer. Maybe you could repurpose the beautiful turned legs on a new desk you guys build? You can definitely pull that off after building your dining room table! Maybe a wheeled drawer tower under the desk would suffice for paint brushes and other supplies? It would be a great way to add a pop of color, too! CB2 has some great ones, but I bet it’d be easy to find them elsewhere, as well. Or maybe even a vintage tool drawer tower?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 10, 2014 - 10:58 AM

      Oh, good to know! Yeah, Ikea can be hit or miss. The Varde is built like a rock, but some of their other cabinets were RICKETY.ReplyCancel

  • Myra - April 10, 2014 - 12:28 PM

    I’m not an expert, and I couldn’t see from your build post how you attached the top to the aprons, but my guess is that you overdid it on the attachments. This article gives some good recommendations about how wood expands/contracts and how to attach tops. http://Www.wood-w.com/tables/building-tables-attaching-tabletops.htmlReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 10, 2014 - 1:13 PM

      Thanks for this link! Will definitely be reading it further.ReplyCancel

  • Cait - April 10, 2014 - 12:52 PM

    That’s so sad about your farm table! I was just looking into DIYing something similar. We have a 90s farmhouse table in the dining room, but the legs are pretty petite so I was thinking of making something more along the lines of the PB Sutton table.

    I agree with everything Liz and Lindsey said about the wood acclimating. I’ve noticed our floors bounce and creak more in the low humidity winter, so the same thing may have happened to your table. The comment about cupping makes sense, too. I wonder if oiling or waxing the table top would help to replace the lost moisture?

    Since you already replaced the side aprons on the table, is there any way you could/would consider modifying your table to work for you? I know Pottery Barn has a similar “Printer’s Writing Desk” that has a drawer, and I’m trying to remember which desk of theirs I’ve seen where essentially the whole apron pulls out into a drawer. I feel like it was the Bedford Project Table (which I’ve always loved!) but maybe I’m going crazy. As for the leg crossing/chair arm dilemma, you added casters to your last table for similar reasons, maybe some cute cup casters would solve that issue? I’ve had this picture pinned on my kitchen board for the longest time.

    Another idea for paint storage… I’ve had my colored pencils and paint brushes stored in Ikea Asker containers, hung on a Grundtal rail for quite a while, and I’ve been thinking about storing my paints like this. Maybe something similar would work for you?ReplyCancel

    • Cait - April 10, 2014 - 12:55 PM

      And I forgot to add- I had my eye on that same Ikea desk, but like Whitney I was disappointed when I saw it in person. :(ReplyCancel

      • Kim - April 10, 2014 - 1:15 PM

        Not sure oiling/waxing would work now, since the whole table has 3 coats of poly, but MAN, what a lesson learned about the wood acclimating. I feel like I knew this in the back of my head – but the weather wasn’t THAT cold, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal.

        And I did dabble in the caster idea, but then my arms would be at am uncomfortable height. Great suggestion though! All great advice though. You guys are really, really awesome!ReplyCancel

        • Cait - April 10, 2014 - 2:02 PM

          Ah, very true. I had forgotten about the 3 coats of poly.ReplyCancel

  • Staci @ My Friend Staci - April 10, 2014 - 3:51 PM

    Oh bummer!! Its frustrating working on projects in the winter for reasons like this! We ran into some paint issues while working on projects in Kansas in the winter. Brr. Looking forward to seeing what you figure out. What about options from CB2?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 10, 2014 - 4:19 PM

      Scott suggested CB2 as well, but when I took a long, the largest desk (which, by the way, seems to the biggest obstacle!) had a “top” drawer, where the whole top slides to reveal storage. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open there though!ReplyCancel

  • Jacqui Bee - April 10, 2014 - 4:17 PM

    The problem stems for all the reasons metioned above, dry heat wood movement and the way that you allow for that is to secure the top pieces together (the butt joins) but use a fitting that allows the whole top to be attached to the frame but still allows it to shrink/expand. there are fittings that screw into the top and have a slot instead of a screw hole on one end to allow for movment.
    Google provides plenty of tutorials. Cheers
    http://www.wood-w.com/tables/building-tables-attaching-tabletops.htmlReplyCancel

  • caroline [the diy nurse] - April 10, 2014 - 7:21 PM

    What a bummer!

    Have you thought of using two Ikea tables back to back so you have four drawers? You could even create a wooden top to make it more natural looking and for a workspace you can muck up. Just a thought!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 11, 2014 - 9:17 AM

      I’m realizing that whatever we buy (if we don’t make) will likely need modifications! Oh, to be happy with products right out of the box… ;)ReplyCancel

  • Beth - April 11, 2014 - 10:18 PM

    I own that exact Ikea desk you were looking at, and have had it for about 3 years and several moves. It did get wobbly a few months ago, but 5 minutes with a hex key tightened it back up and it’s solid like a rock. The only recurrent problem I’ve found is that the partition between the two drawers must have been slightly off center, so one drawer occasionally goes off its rails. Other than that, it looks like new.

    It is indeed very narrow, so I don’t know if it will meet your needs. I have found that its narrowness makes it a very versatile furniture piece. In my last house it was behind my sofa, like a console table, desk combo. Now it’s at the foot of my bed, being a desk, footboard combo. It may go into my dining room at some point. It’s not super fine high quality furniture, but I’ve been happy with it.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 12, 2014 - 5:40 PM

      Beth, thank you! It’s good to hear a positive review. I actually see it working really as a console (with storage!) behind a couch or in a long but narrow hall/entry – great point.ReplyCancel

  • MJ - April 12, 2014 - 1:28 AM

    I bought an oak library table at an antiques fair from the 1920s, and kept my laptop on it everyday running 24 hours a day, I know, bad habit for the laptop as well. But I started getting a hairline crack right where the laptop fan blows. I now keep it elevated on some books. Just a thought that the laptop may also be a factor.ReplyCancel

  • Kylie - April 15, 2014 - 12:55 PM

    I read your post and then ran smack into this in Craigslist and it reminded me of the large work surface you have now, but with drawers. Minus beautiful turned legs though.
    http://columbus.craigslist.org/atq/4398249863.htmlReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 15, 2014 - 1:07 PM

      Wow, that’s HUGE! And awesome!ReplyCancel

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