The Search for the Perfect Desk: Complete!

One of my first posts was about my search for the perfect desk. Just as former President Bush announced, “Mission Accomplished” after he landed on the aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, I am happy to announce that in the mission to find my perfect desk, the mission has been accomplished!

While our apartment is a good size for New York, that’s just it… it is a New York apartment. When we moved in I thought our 900 square foot, 1-bedroom apartment was very spacious. Now that we have been there for a year, the same 900 square foot space is starting to feel a little cramped. I must admit, it may be because when we moved in we didn’t have a lot of furniture and over the past year I have added random tables, chairs and now, our (more or less, my) craft corner!

I purchased kitchen cabinets from Ikea and mounted a wooden countertop on them. I then added “organization tools” like baskets, storage drawers for paper, and shelving. I covered 3 cork titles with different colored fabrics and then framed them, to serve as bulletin boards.

The biggest headache of this whole thing was getting a chair, specifically one that fit with the height, of my desk. I originally purchased one from Ikea but it was too high. After much nagging by Matt I finally exchanged the chair for one that was slightly smaller. Of course, this exchange was not done without a lot of attitude from the Ikea employees and then in response, attitude from both Abby and myself (Anyone who knows us, is well aware of the power Abby and I possess when someone makes us mad).

I am thrilled to have a designated space to work at, although I have a feeling some of my blogs might still be written from the couch as I watch my favorite tv shows.

My next home improvement project is to finally do something about our bedroom which we have pretty much ignored up to this point. While I am sure Matt doesn’t mind having mismatched furniture, walls lacking pictures and a down comforter without a duvet cover, I have to do something about this. Honestly, you never know when Martha Stewart will drop by, unannounced. And to be honest, with our current set up, she would not be impressed.

DIY – Pencil Container

When I originally started my blog, I thought that the majority of posts would resemble Martha Stewart’s blog, detailing all of the wonderful things I had made using a hot glue gun. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time, or the motivation, to come up with too many creative projects. But that is about to change!

My craft nook is just about complete. Last night, after pathetically whining to Matt, he hung up some homemade bulletin boards and shelving that just about completed my craft area. The last thing I need to do is exchange the chair I bought at Ikea for one that actually fits under the desk. When I purchased all of the materials a while back to build my craft desk, I bought the wrong height chair and haven’t been able to make it back to Ikea to exchange it. Once that is done, I will post pictures of my new arts and craft home. I am confident that with the right space, my inspiration will start flowing!

Last night, as I started to organize my desk, I realized that I needed somewhere to store my markers and pencils. Instead of buying something that was much more expensive than it needed to be, I decided that I would make something, saving money and giving me ammo for today’s post (god I love to multi-task!)

Since being “green” is the new thing and Earth Day was celebrated last week, I decided to create my pencil container out of an old soup can. I took some decorative paper (you can find at any craft store – I got my from Michaels), cut it to the appropriate height and length of the can, and used Mod Podge to glue it to the can. Pretty simple, right?

Mod Podge was first introduced into my crafting “tool box” during an evening of volunteering at the hospital. The Child Life Specialists and Art Therapists who work with the children and run the activities use this stuff on a daily basis. I swear, it is prescribed as a treatment more often that any other medicine in the hospital! 

Mod Podge is a type of glue that has a consistancy of paint and the strength of super glue. After painting it on both the can and the top of the paper, you are left with a smooth, hard and set product. You can use this on a variety of materials and the result is nearly always flawless, and more importantly, permanent. I have used it with tissue paper collages, wooden picture frames and tiles (much easier than grouting). Mod Podge comes in various finishes from matte to shiny to glitter.

You can do this project with various sized containers made out of pretty much any material. With a bottle of mod podge, the possibilities are endless.

The Search for the Perfect Desk

After searching online for the perfect desk, I have come up with two solid conclusions. First, I am insidiously jealous of people who can afford, and fit, the Pottery Barn Bedford Project Table. 

 Even in my fairly spacious one bedroom apartment, I am unable to devote so much space to a piece of furniture, let alone an entire room devoted to arts and crafts. However, after rearranging the furniture in our apartment multiple times, I found a way to transform a 52 inch by 25 inch space into my own crafting sanctuary.

Second, I have high (some might even say unrealistic) expectations. After looking on nearly every furniture website I have come up empty handed. While some of the desks I found looked like they might be able to work, I am hesitant to purchase something without seeing it. It is so hard to gage the sturdiness of something, simply by looking at a picture. Yes, I am over thinking this. When I stop and think about it, even I am impressed with the new levels of my neurosis. It is actually sort of funny how many times I have visited Crate and Barrel thinking that a new desk, that suits my needs and fits into my allotted space, will appear in the store.

I am hoping to go to Ikea this weekend to design a desk by using a combination of kitchen cabinets and table tops. Hopefully I can turn out something that will allow for ample storage without creating a huge distraction in our apartment. Until that time, I will continue blogging and crafting from the coffee table!

Until I am able to create my own “crafting mecca”, here are some of the best crafting spaces I have come across in the hours I have spend googling “Craft Table/Arts and Crafts Room”

http://ikeahacker.blogspot.com/2008/10/spring-chicks-to-die-for-craft-room.html

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_UzzxBNks74c/Sd61YOhAebI/AAAAAAAAF4o/MKRuGeVs6Bk/s1600-h/craft+room+1.jpg

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.spaceplanner.com/CraftRoomLt.jpg&imgrefurl=http://cprojectpretty.blogspot.com/2010/01/craft-rooms.html&usg=__Ckj1eYypVc8vvOGEE8pvw-wiN50=&h=327&w=490&sz=157&hl=en&start=14&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=oEhSM4-auPzEHM:&tbnh=87&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcraft%2Brooms%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us%26tbs%3Disch:1

And of course, the ultimate in craft rooms: http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/marthas-craft-room