The Jitney's Journeys Studio : DIY 12-foot Desk



Once again, I was inspired by Young House Love when I saw their DIY 13-foot counter. Originally I really wanted to get the Bedford desk collection from Pottery Barn because I knew I could build on to the collection if I needed to and the color / design was just what I had in mind. Then I remembered my mom had a custom built desk in her office using Lowe's kitchen cabinets so I decided to combine snippets of these ideas into one. 

The wall in my studio was only 12 feet, so we settled on a length of 12 feet instead. We ventured down the road to Lowe's where dad picked through the large pile of lumber and pulled out the best looking 12-foot 2" x 10"s he could find. Rather than assembling several pieces of lumber, we simply bought four pieces of lumber at the full 12' length. JD and dad set up two sawhorses in the garage and placed the pieces of lumber on top, ready for me to sand away. After sanding, I stained the backs and sides of the planks using PolyShades Antique Walnut Satin.


We carried the four planks into my office, setting them on top of a couple of scrap lumber pieces and two large pieces of plastic (since I would be staining the top part). They assembled the four planks by drilling three pieces of plywood into the back. Please note that they are totally rockin' the headlamps.


We carefully flipped the super heavy desktop over and I stained 2 coats on the top side.


We bought three unfinished cabinets from Lowe's for the drawers. Though this wasn't as money-savvy as the Young House Love bottom cabinets from the thrift store, they were WAY more money-savvy than the Pottery Barn cabinets (and more practical too). The middle is an unfinished base sink cabinet and the other two are unfinished drawer base cabinets. I sanded them down a little and painted on a few coats of Dover White (Sherwin Williams) in the garage. 

Our neighbors graciously helped us carry the cabinets into my studio as half of us lifted the desktop while the other half placed the cabinets into their rightful position. {Have I mentioned lately how thankful we are for our neighbors?!}

Mom, Elizabeth (neighbor) and I stood in the back of the room, examining this creation we had assembled. 

"Aren't the cabinets a little tall for an actual desk? Normally desks are a little lower to the ground, right?" asked Elizabeth.

"Ooooh yeah. I forgot to mention that we had to custom order the cabinet bases for my office so they would be short enough for a desk size," laughed mom.

"Aww man," was all I could say at the moment as I began sweating profusely. I really thought we messed up.

But in reality, it's perfect. I stand up anyways when I cut materials for sewing or other projects so it's helped to prevent the back pain I felt from bending over using the other desk. In fact, I prefer standing during most of my work. Somehow it gives me a steadier hand. Plus the desk fits perfectly under the windowsill and couldn't be at a better height for decor purposes.

I'm currently on the hunt for an industrial chair (vintage, please!) for the smaller nook of the desk. 


After everything was set up, I lined the drawers in these lovely Laura Ashley Shelf Liners.


Then I drilled holes for the knobs and handles we picked out from Lowe's. I debated between getting the simple knobs from Lowe's or getting some funky ones from Hobby Lobby, but the threading from the knobs at Hobby Lobby stick out pretty far in desk drawers. I was going for looks and practicality with this studio. As clumsy as I am, I'd have scars on my hands from reaching into the drawers with Hobby Lobby knobs. But they sure are precious! 

I digress.

We settled on these knobs from Lowe's. :)


When the desk was finished, we decorated. 



and paid much attention to detail, flow, inspiration and organization. ;)





Voila! 


What do you think? 



The Jitney's Journeys Studio : Overview & Quick Intro

Here is our finished studio!!


It may look super cluttered to most people, but oh, how I love this space!!! This studio has everything I need to be creative, including tons of storage and wall space of inspiration. 

During our house search, we intentionally looked for a room without carpet that I could make into our studio. This house had a guest bedroom - with tile. It's kind of weird that they would have tile in a bedroom and I'm not sure of many people that would be into that kind of thing - but it was a bonus for us! It's super easy to sweep up burlap and glitter; and paint easily scrapes off the tile. 

When we first moved into this house, I placed my collection of bottles on the built-ins. Then my mom came to visit and the collection was the first thing to go. Fortunately, she suggested they would look better on ledge under the giant window in the studio and I can't imagine this place without them. It's almost like a stained-glass window when the sun shines through. She's a genius.

I painted two coats of "jogging path" from Sherwin Williams on the studio walls to replace the standard beige that covers the walls of the rest of the house. It's a soft gray and the name of the color screams success, right? It's almost like saying, "This room is destined for the jogging path to success." Plus, the gray walls brought out the grays in the tile very nicely. I'm super pleased with the turnout.

We built the desk ourselves (we, meaning JD, dad and myself) and I stained, painted and put up all of the shelving while JD was at work. Surprise!


This space has all of my knick-knacks, leather-working tools, mailbox, crafting supplies and paper. You may notice the sign that says, "Hippies Use Backdoor - no exceptions". I found this sign in college and fell in love. I'll admit that I've been called a hippie (or "crunchy") many times in my life, especially recently. JD and I have been riding our bikes everywhere over the past three weeks, including our weekly grocery trip, so it makes sense for people to have that perception of us, but I digress. It's funny and that's what matters. 


This is my shipping, packaging and inspiration station. We placed the antique door chalkboard against this wall to keep track of projects, birthdays, weddings and babies. Each order I receive is assigned to a basket on the shelf. Now I can set an order aside and work on another one, if needed, and I'll still be organized! This is a new one for me. ;) Then we have bags, envelopes, tissue, etc. for shipping and packaging needs. 

Please note the "Safety First" sign and First Aid box hanging on the wall - both finds from Mom, of course. I store all of my small supplies in the First Aid box, and the Safety First sign is just too cool for words. 


Alas, this is what you see when you walk in the doorway: my sewing nook. Isn't it charming? Bonus: I bought the chair from a thrift store for $3, painted it and recovered it. It's not only pretty, but quite comfy!

I will be posting about each section of the studio over the next week or two. Hope you enjoy the tour!

House Search Update

It's official. We have found a house!!

We signed the contract for it Monday and are having our home inspection TODAY!

I can't believe how quickly everything is going now that we have found a house we love.

The last few weeks have been uber stressful since our apartment lease is up at the beginning of July but we had to notify the apartment complex 60 days before moving out (beginning of May). Time was running out. We were at the point of either finding a house reallll quick or staying in the apartment for another year.

We looked at eight houses in one day. Not gonna lie, that day transpired from complete excitement to a major headache by the end of the home tour. Only one house blew us away though.

It was an older home, vacant, freshly painted in neutral colors, move-in ready, super amazing accents, a huge master bedroom suite and had a FABULOUS garden. Those were merely the small bonuses though. (Yes, an old home was a bonus for us.)

We're waiting to actually close on the house before we show photos or write much about it, as we're still trying to guard against loving it too much (sometimes things don't go as smoothly as hoped). Granted, I have already designed the "We've Moved" postcards with the new address so I guess we're not guarding our hopes too much.

Whoops!

We are so ready to move into the house and transform it into a home. The Pinterest boards have been filled, revamping lists have been created / prioritized and our minds have been racing with tons of ideas.  But it will all have to wait until the final documents have been signed.

With the crazy and stressful month we've had, I haven't had hardly any time to read about my bloggin' buddies lives. Please know that I miss y'all and can't wait to catch up soon!!

Obviously the next few weeks will be crazy still because of the house goings-on as well as another big adventure we'll be embarking on (we'll discuss later), but no worries. A few of my favorite bloggers will be taking over Jitney's Journeys in our absence to keep y'all entertained and challenged.


Do you have any suggestions for new homeowners / people who are buying their first home? What was your biggest joy and challenge in the process?


Free Printable!! Finding Our First Home with a House Searching Score Sheet


If you follow me on Pinterest, you have probably noticed a lengthy feed of house renovation inspirations. We haven't bought our first home yet but we are looking heavily.

It all started when I was searching on Trulia and Zillow for houses in our price range. We were debating between buying an old house and putting some elbow grease into it or just breaking down and buying a new home (aka: the cookie cutter). 

Everything we looked at in our range looked cheap (granted, our price range is super, super low). It was hard to imagine that we would ever move out of our spacious apartment into a home that we could really call home.

Then my mom sent me an email of one that we fell in love with

Borderline obsession.

It was an older home (1960s) but the family renovated it in such a perfect way. 
Barnwood accent wall.
Butcher block countertops with double oven and green accent cabinets.
Real brick and mortar backsplash.
Bathroom cabinets were made out of repurposed vintage dressers with amazing sinks.
BEAUTIFUL hardwood flooring throughout and true tile (not laminate) in the wet areas.
Awesome backyard and patio.
Lovely full brick exterior with heavy barnwood shutters.
Best of all? They converted the garage into 3/4 of a large sunroom and 1/4 of it as a laundry room.
The sunroom would be my new studio.

AND - we had the exact 20% down payment stashed away. On the dot.

I could picture it all... until we put in our offer and the agent said someone else had offered the full listing price. 

Devastation.

After a number of shed tears, JD gave me the sweetest pep talk. He reminded me that God didn't intend for it to be our first home, but rather our inspiration. We would find an older home and give it the same love and care as that couple did for the home we fell in love with. We could do that too. We just needed to find a home with a nice floor plan, a bedroom that our queen-sized bed could actually fit in (not a whole lot of those in our price range), a couple of bathrooms, a room for my studio, and a great backyard for gardening. 

We pulled our bootstraps up, found a great real estate agent and have been searching ever since.

Houses seem to get a little redundant after you've seen a few, so I decided to make a scoring sheet for each house. If you work with a realtor, she / he will normally give you an MLS sheet on the house. This describes the specifics: square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of rooms, appliances included, etc.

You can write notes on these sheets but I prefer charts and checklists. After looking at a couple of houses, I decided to design the survey below. It's a free printable and we would love for you to use it if you think it would help in your house search too!

Today, we continue in our adventure for buying our first home with clipboard in hand:


Lovely clipboard from the dollar bins at Michael's

How to Use the Printable:
Write the house address at the top. When you're finished looking at houses for the day, rank them in the top right-hand corner. (example: 1/6)

Basically, I created a scale from 1 - 10 for the appearance of the neighborhood, exterior of house, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and backyard. For closet space, I rate it on how much space there is, the appearance of the closet, etc. For elbow grease, I rate it from 1 (being not a whole lot of work needs to be put into it on our part) or 10 (may need to demolish the whole thing and rebuild it from the ground up). There should be enough space between the lines for you to write notes on each topic.

At the bottom, you'll find a Notes box and places to check off if there is a garage and laundry room, as well as the types of flooring in the house (carpet, hardwoods, tile, laminate).

Most importantly, the question of if you can make it a home... 
Yes, you can make any house a home
but think about if it's worth it.
Is it worth investing into?
Does it have charm / character or can you add that yourself?

**If you choose to share this free printable on your blog or website, please give credit where credit is due and link it back to our blog, Jitney's Journeys. 


Right-click, save image, then print. May be printed on a 5" x 8" index card.

We hope this helps in your search of a home! 

Don't forget to check out our other printables in our Etsy shop here.