Along with babies come sacrifices…left and right really. The sacrifice I speak of here was on the part of my husband Keven. It’s the ‘ol office-becomes-nursery story. You know the one…along comes baby, out goes personal space. Keven was more than willing to give up his office space for little Raymond. It wasn’t until the 6th month without it before we both realized he NEEDS AN OFFICE. Keven works from home and was becoming sick of a numb butt after 4 hours on the wooden chair at the dining room table. Similarly, I was becoming numb seeing the ever-growing stack of papers and other work shrapnel on our dining room table.
Our home is not exactly overflowing with extra space, in fact I dare say, there is absolutely no extra space. In order to accommodate this need we’d have to re-purpose an existing space. As you might remember from a previous article, Ray’s little nursery was created from the 3rd floor turret…
This turret area goes the whole length of our house – there is a matching nook just below Ray’s room in our living room. It has been the home of a large reclining leather chair. This turret was also the perfect spot for our Christmas tree each year.
This year after the holiday’s I had invited my mom over for an invigorating evening helping me organize. Identifying an office space was on the agenda. Having just recently rearranged to accommodate the Christmas tree, my mom noticed that the leather chair actually fit okay on the other side of the room permanently! Thus making the living room turret the target for Keven’s new office space.
I got out the pencil and paper. The room being an octagon meant ideally I could custom cut a tabletop to fit the angles. Another goal for the space was to have some shelves where Keven could easily store his things and keep them hidden from plain sight. The octagon helped with this! Two slender shelves would work well and the angled walls would help keep the sides of the shelves the only thing visible from the main room. The desk would be shaped like this:
The first thing I tackled for this project was the desk. I suddenly remembered that 3 years ago, while we were at the salvage yard called Bauer Brothers, hunting for pieces of maple flooring for our kitchen floor project, we had negotiated this big 4 x 6 piece of butcher block into our purchase! It was an old 3M workbench. Also at the time we had the foresight to use the floor sander we had rented to quickly clean up the top! It has been sitting in our basement ever since…the new desk project was it’s perfect purpose.
As if by fate, it turned out the butcher block was almost exactly the length I needed for the perfect fit in the turret. So the main cuts I needed to make were the two angled pieces. I learned long ago when you can make a template instead of trying to measure, that’s the way to go. So I got a big piece of paper (a big roll I have for protecting the floor when you’re painting) and wedged it onto the floor in the turret to figure out the shape. Then I taped that shape out onto the butcher block. I used aluminum guides and the circular saw to make the long angled cuts. To give it a more professional finish, I used the router and the same aluminum guides to round the edges:
I managed to preserve some of its original workbench character by leaving the front edge un-sanded so it shows the wear and tear.
I haven’t yet attempted any metalworking…however making legs for this desk would have been the perfect first project! Instead, I hit Amazon and found some really cool saw-horse style legs that kept the industrial look of the butcher block and also provided two small shelves for additional storage. I assembled everything together and just love the final result.
For the tall shelves I decided I’d bring things full circle and headed back to Bauer Brothers to hunt for some salvaged school lockers … I’ll update you next time on how that ended up… in the meantime here is Raymond and I on the hunt for those lockers…