Office Makeover: Inspiration for a DIY Desk

Now that the office makeover is back in full swing, it’s time to get serious about what great projects and finds we can fill the space with.

You might remember my layout dilemma and how the room has to serve as a guest bedroom + home office (+ craft room of sorts) without any closet space (boo – but impossible to fit in) and therefore storage and functionality are tops on the design list. To make it even tighter, we nixed the daybed idea and have opted to crowd the back of the room with a full-sized bed that will comfortably sleep two without any extra assembly required.

Despite the lack of space, my office desk needs to be big + mighty to fit the projects that I’m always juggling (I’m not the type of person who can neatly stow away a days work each and every evening – I’d love a desk big enough to hold organized chaos :)) so I’ve settled on making my own. Not from scratch but hopefully from materials I find through Craigslist.

You might remember the original inspiration for the space from here, and shopping round-ups of favorite bookshelves and desks under $300. I’ve purchased the bookcases (more on that soon) and can’t wait to get started on the perfect desk!

But what would this desk look like? What materials should I make it out of? What about storage? A Google search ensued for diy desk inspiration, here’s what I found:

Manhattan Nest designed a diy desk out of mdf and an old nightstand (love those industrial looking legs). A bit of fabric inspiration from Southern Living below left.

Above, Aubrey & Lindsay built a desk with a wooden top that I envy. Below is an idea that I haven’t thought of – Alicia of Thrifty and Chic cut apart a huge dresser to create the perfect desk and set of drawers!

A reader mentioned using an old door as a desk top too – I love that. So many great ideas out there!

We’ll see what creative materials I find to work with but I’m imagining that my new desk will be part warm wood tones/part industrial dark metal – maybe?

Here’s to a week of productive hunting!

For more Office Makeover posts, check out: desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300, inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.

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  1. Anna says

    I’m so happy I found your blog! I accidentally threw away one of my favorite Southern Living mags while moving and I was planning on using ideas from it in my new house. The picture of the table on your website is from that mag! Do you happen to know which month it is or where to find that article online?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    • says

      Hi Anna, I’m so sorry I can’t help! I know the feeling… I believe that that image came straight from Southern Living online. Good luck :).

  2. says

    Awesome stuff. we are rebuilding our office at the moment and needed a few ideas, i love the way they used the dresser.

  3. says

    Those are definitely some gorgeous DIY desk inspiration pics. I can’t wait to see your finished table!

  4. Morgan says

    Hi Lisa,
    I’ve definitely thought about using either an Ikea top or legs – might find one that fits in the office space perfectly!


  5. says

    I have always wanted to do this type of build-your-own desk for a kids homework area. It would be great with more than one kid; you could extend from one wall to the other. I’d put a corian or laminate countertop on it for easy cleanup….but you probably don’t need easy wipeability for your desk :-)

    It sounds like a great idea. What bout using an Ikea desk top?(You know, the ones with the screw in legs, but without the legs.) They are cheap, already finished and come in a bunch of different sizes. Although that probably wouldn’t get the warm wood tones you’re after.

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  6. says

    I have an old door on my wall, and have often thought it would make such a fun desk or table with a glass topper. It got it at a flea market for cheap!

  7. Morgan says

    Hi Melissa, welcome! Love your round-up of blog ideas :).

    Randa, I love saw horse legs as well, definitely considering those and loo forward to hearing how they work out for your office.


  8. says

    love those inspirations. i like the saw horse legs. i’m thinking of doing that for my office. great post!

  9. says

    I just discovered your lovely blog. I’m just new into blogging this year & have just finished off my own daily blog on fashion, food, travel & interior design.
    I had a lot of fun putting it together maybe you would like to check it out if you have a spare minute.

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