Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Desk Dilemmas & Design

It's that time again...

Once a season, Sherry Petersik of Young House Love and Katie Bower of Bower Power issued a challenge to the craft-o-sphere to stop pinning, momentarily, and to start doing. It's enough to have me leap out of my regularly scheduled blogging to join in and check something off of the Pinterest pin board. 

This isn't sponsored by Pinterest, it's just a challenge that Katie dreamed up to stop everyone from "pinning" and to start "doing." So you pick something that you've pinned, give a shout out to its original source (which may require a bit of digging - darn those 'ghost' pins!), then do it yourself with your own spin. Then share so everyone can seal-clap along with your accomplishment!

In the past, I've made a braided hexnut bracelet, a felt ruffle pillow, a cross-stitch out of meaningful dates, and a set of secret boxes to hide the router and cable modem. This time around, I knew I wanted to fix something, rather than create something entirely new. In full disclosure, I did this before I hopped the country, have been meaning to update you all, and this challenge is the kick in the rear to do that.

I found the clean white parson's desk in the price of my dreams a while back. It was the type of love where I didn't want to use my desk, though, for fear of a rogue Sharpie line or other spastic gesture that would cause destruction. I have these irrational fears that my hands will suddenly become detached from my brain and do their own drawings. I have the same fear that I'll jump off the metro platform sometimes, just to see what it's like down there. Despite my forbearance of said desk, little, inconspicuous marks still happened, and I obsessed over them.

You couldn't see the marks unless the sun was just right, so they really weren't conspicuous at all. But in my head, they were glaringly obvious. I tried to fix them with few techniques (nail polish remover, painting on white nail polish, painting on some high gloss clear spray), then stopped before further debauchery. I considered a few alternatives: painting the top of the desk a darker color (maybe charcoal), painting stripes or some pattern on the top, decoupaging the top with postcards and mementos. 

Found via Pinterest, originally from here.

 Found via Pinterest, originally from here.

I decided on something a little less permanent, though. So off I skipped drove to JoAnn's. As usual, my fabric-loving indecisive self was torn between two fabrics. One was blue and more of a damask pattern and the other was green and  more geometric. There was a sale, I had a coupon, and I've been wanting to make more giant floor pillows, so I picked up a yard and a half of each. 

Then I took them home and measured them up. One was immediately out of the running - 

Next time, I plan on measuring the size of anything before buying fabric. So I guess I'll be making a damask floor pillow.

I moved on to the green geometric fabric. I measured the size of my desk, finally, allowed for a half-inch hem on each side, and cut out that piece. I then ironed out the fabric (it was all creased from being on the roll) and sewed a seam around the four sides, making sure to keep the pattern straight. It was easy with this fabric because I could match the tops of the triangles.

Just like that, I had a cover.

To keep it in place, I picked up a piece of plexiglass from Lowe's to lay on top. I should've done this from the beginning to preserve the white top, but better late than never. And, as people have reminded me, the glaring flares go unnoticed to them.

Then, get this! Look what I saw on Young House Love -

I had unknowingly used a fabric eerily similar to that of one of my favorite blogs! It felt like fate. 

Like that, my desk went from this - 

to this - 

And somewhere along the way, the sun set.

Another comparison, you say?

I love that it's not permanent, but makes such an impact on my room. It demands attention, without being demanding. It's bold, without being in your face. It's like Morgan Freeman. That, and my room was getting a little too blue, so it needed a new color layer. The crisp white of the desk still has its moment, too.

And then I found out this was in the Young House Love book, which I got for Christmas. I think it's Project #214, but I'm not sure because the book is currently across the ocean from me. I trolled their book projects page, but I'm not positive. Can someone please confirm or deny that for me?! UPDATE: It's Project #171 - huge thank you to Kala for helping me out! 

So what do you think? Should I make a more permanent change on the top? Strategically placed chevrons to cover the unmentionable spots? Stick with the green? Wait and ponder this again in a year? Yeah, that'll probably happen.

Make sure to check out Young House Love, Bower Power, The Remodeled Life, and Decor and the Dog, the hosts of their challenge, to see their projects. They'll have a link up to lots of other participant projects, too, so it's another round of great inspiration!


  1. This looks incredible! I love the extra design element it adds to the space.

    1. Thank you, Stacey! It definitely adds some texture while keeping the lines I loved on the original desk.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I love the fabric you used on your desk. It looks fantastic. I just pulled out YHL's book to check for you. It is project #171: Top a table with a great decorative fabric.

    1. Thank you, Kala! I'll sleep much more soundly tonight - I was seriously scouring the web and cursing myself for not at least leaving my book with my sister so I could use a lifeline.

  3. Nice work. I love the new desk!!!

    Stopping over from Young House Love.

  4. Looks great! Love the pattern you chose!

    1. Thank you! It was a total fluke that I found it on the sales rack at JoAnn's - I love when I find something in there!

  5. This is great update! I love that you can change it up any time you want! Did you have to have your plexi cut to size? I'd love to add some plexi to a dresser top I have!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I did have to get the plexiglass cut to size. I took my measurements to Lowe's (the Home Depot closest to me didn't offer glass cutting - I'm not sure if that's the case everywhere). They cut the glass on the spot and wrapped it up for me, so I was able to *awkwardly* maneuver the sheet out of the building. I wish I would have done it sooner - it's cheap, nearly invisible, and protects the surface.


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