Built In Desk

I had to give this built in desk a lot of thought. I would have loved to have made it a true built in, since my son has never used his closet (except for shoving in junk when tell him to clean his room, lol) as he prefers to use his dresser. And while I have no plans for moving ever again, I do recognize the best laid plans can change. If I removed the closet, it would become a 3 bedroom home, and that won't work. That was part of the big draw to my inspiration photo. It could easily convert back to a closet if needed. 

So to do this built in, we decided to do a frame, instead of just a cleat. I know my son, he's hard on things. I wanted the extra stability of a frame. 
So, nothing difficult about this. 

The frame has two supports in it to distribute the weight. We then attached the frame to the studs in the wall. 

This ended up being more difficult only because it doesn't appear that our closet does have studs evenly placed as the walls do. I have no idea why. 

(when did this photo get blurry?!) We used a laser level to shoot a line 30" up the wall (this is the height the desk in my bedroom is and I wanted to make sure he was getting an adult sized height since he keeps getting bigger, not smaller!) and marked if off with painters tape. We then pre-drilled holes so that when the frame was set in, it would be easier to attach it to the studs. 

The blue vertical pieces of tape are where the studs are. Again, we wanted to make it as easy as possible to find them so this could be installed. 

The top piece has been added. There will be a 2x3 across the front to create a lip, as we are going to put a piece of tempered glass on top of the desk. As I have mentioned, my son loves to draw, and I could see him pressing down on the plywood top and leaving indention's. Or setting a glass down and having water marks. I need this to be teen boy resistant!

I still need to lightly sand this, stain, and varnish it before I can add the glass top. But I feel like I've crossed the threshold of the halfway mark on this project. 

While I'm waiting for stain and varnish to dry, I'm focusing on the task lighting that needs to go in here. The first thing I have to loose is the bare bulb at the top of the closet. It's a chain pull and it's ugly!! 

The thing is, there are very few options for chain pull lights. Here's the one I really like. Yes, this is by far my favorite. It's also $99

I'm not paying $99 for a closet light fixture. It's not because I'm cheap (well, I am, but that's a discussion for another day). Right now, $100 for a single light is not in my budget. 

I also found this one on Etsy. It's a little more reasonable in cost and still has a nice industrial feel to it. This one is $59. I really would have liked to have spent no more than $20 on a closet light, but that doesn't seem to be possible. I could look around at some local lighting stores, but I don't think I'll find anything less than this one.

The thing about this closet light? I don't expect him to use this light frequently. I suspect he'll be using the task lighting that I'm going to install as well. But I've been looking for a place in my home to use an Edison bulb, and this is probably the only room that it will work. 

I keep mentioning tasking lighting. I have two more light sources I want to add. The first is a desk light. I have one that I use and I think it's really important, particularly  for studying. These are the two I've narrowed it down to.
Both lamps are from Ikea, and I really, really like Lamp 2. Of course, it's the higher price of the two at $35

Lamp 1 is the cost effective one for $20. And until I put it next to Lamp 2, I like it just fine. 

I'm not sure yet, but there's no rush since I'm not ready to buy it just yet. 

I'm also contemplating a shelf light. I like the idea of a soft light he can turn on that won't light up his room. Ikea has one that specifically mounts behind the TV, which I like the idea of:

This would mount behind his TV, which will be mounted to the wall. I need to take a trip to Ikea and look at this in person. I need to keep in mind that I only have four outlets, and if I fill them all up with lights, I've defeated the purpose of having them for his electronics. I believe they have battery operated ones as well, which may be a better option. But I think I need to look at them in person to make a final decision.

Well, hopefully the next post will be a completed, built in desk!

Blue Paint

The closet is painted. One coat of primer, two coats of paint. It may need a third, sigh..

My son chose this color, which I really like, called Inked. It's a little more blue gray than navy blue, but it works really well with what he wanted his room to look like. 

The thing about blue paint - any dark blue paint - is that it shows every.little.flaw. No joke. Your wall is a bit out plumb? It will look 10x's worse when you paint it blue. Your texture is uneven? Yep, even worse with blue paint. Of course, I didn't realize this when I started. Lesson learned.

So here's where we started after the first coat of paint:
Coat 1
Yes, pretty darn bad!

But not a surprise. I was hoping it would be a little less streaky by using the grey primer. While it probably helped, it's clearly not a cure all. I could have tried their upgraded paint that's supposed to cover in one coat. But since I'm only doing a small closet, it didn't make sense to spend more on paint. 

I really meant to add another coat last week, but it was a long work week and I never got to it. So this last weekend, I finally go to the second coat. Minus the area we installed the outlet because we still needed to add texture. Baby steps...

So the trick to taking good photo's in this room is to get the morning light by 9am. This is the second coat. I'm much happier with this second coat. You can see how this color pairs nicely with the grey color on his walls. Now I only need to touch up where I re-textured, both in the closet and the patch on the outside. 

Still to do on this closet renovation:

  1. install the built in desk
  2. install the bracket and shelf
  3. install task lighting
  4. add a chest of drawers for more storage
  5. Add the cork boards (a specific request from my son!)
  6. add storage for his art supplies
  7. mount his TV to the wall
  8. custom bi-fold doors
That will finish off this specific portion of his room update, but I'm not stopping there. I'm replacing his carpet (which is completely disgusting and is actually next on the to do list before the built in desk will be completed). In addition I'm replacing the broken faux wood blinds with new ones, and the drapes are being replaced with a cornice board. We'll also need to replace all the short, builder grade base boards with something beefier. This is a must with the change int he flooring. And of course, there's artwork. My son has very specific ideas on that as well. I suppose since it's his room, I can't complain.

As always, more to come...

Then There Was the Closet

It took a while to get the finished photo's of the dresser posted, but we've been working quite a bit on this room! You may remember that I posted a photo of my inspiration for my son's room last month. Here's a refresher:

This comes from the blogger at The Happy Housie  You'll remember that we settled on a color called Inked from Behr to do our blue. While not as dark as the photo above, it's at least a two coat job, even with a gray primer under it. 

Before I started painting we decided to do a few updates in the closet. Since this will also be a study space, I needed a convenient place to plug in his laptop, chargers, desk lamp, etc. There currently is only a light bulb with a pull chain for light in the closet, and of course, no power source. So after priming the closet, our first step was to add power. We routed it from an existing power outlet outside the closet. Thank goodness The Builder is good with these things as this completely out of my comfort zone!

He started by cutting out  a whole next to the power supply, then drilling a hole through the stud so that he could run the power through the wall and into the closet. There was actually a dent in the wall that we had filled and primed.  Oops. I didn't get the idea to add power to the closet until after that was done. Luckily, The Builder agreed and so he cut it out and ran the power.

Sigh, another bad photo. Seriously, I have to do something about the lighting in this room! In this case though, the power was off so that he could run the new line. This is the wire pulled through the wall. We decided to do double outlets so that there was enough for multiple electronic devices. I hate power strips and I don't want one overloaded in the closet. Eventually we want to put in an outlet that has a USB charger as well, but it wasn't in the budget right now, and it's an easy switch out for The Builder later on.

Now that it's installed, we've patched the hole. I didn't take photo's of the mud and texture. That was completed this weekend, so now I can finish painting that section. You can see that this wall is primered. The closet has the original paint from when the house was first built and it soaked up the primer like it was nothing. I can only imagine what it would have done to the blue paint.

So, one step closer.  Next up, paint!

The Dresser...2.0

OK, the lighting on the previous photo (and the graininess!!) were driving me crazy, so while I was shooting some photo's of the built in I'm working on this morning, I grabbed another photo of the dresser. And Eureka!

So as you can see, not honey colored at all (thank goodness!). For now it's pushed into the corner, because the room is in absolute chaos at this point.  I haven't decided on the fine floor plan yet for this room. I need to decide on a few more pieces for his room, like a night stand, before I plan the final layout.

Back to working on the built in desk!

The Dresser is DONE!

So yes, the dresser is done.  It's been done for a couple of weeks, but I had moved on to other things in the room. Oops. 

One thing I'm learning about my sons' room?  He has TERRIBLE lighting!  I've taken photo's with my very good Nikon and my cell phone and there's almost no difference in the quality, due to the poor lighting. Very frustrating. Needless to say, updating his lighting is on my to do list for this room.

So just a quick reminder of what this dresser looked like when I started:

Yeah, I didn't take photo's of the front of the dresser before. But this is the worst of the damage and the primary reason I wanted to rehab this piece.

Here are some after photo's!

So the above photo is...dark. And grainy. Ugh. The drawers are not really that dark, and the fronts came out exactly as I was hoping they would.

And...also not a good photo.  Over exposure on the bottom. Also, the drawers here are honey colored and shiny - not what they look like in person. Once I get the lighting situation resolved, I'll take another photo of it in the completed room.

Speaking of the completed room, I've been working a LOT on the room itself. The hole behind his door is patched, textured, and primed. His room as been repainted. But his closet is the biggest project that is getting closer to completion. There was a lot more work than I anticipated, but I think it will be worth it when I'm done. 

More to come...