DIY: How to Build a Desk

 DIY: How to Build a Desk

In my two story house, our office was on the second story which worked perfect for school purposes and such.  However, as much as I tried to keep all the papers upstairs, there were some things I just needed downstairs and at night when Stud had computer work to take care of, I wanted him downstairs with me as I stretched out on the couch!!!  And so I started thinking!!!  Um, Stud….

“Do you think we could maybe, possibly construct a desk right on this little bitty wall!?!?  I could totally think of a different place to store my little Potterybarn bench I was gifted a lot of years ago and make room!!!  Actually, the more I think about it, maybe we should make it more of a built in because then I’d have a place to store all my greeting cards {which I’ve gotten really bad about keeping up on lately – sorry Bennett’s birthday party guests – totally have the cards written and unaddressed on the shelf by my desk – Christmas came and we left town and then came back and had to play catch up – and…totally sorry!  If you didn’t see he loved each of them with passion as he ripped the paper to shreds to get inside}.”

It was actually simple.  1. FYI adding recessed lights is SIMPLE…just have to make sure you purchase the right type for your house, so it’s not violating any codes}.  2. We knew Lowe’s had the exact cabinets we needed to look similar to our preexisting cabinets}.  3. See the simple trick to hanging cabinets…level a piece of wood and then rest the cabinet on the level wood as you’re hanging.  They’re not exactly light so it’s nice not to have to hold, screw and double check your level through the process of hanging them!

We found a couple legs at Home Depot and went to work!  The super important part of building a desk is ensuring that you’ve made a right angle at each of the places where the side boards adjoin the back support board.  We used a clamps to hold them in place temporarily and wood glue, screws and studs to hold them in for good!  The exterior board is the support here and the inside is where we will run a key board tray that slides in and out.

Adding this board across the front added a lot of security to the entire furniture piece.  Again wood glue and screws!!!
  We added these angled pieces to make the desk even stronger.
Looks kind of funny right here!

We used drawer slides for our keyboard tray and hinges for the front flap with magnets to keep the flap closed.  {Don’t you love it how technical I can be…I’m sure I will be a resource for construction workers for years to come!}

This is before our cabinets were replaced.  I wanted it all done at once because, yep you guessed it!  Granite is going on this desk, too!

Slides Effortlessly!
Keeping things the same throughout the kitchen…a little trim over the cabinet!
I love the look of crown molding!

When we got to this point I was quick to point out that even if we painted the underside, it just wasn’t going to look quite right!!!  {Peekaboo…do you see our light that we made from a shade and an old light fixture!?!}

 Paint and Hardware makes me smile!
Bianco Romano is LOVELY!
The frame is holding the granite!  RELIEF!
I was feeling pretty GIDDY!!!

I kept looking at the desk and the cabinet and thinking it didn’t look quite polished enough still!  So, to tie together with the island, we added our leftover bead board between the desk and cabinet.

 And added a little bit below the desk and some trim along both sides!
 Almost done.

Stud used his jigsaw saw to cut a little arch in a piece of wood and then sanded the guts out of it so it was smooth and even! {We totally need to get a Dremel someday!}

Remember how we made the built in below!?!?  I was just as excited about this desk built in!  Totally ROCKING kitchen!!!
So here’s the arch!  And I picked out a few pretties for the sides, too!  Those just stapled right in…SIMPLE!
I could stare at her forever!  Why again did we move out of this house!?!?  And for a house that totally needs to be gutted?!?!  Location!  I have to remind myself!
And here it is all together!!!  As we’ve been working on the last touches of our Ranch Style kitchen, this is totally our biggest inspiration!  If we could make this from the dark kitchen it once was surely, we can work miracles in our Ranch home, too!!!

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  1. Emily says:

    Where is the outlet for the computer? don’t see one anywhere!

    • Aimee says:

      In the beginning pictures you can see the outlet. We took the plate cover off, cut a hole in the bead board to make sure we could still access the outlet, and when the bead board was installed, we added the switch plate cover back over the opening.

  2. I love the desk you made! This is a great tutorial on how to build a built-in desk. I wish I had a place for one. If I did, I would definitely build one! I built two free-standing desks for my son and daughter’s bedrooms. Check them out at Can’t wait to see what else you can do!

  3. That’s what I call thinking outside the box. Love to see little spaces like that used to good effect. Nice work!

  4. Megan says:

    What an amazing idea! My two year old just saw the final picture and yelled “that’s pretty” 🙂 It really looks great in your space like it’s always been there. Thanks for sharing such a great tutorial. Megan

  5. stormy says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve been looking for something like this!

  6. Steam Showers says:

    I am digging the office space in the kitchen or the apple workspace. It looks like it is straight out of a apple ad.

  7. Krista Gilbert says:

    Another absolutely great idea! Thanks!

  8. thetwistedruffle says:

    wow. that is too awesome. my husband could make me a full set of dishes but i’m pretty sure he couldn’t build me that awesome space!!!! oh, i just love it to pieces. you guys did such a great job!

  9. Desiree @ The 36th AVENUE says:

    Awesome job as always! Thank you for sharing over at my party. You’ve been featured!

  10. Jen Lossing says:

    Hey girl,
    This looks amazing! Your stud is a stud! Great job. Love that you added the bead board too! Great job!

  11. Emily @ 52 Mantels says:

    Thanks so much for linking this up!! I’m so in love with this project! Inspiring, for sure! I’ll be featuring it later today! 🙂

  12. Inspire Me Heather says:

    That was very clever of you and it looks fabulous! I’ve got this linked to my command centers post too today, well done!

  13. Aimee - says:

    Thanks Megan! I totally think your photography is BEAUTIFUL!

    XO, Aimee

  14. Such a great tutorial… I’m pinning you!

  15. Jen says:

    AWESOME! Is there anything you aren’t fabulous at! It is perfect for that spot!!

  16. The DIY Show Off says:

    Aimee – it’s awesome! Wow! I’m including a link back in tomorrow’s DIY highlights! 😉
    Have a great weekend!

  17. Sherry @ No Minimalist Here says:

    Fabulous addition to the kitchen! It turned out beautiful. Thanks for linking to the open House party this week. Hugs, Sherry

  18. Korrie@RedHenHome says:

    Absolutely lovely. Your kitchen gets better and better!

  19. Sherry says:

    Wow! It looks amazing and I’m so tempted to give it a try. I’m your newest follower, thanks so much for sharing.

  20. Katie says:

    AMazing! I love your desk and love the step-by-step tutorial you provided!!! Great job!

  21. Diane says:

    Gorgeous Practical Fantastic….well done…..Love it
    (Found you thru CSH Craft Scrappy Happy)
    I just love all you inspiring American Women….Keep it up
    I love checking out all your wonderful blogs
    Diane (Bonny Scotland) xxx

    • Aimee - says:

      Wow Diane! All the way from Bonny Scotland!!! That’s so much fun!!! Thanks LOTS for stopping by and for your sweet note!!! XO, Aimee

  22. Michele Alger says:

    BEAUTIFUL!! I LOVE how this turned out. Gorgeous and well made!

  23. Janel@hatingmartha says:

    Aimee you are one talented gal with an equally talented stud. I bet that space is really handy!!

  24. Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR says:

    Aimee, this was amazing! You and Stud are so talented!! I just love seeing all of your transformations!

  25. Aimee - says:

    Thanks SO much….you’re always so sweet to leave me little notes of encouragement! Tight Squeeze! XO, Aimee

  26. chateau chic says:

    Good job!! love the finishing details.
    Mary Alice

  27. Jen says:

    Wow, Aimee! This is amazing! I do hope you’ll be popping by to link up! ~Jen

  28. Teresa@Magazine Your Home says:

    Oh my goodness!!! Excellent job and so creative! I love it!

  29. Sam I Am...... says:

    Wow! Very nice..more than nice…Stylish! Is Stud a professional carpenter? Where did he learn all that? I need to do that kind of stuff but I need to face my fears of destroying things accidentally or electrocuting myself! LOL!

  30. Maury Kilgo says:

    Wow! You made that look so easy! It looks great!

  31. Tam says:

    You guys are a great team, looks awesome!

  32. Aimee - says:

    He just walked by and said I like her!!! 🙂 You made his night!!! XO, Aimee

  33. Shanon at Vintage Sparkle Chic says:

    Love it! It really compliments the kitchen. How nice to have a husband that is so helpful and crafty! I love how light everything is.


  34. Jamie Vigil says:

    That is awesome! Good job! Can you come to my house and help me make one?:) Jamie

  35. Tonya says:

    This is sooo cute!! I love the built in look!! It totally looks like its been there the whole time!!