Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A New Life for Ari's Desk: Pinterest Challenge!



Back when I talked about our plans for Ari's room, I mentioned how much I loved this two toned dresser at Simply Klassic Home:


....and how I planned to redo his desk in the same style. Fortunately, I also pinned it to my board of ideas for his room, so when I saw the announcement for the Pinterest Challenge (hosted by Michelle at Decor and the DogMegan at The Remodeled LifeSherry at Young House Love, and Katie at Bower Power), it immediately jumped to the top of the list. Truthfully, it was already at the top of the list, but the Pinterest Challenge assured that it stayed there and that it actually got done. 

(Someone really needs to Truman Show-ify the internet for me so that every week a new "challenge" shows up that just happens to be about something I've been meaning to get done: "Oh, look, what a coincidence! It's the 'move a couch out of your garage and into the sunroom' challenge!")

(I am worried that Kristin is going to think I'm completely copying her whole (fabulous) room, because there's also a plank headboard in there. But, while it is worthy of copying, I would like to state for the record that I posted my plans for a plank headboard or wall for Ari's room a whole day before it appeared on Simply Klassic. But that dresser? yeah, totally copying. Because it's awesome).

I have a different plan for Ari's dresser, so I decided to give the two tone treatment to his desk instead. Here's what his desk looked like before:


More of the orange-y maple, like his bedside table. First we wanted to take the mirror off. It had more of those scalloped edges interfering with our modern aesthetic, and we have better things to do with the walls. Dave remembered trying to take it off at some point in the past (maybe when we moved?) and having a terrible time and giving up. But he went into Ari's room ready to do battle with the mirror and came out 15 minutes later looking very confused. "It was just held on with regular screws," he said, "I have no idea why we had trouble before." Don't question it; just be glad! 

We took all the drawers down to the basement to sand them down. The finish came off super easily. Even a child could do it! No, seriously--our kids did it:





Then I painted the rest of the desk with the same Valspar High Speed Steel (mixed with some plaster of paris to chalk paintify it) that we used on the bedside table. Two coats of paint, then I distressed it (this is the point where I realized that the sanding sponge I bought to do the bedside table was complete crap (or, at least, inappropriate for distressing). I got tired of it, found a piece of sandpaper, and things were much better).Then a coat of polyurethane. 

For the stain, I mixed together the dark walnut we already had with some weathered gray. I brushed it on each drawer then immediately wiped it off with an old t-shirt. After they dried overnight, I screwed the rest of  the "hydrant" knobs from Hobby Lobby in and put them back in the desk.

Then I took pictures three separate times over the course of the day, trying to get perfect lighting, because I felt like the desk was So.Much.Prettier. in real life than it was turning out in the pictures. But I think, with the help of the late afternoon sun through the west facing windows, I finally got a  pretty good representation (it's those dark walls again! If I just painted every room white, I'd have much better pictures, I think). I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and Ari loves it, too. He's getting pretty into the room redecorating, which makes me happy. Especially since he likes most of my ideas.





I was so proud I even dragged stuff from other parts of the house to style it all fancy-like:


Mostly only the globe was from other parts of the house. This stuff was already in the room. In fact, we found the pencil holder at the dollar tree the other day. The Eiffel Tower and little viking are both from Epcot.


I moved one of the Tabouret chairs from Overstock in there. These were originally supposed to go with our farmhouse kitchen table. But, uhh, we still haven't made that table. So the chairs have just been knocking around the house, and now I'm thinking I might want to go in a different direction for kitchen chairs (if our table ever actually exists). Ari asked if he could have another one (there are 4 of them) for when he has a friend over, so we'll probably put another one up there. And then maybe paint them? Red? Silver? I'm not sure. Thoughts?

Linking with:
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday
Monday Funday
Under the Table and Dreaming's Sunday Showcase Party
TwelveOEight's Pretty Things Party
Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z
Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits at Stone Gable Blog
Hookin' Up With House of Hepworths
Somewhat Simple
The Inspiration Gallery Link Party
The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday
Tatertots and Jello Weekend Wrap-up Party

68 comments:

  1. absolutely fantastic project Gretchen. I love the knobs (again) that you used. The two toned look is so cool with the wall color and the white chair looks terrific there. I LOVE that globe too :)

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    1. Thanks! yeah, I think the desk looks nicer with the globe than it's going to look covered with a bunch of paper and his computer ;)

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  2. That looks awesome! I think Ari's room is going to kick ass. I'd turn the chairs red to go with all the adorable nobs and for a blast of color

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    1. thanks, emma! I like the idea of red; my only worry is finding a good red color in spray paint.

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    2. It's a shame you didn't get petina chairs- those would have been SEXY.

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    3. I know, right? They're back in stock now, too (or at least they were yesterday)

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    1. Thanks, Di Linh! You should show Kai the link to the room that inspired it...it's an "industrial Star Wars room" ;)

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  4. This looks great! This desk is rustic, but sophisticated at the same time. Thanks for the inspiration, I might have to get going on some furniture at my house!

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  5. The desk looks wonderful! A great second life to an old piece of furniture that's seen better days. Inspirational!
    We bought metal chairs similar to your white Tabouret chair, though from Industry West in distressed metal for our dining room table (we don't have a separate kitchen table) and I'm planning to replace them. I've found that though I love the industrial look and they're very durable (food and pets can't damage those babies) but they're not very comfortable. And my biggest pet peeve is that they are cold on your tushy. So I have my eye on some mid century modern chocolate upholstered chairs at Overstock. The metal chairs will make there way to other areas of the house where they'll be more appropriate, like in garage for me to sit on while I take off my shoes before coming into the house.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, one of the reasons we're not using the chairs in the kitchen as planned is that my husband thinks they're uncomfortable. We're thinking of going with mismatched wooden chairs all painted the same color (upholstered chairs don't get along with my cats!)

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  6. Oh I LOVE it! The color combination is just perfect. I have an Ikea Rast as a side table in our guestroom - it's still unfinished, and I think I might need to take some inspiration from this desk!
    Sarah

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  7. It looks so good and vintage! I love that you had him help :) YOu are such a great mom. I need someone to Truman-Show-ify my life to motivate me to get stuff done too :) I'm all for personalized challenges!

    Great project G!

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  8. I have a very similar desk that I'd really like to do this to now. Very cool!

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  9. What a great job! I absolutely love the look of the drawers! :)

    I also participated in the Pinterest Challenge and made an Herb Planter Box!

    Thanks so much for sharing! :)

    Shannon
    Fabulously Vintage

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  10. Wow! What an amazing project! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. You are in charge of orchestrating this Truman show home challenge together. I need it just as bad as anyone! The desk looks incredible. I love how the stain turned out on the drawers. I'm so impressed the boys sanded!

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    1. The tricky part will be orchestrating a challenge that no one can know exists....but I'll work on it!

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  12. it looks perfect!!! love the colors/two toned look! love your inspiration and you executed beautifully!

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  13. I love getting the kids help. Mine just love the to use the sander. I'm co-hosting my first linky party tonight @ 7:00 I would like for you to link up. http://calliescrafts.blogspot.com/

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  14. Oh, that turned out really great!
    Good job!

    Love, Midsommarflicka

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  15. I am impressed to see that that boy helped in that project.
    Wow.I love the final result.

    Nicholle

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  16. I love how the furniture in Ari's room is getting a fresh new look. I like the grey and wood tones together - perfect for a boy's room.

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  17. I love how the desk turned out! I'm really, really into the painted/natural wood mixed pieces lately. I just discovered your blog and am now following you. I've already checked out your home tour and I just love it. So many inspiring spaces.

    Have a great day!
    Angela

    P.S. We're homeschoolers, too! :)

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    1. thank you so much--and welcome!

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    2. oh, I know you! I subscribed to your blog forever ago--I can't even remember how I found it anymore :)

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    3. Thanks so much, Gretchen! I just realized that since I joined Google+ my actual name & not blog name are showing up when I comment.

      Angela

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  18. I love it! That room is going to be so cool when it's all done. I agree with Emma too- red chairs would be fantastic. Maybe spray them red then glaze them black to guff them up a bit :)

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  19. Wow, the desk is amazing..... I am pinning this project for sure.

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  20. i love the weathered look of the wood... must find some of that weathered stain. weird question, but i'm very curious about the original star kind of knobs on the bottom of the dresser... do you know where you got them? are they metal with glass in the middle? i got a whole bag of something similar off of ebay for a greta price but have never seen them since!

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    1. Those are actually nautical ship's wheel knobs....I almost took a close-up of them when I was doing the post. If I remember right, one or both of the wooden knobs was missing on the bottom drawers when we bought the desk, so we picked those up (at my mom's second hand shop, same place we got the desk) to replace them. They're all metal--no glass in the middle!

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  21. LOVE this style of furniture. Edgy and modern though rustic and homey all at the same time.

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  22. Wow that looks awesome! I love the two tone, it's so different!

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  23. oh man im in love with those handles!! very good choice.
    Id for you to share at our party!
    http://www.lifewelive4.com/2013/03/love-it-list-it-linky-party.html

    :) Laura

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  24. I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award! To read all about it go here: http://www.rainonatinroof.com/2013/03/liebster-blog-award-again.html

    Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

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    1. Thanks so much, Jenna! I saw your post about this....I've had a few nominations and been slacking on it, too--I'll try to get it done, though!

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  25. What a fabulous redo! They look like they had a great time with it! Thanks so much for sharing at Monday Funday!

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    1. Thanks so much! And thanks to you for hosting :)

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  26. By allowing the kids to be part of the project you may have planted the seed for a lifelong love of wood working. So great!

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    1. Thanks--we're hoping if they grow up with it, doing all this stuff will be natural to them when they're older...and we'll have 4 helpers we can recruit for things when we get older, too ;)

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  27. totally in love w/this idea, so i'm going to copy you. great instructions....but one question? did you sand the desk also before painting it grey? so ready to do this.....also: luv you blog. thanks

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    1. Thanks, Lesa! We didn't sand the rest of the desk first...mostly because I was planning to use chalk paint, and you don't need to sand or prime with it. We're working on his matching dresser right now, and we did sand that whole thing down because we're using regular semi-gloss on it. HTH!

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  28. Visiting from Monday FunDay's link up and just wanted to say how great of a job you've done with this desk. I love industrial style but I think it's amazing how your boys helped you make it.

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  29. Love the desk!
    I'm having a link party at Homa Style that ends Tuesday evening.
    I would love you to link up!
    The link to the party is
    http://homastyle.com/wp/2013/02/27/inspire-me-link-party/

    I help promote links to my parties by additional links to facebook, twitter, or pinterest.

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  30. Super cute!!!!! :) loooove it!

    Emily at www.HouseandHone.com

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  31. Wow! I just love how this turned out. I also love the dresser that you pinned, I have it in one of my boards as well. Yours looks fantastic!

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    1. Thanks so much, Taryn! Yes, having a great inspiration photo makes it easier, doesn't it? :)

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  32. This looks really great. LOVE the pulls! Found you at The Shabby Nest. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks so much, Denise! I was thrilled to find the pulls--they were exactly what I needed on there.

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  33. What a beautiful transformation! Love it! Life to the full, Melissa

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  34. Beautiful drawers! Pinning this. Over from DDD. Thanks!

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  35. I love how the whole family got in on the update, turned out great!!

    xo, Tanya
    twelveOeight

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