There is a Desk in the Office!

Holy excitement! We have a beautiful desk in front of the window in our home office! <3 <3 <3

I am in love! The desk turned out better than I had imagined it (and I had imaged it looking amazing). Let's talk about how we installed this bad boy. Recall that before this beautiful desk occupied this space, there was nothing but a big gaping hole between the cabinets.

The existing countertops are at 36 inches, which is a little high for a desk so we had already planned to drop the section of countertop for the desk to 30 inches. We debated different ways to attach the desk top. We wanted it to look good but also wanted  to ensure it was safe and functional. It is situated directly in front of the window and it turns out that the window stool is 29 inches high. If the desk top is set on top on the window stool, the thickness of the countertop puts the top of the desk right at 30 inches. This works perfectly because it gives support for the back of the desk! It also allows the desk to be inset slightly which I think adds a nice architectural feature.

We then had to decide how to secure the rest of the desk. The idea of securing two horizontal support rails to the cabinets that the desk top would then rest on and be attached to was thrown out there. While this would work just fine, we decided we wanted to upgrade a little bit and get a little fancy. Enter table legs we bought at Lowe's.

You got a sneak peak of them in the countertop post because we have been supporting the countertop overhang with one leg until we got them installed. We are planning on having two legs on this portion of the countertop (the floating desk will have a docking station of sorts here once we build it). In the below picture you get the idea of where we are going with it.

To match, the other two legs were to be ascetically pleasing supports for the front of the desk. Since they were bare wood, I painted them white. I briefly debated painting them some fun color, but ultimately decided to let these be subtle features in the office and bring color in elsewhere later on.

Painting them took a while because I applied very thin coats of paint to avoid drips. I started with a flat white paint as a base layer and switched to semi gloss to give them a more polished look that would match the cabinets.

Unfortunately I made the mistake of switching to the semi gloss paint before the flat white had full coverage. The semi gloss paint is much thinner and does not get good coverage at all. I ended up switching back to the flat white paint to get full coverage after a few coats of the semi gloss paint were not doing the job. In the end they look great, but my mistake costed me a few extra coats of paint.

We also had to go back and re-install a new window stool since we ripped the old one out. We simply cut a piece of wood to match the length and depth and painted it white so the small amount that would be seen behind the desk would look nice. I used construction adhesive (liquid nails) to attach the wood to the random pieces of concrete that the previous stool was attached to.

The wood stool fit right in and I applied some pressure to make sure it was secure. 

Once the new stool was installed we needed to seal the gap left below the stool. When we ripped out the old stool, we found out that this had been taken care of with copious amounts of caulk. We wanted to fortify things a little bit better and I was planning on cutting some small wood slivers to fill the gaps and caulk the other minor gaps that were left. 

That, however, is not the route we too because...

The Engineer got some new toys. When we take on big projects we usually buy one larger tool item that we don't have to build our tool inventory. This time is was an air compressor with two nail guns and a staple gun. Since he was so excited to try it out, we decided to nail a small cover board over the gap. We used a scrap of 1" x 2" wood and cut it to the right length. 

The Engineer tested the first nail...

...and this face of smitten excitement did not go away for a few hours. Let's just say he is in love with his new toys and I'm lucky that everything in the house isn't nailed to the walls. 

After The Engineer fully secured the wood to the wall, I painted it grey to match the walls. After that we were ready to attache some legs. We started with the countertop overhang. At 35 inches, we had to shave about a saw blade's width from each leg to get everything to level up (our floor is no where level so the legs are at different heights).

To secure the legs, we screwed them to the underside of the countertop. To best hide the screws, we diagonally screwed in on the back side and countersank them. 

Wie simply drew a diagonal line and I kept The Engineer on track as we was pre-drilling the holes. This method got us close enough to where we needed to be since we weren't trying to hit a specific point. 

I am really pleased with the way the overhang looks with the legs. We debated several options for the end support and I love the result of our decision to go with legs to match the desk! I'll have to update you with a picture of that soon!

So we then started working on the desk and temporarily set the desk top in place. The back was supported on the window stool as it would be in the final instillation, and the front rested on a chair, a cooler, and two old textbooks.

At least there is one good use for old engineering books right?! This time we cut off about six inches from the legs to get them to fit. Again, since the floor in this room is not level, we were sure to measure the legs in their exact location. We even cut them a little bit long the first time around to be safe.

Because the desk is supported differently than the overhang, we opted for a different method to attach the legs. The desk is resting on the window stool in the back and the table legs in the front, and we screwed from inside the cabinet on each side into the side of the desk. We felt that we didn't need to go trough the trouble of countersinking screws in the legs to attach them to the countertop, so we simply used liquid nails to attach them. When we did this, we weighted the desk with other scrap pieces of counterop while it dried. We figured that if it turns out to be too loosy goosy in the future that we can always put screws in.

Wahoo look at that desk!

We still need to screw it in on the sides but I couldn't help sharing it! Hope you all have a great Memorial weekend!