Parsons Project

So, our office was in a desperate state. Books everywhere. Three, count ’em three desks, all piled with papers – very important papers, mind you (well, most of them), but a clutter of STUFF, nonetheless. It simply wouldn’t do, and the husband was even more fed up with it than was I. Actually, I can live in clutter as long as things are relatively CLEAN – you know, the difference between “cluttered” and “unclean” (and there is QUITE a difference) – but since I used the office way less than Dave, I felt it only fair to put the axe to the grindstone. This is a partnership, after all. We’re all in this together. *insert other team-building cliches here*

Parsons Project - image  on http://megactsout.com
A rare Dave cameo.

My plan has evolved over time. It’s gone from tearing up the cheap, ugly, no-padding-used carpet (to our dismay, the floors underneath were treated poorly by the *grumble-so-and-so’s* who were the prior owners – they knew they’d be putting the rug down, so what’s a slop of paint between strangers? While they were at it, they drizzled white paint on the carpet, too) to creating a completely feng shui space for my creative cutie to write and work. Heck, I’ve even posted my frustrations about this space in the past. Between the “big life changes” going on around notre maison (everyone calls their house a “casa”, but I received our Bringing up Bebe book today so was inspired to try out my rusty French skills — hey, it’s Mardi Gras!!) and the “dude, get on that already”-inspired challenge I’m setting for myself, I figured I’d better get things goin’ in this room, be them perfect or not.

The ultimate goal: Declutter by any means possible. This meant moving Dave’s childhood (but space-sucking/only-used-for-storage) desk into the basement. Don’t worry, we’re saving it for future generations…it’s safe down there. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It also meant doing away with Dave’s cheap-o, press board computer “workstation”. But, this isn’t all about Dave doing away with his stuff. It just happens that my desk was in the best shape of all three, and I had something else in mind for my own work space (that could hopefully help make an office in a future house more stylish and feng shui-able).

My idea was inspired by, of COURSE, a project undertaken by the folks at Young House Love which involved creating one’s very own parsons table/desk (or a facsimile thereof) using an interior hollow-core door. Since this was my first of such project, I already know that mine is wobblier, rougher and generally more flawed than it should be…but it still looks pretty good and I’ve got a husband that couldn’t be prouder. So, in hopes of not being too premature, I’d say “mission: accomplished”!

We purchased the lumber and had the hollow-core door trimmed down to a manageable size. Man, did that Lowe’s worker look at me like I was a crazy lady! I found a small piece of trim to “finish” that side (although it doesn’t fit *perfectly* – no one would notice but me, probably). I used brackets to attach the legs to the “top”, then “trimmed” out the front and sides (none in the back) below the top. Here are a few “before” shots of the room for a better idea of what we were working with:

Parsons Project - image dffff-daveathisdesk on http://megactsout.com
Dave’s side of our disorganized craziness.

Parsons Project - image  on http://megactsout.com
“My side” of the office. For the record, that’s not all my stuff. It’s a mutual mess.

Parsons Project - image  on http://megactsout.com
Even after we removed the third desk (from the right side), it was still…well, embarrassing.

Aaaaand here’s some of the building process:
ย  Parsons Project - image  on http://megactsout.com

Soon-to-be table/desk legs that almost killed our saw. Note the burn marks.

Parsons Project - image 44c16-helperwinston on http://megactsout.com

ย Wee Wee and his sidekick, S.U., “helping.”

Parsons Project - image  on http://megactsout.com

Spackling (well, wood putty-ing) a bit of the end trim job.

Parsons Project - image  on http://megactsout.com

Aaaaand a variation of this is what my poor husband had to deal with for well over a week. This or an in-process version (first coat of primer, second coat of primer, first coat of white semi-gloss, etc). But, finally, as a belated birthday present (or a way to say “I’m sorry for the mess!”), I finally cleared off my desk for the 2012 Great Desk Shuffle. This involved clearing off both desks, moving his “workstation” to the garage (so much easier said than done!), shifting my old desk to “his side”, and scooting the faux parsons table into its new home.

Parsons Project - image  on http://megactsout.com
ย Work in progress…
Parsons Project - image  on http://megactsout.com

Parsons Project - image  on http://megactsout.com

This is where I’ll leave you. Dave’s got lots more on and in his desk now (it looks really good, in my humble opinion), but we’re still working out the organizational logistics. I’m also hoping to get a lengthy floating shelf from IKEA (courtesy a dear friend who lives much nearer to one) to go above my space, and we’ll both be sifting through still more “stuff”.

It already feels so much more spacious and organized, even with the crap still laying in piles. I’ll be sure to share the organizational tricks we’re using (yep, I’ve already got a few tricks up my sleeve, mwahaha) and the final, handsome space when it comes together. There may be lots of work involved, but it is therapeutic to make your space a lot more enjoyable, usable and fresh.

*On a side note, just gotta admit publicly that I’m not in love with the office wall color. It was one of many VERY early color decisions that we made, and while it’s a neutral tan, I see more pink and darkness in it than I’d like. I’m also no longer in love with our green/burgundy vibe (not sure I was ever in love with it…yeah, I should’ve broken up with it awhile ago) and want to come up with an improvement to the curtains. It needs to be a happy, creative, airy space, and I’m going to get it that way if it kills me! Er…let’s take the drama back a few notches…I’m going to get it that waaaaayyyyy uuummmm with lots more online researching for inspiration (ie Pinterest and blog reading, holla!) and hopefully some thrifty finds. Yeah. Like I said, the ultimate goal is for a peaceful, creative, organized space to share with Dave, since he spends a lot of his time at home here. It’s a labor of love more than anything.

4 thoughts on “Parsons Project”

  1. I love that you made this desk. I always look at Young House Love for ideas and I love love love their them but usually I'm too nervous to do any of it. The desk looks really cute and functional! Good work! -Cara

  2. Aw, thanks, Cara! ๐Ÿ™‚ YHL is definitely my faaaaaavorite. I figure that I'd rather try it and see how I do…even if I mess up in the end. I get frustrated when things don't go perfectly, but there's always a lesson to learn for next time. I'm only hoping to get better as I keep going! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Go for it, girl, you're one of the most creative people I know!

  3. Kill the heavy curtains – hate them (sorry) and go with swags and sheers – light filtering and airy – love the work space and that you made it!!!!!

  4. Thanks for the advice, Marianne! We actually switched the previous window treatment out because it wasn't our style – and it happened to be a swag. Not a fan of those! But, we'll be sure to try something more lightweight!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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