We’re really doin it Harry.

So excited! We are finally working on a big project again. We had put everything off for the summer since we were going to put up deck stairs and that was a pricey project, but whomp whomp it didn’t happen. SO, here we are- November- and starting something BIG. I mean big. OK, not really at all but it’s something and I’m pumped.

In our “family room,” a room right off the kitchen, we currently have a bunch of stuff from our old condo. It’s all stuff I still love, but it’s not totally functional and we don’t spend much time in there. The couches aren’t something I’d pick out, but they are wicked comfy. They have seen a LOT of naps. The desk is something that my grandparents had, and I love it- but again, not functional. Too small! And the printer has to hang out down the block on the new IKEA cabinets (before she was on a little desk I bought and refinished for J) and the TV is on a TV tray. Appropriate, right? Except that if you breathe on it, the whole thing will likely plummet (= not so safe for a 1 year old, so we have that exercise ball/desk chair jammed in there to keep him from it). We used to have a super cool big glass coffee table (that Jim & June passed to us!) but it was too menacing for a toddler, so it was replaced with the much safer and more functional upholstered storage ottoman. Oh, and those nutcrackers aren’t usually up there- I went all Christmas on the house a few nights ago. Seth’s grandparents gave him nutcrackers every year for Christmas when he was young, and although they weren’t the coolest back then (uh, I totally wanted a Gameboy Grandma, but thanks for the wooden doll!) we love the nostalgia they bring and I think they’re cool. Back on track.

I was inspired by Young House Love’s office space (shocker, right? Let’s get through a post without mentioning YHL…) here: http://www.younghouselove.com/2011/09/attack-of-the-13-foot-counter/. However, my windows are only about 20″ off the ground, so we’d have to either bisect the window (boo) or make the whole desk 20″, and I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this but we are sort of giants in this family so mini desk was out. I decided to split the desks into two and connect them with a window seat. I do love a window seat. We looked at Craigslist for cabinets but they were pricey still and nothing that was really jumping out at me. In the end, we deicded to build cabinets to suit (plus one side of the window is something like 55″ and the other is 51″, so custom building cabinets 2 different sizes is going to work best. We were going to have cabinets on the outsides and then skinny open shelving on the inside (against the windows) but then I found those gray file cabinets at IKEA for $40 a pop and they were the perfect measurements. Done and done. My dad got as excited as me (I think, at least I’m going to pretend he did) and went to work making the cabinets. He brought them up almost done yesterday and we started hammering away to get them finished. And then an hour later Jackson woke up and I had to ditch Dad the rest of the morning since Seth was gone to the ISU football game and I was single-parenting. But I caught an action pic of him here (don’t tell him, he hates his picture being taken and would die if he knew it was on the interwebs) (Also, world’s tiniest picture. I don’t understand technology too good):

So then he did his magic for a few hours with breaks to eat and play with J Man, and left me with a product that was ready to start making pretty. I began by filling the nail holes with putty, then giving it a light sanding (I think this is before sanding, but it’s not that exciting so I’ll save you looking at both pics):

Next I primed! Yes! It’s so exciting!! Note: Normally I am against priming. I feel that it’s a waste of time and money. It’s not. It’s totally worth it, especially when you’re painting furniture. So do it. I used a small (4″ maybe?) foam roller. Oh, and before priming I used a cloth to clean up all the sawdust from sanding. I’ve heard people using a liquid de-glazer, but I had this sticky cloth thing from another refinishing project I did a while back and it works really well! But it grosses me out to touch.

We decided to just lacquer the shelves since painting them would most likely get scratched. We have big plans for those shelves. I don’t want to give anything away but it involves slide-outs and hanging file holders. Shiver.

The next step is to get the paint on there (A dark shiny gray that looks good with the lighter gray wall paint) and then install them! We are going to put a base on the cupboards and also the IKEA cabinets to make them look like they go together. Dad is also starting on the desk top- he’s going to use oak flooring stained to match our woodwork. I know I said there is too much wood in the house, but I think this will help us achieve the “built-in” look we’re going for here.

Down the road we’re going to add some shelving above the desks and build in the TV. I also need to decide what fabric to use for the window seat. I really hope I don’t just get a gray… don’t let me! It’s so easy to swap out, I might as well go nuts, right? We’ll see what nuts means to me. Probably beige. Ha. We will also need to re-configure the furniture in there. Both of those couches are too much, so we’ll need to repurpose those in another part of the house and find something smaller, perhaps a few club chairs? I smell a Redeker’s trip in my near future…


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