My Pottery Barn Desk Hack


I'm not sure if I'm the only one on earth who's like this, but my design style is always changing.  I am always changing my furnishings and home decor.  I consider myself a pretty eclectic person when it comes to home decor.  I like a lot of different styles from Hollywood Regency to Modern.  I've always loved industrial style.  I love the idea that items that were once in a factory can be furnishings in my own home.  Last summer I bought a factory cart to use as a coffee table in our basement and it fits in perfectly.  It reminds me of a different time.  I love buying something old and doing some research to find out it's history.


I've seen so much industrial design in magazines, design blogs and stores lately.  One item in particular that stood out to me was a desk I saw on Pottery Barn's website.  The fans on the wall are amazing as well as the giant abacus, but the one thing that I fell in love with was that incredible desk.  It almost looks like it could have been in an old school or office in a previous life.


 I was checking out Goodwill a couple of weeks ago.  I get a 'feeling' that I need to make a visit and this was one of those times where my 'feeling' was right.  I found two honey oak filing cabinets for $18 each.  They had great brass hardware on them and were in OK shape.  I bought one and took it home for additional office storage.  That night when I was trying to sleep I kept thinking about the filing cabinet and then it dawned on me....That Pottery Barn Desk!!!  I went in and measured and the filing cabinet was the same height as my current glass desk.  I decided to go back to Goodwill the next day and if the desk idea was meant to be the other filing cabinet would still be there. I was beyond excited when I ran to the back of Goodwill and it was still there!!

Here is a before picture of one filing cabinet (minus the brass hardware).


Good bones, but the color wasn't my first choice.  


In my mind I kept thinking I could reuse the glass desk top from my current desk for the project.  However, I knew in the back of my mind this wasn't going to work.  Sure enough once I was done painting the cabinets I realized this idea wasn't going to work.  The glass looked ridiculous and was far too big, plus it was nowhere near what I had envisioned this desk to be.  This meant I needed to make a stop at Lowe's, where I found the perfect desk top....an unfinished, solid wood panel.  I one of the employees cut a foot off the end of the panel and then brought it home.

After some wood glue to fix some issues, the cabinets were ready for paint.  I painted them Annie Sloan Old White and topped them with some clear wax.  For the hardware, I took it off the cabinet and sprayed them Oil Rubbed Bronze.  After everything was done I took a bit of sandpaper to the cabinets to give them a bit of age and character.

For the desk top I used a combination of Dark Walnut and Kona stain.  I felt the panel was too 'new' looking so I banged on it with some tools to give it some dings and character.  





After I was done with staining the top I decided it needed something else so I added a number.  My Husband thought I was crazy.  I went in the house and printed a number 2 on regular computer paper.  I found where I wanted to put the number and then traced the outline with a pencil.  It left a nice little indentation in the wood.  I was out of black paint so I thought I'd try a Sharpie instead.  It worked great!  After the number was filled in, I distressed it a bit to make it look like it had been there a long time.  I really wanted the top to look like it had been a piece of wood I found in an old factory.  I finished off the whole desk stop with a couple of coats of dark wax.



I couldn't wait to see the desk all put together.  I had my fingers crossed that my 'vision' would match the end product.

Here is the finished desk.  I'm in love!


I like the painted hardware so much better!








I had purchased these old film reels from a tag sale site last spring for the Hubby to put in the basement.  He never used them so I decided to use them in the office instead.



 When the Hubby saw the 2 on the desk he asked me why I on earth I picked that number, but I honestly have no idea!  It was the first number that came into my mind.  My mind works in mysterious ways :-)





I'm happy with how this project turned out.  I now have a desk that is uniquely mine.  I like my take on the Pottery Barn desk better than the inspiration desk!  Plus I like the price of mine a heck of a lot better!!  The cost of my new desk was a whopping $66 including tax!  It's perfect for me and my ever changing decor.

I'm working on a few new posts right now that I can't wait to share with you!  One piece I just I finished this weekend and it's one of my all-time favorite pieces.  All that's left is to take some pictures of the finished piece and get it delivered to it's new home.

Thank you for reading and let me know what you think.  Am I the only person out there that loves to change up their decor all the time?

Have a great week!

Melody


Linking To:




52 Mantels

Beyond The Picket Fence


TheRusticPig

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Photobucket



Furniture Feature Fridays

Liz Marie Blog

Amy


68 comments:

  1. Love it! It's just gorgeous! Wonderful job Melody!!

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  2. That is amazing!! Those cabinets were meant to be yours....awesome job!!

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  3. I actually like your desk better than pottery barns!

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  4. LOVE YOUR DESK AND ALL THE ACCESSORIES! i would love to feature it if that would be ok drop me a line,
    lauren

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  5. Amazing, simply amazing. If I ever find two file cabinets like the ones you found I'm going to make the same exact desk. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. That looks awesome! Love the dark top/ light bottom. They look so completely different- consider me inspired!

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  7. You nailed it!! It came out perfect--even better than PB!
    Susan
    SunflowerHugs

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  8. Totally awesome! It's perfect! Just joined your site....would love to have you visit me at pinecreekstyle.blogspot.com
    Your newest follower, NeeCee

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  9. This is fantastic! Love it!

    -andi

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  10. I like it better than the PB one...yes, I do change a lot with my house, now I feel better though since I know your the same way:)

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  11. Whoops...forgot to say that I'm your newest follower, stop by when you have a minute!

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  12. This turned out so good! I have a really nasty looking filing cabinet that my husband found at an estate sale! I have hope now that it will look good one day ha! I would love if you would share this over at our blog hop http://www.ablossominglife.com/2013/03/frugal-crafty-home-blog-hop-16.html

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  13. Wow, you did a fantastic job! Love it ;)
    Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

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  14. LOVE!!! Featuring it at The Rustic Pig this afternoon!! :) Hugs! Claire

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  15. LOVE!!! Featuring it at The Rustic Pig this afternoon!! :) Hugs! Claire

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  16. Nicely done! I love your desk and the beautiful styling too!

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  17. It looks beautiful. And I like yours better too! The white with the stained wood top looks amazing!

    Brie @ Breezy Pink Daisies

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  18. Popping over from Elizabeth and Co. I love it! Great job on the desk. I also love the bedsprings up there on the wall! :)

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  19. This is such a great project! I have two filing cabinets that were both dumpster dive rescues and they are the perfect height. I have thought about doing this exact same thing with them. I love how your project turned out. I am sharing on my Facebook page, so many people could make good use of those old cabinets! I am visiting from Elizabeth and Company, I would love if you would come by Redouxinteriors.com, Thursday afternoon-Sunday night to join my link party too! Have a great week. -K

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  20. What a great job!! I love it all! I need to add you to my WoW Wednesdays!<3

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  21. FANTASTIC!!!! You really pulled off a makeover & a half! Mad props!

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  22. Applause, applause! That is a wonderfully creative space. You are right - yours is much better looking than the PB one. PLUS you styled yours with such interesting items.

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  23. Mother Clucker!
    That is one rockin;' desk!
    reat Job Momma!

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  24. So. In. Love! Pinned to make :) I'm following you on facebook and bloglovin.
    I’m visiting from Wow us Wednesday. I hope you can stop by my blog and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    www.vmg206.blogspot.com

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  25. Wow! I love your desk! I think it is better than the pottery barn desk! Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic project at Silver Pennies Sundays!

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  26. Really impressive!
    home-hearted.blogspot.com

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  27. loved inspiration but love your better....the price is perfect...I need 4 so I can make a L for my hubby, so over his glass desk!

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  28. This looks amazing! Great job. found you over at MMS. Congrats on being one of her favs!

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  29. I love this project and how you accessorized the whole desk...very industrial chic- LOVE it!

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  30. HAPPY EASTER!
    Thanks so much for linking to Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill. You are being featured later today!
    I hope you are having a wonderful Easter weekend, and join me this evening for Make the Scene Monday #68!

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  31. Talk about a vision coming to life. You did an amazing job. I will be featuring this tonight at my Swing into Spring party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks. http://diybydesign.blogspot.com

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  32. I saw you featured on DIYbydesign and hopped over. I LOVE this... you did a fabulous job and I seriously LOVE the way you styled it! Looks amazing:)
    Krista @thehappyhousie

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  33. You are a true inspiration!! I have just found this blog and it may be my new favourite!! Feel free to drop by my page and have a look around :) sherepurposedit.blogspot.ca

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  34. Hi Melody, I saw you on Hometalk. This looks AWESOME! Your pictures look like they came straight out of a PB magazine. Well done! I'm pinning this because I have two metal filing cabinets that I would like to repaint and make into a desk for my craft room. Too bad they're not wood like yours, but we make due, right? Congrats on a job well done!

    Debbie

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  35. So cool!!! I love how the filing cabinets look rustic. The whole scene reminds me of something from the pages of restoration hardware!

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  36. PS where did you find the movie reels on the wall? I'm looking for some for my husbands TV room. mageemommy at gmail dot com

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    1. I got the movie reels from a tag sale. I wish I had more! I love them.

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  37. This looks so great, and I love the springs above the desk. Where did you find the springs?

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    1. Thank you! I found them on the side of the road for free! My Husband thought I was insane for picking them up, but I couldn't pass them by.

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    2. Did you do anything to them or did they just come that size? It looks fantastic!

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    3. I share your passion for recycling and reusing.... You did an extraordinary job!!! I actually think I can use 2 sheet metal cabinets for a desk, I'm a teacher in Miami and my principal just gave me a brand new room but it has many countertops in the back which take up a lot of space, unfortunately they can't be removed. Do you have any suggestions to paint on metal? Thanks!!

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  38. Hello! That desk looks so great! You have done amazing job :)

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  39. Very cute! How did you attach the desktop to the cabinets?

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  40. That's amazing. Did you have the chair prior in the same paint color? Thanks

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  41. what are the dimensions for the desk top? I am having a hard time finding a big enough piece of wood.

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  42. That looks awesome!you did a fantastic job.I love your blog I will be book marking this page for sure.The online Bed Shop

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  43. Hi Melody - wow, what a great upcycle! You had me at Pottery Barn (I just finished an office makeover inspired by the same image on Pinterest). I was cheering for you when I read that the other file cabinet was still at Goodwill - don't you just love when that happens! Awesome job and a Must Pin and Follow!
    Marie@InteriorFrugalista

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  44. I was wondering how tall were those filing cabinets?

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    1. Teaven, the filing cabinets are standard 2 drawer height about 30 inches high. I hope that helps!

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  45. Hi Melody! Love this project and I have found 2 similar filing cabinets that are going to look great! Can you give a little more information on the top piece of wood? What size and how you attached to the filing cabinets?

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    1. Hi Adrienne, the wood is a panel that I purchased at a home improvement store. It was sealed in plastic and I believe it was birch. I had the store cut it down to the size I needed. You could use any solid, hardwood you can find. I measured my filing cabinets then figured out how big I wanted my leg opening to be. Then I figured out how long and deep I could go in my space. I never attached my wood top to the filing cabinets. I added rubber stick on tabs on the top of the filing cabinet to hold the wood on top. It's worked out great!

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    2. This is really helpful! Thanks so much!! Believe it our not, I found BALLARD DESIGN file cabinets on Craig's List for $50....one retails for $250 so it was quite the find. Now I am unsure about painting/distressing them, but they're definitely getting made into a desk. Will try and post a photo once it's done. Thanks again for the information - love your blog and am so inspired and impressed with your projects!

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  46. Do you think this would turn out just as great with two different types of wooden filing cabinets?

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    1. Kaleigh, I would think it would look best if they were the same due to height and symmetry, but hey you can always give it a try!

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  47. When you said you wanted to put a 2 on the desk I automatically thought of a No. 2 pencil. ;)

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  48. I have been struggling to come up with a sewing table/desk for my small 2nd bedroom PLUS I "just happen" to have 2 two-drawer file cabinets. How serendipitous is that?! I've been Google searching for a solid wood panel -- to no avail -- and will be headed to Lowe's or Home Depot to see what they can come up with. The length is gonna have to be dictated by the size of the wall it'll go against, but what about the "depth" (measured from the wall)? My file cabinets measure 16" and in your pics it looks like the top hangs over maybe an inch or so? Glad I found you!

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    1. I'm so glad you found me! If you go to Lowe's or HD you should be able to find the panels of wood. Mine was wrapped in plastic and had a label on it that said white birch panel, or something like that. Good luck!!

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  49. Hi there!! I just posted a round-up of project ideas using classroom supplies and included your fantastic filing cabinet desk DIY! Thank you so much for such an awesome idea- please find the full round up here: http://www.sadieseasongoods.com/upcycling-101-repurposed-school-and-classroom-items/

    Thanks again and craft on!
    Sarah (Sadie Seasongoods)

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  50. I love your the desk! We are going to be doing something similar! But I was curious where you purchased your chair?

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  51. Wonderful blog.. Thanks for sharing informative blog

    Office Cabinets

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  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. This is great! I wanted to try to make something similar. Is the wood you used for the top as wide as the cabinets or is it a bit wider? In the pictures it looks like the wood is placed a bit over the filing cabinets, but I can't tell if the same happens in the back. Thanks.

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  54. Love this! After staining, did you use any type of top coat?

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