Monday, October 19, 2009

before + after: ancient ikea desk


Many, many years ago (10!) I bought this desk. Steve and I had just moved in together and I needed something for the computer. Something small and not very computer-station-like (which is what all small desks were back then). It was hardly attractive, but the price was and it did the job. Over the years it’s been destined for the council clean-out pile every single time but always ends up staying. Steve used it as his desk until he took over Zak and Layla’s old room and nicked my old console because my plan was to buy this desk. But could I? No, because they had none for months. So I used this one temporarily and then decided I’d just tighten the screws, spruce it up with a paint job, wallpaper the pull-out tray and make a curtain to hide the hard-drive shelf. And here is how it turned out.


And I’m rather pleased. It’s not hideous now! And I managed to combine a few of my fave things: white paint, wallpaper scraps and black and white ticking fabric. 


I love that I can’t see the hard drive – that bugs me about all desks – they don’t often have somewhere to put the computer! And I also love that it deters little Layla fingers from pressing the on/off button while I’m using it!


And so, I still have shelves to install above and a filing cabinet to buy for beside it for the printer and the thousands of pieces of paperwork that won’t fit next to the harddrive, but for now it’s clean, tidy and useable, which is always a good thing.


I managed to save pieces of Layla’s dresser’s scraps to re-create the wallpaper patchwork on the pull-out tray – I’ll show you how to DIY in tomorrow’s project tuesday.
Until tomorrow… x

25 Responses to “before + after: ancient Ikea desk”

  1. Down Pillow says:
    Oohhh…I love it! The wallpaper & fabric are really cute details :)
  2. Christine Barter says:
    Hey, good on you. I am impressed. Just shows what a smidge of imagination plus a pinch of know-how and a dash of necessity can achieve…:D
  3. Amanda says:
    Being a lover of Scandinavian design and always on a budget I LOVE Ikea, but I love this twist on it too! What a beautiful piece it has transformed into!
  4. minigaga says:
    amazing Belinda, you can hardly recognize the once not so nice desk
  5. Rosie says:
    OMG! Looks so lovely! I would never have thought to hang fabric in front of the hard drive…I always just discount desks because they don’t have a door to hide it, but you have just opened up so many options! Thank you for inspiring me, AGAIN!
  6. Sara says:
    I love it! I also love the filing cabinet, I have something similar in size next to my desk and it works a treat. This one is way more stylish though. I am loving your home reno and looked back through your old blog recently.
  7. fat mum slim says:
    As always, you’re amazing!
    It’s a great little piece now. You must be pleased to have given into a new life. x
  8. Viv says:
    Looks great! I love that you’ve reused the scraps of wallpaper and the fabric looks great with the white paint job. You’ve inspired me to do something with our old desk xx
  9. Janette says:
    Fantastic, you are so inspiring Belinda. I love the curtin in the black and white ticking.
  10. Megan says:
    Looks great. Well done. Amazing what white paint will do to spruce things up. Not to mention wall paper and fabric.
  11. Amanda says:
    Wow Belinda! The transformation is amazing! You have done such a great job. I especially like how you used wallpaper on the pull-out tray and the curtain you created to hide the hard drive.
  12. Suyin says:
    lovely desk!, just a question on where you got your silver chair from?
  13. [...] before + after: ancient Ikea desk « the happy home [...]
  14. Belinda says:
    many thanks all! suyin, the desk is from Matt Blatt
  15. jen ramos says:
    Great!! I love how white can transform a space! :) ))
    Jen Ramos
    ‘Cards & Prints You’ll Love…’
  16. paula says:
    what a transformation. it doesn’t even look like the same piece, just beautiful.
  17. shelley t says:
    what a clever girl you are! fantastic belinda, it looks like a beautiful place to write. so crafty! x
  18. Katie says:
    I love it! I have a small question how did you hang the fabric in front of the hard drive? Can you move it to get to your hard drive or is it attatched at the top and bottom?
  19. Belinda says:
    hi katie – i’d like to say i did a professional job of the curtain but i just cut it to size and tacked it on the inside at the top. it’s such stiff fabric it just sits there nicely like a screen and because the opening is smaller than the cubby hole all the edges of the fabric are hidden from view. so to get to the harddrive i just open it from the bottom. so easy!
  20. Katie says:
    Thanks for that! I will definatly be giving that a go, I have 3 sets of little fingers in my house and for some reason the on/off switch is just so inviting ; )
  21. Mikaela says:
    What sort of white paint are you using? I recently painted my new work desk with a water based glass enamel, which looks great, but still seems tacky after a few days… Any suggestions?
  22. Jo says:
    I would love to know what sort of paint you used too. I have a wooden console table I am planning on painting white and would love the finish to look like your desk.
  23. Belinda says:
    mikaela and jo – i used an untinted white oil-based high gloss. it stinks to high heaven while you’re painting, is super sticky and so needs to dry totally inbetween coats but once done it’s a nice glossy non-sticky finish. i think the brand was wattyl for memory and i always get an exterior-suitable – i figure it’ll be slightly more hardy!

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