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Hey you! Check out the brand new 2015 project plans for this desk! Then swing back over here to see the process in 3D! Then go back to the plans and build it yourself!

Want to know something interesting? Rachel has never had her own computer. Not even in college. She used the library and family PC. So over the holiday weekend we picked up a shiny new imac just for her. And where there’s a computer, there’s a desk. So we needed to get one of those, too…

I shelved my current project(s) and said, “I’ll build you a desk!” But what kind of desk, you say? Well, we hit-up pinterest and found this Pottery Barn (teen) Small Space Solutions Desk.

There isn’t a whole lot of space in our home so compact is key. And there aren’t any build plans out there for this desk, so I made my own.

Use the framing square to mark off the rough edge.

Picked up this guy last month, haven’t used a circular saw in a while.

Bought a quality blade. Note: If the wood starts burning and giving off smoke during your first cut…THE BLADE IS ON BACKWARDS! A friend told me that…

Once I get a clean cut to work with on one end, I use my tape to measure out the dimensions above.

If you’re using a tool you don’t have much experience using, it’s a good idea to give yourself some practice cuts.

I made about three (okay, four…) practice cuts before getting the nice straight edge you see before you.

Some 2×2’s for the legs. The store I grabbed my lumber at only had 10ft lengths and I can only fit 8 footers in my SUV. Ideally you’d be able to find pine 2×2’s in 6, 8 and 10ft lengths to save some money.

The under-frame that will support the legs and drawer is inset 1″. I used scrap pieces of the 2×2’s to mark-out and mock-up the positions of the legs.

Here’s my professional cut-list.

Rough fitting.


Mitered (45 degrees) support.

Fits in there nicely.

All four miter cuts placed.

Center drawer supports laid-out.

Front-view with the drawer cut made.

Look how nicely it slides out!

Before screwing, I glue. A thin bead of glue and spread the love with this cheap brush.

Use your pocket-screw system to put 3 in the sides…

And 5 in the back.

Here’s a close-up of me securing the legs. I used 2″ wood screws (center) and 1-1/4″ screws for the rest of the pocket holes in this project.

The belly of this beast.

So far so good! Due to inclement weather, it may be a day or two before I finish up the drawer and get to painting this!

Check back soon for the completed desk!
…I’m back! And so is the beautiful weather!

Time to tackle the drawer! Some pocket screws the hold the frame together.

Attached the frame to the front of the drawer. Sliding it in to make sure everything’s gravy. So far so gravy.

I purchased a 2×4 of 1/8″ thick plywood. I’m just tracing it around the frame and about to cut it with the circular saw.

Throwing on the 14″ bottom-mount slides.

Here’s what it looks like underneath.

I secured the corresponding slides like so.

Here’s a close-up for ya.


small space desk
It fits in…but will it shut?!

IT SHUTS! Just like a real drawer!

small space desk
Almost professional looking! Almost.

I get a camera-lady on Saturdays.

So here I am painting it white.

Not throwing on a really thick coat, just a light one.

It looks pretty sharp white. Sharp and BORING. Let’s experiment a little…

I used 100grit paper and started sanding away.

Once I exposed some of the grain, I went over everything with the dark walnut stain.

Here’s what it looks like all scratched up and about to be clear-coated…

All finished.

I think it looks pretty wild.

small space desk
What do you think?


One stay at home dad (to be) conquers DIY and Diapers

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Laurie

    Great job…I love it! Can’t wait to see it painted!

  2. Robbie

    Hah, don’t think Laurie got that it was supposed to be ‘roughed up’. Looks great man, you’ve got some cool projects that this dad-to-be will be tackling starting next week.

    Question: How is having a work place in the baby’s room working out? Are you able to get stuff done? Just curious since my current home office is my couch and lap.

    1. Rick

      Robbie- Haha, yeah. Most people love or hate the roughed up look. Thanks! To answer your question, yes and then…NO! For the first 6 months or so I got a lot of use out of the work space. But once the baby goes mobile, all bets are off! To give you an example, I had about 2 hrs of design work to do one day last month, and it took me three times as long with a walking/crawling baby.

      Good luck, let me know if you have any other questions!

  3. Mike

    Great Blog, love the detailed step by step photos, content and captions…great attention to detail. BTW: What’s the story with that driveway? What did you coat that with? It shows up in one of the “Saturday” photos… Keep up the great projects!

    1. Rick

      Hey Mike- Thanks for the kind words! I’ll be posting a SketchUp plan for this very shortly, as I cut a few corners documenting it the first time around. As for the driveway, it was a brand new house so a brand new driveway as well. I suppose it’s tar or some sort of construction grade sealant they use. Sorry I can’t be more specific about that! Check back soon I’ve got a lot of cool posts in the works!

  4. Jay

    It looks awesome now if you can only build one for me.

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