Home Office In Progress: My Desk

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I am very thankful IKEA exists! I could not pull my house together (without significant financial distress) if it were not for businesses like IKEA. Raising a family on one full-time income at this time is exceptionally challenging and I do not want to forgo personalizing this home based on my tight finances. Hence, my love for IKEA.

We decided our spare bedroom would become a home office/workout room. Although the small space was already outfitted with an office desk from American Furniture Warehouse, the space was not designed with two people in mind. As an amateur writer, it does not always bother me to plop down in a chair or on the couch to write using my laptop. Longer writing sessions though call for a designated space. With my husband in law school, I cannot always compete for the original desk.

IKEA and its affordable designs are becoming mainstays in my place. Let me just say I also love their advertising (see below).

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I also love the one about the divorced dad recreating his son’s bedroom. You can check it out here.

I know there are many families, like ours, that run into tight financial circumstances.  Others desire to spend less on things like furniture, housing, and dining out to fund other short or long term goals (higher education, family expansion, travel, a career change, etc.).      After making a number of moves, I became more and more hesitant to make expensive furniture purchases and more particular when picking higher priced pieces.

I continue to see that western style furniture is too large and heavy to go “just anywhere.”  For this reason, I’ve had to part ways with a Cal King cherry wood bed, its matching armoire, and dresser.  I’ve also sold a beautiful oversized fabric and leather couch.  When I thought we would move to Okinawa, Japan and our housing accommodations would be even smaller than the rooms in our 1950’s Wyoming rental, it was important to downsize on furniture as much as possible.  The upside was also spending less money on furniture.

I was a bit of a mess scouting around for my own office desk.  I am a bit more of a mess when spending money on furniture since I’ve dealt with two past periods of unemployment.  I know if I’m spending a lot on a piece of furniture it better be a piece I want to have in my own house for 10+ years.  If I’m shopping around for an inexpensive piece to replace something worn out or out-of-style, I still want it to be functional and fit into my design aesthetic (as much as possible).  I also hope after the furniture is no longer needed by our home, we can donate it to another family (or person) in need.

It’s important to know, in case I haven’t mentioned it before, but the majority of IKEA purchases require DIY skills.  My desk fits into this particular category.  I seriously recommend bringing a friend over (if you don’t have a partner/sibling/incredibly helpful neighbor available) to help build any large piece of furniture you buy from IKEA.  Invite them over for pizza and beer (or their other favorite vice).  IKEA also offers delivery and assembly services, if you don’t mind fork over some extra money or don’t want to impose on those closest to you for assistance.

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My desk in progress:

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Sometimes I seriously wonder how many allen wrenches IKEA “sells” since these little guys are in nearly every “put it together” piece of furniture I can think of; we still needed to use another wrench but that’s probably more a reflection of our skills and less IKEA’s manufacturing. Perhaps…

I do love my desk though.  I love it more than my work desk.  For only $179 I got something that is very practical, visually appealing, and has the right amount of storage without imposing on my foot space.  I love the metal legs and the gray color.  Ok, I adore the gray color.  (Yes, I also have plans to paint the exterior of this home gray but that’s another adventure for years down the road.)  Gray is beautiful even if not everyone agrees with me.

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My desk is a beautiful addition to this home and while it doesn’t have a beautiful/highly functional/ergonomic chair to match (yet) we’ll get there someday. Today is just not that day and tomorrow isn’t either.

It’s almost my bedtime and I have a partly taped downstairs hallway calling my name tomorrow after work. I definitely need my sleep.

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