A desk is perhaps the single most important piece of furniture in an office. It is usually the centre of someone’s work-based universe, and it is home to computers, telephones and paperwork. Most people ignore aesthetic appeal and buy a standard working desk from stores that specialise in such furniture. However, there are a growing number of people who want to add a little individuality to their office space; this is particularly the case for home-based offices. A great way to add a spectacular focal point to any working area is by making a desk from everyday items left lying around homes, tips or offices. Making a desk from recycled materials is a great way of creating an eco-friendly piece of furniture whilst having some fun during the creative process. There are several options for people to consider when creating an original office desk; here are just a few of them.
An Old Door
An old door that has been earmarked for disposal may make the perfect desk surface. Doors are always being removed during large property renovations, and it may just take a polite word with a builder to secure a completely free one. It is important to measure the space where the desk will be situated before the work begins; the average door will create a finished desk that will be eighty inches wide. The depth of the desk will be around twenty-eight inches, and will therefore require two supporting ends of roughly the same size. The advent of computerised file storage has left many old metal filing cabinets redundant, and many of them can be picked up for free or for nominal amounts.
One flat door and two metal filing cabinets will form the basis of this type of homemade desk. The work should begin by preparing the door for its new role as a work-surface. The door’s handle should be carefully removed before the surrounding area is sanded down. Depending on the design, the resultant hole can be left for computer and telephone cables to be neatly fed through. Sandpaper should then be used to create a completely smooth surface across the entire door; care should be taken to ensure the corners and edges are given smooth finishes. The door may then be given a varnished coating or painted with gloss paint. However, some people may prefer the wood-look of the door’s natural state. The metal filing cabinets may be left as they are, or they can be colour-coordinated by using spray-paints. The door can then be simply lowered onto the filing cabinets to create the desk. Lighter doors may require a little adhesive to ensure they don’t slip out of place.
Desks which are intended for home-use should always be a little more attractive than those which are destined for a life in the office. Many people have decided to reuse discarded shelves to create eye-catching desk arrangements in the home. These unusual arrangements may include old or unwanted planks of wood which can be reclaimed from building sites or property renovations. Bed-side cabinets are ideal pieces of furniture for the supporting ends, and they can be sourced very cheaply from house clearances, car-boot sales and second-hand shops.
The shelves should be sanded down to provide a smooth working surface. It is then always a good idea to apply a wood-stain varnish; walnut-stain is a great option for people with other items of dark-wood furniture in the room. The shelves should then be lowered into place, side-by-side, onto the bed-side cabinets. Many people paint their cabinets to match the desk’s new surface; however, finding some brightly-coloured cabinets may provide a pleasing contrast against the dark-wood surface. Once in place, the individual shelves or planks should be connected together with a spare piece of wood and some substantial nails. The doors on the cabinets can be left on; however, it may be a good idea to remove them to reveal an open-plan storage area.
Many people have bits of old furniture sitting in their garages, garden sheds or spare rooms. With a little imagination and some technical know-how, many of these everyday items can be adapted to create some truly original desks. One great idea involves the creation of a corner desk. Old bookshelves can be used as two of the supporting ends, and old table legs can be utilised for the third support structure. The surface can easily be cut from MDF, or it can be made with spare timber or shelving.
One of the most stunning examples of a desk made from recycled materials involves the use of old books. A sturdy wooden base is created on which the books will sit. The main structure of the desk is then built in much the same way as a brick wall. A work-surface is then fitted on top of the books; glass and wooden surfaces are extremely popular. This type of structure usually requires a little knowledge of structural physics; however, there are a few online guides which outline the basic principles.
For rooms where space is scarce, there are a number of clever design ideas which can create functional work areas using everyday items of furniture. A normal bookcase can be adapted for use as a small desk. One of the bookshelves can act as a supporting structure, and old table legs can be used to support the opposite end of the work-surface. Floating desks are attached to the wall, and they are ideal ways to create practical uses for small areas of redundant space. People who are thinking about buying a new desk for their home or office should check their garages, lofts, spare rooms and garden sheds first; there may be some unusual and innivative desks just waiting to be made.
Written on behalf of laminate floor specialists Floors 2 Go