Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Work space

In our old apartment we had plenty of space and yet still ended up working at the dining room table most of the time. Our dining room table wouldn't even fit in our new apartment (still working on a dinner party solution!), so we decided to make the "dining room" space connected to our kitchen more functional. We installed shelves, D put counter height cabinets in against one wall to increase our work/storage space and now we've finally finished setting up our work station!

work area
{work area}

Our computers live here and we eat here whenever we don't eat on the coffee table. Super classy around here. I couldn't give up the storage space of the little built in cabinet next to the stove, so I just took the door off on its hinges and asked our landlord to put it in the basement. I have easy access to all my cookbooks, which is especially nice since I usually end up doing our meal planning here anyways.

Here's a clearer shot of the table and cabinet combo.

new desk
{new desk}

The tabletop is from Ikea and D ordered the hairpin legs online (they're the 28" standard raw steel). The cabinet is also from Ikea and we waited MONTHS until we finally found one in the as-is section (we were also checking Craigslist). I hate paying full price for Ikea furniture. The rug is from West Elm.

We're sticking with a lot more white in this new apartment because it makes everything feel more open.

We'd just put it all together when the first photo was taken, which is why the work space is so clear. I'd love to say it looks like this all the time but we inevitably accumulate papers and pens and other detritus. We're trying to be good about it because the space is so visible, but man, it's difficult. I'm hoping the cabinet helps with that.

Previously, in our new apartment ...
Open shelving on the wall
Custom cabinets
Deep drawer inserts
Pot shelf
Hanging art
Reducing the pantry


  1. I love it! I have a thing for white spaces so this totally appeals to me! It looks so clean, streamlined and multifunctional. I'll have to show my hubby. :)

  2. I'm so impressed with your mad organization skills! If my dishes were on exposed shelving I'm not sure they could look that pretty.

    1. You're sweet, but this is less any skill of mine and more luck! All our dishes are white and all our glassware is clear, so it manages to look cohesive without much effort on my part. It would have been much more difficult if we still had our mismatched hand me downs from several years ago!

  3. Idea for dinner parties -- when my parents moved from our farm house in Illinois into a much smaller spanish hacienda in San Diego, our big farm house dining table had to go. So, they went to home depot and bought two pieces of Formica that they keep in the garage to put on top of our smaller dining room table when they host large parties - one that seats 8 and one for 10. The smaller piece could definitely fit under a queen size bed when not in use!

    1. This is such a good idea! Sadly, we have no space for a dining room table of ANY size, so if we were going to entertain our dining room table would have to go smack dab in the middle of our living room, where our coffee table is (and next to our couch, sigh). We're hoping to design a convertible coffee table because otherwise I'm not sure where we would stash the coffee table once we put the dining room table in place. It's like Jenga around here!

  4. White spaces just make the room look clean and crisp! Lucky you can have a space for your computers... I'm still using my dining room table for everything haha

  5. Have you ever written a post about your cookbooks? I love your updates about what you've been reading. It seems like we lean towards the same things (Agatha Christie, Peter Heller, Life After Life, books about people transforming their lives) so I often take your recommendations to heart, but I don't think I've ever left a comment. Anyway, I would love to know which cookbooks you love the most and which you cook from the most.

    1. I haven't and I should! I tend to use the internet so much more than my cookbooks now, which is a little sad. I've noticed that the books I really rely on are the ones I used when I was first learning to cook for my family. I've been thinking I need to go through and donate the ones I don't use at all and that might be a good time to write about the ones I love.

      Always love hearing from a fellow mystery fan!

  6. I'm a huge fan of Ikea office furniture, whe we moved I designed my whole new craft room/office around the Expedite and Alex range - it's handy because when I eventually have to move into the smaller room (apparently when we have kids they'll need my office as a bedroom...I keep pointing out that as I'm older i shoudl get the bigger room but apparently thats unreasonable! lol) I know I'll be able to jig it around enough to fit everything in...and if I can't then we'll just have to build an extensions, you cannot part me from my sleek white desks and shelves!!

  7. How do you like the 23" depth on that Ikea workspace? I am really considering getting it, but sort of wish it was a little bit bigger. Is is large enough for computers and craft projects? Just curious, and thank you so much for the tip! Also, was it a problem installing the hairpin legs with the previous holes drilled into it for the Ikea legs?

    1. I'm pretty happy with the depth, actually! It's perfect for computer work and paper work. It's fine for some crafts but I agree that for serious crafting you'd want a wider surface if possible. I usually end up at my coffee table so I can watch TV while I work anyways, so that isn't a big issue for me. It would be fine for my sewing machine, though, if I was ever motivated enough to dig it out.

      We didn't use any of the pre-drilled holes for the legs, and D put the legs on, so I asked him to explain it ...

      "The area where the holes are is "solid" - meaning that it is all particle board rather than the hollow core fill throughout the middle of the table top. So anywhere the holes are predrilled you can basically drill in your own holes. With the hairpin legs I tried to keep the bracket about 1/2" from the table edges so I could be sure to drill into the particle board but not see the edge of it when in use."

      Hope that's clear!


Trying captchas this time - better or worse than having to log in to comment? Let me know! Sorry for all the hoops but the spam has been terrible lately!