Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It Wasn't A Lie...A New Project!

 I know I mentioned that our pantry was going to be the last big project for a while. We finished it three months ago and have been thoroughly enjoying the massive amounts of storage and visible containers full of everything from cereal to brown sugar to macaroni pasta. I heart an organized pantry!

But we just found out that one of us will be working from home full-time in the next few months. And it isn't the pilot one of us.

To accommodate this new arrangement, we needed to increase Hubby's desk workspace so he could do work things until the clock chimed three, and then he could do fun stuff like play his video games and sit to contemplate life in general. He needed the surface area to do work and play in one place, without having to move everything with each new use. 

We lucked out a few weeks ago and scored some free cabinets from some neighbors that were trying to get rid of them post-kitchen-gutting. They've since been sitting near our fireplace in the dining room while awaiting a new lease on life. Free is always good, but we didn't know what to put on top.

While I was out of town last week, I suggested Hubby take a look at the Habitat for Humanity Restore to see if any possible items existed for cheap that we could reinvent for the new top of the desk. He found a perfect piece...a flat and massive door, and was able to get it home with the help of an aunt with a truck. This thing is a 95 x 34 inches, there was no way Co-ROW-lla could fit such a monster! He wouldn't tell me what he found until I had a chance to see it in person. Is this guy trying to teach me patience at every opportunity or what?!

When I finally got home and met it in person, I fell in love. In fact, we like it so much that we probably won't even stain the color to darken it. After we clean it up and add a few coats of polyurethane for protection, the desk top should be ready to go!

The cabinet bases may take a little more work, since I am an avid oak cabinet hater. We even changed them in our kitchen before moving in. These babies will be primed and painted a beautiful white to offset the wooden top. I've been waiting for my favorite home bloggers, Young House Love, to be finished with their cabinet painting process so we could be sure to do it right. They posted their finished project today along with some tutorials, and I am now ready to begin our desk!

I wish that it was that easy. Hubby will first need to cut the cabinets and rebuild to the perfect size to support the new heavy wooden top. We are borrowing a neighbor's table saw this weekend and hope to make all the cuts necessary to create the new bases. After the rebuild, we can sand, prime, and paint the cabinets white to prepare them to go into the office. The painting (or more accurately, the drying) could take a week to complete. And that's if I'm home to get it done. But if we do it correctly this first time, the paint will last longer and look professional. 

You know I'm all about things looking good!

We will be switching sides of the office, since my tiny desk will happily fit on the opposite wall near the door. Things will be moved around to make room for the giant desk soon to be built. It will be awesome and huge and purdy, all in one!

Some of the things I am most excited about this new desk:

1) It's affordable. Even with the recommended fancy paint and primer for the cabinets, we will still be well under $100 for the entire project. Isn't recycling old cabinets wonderful?! It's a miracle that this is so cheap, considering its size.

2) Replacement! I have passionately hated Hubby's desk since I first laid eyes on it years ago. He would never let me even mention another option until now. That thing will find a new home in the bottom of a landfill, and it can't happen soon enough!

3) Hidden storage. I dare you to guess which desk is presently mine, judging from the pictures above. The new cabinet bases will offer Hubby tons of concealed storage for all of his goodies. They will be easy to access while keeping his neat-and-tidy wife happy with their appearance (a.k.a. out of sight). This is one of the few areas of the house that I feel I need to let be for Hubby's sanity, but no longer! We can just tuck his beloved items into the cabinet bases and call it good!

4) Convenience. Since Hubby likes playing video games from time to time on his desktop, this huge desk will allow him the ability to simply slide over a few feet from his work station and fire up his home computer. It took some sweet-talking, but he finally agrees that this is the best option for his soon-to-be-working-from-home situation.

5) Portability. The desk top is heavy enough that we don't need to screw them into the base cabinets. Which means, this desk can go anywhere when we need it to move! I love me some versatility like that!

I am so excited to have another project! Anything we can do to make this home even better, I am game. I will show the entire desk-making process soon. Hopefully we will have a brand-new, fully-functional office in the next few weeks!

Do you have any new projects in this new year? Any plans to tackle something?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Not My Usual View

It isn't every day that I travel commercially. And by that I mean that I own nothing of the proper TSA-approved size for carry-on materials. Though I travel for a living, I do it in a way cooler way and skip the security lines altogether. I'm spoiled, I know, but I'm not complaining about it one bit. I didn't let my shampoo keep me from enjoying a few days in Albuquerque this past week to visit some dear friends.

Though I don't have photos of us all together, I promise I actually visited people. We were just so busy catching up, cooking, hiking, and catching up some more that we forgot to take pictures until it was too late. Just let it be known that I have some dear friends in Albuquerque, and it was more than a treat to see them in person for the first time in over four years.

Four years is way too long, in my opinion. But we all decided that we won't let it happen again.

Since my airplane was down for maintenance, I flew out on Thursday after Hubby got home from work. My return flight on Saturday landed in time to enjoy New Years Eve with friends and family in town.

My main purpose for visiting the place where I lived before coming to Phoenix almost five years ago was to see my friends in person. We keep up electronically, but nothing can beat a smile or punch to the arm or sarcastic tone. We also cooked for two days straight to prepare for a New Years Eve party hosting over twenty teenagers! I still can't believe that the food wasn't gone by 8:00 PM but sure glad it lasted! The menu included: chicken and steak fajitas, chicken lettuce wraps, Oreo truffles, a chocolate fountain with all sorts of goodies to dip, a vegetable tray, spinach artichoke dip with baguettes, cheesy sausage dip with tortilla chips, parmesan pull-apart bread, chips and crackers, and sparkling cider to ring in the new year. It was fun working together in the kitchen to get everything ready.

It was such a treat to leave town to visit...something I never get to do because of work. I only wish I could have gotten pictures of the three of us together. I will make sure that happens when they come visit me this coming spring!

(Hint Hint)
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