Saturday, July 23, 2011

How to Turn a Wardrobe into a Desk (and other transformations)

Last year, I bought a condo and, over a 6 month period, fixed it up. By the time I was done with the the renovations, I couldn't afford any new furniture and planned to slowly update my old furniture over time. I have most of the items I need but, my old furniture is reaching the end of it's life. Most of it was purchased about 12 years ago from Ike@ and, while Ike@ furniture certainly fulfils a purpose, it is not known for it's longevity. In addition to dealing with increasingly wobbly tables and some punctured particle board, I am so done with pine. I want to get rid of it ALL.

But, I have no money. And, because I have a big project in the works, I am not likely to have any money for a very, very long time. One day, as a was feeling sorry for myself and my "college student" furniture, I had a brain wave. I realized that I could transform my underused white wardrobe into a desk, thereby starting a chain reaction of furniture rearrangement that would allow me to, not only sell my old pine desk and make some money for a new piece of furniture, but to repurpose a lot of what I already own. Win-win!

My old pine desk (it looks like a wardrobe, but was secretly a desk). Sold to a good home.

Once I made the decision to make this change, nothing could stop me. I spent three whole days reorganizing, moving furniture and selling my desk. The furniture domino the sale of my desk created was huge. The desk was replaced by my white wardrobe (now desk), the white wardrobe (which held quilting supplies) was replaced by a dresser I kept in the front hall, the hall dresser (which held bags and hats and mitts) was replaced by an empty chippy toy box that I had stored in my bedroom closet. I was able to sell my old desk for a decent price and I used the funds to buy a kitchen table and a bookcase (both used, solid wood and painted white). Getting a new-to-me kitchen table allowed me to move my old kitchen table (actually a large night stand) to where it belongs, the bedroom. The new-to-me bookshelf allowed me to remove one more pine-like (*not real pine*) item out of my main living space and into the spare bedroom.

Wow! I feel like I have almost all new furniture, at absolutely no cost to me. I do have some more replacements to make in the living room before I will be satisfied, but I am very happy with the outcome!

The biggest change I made was the wardrobe to desk transformation. Because I never actually sit at my desk and I loved the tidy and pet-proof nature of my old wardrobe-style desk, turning a real wardrobe into a desk was a no brainer for me.

My wardrobe, about to be transformed.

I cleaned out my quilting supplies.

And then I sawed a hole in the back panel to allow cords and cables to exit.

Easy peasy!

Once that was done, I loaded my new desk.

I even added some magnet and cork boards onto the doors for notes and keepsakes (this was an additional expense, but it didn't cost much).

The bottom drawer of my wardrobe/desk now holds gift wrapping supplies and the top drawer holds desk supplies such as some old letters, paper, envelopes, markers and pens. As you can see, my laptop, printer, lamp and some other miscellaneous desk supplies fit easily on the shelves.

I am so happy with the airiness my "new" tall and white desk provides. And, I love that thinking differently about my current furniture allowed me to make the changes I wanted without spending money that I don't have. In the picture below, you can see my "new" wardrobe style desk along with the new-to-me table and bookshelf that the sale of my old desk allowed me to purchase.

I won't be able to make my next series of changes (new coffee table, couch and TV stand) without some money, but now that I have managed to get a bit closer to the beachy, shabby-chic look I am after, I know that I can eventually make it happen.

Hopefully white furniture won't go completely out of fashion between now and then!