I’ve been meaning to post these updates for a while…

so much so that you probably don’t even remember this little room we started working on before I ever moved in with Jeff.

office 4

I’ve put off this post because I keep telling myself I’m going to do more decorating, fixing, changing, etc…but I’m finding no room is ever going to be 100% complete. A few months ago, I swore to myself I’d never live with working projects, and that I’d complete each room before starting a new one. Wow, how the times change.

So for now, this room is the closest it’s going to come to finished! I’ve actually featured a few DIY projects from this room already, so see if you can spot them.

Finally, for the the “finished” product…

Office Before and After

office before and after 2

You may remember that Jeff and I decided to make this my office/dressing room/closet because we don’t really have enough space in our bedroom for both of our stuff, and this was the best use of the room when we moved-in together. I have to say, it’s been really nice having our “separate” spaces. Though if you just ask Jeff, he’ll claim that I really just have two rooms. 🙂

Dressing Room - Office 1 Dressing Room - Office 3 Dressing Room - Office 2

In order to get the room in tip, top shape we spray textured and painted the walls and ceiling, added and painted trim, put up new wood blinds, and finally added a new door. It’s amazing how much work one room can take!

As I mentioned earlier in this post, this room also features a few DIY projects we’ve talked about previously on this little blog and they’re all really just at my desk space, or as I like to think of it, Less Than Average Height World Headquarters.

Dressing Room - Office 4

Not only did we refurbish the desk, but I added some budget friendly wall art and push pin boards. I also bought the mirror at HomeGoods for under $70. So all in all, this desk area cost me just under $250!

vintage vanity chair

^^^I have one major thing left and that’s to figure out what to do with my grandma’s old vanity chair.^^^

I haven’t decided if I want to attempt to reupholster it myself or take it to a professional. If anyone has any advice let me know!

I hope you like all the changes!

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Shut the…

front door. 🙂

Finally, ours now shuts a little better, and looks a heck of a lot nicer. The best part is it practically looks brand new, without the “brand new” cost.

Front Door Before and After

The “before” photo doesn’t do it justice, but the poor door needed some major love. There were plenty of large dents and scratches in that thing that I was more than happy to see go.

On Saturday, Jeff spent most of the day (1) sanding, (2 & 4) priming, (3) removing old hardware, (6) painting, and then doing it all over again on the other side. (Not pictured: the putty used to fill the large dents.) Sure enough by the end of the day the door was looking great and ready to go back on it’s hinges!

Refinishing the Front Door web

While the shiny, new white paint looks great, I must say I’m loving our new deadbolt lock even more. It only requires a 4-digit code! Obviously, keys are so last year. 🙂

Front Door Lock

And best of all, it’s Cosmo approved!

Cosmo and the Front Door

Many thanks to Jeff for doing a majority of the work. I wanted to help, but I was afraid I’d just get in the way. 😉

Refurbishing a desk in six easy(ish) steps…

it depends on who you ask. I thought it was a little challenging at times, but for Jeff it was a piece of cake.

Jeff Sanding Desk

In case you were wondering (I’m sure you were on pins and needles), this is the project we worked on in the SUN last weekend that I bragged about sharing with all of you. I might have oversold it a tad, so I hope you’re not too disappointed. 🙂

Last week, Jeff and I took to Craigslist to see if we could find a small desk that would work for my little room. Luckily, we ended up buying the first one we found for only $30 dollars! Doing this instead of purchasing a new desk is more time-consuming, but definitely more budget-friendly. And these days, Jeff and I LOVE budget-friendly solutions. It’s all part of that being young and poor thing, right? At least that’s what we keep telling ourselves.

Desk Before

Since this project is more user-friendly than some of the others we’ve worked on, I thought I would walk you through our process in case you wanted to try your hand at a desk or other piece of furniture. If you’re as lucky as I am, you have your own version of Jeff around to help.

Here are the steps we took to refurbish the desk (with Jeff’s consultation of course):

1. Remove the old handles and knobs. I knew a head of time I wanted to replace the old ones, but if you plan on reusing them that’s great. Besides, you’re probably doing the environment a service too. 🙂

Removing Desk Knob

2. Sand off the old finish. Jeff says you can do the entire desk with sandpaper, but it’s much easier to use an orbital sander (don’t worry, that’s a new term for me too). Start with 80 girt sand paper and follow-up with 180 grit. Sandpapers with lower grit like the 80 we used are best for removing old stain. The 180 grit sand paper is best for preparing furniture for the stain and finish.

Jeff with Sander

3. Apply the stain. On this particular desk we used two coats, but it’s totally up to your discreation. You brush on the stain, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off.

Staining Desk

Wipping Off New Stain on Desk

Wood Stain Can

In case you’re wondering we used Minwax Wood Stain in Driftwood

4. Apply the polyurethane. Once the stain is completely dry brush on a coat of polyurethane. Jeff also says to look out for dripping, because you don’t want drip marks to dry on the furniture.

Polyurethane Can

5. Let the polyurethane dry overnight, do a light sanding with a high grit sandpaper, and apply one more coat of polyurethane.

Polyeurathane on Desk

6. Last but not least, put the knobs and hooks on the drawers. I chose ones from Anthropologie, which you can find on their website, here and here. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that these cost more than the desk, but I guess that’s what happens when your desk is only $30.

New Desk Knobs

7. And this is completely optional, but show it off to all your friends! In 3, 2, 1…

Desk After 2

I’m still not 100% sure if this is going to serve as a desk, vanity or both, but as soon as I figure it out you’ll be the first people to know!

Desk Before and After

Hopefully this post came just in time for your own weekend DIY project! Let me know if you have any questions or advice for others.