This week I was asked by my lovely friend Paulette if I would like to use my love of renovating for a great cause. Our church partners with a housing complex in NYC which provides permanent housing for people living with AIDS and homeless veterans.
The staff do an amazing job helping the residents get back on their feet and one of their desires is to provide residents with some common areas in the building, to assist them in various areas of their over-all wellness and fitness.
I have been assigned the Library and can’t wait to create a beautiful study space for the residents! You can see all the pictures and read about the entire Library transformation here.
When I set out to build a floating desk, I thought it would be really difficult. But it turns out, it is not as hard as it looks. In my planning of the Wellness Library I really wanted to build and install things myself, and for the most part, I have.
However when it came to building a floating desk, I wanted to call in the big guns just to get it right. Enter: my friends Susie and Craig. With their help, we managed to build this awesome floating desk for the residents.
What you will need
- 2 x long pieces of pine for the desktop (25cm x 200cm)
- 1 x long thin plank of pine to be attached to the wall, for the desktop to rest on (10cm x 200cm)
- 1 x short piece of pine to be attached to the corner wall, for the desktop to rest on (10xm x 50cm)
- 3 x short pieces of pine to attach the two desktop pieces together
- 3 x short pieces of pine to attach to the wall in order to mount the brackets
- 3 x wall brackets
- Electric Drill
- Spirit Level
- Stud Finder
- Lead Pencil
- Wood Glue
Before we began assembling the desk, we stained the timber. You can read all about how we stained the timber and what colour we used, here. The fumes are very strong so make sure you get plenty of fresh air while doing it. Stain usually takes about 24 hours to completely dry.
We were thrilled with the result!
Use a stud finder to mark where you need to screw the support timber onto the wall. Typically studs are placed 40cm or 16 inches apart. Once you find each stud, mark it on the wall using a lead pencil.
Mark every 40cm on your support plank and drill your screws in halfway. This will make it easier to drill them into the wall.
Use an electric drill to attach the support plank into the studs in the wall.
Attach your short pieces of pine directly onto the wall where you want each bracket to go. Try to line up the brackets with the studs. We couldn’t as there was a powerpoint in the way!
Use a spirit level to ensure your brackets are level, both vertically…
… and horizontally. This will make sure the floating desk will sit flat.
They should end up looking something like this!
Next, joining the two desktop pieces together. Apply wood glue to 3 short pieces of pine and press them onto the back of your two desktop pieces – center them directly over the join.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you mark where the brackets will be first, as you will need to leave gaps between these small bits of timber in order for the desk to sit directly on the brackets.
Use an electric drill to screw these joining pieces onto the back of your desk.
IMPORTANT: Make sure your screws are long enough to penetrate both pieces of timber, but NOT too long as you don’t want them piercing through your desktop
Flip the desk and place it on top of the brackets. Then just drill some short screws up through the bracket and into the desk to attach! Again, make sure they are only short screws so you don’t pierce the desktop.
Drum Roll please!!!
In case you were wondering, this is what the “library” looked like BEFORE!
I only had a budget of $600, and I’m so thrilled we were able to provide these residents with a comfortable, clean and welcoming library and study area.
A big thanks to Craig and Susie for helping! I’m so happy with the result and so are the grateful residents-in-need.
PSSST! I have moved back to Sydney, Australia and have been busy doing a MASSIVE renovation on my 1920s terrace house. You can read about the whole crazy adventure here!
– Penny xo