I can’t tell you how great it feels to finally have this DIY corner desk completed! If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you’ll know that this project has been on my agenda for the last few months which is another reason why I’m so excited to be able to put a big fat tick next to ‘Build a DIY corner desk’ on the ‘to-do’ list of my tiny office makeover!
How the room at the top of the stairs became a tiny office
When we built our house, we never intended this space to be an office. In fact, it was never intended to be any sort of ‘room’ at all – it’s just the first-floor landing or the room at the top of the stairs which leads to the loft space and our guest room.
The more I looked at this space though, the more I realised that it actually had the potential to be more than ‘dead’ space – at least, I could fit a desk and a small cupboard in there and call it an office and have done with it. I grabbed a mishmash of furniture from around the house and made do with that for the first few years.
Then, when ‘Chalking Up Success’ was born, I found myself spending more and more time at my computer and the tiny desk became cramped with no extra space to spread out my folders and journals.
How the room looked before
Making plans for a DIY corner desk
That’s when I really started to think about how I could transform this space into an organised office with more storage.
Most of all, I wanted to make the most of the available desk space so that I would have an area for writing and planning as well as for my computer monitor, keyboard and printer.
Making a Mood Board
I knew this transformation wasn’t going to happen overnight but I made a plan and started a mood board (Read more about using mood boards in this post) so I could collect ideas of how I wanted the space to look. Because
Maximising storage – Another problem solved
Whilst I was figuring out a solution for the corner desk, I decided to go ahead and start a small project that would also maximise the storage in this room and get my files up off the floor.
I share this office with Brilli and she is usually lying as close to my feet as she can get and that means there’s even less floor space available. You can read how I solved that problem here.
As soon as that project was finished, I couldn’t wait to get going with the corner desk. After making a mood board, I had a pretty good idea how I wanted the desk to look, so now I just needed to figure out how I was going to get it done.
A DIY corner desk for the room at the top of the stairs
For your convenience, this website contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to yourself however, it helps towards the costs of running this blog. Thanks so much for your support of Chalking Up Success! Please read my full disclosure here.
Time needed: About 2 days.
One length of
Electric sander (EU)
Damp Cloth (To wipe down after sanding)
Wood oil/wax mix
Screws (My wall is made of brick, different screws are needed for a stud wall).
Rawl plugs (to hold the screws in place in the wall and specific to the type of screws used)
Circular saw Like this one (you only need this is you need to make adjustments as we did)
Metal binding clips
Adjustable legs (I used three)
The first thing we did was to measure the space. I had already decided that an ‘L’ shaped corner desk was going to be the best use of space in this tiny office so off we went to the builders’ merchants to see what we could find.
Having already used oak for this project, we decided to go for oak again for the desk. Luckily, we found this oak work surface which is usually used for kitchen counters and the like.
We gave our measurements to the carpenter and he cut the two ‘L’ shaped pieces to size for us. He also drilled some holes on the underside of the work surface so that we could use clips to join the two pieces together.
- Preparing the corner desk
The oak was untreated so the first job was sanding and sealing. I used 80 grit sandpaper at first moving on to 120 grit which I knew would give the wood a lovely smooth finish. Read this post for my method for sanding and sealing the wood.
- Supporting the corner desk
Originally, I wanted to make a ‘floating’ corner desk but oak is heavy and we were worried that wall supports might not be enough to hold the desk in place.
In the end, we added three legs – one at each end of the desk and one where the two pieces are joined together. The legs are adjustable and we set them towards the middle of the desk so that they are not so obvious when you walk in the room. In fact, only the leg which sits directly underneath the join is visible the other two are hidden by the cupboard and the staircase.
We added supports to the walls at intervals along the wall and the corner desk rests on these. There are no photos of us fitting the corner desk to the supports because it took three of us to manoeuvre the wood into place and there was no room left for the camera or video!
This is how it looked with just the first long piece in place – you can see how the join was made.
Corner Desk Finished!
After that, I got a bit carried away in the excitement of seeing the corner desk (almost) finished and couldn’t wait to start bringing all my things back into the room so the photos are a bit scarce but here’s how it looks at the moment.
The light in this room is fantastic for photography but up until now, it’s been almost impossible to shoot in here without removing half of the items in the room.
Now, the side desk provides the perfect space for a flat lay shoot. In fact, I shot my most recent stock bundle in here and this is how it turned out. (The affiliate link below will take you to my shop on Creative Market).
Things left to do in this tiny office
Fit a wood trim – There is a gap at the back of the desk for all the computer wires and I want to buy some wood trim to seal that up leaving just one small opening behind the monitor for for the wires.
Hide the wires – Talking of wires, another task will be finding a solution for hiding the wires which are underneath the desk. I hate that it looks so untidy (hanging cables are one of my pet hates). I’m not sure yet how I’m going to do that but I’m sure I’ll find a solution.
Touch up wall paint – we took off some of the paint whilst trying to manoeuvre the corner desk into place so I’m going to have to fix that at some point 😉
Wall decoration – I have a few options in mind for prints or other kinds of wall décor (might be a bit of DIY involved, we’ll see).
Rug – I love this round rug but as there is no under-floor heating in this space I also need something underneath the desk which will keep my feet warm in winter (when Brilli is not lying on them haha!). You can find similar rugs to mine here.
Desk lamp – You may have seen this lamp which I made for this office and it hangs right over the printer. It was a really easy DIY project and gives off a lovely cosy light but I desperately need a task lamp too. I’ve been waiting until this DIY corner desk was finished so that I could see how I would use the workspace.
I’m also torn on whether to use a space-saving wall light or whether to buy a free-standing desk lamp. I think something like this would work really well in this room – but the jury is still out on that one!
Blind for the roof window – I absolutely love the light the roof window brings in to this north-facing room but sometimes the light is a bit too bright. I’d like to add a window blind to diffuse the light a little. That would also mean that I can do away with the screen protector I’m currently using over my monitor.
Build a corner desk Project (Tick)
At last, the biggest project in this room, ‘build a corner desk’ has been ticked off my list and this tiny office makeover is well on the way to being finished!
What do you think of it so far? If you have any ideas or suggestions for the rest of the items on my list, feel free to tell me in the comments below.
See the other posts in this series: