Sunday, October 3, 2010

New Workspace

A couple days before Labor Day weekend, I was shopping at Schmitt Music.  Stop feeling sorry for Mike already...I didn't buy anything there.  But, I came across something I really had been wanting for awhile and something Mike and I had been discussing me purchasing for awhile.  So, I went home and told him there was a great "State Fair Sale" and maybe I should go buy it.  My business partner agreed and I went shopping at a different store where I bought the item for even less money than the big sale.

I got my new item home and realized that it was far bigger than either of us imagined it would be.  This was going to require a new space for me.  Primarily a new desk, which I'd already pseudo-designed in my head on the way home.  I've been wanting a newer, bigger desk for many moons.  I wanted someplace I could not only work at for my piano stuff, but also where I could transfer some of our "family crap filing" from the kitchen to here where it might stand a chance to be organized.  As luck would have it, my parents had invited our kids to spend the night and while Mike rolled his eyes when I told him my design ideas, he did sit down and draw up a plan with me.

So we built a new desk that weekend.  I love it.  It's not being used to it's fullest capacity yet, but that will take some time to figure out what works best for the storage we need.

But first!  I needed filing drawers.  I wanted two files areas.  One for my piano/work files and one for our family files.  I wanted something a little older looking and I came across these at Pottery Barn:

Aren't these cute?  So, I set about copying them.  I went through Mike's scrap wood and pulled out this:

I set up both his table and miter saws and cut things down to this:

I designed, drew, measured, and assembled this:

And then the big moment came to make sure the file folder actually fit and...

On the first try this file fit like a dream!  Then I screamed for joy and did a small happy dance in the garage.  Did anyone catch the hints?  Mike had no part of this!!!  When we finished the desk Mike very politely - but in no uncertain terms - let me know I was on my own for the rest because he had an insanely busy week ahead of him.

The first file took a crazy amount of time to build because I was kind of figuring and designing as I went.  However, I had been smart enough to keep notes on measurements as I went along so the second file didn't take more than 45 minutes to build at the most.  And the file fit on that one too!

Painting had to wait until the weekend, but Jake was a big help in that department.  This little man loves anything having to do with fixing/building/repairing...

The next part was all me.  I don't have pictures because I was busy painting and it's been done here several times.  I wanted a logo on each file crate that was different so I searched the internet and found a couple logos that I cut out of paper, then stenciled in with black paint.  I sanded the logos down a bit as well as the edges of the crates to make them look older and worn.  I attached handles that I thought would fit the design and ended up with:

Our family file crate:

and my piano studio file crate:

They fit perfectly in my desk.  And that?  That was absolutely dumb luck.  In my head I had my shelf openings measuring 21 inches.  They didn't; they measured 16 inches.  The hutch on top of my desk measured 21 inches.  I made the crates so they were 15 3/4 inches wide.  Whew....

And the rest of the desk? it is:

Has anyone figured out yet what I bought (besides a new rug)?

The keyboard that we designed to have fit under the top of the desk!  This newest addition hooks directly to my computer so that it will notate to a program I have as I play the keys.  This has literally shaved hours off some things I used to have to write out by hand!

But how do I get to the keyboard to play?  Mike figured out how to use side-drawer rails...

...on the bottom of the keyboard!  We used some of his heavy-duty velcro and attached the keyboard to the rails so it won't slip off.  When I need to use it, I just slide the keyboard out.  Otherwise it's out of the way and doesn't take up anymore storage space in this room.  Which is great because I really didn't have any and that always held me back from getting a keyboard!

I still have some baskets to buy and have left notes around the desk as to where I want things stored so I know how big of containers to look for.  Those will come over time and I can wait to get what works right.  I plan to make a giant magnetic bulletin board for the wall above the desk to keep some things straight and hopefully to help clean off the side of the fridge.  I also plan to get some acrylic for the top of the desk to keep it from getting scratched and a more flat surface to write on.  Someday...

But because we had to build the desk about an inch higher than most desk surfaces I needed a new chair that raised higher than others.  This was what we found and again...I put this together myself!  When it was finished I sat in it, then pulled the lever to raise it up and nothing happened.  I sat there for 10 minutes trying to figure out what I had done wrong.  Nowhere in the directions did it tell me that the lever had to be pulled out to operate it, then pushed in to keep the chair in place.  But I figured that out without Mike too. 

Even Mike was impressed by this chair building.  I'm not sure he's actually sat in it yet - he might not trust it - but he was impressed none-the-less.

When this was in place I again offered Mike piano lessons.  We now own three keyboards.  They could all practice AT THE SAME TIME!! 

Once again I was shot down.


The Pats said...

Looks like a very professional job and pretty neat too! Good job!

Sheri said...

WOW AM I IMPRESSED!!!!!! Talk about girl power. Go Kerry!!! The drawers are gorgeous, and the desk looks awesome. Even after seven years of piano lessons, I know absolutely nothing about the piano anymore, so the keyboard will have to go without a complement. Sorry keyboard. :)