When I was 30 I got some book gift vouchers for my birthday. Did I go out and blast my vouchers on holiday page-turners? Nope, the book that I chose to spend the whole voucher on was 'The Woodbook', 768 pages of glorious cross sections of different types of wood and nothing else. Geeky, right?! Anyway, why am I telling you about my love of wood? (pipe down with the giggles at the back).
We wanted a super-sized desk in our spare room so that the Mr could have his neat designer OCD end to work at and I could scatter my chaotic craft clutter down the other end without upsetting him too much. After searching and realising that super-long desks that weren't corporate-office-dull didn't really exist and wanting something a bit more industrial-looking, we decided to tackle the task of building it ourselves. We looked into reclaimed oak and other types of hardwood but, for the amount we needed, it was just going to work out too expensive. When I found you could get scaffold boards in various lengths, one that was nearly the exact width of the room, that became our solution.
In desperate need of some sort of storage, we ordered some old crates from eBay to form the base of the desk to make useful shelves and a few (pretty amateur) drawings later a plan was formed. I'm not going to do a full DIY tutorial as it would be a long old post and also the desk is specific to our room dimensions, but there are a couple of photos below so you can get a sense of how we put it together.
So in a fairly unceremonious build up to a reveal, here is the finished desk. We're pretty pleased with how it turned out and it wasn't that complicated to build, even for two relatively inexperienced woodworkers like us. We planned the lengths of the boards so that we had minimal sawing to do and Heath Robinson'ed the rest. It's solid though!
A few things we learnt along the way about using scaffold boards at home:
- They are made from softwood, so are prone to warping slightly as they dry inside. We didn't mind this as they add to the industrial charm but if its a concern look into kiln-dried boards (which will be pricier).
- For delivery purposes, it turned out easier for us to order new boards and stain them to look oaky and weathered but I'd have loved to have used reclaimed ones and found loads of suppliers nearby on eBay.
- If using crates, make sure you think about the height of the two crates stacked together, especially if you already have a chair that needs to fit at the desk. Our desk is quite high and we had to get chairs to fit.
More scaffold board project inspiration
The best of the rest spotted on Instagram recently.....
When I saw this hairpin leg version of a desk on that.1920s.house beautiful renovation and interiors Instagram feed, I have to admit I was slightly envious! The legs add a bit of industrial elegance to the whole thing. You can buy hairpin legs from plenty of places online now or for those of you who don't have the time, tools or energy to build your own, this desk was actually ordered from a supplier on Etsy and came ready to assemble. So you can get something bespoke and unique without the sawing and swearing!
One of the most accessible scaffold board projects is probably shelving. You can get all kinds of shelf brackets to suit all tastes and budgets. The below is a picture from the envy-inducing kitchen of Simply the Nest modelling some extra long open scaffold board shelves. You can see the amazing before and after of the kitchen on her blog or head over to her instagram for some more Victorian house renovation goodness.
The only scaffold board wardrobe I have spotted so far is on hygge_for_home's stunning Instagram feed. Made using copper pipes for the rails, I think it's a super stylish solution for those mini threads. If you head over to her instagram feed (which you really should if you are into interiors that ooze rustic and industrial charm), see if you can spot her scaffold board kitchen shelves and amazing outdoor seating area too!
This kitchen island below from loves_leeds has stopped me in my Instagram scrolling-tracks a number of times, I just LOVE the combination with the black gloss units. I can totally see myself sitting here with a brew in the morning (not uninvited of course!), although it would rarely look this clean and tidy if my clan had anything to do with it. Another interiors addict with an eye for a bargain, again check out love_leeds Instagram feed for more creative home and styling inspiration. Are you sensing a theme about where I spend all my time?!