Studio Desk Options (Plus, The Cabinet Idea I Can’t Get Out Of My Mind)

Since I can’t really do any actual work on the studio yet, I’m left to dream and plan and scour the internet for ideas, and anything else I can do while sitting in bed. (More about why I’m stuck in bed here.) And two things have been at the top of my mind — my studio desk and the cabinets just inside the door to the studio from the breakfast room.

As a quick review, this is the desk that I originally built for the studio.

You can see how I built it here. It’s quite a simple build, and a very good project for a beginner.

I like the desk, but I built it years ago when I had a bit of a different vision for the room. Now that the room is coming together, the heavy black desk doesn’t seem to work for me. So the options are (1) give this desk a makeover to make it look lighter and more feminine, (2) build a new desk, or (3) buy a new desk.

I’ve looked quite a bit for a new desk that I can just buy. There are many out there that I really like, and would be very happy having in my studio. This white and gold desk with a glass top from Homary (affiliate link) is one of my favorites.

But I just can’t justify paying $1600 on a desk for that room when we have so many other things (like an upcoming addition) that that money can go towards. And with all of the cabinets and drawers that I’ll have in the office area of the studio, I don’t think I need a desk with all of those drawers.

But the style I find myself drawn to the most is the very simple, no frills style like this Jeromi Desk from Wayfair (affiliate link).

But doesn’t that look an awful lot like the desk that I built? So obviously, the most economical choice would be to paint the desk that I already have. A quick makeover could turn it from a dark, heavy desk into the light and feminine desk I want.

If I do that, I’m torn between doing the base gold or white. I thought for sure that I’d want it to be gold, but then I started seeing desks in this style with a white base, and I have to admit, I love the simplicity of it, like this Barid Desk from Wayfair (affiliate link).

A simple white desk like that would allow the cabinets and mural to be the stars of the room, whereas a desk with a gold base and gold accents might compete for attention. Or maybe a desk with a gold base is what the room needs. I’m having a hard time deciding on that.

And then, because I absolutely love to build things, there’s always the draw of building a completely new desk. While I don’t need or want a desk with a bunch of big drawers, it would be nice to have at least one shallow drawer where I could keep pens, pencils, and other small desk-type items that I like to have right at hand. And as soon as I saw this Florence desk from Wayfair (affiliate link), my immediate thought was, “That would be so fun to build!

So while I’m still undecided on the studio desk, I’m at least narrowing down what I like. And I suppose what I could do is stick with the desk I already have, give it a quick makeover, and live with it for a while. If I eventually decide that I’m not 100% pleased with it, I can build a new one. That’s probably what I’ll do, so I just need to decide if I want a gold base or a white base.

Now as far as the cabinets just inside the studio door go, this is what they look like so far. 😀 They’re not even completely put together yet.

I’ve been undecided about what to do with these cabinets because I don’t want more pink and gold cabinets in this area. So I thought about finishing them to look like a separate piece of furniture. But how would I finish the fronts? I’ve tossed around some options, but then while scrolling Instagram a few days ago, I came across this fun cabinet makeover from Geneva Vanderzeil.

Y’all know how much I love paint swatches, and I haven’t been able to get this fun idea out of my head every since I saw this. Imagine my cabinet covered in colors from my studio. I love this idea so much! And it would coordinate in a fun way with the wallpaper that I’m going to use in the studio bathroom, which looks like this, and also includes colors taken directly from the floral mural.

So we’ll see. Y’all know I change my mind about 30 times a day, but so far, this is the idea that’s winning out for those cabinets. I know many of you probably won’t be thrilled with that idea. 😀 But it fits my love for paint swatches perfectly!

Unrelated side note: Several people requested a look at the platform sandals that stole over a week from my life and rendered me basically bedridden for the last ten days. So I added a picture of them at the end of yesterday’s post. 😀

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  1. That paint swatch idea for the cabinet is so fun!
    And I think you have a good idea to use your current desk (the design is so nice!) painted white. Then you can take a picture of it in your office and use photoshop to change the legs to gold to see if you want them gold or not….but you probably don’t need to photoshop the gold legs since you are SO good at visualizing things. I hope you continue to mend and that this physically slower time allows you to enjoy all the internet sleuthing1

  2. Definitely gold for the desk base. That would look amazing in your space. I LOVE your cabinet idea! It’s so good!

  3. All your ideas are so amazing to me…I think I really like the idea of using all the colors you have, but in a totally different way than you have already used. Coordinate, and Contrast. Love it. I know you will zero in on your favorite soon. Meanwhile the white with maybe a hint of gold sounds wonderful for your desk. I truly hope you are healing and feeling better everyday. So sorry for this setback, but sometimes things just take over and plans and desires just have to wait! It is nice that you are just resting and thinking about the next projects for now.

  4. Hi,
    IMO, I would paint the existing desk white, add a drawer, and be done with it. Save the money for the new addition.
    But the paint sample cabinet IS A MUST! Can’t wait to see it. ❤️🩷🧡💛💚💙🩵💜

  5. I need to see that paint swab cabinet, and it would be easy enough that if you hate it after a few months you can change it, but its so you. The desk should get a cute makeover, and you could always put the mural wallpaper on the desktop to bring in that color. Can you add drawers to the underside?

  6. I’m with your mom. Get rid of the shoes! They may have a couple more years left in them….yet is even the most wonderful pair of shoes worth the pain? It’s for you to decide of course.
    Hope you are 100% better soon . 🙂

  7. Yes YesYes!! For the paint swatches that would be so quirky, pretty, and well, just you! As for the desk, yes, refinish the one you built with white all the way, as you stated that would let the mural shine. I pray you are feeling better soon.

  8. Aww, the shoes are so cute! Love the idea of the paint swatches on the cabinet! So you! And is there a way to add undermount drawers to your desk? Is there such a thing?

  9. I LOVE the paint swatch idea! What I really like about it is that it looks like paint swatches done with a paint brush and not with crisp edges. I also love the white table with the gold base. That (or your current table re-done) would get my vote. I’m sorry you’ve had such a bad time with your sciatica but hopefully in the future, when you remember this episode, you’ll be enough in tune with the symptoms to be able to jump into therapy before it gets too bad. My daughter (a nurse) broke her ankle when she “fell off” of her nursing clogs. We do need a picture of those deadly sandals, though.

    1. Oops – just saw the addendum with the picture of the sandals (my PC doesn’t load the photos very quickly…). Very cute! Probably not a week-spent-in-the-worst-pain-ever cute, but still….

  10. I love the cabinet idea! Paint your desk, it will out perfectly. Love love those sandals, I wouldn’t get rid of them.

  11. First, I looked at the shoes. Nope! As we get older, our balance subtly changes and it get to a point that even loafers can have too much heel.
    Second, I love your desk but always thought the black was a little stark. White would be a good option to start with and maybe use a gold stencil pattern on the top after it becomes white. Unless you’re willing to gold-leaf the black parts, I think the gold spray paint would not be cohesive with the cabinets and light fixtures. If you used gold leaf on the stenciled areas of the top and had a piece of glass cut, that would look fabulous with the cabinets and tie things together.
    Third, using the swatch idea is great! Particularly since it would incorporate all the colors currently in use. Or, grid the door and do the colors just like you presented them in this post in squares, Maybe frame each color with the gold leaf to tie it to the other cabinets.

  12. I enjoy everything you do. Your talent knows no bounds. Have you given any thought to paint the cabinet white and paint a facsimile of the wallpaper on the front? Just a thought.

  13. eBay has lots of Sole Society shoes, just in case you’re interested. Maybe not another pair of platforms (although they are awfully cute!), but something more sensible 🙄.

  14. Ooooooohh….love the paint swatch cabinet!! Yes, white desk, maybe live with it a bit before deciding if it needs gold. I’d use the desk you have now. Could you hang a drawer under it for pencils etc? I love that.

  15. Kristi. My thoughts on your desk is to stick with what you have until you actually start using the studio. I love love love the paint swatch idea for the unfinished cabinets.
    Please tell me again the name of the floor cleaning machine you bought that cleans your grout so well. I had it in my folder on my phone and lost all my files when I had to get a new phone.
    The shoes look dangerous I know you love them but I would get rid of them.

  16. Hi, for the cabinets at the end of your room, I would take the checkerboard up from the floor and cover the cabinets in order to have them disappear. I guess I’m from a minimalist school of thought. Your one fabulous wall is plenty, but I know you like more. I still say ditch the shoes, yes they are lovely, but its a hard NO.

  17. I hope you recover from sciatica soon! I know first hand how painful it is. I think the paint swatch idea is fun but think it might make the studio look too busy with your fabulous wallpaper. Maybe you could use that idea on the powder room cabinet? I love the desk you made and would definitely keep it. I’d paint the desk legs gold and the top white which will look more expensive than an all white desk.

  18. For the desk:
    Prime the legs white, live with it for a few days then decide. Also maybe the legs white but the vertical edge of the desk top painted gold?

  19. I think the current desk would be so elegant and femme with a gold metallic base and white top!!! It wouldn’t take any glory away from your rose cabinets! Just like the made-over pendant lights in glossy white with gold leaf accents!

  20. No patchy, patchy, paint on the cabinets. Your pink and gold cabinets look so beautiful, I don’t think you want something to distract from the elegance of the room. Keep it in the bathroom. Simply stain the cabinets some nice warm color and leave it at that.
    The white desk with the 3 drawers across is perfect for you. Can you add drawers to the desk you have already built? And paint it white/gold?
    Glad you are feeling better. Have a good time shopping!

  21. Love the paint swatched cabinet! I love whimsy, and that is indeed whimsical!
    Glad you’re healing…watch those hips…no joke. I had both of mine replaced last year…never knowing my pain was coming from them, and not my back…which I was on a surgical schedule for.
    (And your sandals are adorable)

  22. I like your current desk and think you should paint it all white and use your gold pen to outline the top and bottom edges of the desktop. If you want more gold, there are tons of desk accessories in gold to further the look.
    The love the idea for the swatch cabinet and it would be really cohesive with the wallpapers in the studio and bathroom. I say go for it.
    Hope you’re feeling better and back on your feet soon.

  23. I love the Barid desk from Wayfair, and the Florence desk from Wayfair from your searches. However I really love the one you already have. You made it so classy, and yet it is very simplistic. With a new paint color I’ll bet you could make it better than anything Wayfair has. One of your options is to keep it and repaint it for now until you come across with another genius idea for a different one. Sounds like the best way to go for now. But, whatever you do choose to do I can’t wait to see it in your studio. By the way….I love those sandals.

  24. I think the cabinets should either look like the others, or blend into the wall in that color. I know you won’t do white, but if you’re thinking of a white desk, I would say make all the furnishings on that half of the studio the same. Any lighting you might do could be the pink cabinet color. The paint swatch look could be your wall art. And I would use the desk you have, just paint it white with gold legs!

  25. I love the paint sample idea for the storage, so if you decide on doing it, I very much look forward to seeing it in your home! I also love the new wallpaper for the bathroom and agree that the two would tie together beautifully. I really hope you are getting better and feeling less (or no!) pain and get back to moving again more soon. Don’t overdo it with getting back to work (esp lifting and jobs that require much bending) too soon, though, but look after yourself and take time for recuperation.

  26. Hey Kristi, hope you are feeling much better! My favorite sandles caused me to have a crushed ankle pluse it was dislocated. Took 9 months from 3 plates and 17 screws to walking. So now i only wear ” sensible” shoes.
    As for your desk. I love the Wafaire one. I have 3 desk right now in my art room and the most used drawers are the ones on the desk. I really enjoy not haveing to get up for writing tools, including erasers,rulers, etc.
    Can’t wait to see what you decide. I love the gold legs but a white top is too hard to stay clean. I used a glass top on mine.

  27. Maybe take the sandals to a shoe repair and have him take off the white bottom part and put on a new sole. And you will still have the sandals, just a better height.

  28. Love the paint swatch for the cabinets and pulling the colors from the wallpaper. It will seem in a way like you painted the mural. Also paint the desk white and if it isn’t enough impact when you are done with the room then paint it gold. Either way would be fabulous!!

  29. Good morning Kristi, glad to hear that you are on the mends (some what), Sure hope you start feeling better soon. As for your desk, could you take off the top and add drawers then replace it then do the paint once you decide on the combination that suits your taste. For your cabinet I say, go for it…!!!