The best gifts for your ride or die girls.
I have been dreaming of this day! All the visions of shiplap with all the Industrial Farmhouse goodness danced in my head. I was wanting clean lines and a photo worthy space to work in. When we started this project, of course, I thought...a few days no biggie. Well, that was very wrong and it was a mess before it got better. Like all projects, right? I should know better. Anyways, I am loving the Industrial Farmhouse look...I mean, who isn't these days? I had seen some gorgeous workspaces on Pinterest that has simple long desks with lots of nice open space. As we all know, Pinterest is the place to get all the inspiration, you can take a peek of my inspiration board on Pinterest HERE.
And SO it begins.
This project had 2 parts: Shiplap (duh) and a giant 10 foot desk that gracefully spanned the entire back wall of my office. So, naturally, I thought, well I can totally do this, no problem. My handy husband was super psyched about this project (which ended up being a good thing, since it was more intense than we first thought and he may have bailed, jk he wouldn't do that to me 😘) He is a welder so he was all about welding the base/legs and going that route. HOWEVER, I had another plan....black iron pipe with the fittings. THAT is industrial and farmhouse, right? So let me walk you through this process, including the parts that we learned the HARD way so that when you do your amazing Industrial Farmhouse project you can skip those parts!
PHASE 1: Destroy any and all organization I had in my office
My office space is pretty big, which is awesome. I have Etsy shop inventory, personal "office" things, photo props, photo studio area, and lots of other crap...all of that equals CLUTTER. Since mostly we were working on 1 side of the office we took apart the old desk, after taking EVERYTHING out and moving it to either, the trash, spare room or other side of the office. This step is really pretty self explanatory but the problem was I still had a shop to run and did NOT plan that out very well for being able to fulfill and ship orders. That put a serious time rush on the project.
PHASE 2: SHIPLAP!
Ok, not gonna lie, I had been waiting for this for a LONG time. Ever since the Joanna Gaines/Magnolia Market craze took over I was 100% on board with her style. We live in an old craftsman style home and it has gorgeous woodwork and lots of charm...but I have always thought it needed more and I decided shiplap was exactly the answer.
I researched the crap out of this I was looking for 2 things:
1) Cost effective
2) Easy and I cracked the code.
I was going to include the "how-to" in this post, but it would make it way long, so stay tuned for that soon!
It was coming together AWESOMELY (new word) and I was so excited. Honestly, this was the easiest part of the whole project. I had my paint ready to go once we got it all up and the brad holes patched. It made SUCH a difference and added just the right texture to the room.
PHASE 3: Desk from Hell
We had the shiplap up and painted and were ready to get the desk all put together. We learned from the most helpful guy at Lowe's (since we are not natural born wood workers and had ZERO clue what we were doing at this point) who told us that for furniture like this we would want to use a hardwood like Douglas Fir. They didn't sell it at our local Lowe's so we had to go to a town over about 40 minutes away to get it. I wanted a natural, darker-ish, rustic finish (very specific so obviously super easy to pinpoint what I needed 😳) I decided on Danish Oil, mostly because I didn't want to have to wait on stain to dry haha! I LOVE the way that it turned out. I used Annie Sloan's wax to finish/seal it. So, jury is still out on how that will hold up. I used it on a buffet in the dining room, over chalk paint, and it has held up over serious abuse for 5 years. The finishing process was mostly easy and uneventful and like I said, was super happy with it!
Here is where things started going down hill... up until now everything was going great, we were feeling pretty good about our apparently natural wood working skills. Then we moved to the base/legs of the desk. We found on online supplier for the fittings that was WAAAAY cheaper than Lowe's or Home Depot. If you are doing a project with black iron pipe I HIGHLY recommend checking it out: www.zoro.com.
Problem: We both suck at math.
I didn't realize there would be such difficult figuring, which also was made worse by my always needing to make things 100% more difficult than necessary.
You guys....we spent 3 hours in Lowe's, mostly in the iron pipe aisle because we were trying figure math. It was painful. I think I may have been a little off my rocker from the Danish Oil fumes the night before because I was laughing hysterically at EVERYTHING. The employees were literally hunting us down every so often to see if we needed help...OBVIOUSLY. It was annoying that they acted like we were there too long and that was a problem? I have never seen a time limit sign on their door, so I am not sure what the deal was. My husband was really irritated about it, but my crazy person laughing distracted him from it, or maybe THAT is what made him more irritated lol. Either way, I finally decided to just bust out all the pieces and put a "model" together, the issue was trying to figure out the measurements with the fittings. I would go into more detail, but I have blocked out memories from that day, possible PTSD, so just trust me....it was a train wreck.
We purchased all our pipe and whatever else we got that day...it's still a blur, headed home and constructed the base. It was one of those, cross your fingers and hope its all the same....it was not. We had to shim up the back, whatever. You can't see it anyways. Professional iron pipe people/construction people probably would have had it figured out in 2 seconds, but we are not that and it took us 3 hours to still get it wrong. Eh, what can you do.
You know when you do a project and you hit the "good enough" point? As in, perfection goes out the window and just getting it DONE has become the priority? Ya. It's a real thing, we got there.
Once we finally got the desk upstairs (which we had to go out one side of the house and come back in the other side, a 10ft desktop constructed in the basement isn't just going to magically get to the second floor) secured it to the base and got to see the finished project. It was ALL worth it!
We finished painting the rest of the office walls and started reorganizing and throwing a LOT of stuff I decided I didn't need since, if you notice there are no drawers. That was something I was slightly panicked about, but you know, minimalism, right? I'm working on it. If you dreaming on less stuff and more minimal living, you need Allie Casazza in your life! Her blog on minimalism and motherhood, is so relatable and practical. I have learned so much from her that has helped a ton in my quest for less and to simplify. Go take a look ❤️
What you need to know
So now you know a little about the adventure and the struggle. Here is the advice I would give to someone doing a project like this:
1. Air Brad Nailer for the shiplap is a MUST. Go to Harbor Freight and get a cheap one if you don't have one and grab a pancake air compressor while you are there.
2. If you have iron pipe that has different fittings (aka legs) and they aren't all exactly the same, instead of trying to do math, just go to Lowe's and get the pieces, put them together with the fittings you are going to use, measure the total length and then see what length of the pipe pieces are that you used. Subtract the difference and voila, you know how many inches to account for in the fittings. PLEASE someone use this information, it was a lesson learned HARD lol.
3. Paint the wall before you put your shiplap up. Even if it's not the exact color, it IS a little hard to get in between the spaces on some areas. If your wall color was way different, it could show in your finished wall. I remember reading this in one of the blog posts and decided, it wasn't necessary, but really it would have made painting just a bit easier.
4. Don't be afraid to go for it! It was hard, we learned a lot, and saved a TON of money. I don't know if you have shopped around for finished pieces like this but....🤑.
That used to be really overwhelming to me. A whole year?? I can't even figure out what I'm doing today! There are TONS of goal planning, year planning, everything planning tools out there. I get sucked in guys! It's real. Don't get me wrong they are great tools, BUT I am a simple minded person friends lol. Who has folders and papers everywhere printed out that have big promises of how to "Plan Your Whole Year in 5 Minutes"?? I did!! I spent so much time in getting ready to handle my shit, that I never really got it handled. Gah, so defeating!