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My New Desk, and the Secret to a Happy Husband

You probably won’t read this in the books, but I’ll let you in on a little secret to a good marriage: it’s helping your husband feel like he has a purpose. It’s giving him goals and ambitions – in the form of a hefty honey-do list always at the ready – so he can enjoy the sense of accomplishment when he marks something off.

This might not be true.

(But just in case…)

Andy has been off all summer – until this week! *giant sob* – and I like to think giving him good activities keeps my at-risk husband off the streets.

The top of the priority list for Andy this summer (after playing in the “pool,” relaxing, hitting the beach, and giving me lots of naps) was to build us a custom desk for the office.

You might remember that we’ve been redoing our office – after it sat empty for the first 3 1/2 years after we bought our house. We built this bookshelf wall:

Then decorated it:
And we’d always planned on building a custom desk because I just knew the perfect desk did not exist. Since it would be floating in the center of the room like this…
Office floor plan layout
…the back of the desk is really important. You’ll see it right when you walk in the front door of our house. It needed to look fantastic in jeans, if you get my drift. Most store-bought desks just have forgotten, ugly rear-ends, so that just wasn’t gonna cut it.

Plus, I wanted something that was open in the center like this, to keep the room feeling bigger and more open:
restoration hardware industrial desk

Restoration Hardware

I loved the idea of a rustic farmhouse table like this for a desk:
Rustic farmhouse table: dark wood

But we need storage, so that was a no-go.

So I wanted something that was open but had storage, that had a pretty hind-end, on a budget. Does not exist.

Because I’m so incredibly difficult to satisfy, it looked like building a desk would go on Andy’s honey-do list.

…But he got off the hook entirely when I got an email from my mom out of nowhere to a craigslist ad… for a desk… that was perfect.
Home office workstation: dark wood desk and white built-in bookshelves, bookshelf, shelving unit

It has a presentable derriere: Dark wood desk in home office, with brass task lamp, blue hydrangeas, ceramic horse head statue
Storage:Desk drawers, home office desk
And it’s still open underneath:Floating desk for a home office
Even better: at just $80, it was cheaper than building one ourselves! It’s the perfect home to the wayward rescue lamp that we made over here. And yes, I just love it.
Home office with built-in bookshelf storage, dark wood desk

So Andy got out of building a desk this summer, which means I had to keep him busy and out of trouble by starting work on the laundry room.

Because I love him. And I want what’s best for him.*

*Don’t listen to anything I say.

Is your love for your significant other directly proportionate to their to-do list? Ever found the exact perfect thing by accident through our good buddy craig and his list?

Let's connect


  1. Erin @ His & Hers says:

    That might be the most gorgeous desk ever. I am in love. Can your mom send me craigslist finds, too?

  2. EIGHTY BUCKS?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I LOVE IT!! (Yes, I am shouting). WOW.

  3. The desk is amazing and I can’t believe it was $80… I mean, really… why does my Craigslist suck???

    John has put the caboosh on any new honey-do’s until after the countertops are complete and he complete’s his national certification IN OCTOBER!!! I dont know what I’m going to do with myself for 2 months.

  4. That desk is a dream! I have this thing about the back of my desks needing to be visible/nice, too (I hate sitting facing a wall). And the new lamp looks great on it! Also, I read the pool post you linked and cracked up! SO funny & perfect.

  5. Antonella @ Love Your Home says:

    It’s a beautiful desk, good find! It matches your hardwood nicely too, but have you considered a rug? One to tie in the colours of all your accessories would look fabulous. It’s a nice room you both created. Enjoy it!

  6. That desk is GORGEOUS!!!!! UGH! Our craigslisters here think their stuff really belongs in high end resale shops and are highly overpriced. I can’t find good deals here. I think I lurve that desk. What an amazing find!

  7. So craigslist ninja skills run in the family then? Gorgeous!

  8. Shannon@Cozy Home Scenes says:

    I agree with the others that the desk is beautiful and is a wonderful find. Did you have to refinish it? You and your hubby are doing a fantastic job creating a beautiful cozy home.——- Shannon

    • Thank you! No – that was the BEST part. 🙂 I forgot to mention it in the post that when I went to go look at it, my husband said, “Only buy it if it’s in perfect condition. I don’t want to have to redo anything.” And it was. Total score. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  9. I LOVE IT! It looks perfect…and I am dying at keeping your at-risk husband off the streets.

  10. You are too funny Kelly! I can’t even believe that gorgeous desk was only $80 – such a steal! Your office is gorgeous!

  11. That desk is so perfect I can’t stand it!!! What a steal. And how, may I ask do you have that lamp there without any cords??? 🙂

  12. That desk is amazing! Your mom deserves homemade baked goods as a thank you. Are there any markings of the maker? I would love to try and track down something similar. The room looks amazing. Great job by you and HH.

  13. I love this desk, I am looking for one similar.

  14. the desk is beautiful!!!! i LOVE it! and so glad you kept andy out of trouble by presenting him with another project. otherwise, watch out atlanta…. crazy husband on the loose!

  15. Well it looks like Andy dodged a bullet. Nice desk and what a steal. Sometimes it’s just meant to be.

  16. That desk is beautiful!! What a find!!

  17. Darn girl, that desk looks good in jeans;)

  18. I let my husband do the laundry. And make dinner. And he lets me cultivate my dust bunny farm. And our marriage is all the better for it!

    Love the desk. It really does look good in jeans …



  19. Such a great score on the desk! Hopefully we’ll be making a faux built in for our office in the next few months! (No way my husband’s getting out of that one ;))

  20. SCORE! It’s gorgeous — even looks great in blue jeans. 🙂
    xo Heidi

  21. I wanted to address the fact that desk is awesome and thank you for keeping Andy off the streets, but all I keep thinking about is that all those years ago someone told me a different secret for a happy marriage. But no worries since that time I figured out it was the honey doo list and Brawn has never been happier, his list is so long he must be jubilant.


  22. SHUT. UP. I can’t believe you got this for $80?!?! Wow, seriously gorgeous!!! I love how you placed it in the centre of the space, exactly where it should be to show off that rather fine derriere! Properly perfect in every way. And the rescue lamp (I just read the post on your efforts) looks amazing there, I’m jealous of your mad skillz!! You got it goin ON. xxx

  23. Oh one more thing… I actually kinda agree about keeping hubby busy 😉 I swear my W starts to get a bit antsy when I’ve got little projects going on and he’s twiddling his thumbs. He feels needed, worthwhile and loved when I give him projects (specially when he’s done) – I’m sure that’s in some book somewhere. *ahem*

  24. The wood grain of that desk gave me heart palpitations! That is gorgeous!

  25. $80?!! No. That is incredible!! It is GORGEOUS!!!

  26. This room looks amazing! I’ve been scanning craigslist for weeks and haven’t had any luck. My husband is home during the summer too and at first, I thought I would hate it but its been so helpful! Dinner made, errands done and the puppy is exhausted by the time I get home. The only bad thing is my husband is far from handy, leaving me to do the dirty work.

    I agree though, the list is a good idea for both 🙂

  27. OMG. I want to gently caress it! It’s a definite beaut! I probably wouldn’t get any work done because I’d just sit there the whole time and whisper “I love you” to it.

  28. Kelly, I just love that desk. It’s gorgeous! Your office is perfecto 🙂

  29. $80?! I never would have guessed that desk was $80!!! If I hadn’t read any of the post and just skipped right to the pictures I would’ve assumed you paid at least $300 for it! What an amazing deal (and desk) 😀

  30. Now that is a one fine mother-in-law to your husband. A great craigslist find that shortens the to-do list by, oh, three weeks? I’m thinking he might want to thank her real nice for that — maybe she’ll find something else that easily simplifies his life


  31. The desk is perfect – looks great there!

  32. WOW!! I love it. looks awesome!!

  33. That desk is fantastic! The whole room is beautiful and the desk makes it even better! The color is what I love the most, I think!

  34. Yes!! Antiquey wooden desks on Craigslist are one of my secret weapons! I don’t quite know what I mean by that as I haven’t had the opportunity to purchase, install, or refer anyone to them, but yes! They are versatile, beautiful, well made, and often can be found for less than $100. SO glad you found this great piece. I want one for my foyer.

  35. The entire room is beautiful. As to the husband thing lol 🙂

  36. Many thanks for sharing your post at my Say G’day Saturday Linky party.

    Hope to see you again this weekend!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  37. Carrie Defoor says:

    I am curious how much it cost for you guys to make the custom desk and shelves on the back wall there. My husband and I are going to purchase a new home soon and it has a room for an office. I like the idea of having custom shelves and desk built in like yours. Were you able to do it yourselves? I would ask that you please email me and tell me more about how you did it and how much it cost. I am tired of getting separate bookshelves that fall apart after a few years.
    Thank you,
    Carrie Defoor


  1. […] UPDATE: See the bookshelves finished here, decorated here and the office as it is now here. […]

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