If you recall from the first installment of the office redo, I now have a desk in my closet, but was still in need of a non-closested desk for computing and office-like activities (the closet desk is for sewing and art-like activities). After considering my options, I decided I wanted a desk long enough for two people rather than opting for the staggered facing two-person work table.
After going on and on to John about our options (I don't think he really cares what I do so long as I don't spend a lot of money) and scouring the Lowe's website for the right cabinets, we decided we would go with base cabinets with the toe kick removed (otherwise they are too tall). It is a slightly bigger investment, but overall it will look better and be sturdier. Once we had accepted the fact that we would probably be paying around $300 for the three cabinets needed to make up the base of our desk, I found some cabinets for $60 each (I had to go to the store in order to actually believe that they were only $60). They were on clearance, and not the finish I would have picked (cheap oak looking things), but they were $60 each as opposed to $114 each. There were only three left, so I decided to buy them with the possibility of returning them if I found a better deal.
Fortunately the boxes weren't terribly heavy and I was able to get them into the car myself (I got them onto the cart myself as well). I must look weak because at least four people asked me if I would need help with them while I was on my way out. Thanks for being helpful Lowe's employees, but I'm stronger than I look!
The following day, I went to Restore (Habitat for Humanity sells donated building materials) to see if I could find cheaper cabinets and wood with character for the top of the desk, but I had no luck (although, for future reference, that is a great place to go for odds and ends, or if you have time to wait for something good to show up).
We purchased several 2 inch thick 8x10s at Lowe's and had them cut down to the correct lengths. Over the next few weeks, I spent a lot of time sanding, priming, and painting cabinets. Fortunately, the weather was nice, so a majority of the super dusty work could be done outside. But it was also very hot, both inside the garage (good for paint drying, bad for comfort) and outside.
(Yes, we used our ski waxing bench as a work bench...)
After I had all the base cabinets painted, I started sanding and staining the wood for the top. There were four pieces and each piece took about 20 minutes to sand and then a few minutes to stain. I coated each piece several times to make sure that they were smooth and would be protected. As pieces dried, I moved them upstairs in order to keep the garage clear and to keep things moving.
Then came the task of finding chairs. Fortunately, I found two dining room chairs on the Target website for a reasonable price (and the day I ordered them they were on sale!), and Target ships to Alaska! The space is still a work in progress (mostly the organization aspect), and I still need to hang some art on the wall (I have a stash...I just need to get around to putting it up).
So far I'm really happy with the way everything turned out (except for my lack of organizational skills, it's perfect). It has also been nice for John and I to do all of our computing together, in the same room!