When Ry announces that he is going to go on a hunting trip for the weekend, my mind immediately starts racing.  I start thinking about what project I want to get done.  Quite honestly, its usually easiest to work on these projects when he is away.  1.) We can have cereal for every meal  2.) I don’t have to clean up the house 3.) I don’t have someone watching over my shoulder.  Ideal time:)  So the last trip he took I took full advantage.  I had been wanting to have an area in the house for my laptop to rest:) and charge when we aren’t using it.  We have a desktop in the home office and I found that my laptop was ending up on the couch most of it’s life.  Not a very convenient spot.   I also knew that had a nice amount of “dead” space next to the fridge.  You’ probably wouldn’t have realized it because I never photograph it, but here it is..


As you can see I already started the reno:)  I was trying to figure the best use of this space and decided I wanted a little mini desk area.  Therefore I could sit/stand during the day while using the computer and the kids could potentially use it for school as well.  I started by planking the wall with my favorite thin plywood and cutting them into 6″ strips.  This time I tried painting them a couple of coats first to try to cut down on the process later.

Then it was time to add some corbels and a desktop.


I bought these corbels at Home Depot for $10 a piece.  I placed this one here because there was a stud there.  When you see both of them, you’ll realize they are not perfectly centered.  That’s why.  Remember, Im doing all of this solo, so sometimes good just has to be good enough, if you know what I mean;)


This piece of butcher block is a whole other story.  I had found some great, authentic butcher block in our garage and knew I’d love to use it.  Ryan pulled it out of the garage from the last house we lived in.  This stuff is amazing.  And  I had no idea what I was getting myself into and nearly killed myself cutting this piece to the size she is now.  It started out as about an 8′ piece that was twice as thick.  I had to two wheel it from the garage to the shed, where I somehow managed to prop it up so I could chop saw it and cut it down with the table saw.  Seriously, if someone were watching I think they’d die.  I almost gave up a couple of times, but persevered.  I seriously think the thing weighed 500 pounds:)

After getting her all cut down and being so proud of her, I sanded her down and stained her in Minwax Dark Walnut 2716.


I decided I could only have her about 15″ deep, in order to have enough room to get comfortably through and to the basement door.  Although we don’t go down to our cellar often, (as least as possible for me actually) our deep freeze and water softener are down there, so there is a possibility we would have to carry out a large piece of furniture.  With that being said, have enough clearance was crucial.  In a perfect world I would have liked to keep it another couple inches deep, but it works.

After I got the butcher block on I decided I wanted a large chalkboard above it.  I originally thought I’d make a large permanent calendar, but soon realized that if I wanted it centered over my countertop, it wouldnt’ fit.  So I cut a board that would fit over my countertop and painted it with chalkboard paint.


We amazingly had a piece of thin board in the shed that I found.  It’s not the smoothest, and I probably should have just waited until I could have gotten a larger piece of smooth plywood, but antsy pants kicked in and I wanted the project DONE!

I could handle a little bit of rough texture.

I then used 1×4 mdf boards and framed it out and stenciled the days of the week on it.

command center

Here’s a better look at the coutnertop.

command center

So, now that I had her in, I had to try her out…

command center

The kids use it everyday for their phonic lessons online.


It keeps them a bit more focued when they are facing a wall:)


And this is usually how little lady looks for school:)

I’m not in love with all of the cords..but at least the laptop hides most of them.  The second cord is from a little light I purchased at IKEA for $15.  It is usually dark in this corner so it was nice to shed a little light on the situation.


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I thought I was going to try to disguise the cord by painting it white, but I actually don’t mind it hanging down.  Looks a bit industrial.

Farmhouse Kitchen

I’m a bit in love with how it keeps the kitchen going.  Makes use of otherwise useless space.  And we use it everyday.  Gotta love that!

Chalkboard calendar

and the weekly schedule comes in handy for keeping track of life as well.  I’ve seen some people use one like this for meal planning as well.  Not a bad idea.  But that would mean that I would actually have to plan my meals.  There’s that.

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The view from the sitting room is even better:)  Another project done, for a small price.  I think I only used about $15 in plywood, free butcher block, $20 in corbels, $5 in mdf for the frame around the chalkboard, and $15 for the light.  Oh, and I stole the stool from my whimsy stash:)  So I guess you could call that free!  Although I have been eyeing this beaut at World Market …..


We kinda want a stool with a back since we sit there a lot, and World Market has 25% off furniture right I may have to get her soon:)

I’m also looking for a few wire baskets for the right of the chalkboard.  It would be nice to have a spot for bills and mail.  They are harder to find than  you’d think though, so I’m waiting for just the right ones:)

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So, that’s it until the next hunting trip….I’ll keep you posted:)


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  1. love it! Love the mental picture of you dealing with cutting the board!!! So thankful you still have all your fingers girl! xoxoxo

  2. Looks great I could use something like that too. My lap top seems to live on our couch too! Curious as to which online phonics program you use? I am struggling in this area with my son right now and I think he would be all about doing something on the computer!

    1. We are using Reading Eggs and love it! My hubby had a hard time learning to read and he said he wished he had something like this…it would have been so much easier:) The kids do about 3 lessons a week and then we reinforce the phonics, blends, and sight words during school. I would definitely recommend it!

  3. I love the dark contrast of the butcher’s block against the white! So cute!

    Just a quick thought: Gordman’s has super cute chicken wire baskets for about $8 a pop, and they’re lined with muslin… super cute, cheap and sturdy! :)

  4. Stephanie Wendorff

    Looks great! I found wire baskets on Amazon. Do you have a white paint you would recommend? Looking to change the color in my dining room. And do you use that white paint for both walls and trim?
    Thank you!

    1. I have really been liking Benjamin Moore simply white. But if you want a bit of a contrast between walls and trim, in my dining room I did Martha Stewart’s glass of milk with white trim, just a bit of contrast:)

  5. I love it! I home school too. It looks so good! I laughed at your “hauling in the butcher block” story:) Maybe I missed something, but I thought you had painted your whole kitchen wall w/ chalkboard paint- what happened to that? Looks beautiful either way!

    1. Haha, thanks Christine! Things change a bit quickly around here:) I just subway tiled a backsplash, which is what I wanted to do ever since we moved in. You can find that post a few posts back;)

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