Jake and Karen's house...
...the progress

office current photos; built-in bookshelves; custom cabinets

Here is a very high level collection of photos showing the construction of our custom desks for our office. From concept to implementation. View installed product here.

Concept I came up with, drawn in PowerPoint. The end result is very similar, with just a few minor changes to the layout and sizes.

Jake did detailed plans and cut sheets.

More plans. Made a big difference in thinking out the project and making the most efficient use of materials.

One batch of materials, cut and ready to go.

A drawer unit partially assembled.

Two cupboards and drawer sections almost completed. These are the base pieces.

Upper and lower cabinets layed out to get a sense of scale. It's one thing to draw it on paper and another to figure out if it'll visually and proportionally work, remember, we aren't professional designers.

Bridge shelves cut and ready for assembley.

Beautiful corners done with biscuit joints.

Bridge shelves completed.

Desktop, edges look thicker and mitred, uses biscuit joints.

Desktop clamped.

Cross pieces on desktop for support and strength.

Dry fitting keyboard drawer.

Materials for one bank of drawers.

A drawer clamped up, this is why Jake needs more clamps!

Drawer slides ready for installation. All hardware (slides, hinges, etc) must be fitted and then removed for painting, then re-installed.

Drawers being fitted.

Lower cabinets, drawer faces installed, cabinets for CPU, scanner and printer are ready.

Vents installed behind CPU cabinet. We're still having a problem with heat that we're working out. This is not enough venting at this point since our computers are on 24/7.

Cabinets ready for finishing. All the edges have been filled in with drywall compound and sanded for a smooth finish.

Pieces layed out for spraying.


Spraying begun, 1st coat of Benjamin Moore Black Bean Soup. Looks a bit purple, but brown usually has a bit of purple in it. Don't worry, it turns out to be a rich dark brown in the end. We used melamine paint, as well as a top coat of polyeurathane. In retrospect, it was so much work and probably not worth spraying on.. a roller would have been fine.

Everyting ready, waiting in an adjoining room for installation.

Final installation. More details here about the rest of the room and installation. This unit would have cost us several thousands of dollars to get made for us. In the end it cost us materials of two average desks. In the end we ended up with a much better, custom product that fits our needs perfectly, and has the 'wow' factor!