DIY desk & shelves

I hope you all had an amazing Holiday weekend! We are wrapping up a week of 'staycation' and Benjamin being home. It's been such a great week and we've really been able to enjoy it to the fullest! It's always so nice to have free time together as a family and slow down during Benjamin's crazy residency schedule. Of course, it felt like it flew by but at least we had the time and now we're all feeling relaxed and replenished to move forward. If you have been following our living room refresh on Instagram then you know that last weekend we had our living room painted and you guys I am obsessed! The color is Distant Star by Behr paint. I love how it immediately brightened up our living room and now the crown molding and white accents pop beautifully throughout. You can see the before paint color here. Also, our living room looks so much bigger now and not as dark! It really is about twice as bright in here and we are loving the change.
This past week we also shared via my Instastories a DIY desk that I wanted to build on this awkward wall in the living room. Before we built it (and by we I mean Benjamin hehehe) I had a mirror here with a small shelf. I really didn't know what to do with this corner because it's such an odd space! Our old apartment living room was actually larger than this one by a few feet and the layout made it feel like it was also larger, Because of that we had a desk where we could work on and it was a really useful office space. When we moved here we thought that was one thing we would have to sacrifice because we didn't think there was any space for a desk/office space. However, after I did some research I found a DIY shelf unit that would fit perfectly and help give us our much needed desk. I was inspired by one of my favorite design bloggers Dabito to build a shelf/desk unit. I knew that ours would have to be scaled down quite a bit and that the design we used would look a little different. But what's great about this wall system is that you can customize it to whatever way you want and to suit your needs. 
I am so thrilled with how it turned out! It is a little tricky to put together because measurements need to be exact. We also wanted it to be more sturdy and used a stud marker to anchor the brackets that we spray painted a very warm gold. I love the color combo of the warmer gold and white against our cooler paint color. I'm sharing all of the details of the materials we used at the bottom of this post!

The one thing I wish I would've done differently was to paint all of the screws we used! I only had enough paint to cover several because I didn't think to do that when I was spray painting the brackets.  I still need to go back to paint the rest. Otherwise, once this system is in place it's really perfect for what we wanted! I also love the midcentury modern design and you really can't go wrong with more shelf space. This entire corner has been transformed and it's been so fun to decorate! The below print is actually a month page I framed from my 2017 Brimpapery calendar!
I'm happy with the amount of plants and things that I have layered but there's always time to switch things around ;) The cascading plant is called a Philodendron and it's one of the first plants that I purchased! It's doing really well and doesn't require a lot of care, I water it once a week and make sure to clean the leaves off every few weeks. Now that it's up higher I'll have to keep an eye out that she's receiving enough light but so far I think she's happy up there :)
I am so happy with how this desk space turned out and I'm so glad we went with this option instead of buying an already made shelf system! If you're wondering my nursing-friendly maxi dress is from Shop Buru and my necklace is from Zo Jewelry.

Now for the materials we used:

White Rubber Maid shelves (they come in various colors!) via Home Depot- we had to make three 12 in x 8 in shelves that are on the left side by cutting two 24 in x 8 in shelves in half. We ended up using the widest Rubber Maid shelf  36 in x 12 in as the bottom desk instead of making a custom cut because it was way easier haha! And our laptops fit perfectly.

These are the six white shelves we used from top to bottom:

12 in x 8 in (custom cut)
36 in x 8 in
24 in x 8 in
36 in x 8 in
12 in x 8 in (custom cut)
36 in x 12 in
12 in x 8 in ( custom cut)

Brackets and screw accessories via Home Depot: I highly recommend going to the store and viewing their selection in person. Our store has all of this shelf system in one area and it's so helpful!

We used the Rust-Oleum in hammered gold via Home Depot


Measuring tape


Stud finder


  1. This system is a lot more sturdy because we used the studs to anchor the brackets. However, it did affect the overall design of the desk. Even so, I was able to work around it and create a design that we both loved! I highly suggest anchoring your desk to the studs.
  2. Write out the design and measurements you'd like on paper ahead of time. This really helps a lot!
  3. Make sure to paint the screws too!
  4. You will need another person to help with placement.
  5. Make sure to mark the screws ahead of time with a pencil.
  6. Don't forget to have fun! 
I hope this list was helpful as always if you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments!

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Have a great Monday! I'm really hoping it isn't too rough a transition for us lol!