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Topic: transforming ikea desk to steampunk goodness: any ideas?  (Read 2627 times)
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« on: April 06, 2010 07:06:35 AM »

I'm hoping to redo my craft room after we move and I'm angling for a victorianesque, steampunk vibe. 

Of course with a major move it looks like we may be a bit cash poor for a while, since we will need to get some furniture for the areas that everyone uses, not just me. Enter the huge IKEA desk.

I've had this huge desk from IKEA for the better part of 20 years.  It's solid as a rock and has a great big flat surface for cutting fabric, arranging designs for jewelry or scrap booking.  It actually can fit my sewing machine, the 18x24 cutting mat and still have space for a couple of storage spots behind the sewing machine.  The thing is huge, maybe 30"x60"+. All in all it's a great functional piece, BUT...

It's that melamine shiny white, very modern looking, very IKEA looking design.  I'm having issues deciding how to redo the desk to fit in with the new look, since it takes up so much space. What can I do to make this fit in, ideally be something awesome and not just OK?  I also have the requirement of needing the flat surface to be used, abused and highly functional.  (It looks kinda of like the front peice of this desk, http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20116071 but without the cubes on the other side, just 2 solid leg panels holding up a huge flat surface.)

My desk chair is already done: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=320546.0

My thoughts so far are:
  • contact paper: woodgrain on legs and copper on top with copper tape to cover the annoying silver stripe on the legs.  The only issues here are that I suck at applying contact paper and the legs are very narrow visually when looking straight on at the piece. May look funny.
  • contact paper and dark wood flooring:  Copper paper for top and wood flooring (or wood look laminate) strips to go around the legs and create a wooden slipcover, this would be more expensive and I'll be needing  to use power tools without waking the kiddos, plus my poor contact paper application skills
  • paint: could wood grain look paint with copper accents, but it's melamine and the horizontal surface is going to be used hard, worried it might rub/flake off
  • upholstery sides and glass top:  figure out a way to upholster the sides with tufted padding and put fabric down on the flat surface with a glass top to cover it.  This could get expensive with the sheer yardage it might require and I'm not real sure how I would be able to affix the fabric so it's secure without ruining the piece.

Any other ideas to make the desk cool, or tips on how to do one the ideas above without pulling my hair out or breaking the bank?

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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2010 04:58:30 PM »

you could take a piece of fabric, just like a table runner, that basically goes from floor to floor and put a glass top on that (ikea has very cheap glass surfaces, but in very limited sizes)
you could make this out of a few different pieces of fabric maybe topstitched with thick golden/silver metallic thread, maybe you could use lace like on the chair and put a lot of pockets on the leg part of the table runner. the pockets could be embellished with steampunkish metal bits and whatever. 
i hope this makes sense to you, it's what came to my mind after seeing the chair. the fabric part would be pretty cheap if you used a old sheets and bits of fabric you already have. 

personally, i would not use contact paper i think it comes off to easy and the edges tend to get sticky and ugly.

« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2010 06:17:32 PM »

Thanks for the idea, that would give me more options later and let me change out the look at a whim.

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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010 05:01:26 AM »

i hope you post pictures, whatever you decide to make! i bet it will look great.

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