How to Build a Shelf Desk

My spare bedroom has a foyer.  Weird huh?  It was created when the previous owners scrapped their original plan for the house addition to add two bedrooms instead of a family room during the construction stage.  So my guests have a foyer.  Or if I ever sell this house, somebody's child will have a space that makes no sense.

I had just enough space between the door and the wall opposite to the door to add a shelf.  I decided instead to use two heavy-duty brackets and create a narrow shelf desk.  It worked like a charm.

Since there was only one stud to tie into, I bought anchors designed to hold 63 pounds and used three of them for the second bracket. It should be strong enough to hold up almost anything set on that desk but if you are building this for a child, do not use anchors!!  Install the brackets directly into studs as anchors will not be strong enough to make the shelf strong enough for a child's wear and tear (and possible standing or sitting on it).

I had a piece of maple plywood that was the perfect size for the desk surface I wanted and I edged it with some 3/4" maple trim.  The size of the plywood is 15" x 36".

I'm not sure if I'm going to paint it so I just rubbed some mineral oil onto the surface to protect it and when it was dry, I used Minwax paste wax to seal it.

I painted one of my garage sale find chairs to match  my chalk paint armoire that is also kept in this room.

With a few little knickknacks added in to fill it out, it's a cute little writing desk for anyone visiting.

I took Karah's idea, (The Space Between) and added an old window above the desk as a white board.  It has two panes missing, perfect for fitting over the thermostat that is centered on the wall.  I didn't bother painting the glass because the wall behind it is a dark colour.  Another space taken care of!!

and one last little touch added today when my chokecherry tree began to bloom profusely:

Have a happy and creative week!

PS  If you opt to do this project in your own home, please place your brackets on top of studs!


  1. Anne...I love that "foyer"....what a great put so many creative "Anne" touches to it...and my fav, the AQUA chair...and the flowers...??..gorgeous! just trumped by hydrangeas...I need to plant that tree...but will it love NC?....Have a great weekend!!!

  2. What a great use of a potentially awkward space! Now your guests can sit there and write you little notes about how fun and funny you are ... and how much they love your home!



  3. I don't think I've ever been to a room with a foyer. I think it is a great space saver to put a desk in.

    It's Friday again. Would love for you to link up at Passion  Parade Friday !


  4. Great use of a tiny random space! I love all the nice touches you added like the window and parrots. Found you on the Serenity Now link party where I link up too.

    ~ Ferly
    Gifts We Use {to grow, love and serve}

  5. Looks like the perfect solution...and a comfy little spot :) Laurel

  6. I love it! Such a creative, cozy spot!!!
    Happy weekend, Anne!
    ~ Zuzu

  7. Anne,
    Great solution.Love that build in desk.

  8. Perfect for that spot! I like the window and how you tied that in with the thermostat. Love your chair! Thanks so much for linking up again to Rustic Restorations Weekend:)

  9. Great use of an unusual space! Love the window!

  10. What a wonderful idea!!! So creative of you to think of it! It looks beautiful.

  11. This is so smart and it makes me wonder why I didn't think of it! I pinned it for later use! Thanks for sharing!

  12. The perfect place for guests - I'll be right over!

    Love the white board window!!

  13. Anne; that is a fabulous idea for what would be a forgotten space or wasted one! Love that color of aqua/blue. (my favorite)

  14. This is such a cozy and pretty spot that you created! I have a tiny nook in our bedroom, and we hung a shelf a bit like yours, only smaller, and that has been my makeup area. It has worked, but we came across a free small dresser that my hubby is going to convert to a real makeup table with drawers for the space--can't wait! But it will all still fit in the nook, which is perfect.

  15. Clever what you did with the thermostat. Makes it a conversation piece. I love the desk too.

  16. Such a great way to use a little space. Thanks for linking up to Beyond the Picket Fence.

  17. What a clever solution...... I love that idea.


  18. Adorable idea Anne - and look, the chair is turquoise!!! Hehe!
    Thanks for linking up this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  19. Anne, Love your new foyer design. It has so much charm and love the desk. Thanks for sharing on Simple & Sweet Fridays! Always love your comments on Rooted in Thyme and Thyme for Home. Have a a fun week!



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