DIY Framing Wood Corner Desk

DIY Framing Wood Corner DeskHi there. I’m Trey, the manager of the ad program, and I’m going to show you how I built a desk for my new office at Spiegeling. Yes, that Trey. Yes, I work for my girlfriend. Yes, I know all the reasons that could be really scary/insane, but—sorry to disappoint—no horror stories (yet). It’s surreal how cool it’s been. But we’ll get into that another time. Today, desk. I’ve spent most of my career working for larger ad agencies, which were awesome, but I was used to a very predetermined office situation: “You’ll get this chair, this desk, this notepad, and this computer. You're welcome.” So I was pretty pumped I got to start from scratch—literally. Supplies and Drill Didier and I share a love for raw and simple furniture (BONUS: It’s way easier to make), so the supplies here are as straight-forward as the design: 40’ of 2×6 framing wood cut into 8 – 5’ pieces (be choosey with your wood—try to avoid the weird, warbly pieces, as that will be so annoying later), 4’ 1×2 oak piece, 4 – 2.5’ mending plates (1/8” thick), 48 – 1" screws (I used Phillips round-pan-headed screws, but it’s up to you), 10 – 2" traditional wood screws, 4 – 3-rod 28” hairpin legs, a pint of low gloss polyurethane, sanding block, power drill, skill saw, measuring tape, wood glue (optional) and a pen/pencil.

First, line up 4 pieces of the 5’ framing wood side-by-side—you can add wood glue between the boards if you want, but it’s not necessary. Place two mending plates* about 2 feet from either edge, so they should be about 1 foot apart. Screw your mending plates to the wood with the 1" screws. Flip over and secure two more mending plates to the other side in the same fashion (if you don’t like the industrial-meets-medieval look of the mending plates, you could just buy more oak and secure it from the bottom to have a clean wooden top). Repeat this process for the remaining 4 pieces of 5’ wood, and you should now have two secured surfaces of your corner desk.   

*I chose the mending plates with the most holes, because I knew I was opting for a thinner plate (liked the look). So I wanted the most opportunities to secure it. But you could definitely make this work with a more traditional mending plate. Saw the woodNext, you’ll need to measure the width of one of your surfaces. Four 2x6s next to each other usually adds up to 22” or so, but measure to be sure.* Mark a notch the measurement of the width (probably 22”) from edge of the surface along the length. Connect the notch to the opposing corner with your pen, and this should create your 45° angle. Saw along the line. Repeat this process with the other surface.

*Fun fact: A 2×6 is not actually 2” by 6” when you buy it from the store. That’s the measurement of what they cut from the log while it’s still wet. After the drying process, it usually reduces in size by about a 1/2". Might be obvious to some of you, but I learned that the hard way a few years ago. Put it togetherArrange your surfaces into the corner desk shape and then decide which side you want to be the bottom. That should be the side facing up. Cut your 4’ piece of oak into 2 pieces: 2.5’ and 1.5’.  Screw the two pieces of oak, using the 2" screws, at the crease of the corner to secure the two surfaces together (I also added a piece of scrap wood from my sawing to make it extra secure). Position and screw in your 4 hairpin legs.* Then, sand out the rough spots, and seal it with a coat or two of polyurethane. BOOM, you’re done!

*You'll notice the hairpin legs shown are 2-rod, not 3. After testing out the 2-rod for about a week, it just wasn't sturdy enough, so I swapped it out for the 3. Much, much better.Spiegeling OfficeDIY Corner DeskMy work is primarily paperless, so I don't need drawers or anything. I just wanted something minimal with enough space to spread out, but I didn't want to pay a fortune for it. I'm pretty satisfied with the result.Inspiration Wall Plants & CoffeeMy office is also the SpG brainstorm room, so my desk backs into the beginnings of our inspiration wall that we all add to. Yeah, it’s not the manliest scenery, but I work for Spiegeling. What do you expect, Call of Duty screenshots? Nah, this is way prettier. Besides it only took a month of working here, researching sponsors and whatnot, before Google determined I was a 25-34-year-old lady. Whatever, Google. I have a beard. Dolly!Seriously, my job is pretty sweet. –Trey

  • You and Didier have a similar style of writing that is so funny and enjoyable to read!

    The desk is great, I love the rawness of it and its a clever use of space for a big that doesn’t eat too much into the room.

  • @Dina, we don’t sell pop-ups of any kind (they’re the worst). Try clearing your cookies, and let me know if you keep getting them. trey AT redvelvetart DOT com.

  • These pictures are beautiful!

    I really want that wallpaper for my wall!! It looks so professional and artistic at the same time.

    That’s a very smart idea Trey, thank you for sharing it! I might try it.

  • Love it! I’m very jealous. If I could just bring my [non-existent] dog into the office, I’d be pretty set. And kudos to you for taking the working-with-your-significant-other plunge. It doesn’t always have be bad…

  • Ok. THIS is awesome. Now… can you post advice on how to sucker my boyfriend into doing all the work for this 😉

  • Trey, you’re awesome. What a nice guy. I think a whole lot of us in the blogging world just got a boycrush on you. Not in the kind of I’m-going-to-stalk-you-til-I-get-you kind of way, but just in the you-sound-like-a-really-nice-guy-and-your-lady-is-one-lucky-fish kind of way.

    Well done on that.


  • It’s nice to have a guy posting on this rather female dominated blog 🙂
    The workspace is great.

    Esther x

  • My mom pays my step-dad. No joke. My mom owns lake houses and he works for her booking them and taking care of everything for them. It works perfectly for them and I see nothing wrong with it. Props to you! And the desk, fantastic. Brilliant really!

  • Thank you for the link for the hairpin legs. I have been looking for those!

  • Cool! I bet its awesome to be able to work with people you love and the decor would make me smile everyday… better than a boring cubicle!

  • LOVE THIS POST! You guys are so cool…Just saying.


  • Gorgeous desk! I love the coasters and plants, they fit in perfectly.

  • This is such a creative space! It’s really neat that Trey and Didier get to work together 🙂

  • Awesome! I would totally be into having this at my home office because I don’t need any drawers there either!

  • Nice, I am dying to create my own office space one day. That last pic with your pooch is just adorable!!

    Strive to Thrive,

  • Geeze google. the man has a beard.

    Cool desk. sometimes I forget that furniture doesn’t have to be super difficult.

  • And here’s a set of shelves to go with it! Banded together in a similar manner:

  • Love this! The directions sound really complicated but looking at the photos the design seems simple 🙂 will defs get the hubby to look at this 🙂 thanks so much for sharing!

  • sweet work space! i love how simple it is added with SpG brainstorming walls of inspiration. it’s pretty cool to get a point of view from a male at abm! love it 😀

  • I’ve been looking for something just like that EVERYWHERE! Thank you so much!
    Check out my blog:

  • That’s a great, simple idea! When I move into my next apartment I am definitely going to try it instead of trying to move my current desk!

  • I agree with some of the other gals in that TREY You have a real wit and charm to your writing, JUST LIKE EMMA, you two must be adorably fun to be around 🙂

  • This post could not of come at the best time for me. I have been looking desperately for these legs. I am currently working on a desk for my office and… I was determined to fine these.
    I am beyond excited right now. BEYOND!!!!!

  • It’s so nice that you can surround yourself with people you love to help you accomplish your dreams. Even the pups. I love it.

  • Loved your writing “voice” Trey – too funny! Gorgeous desk, also.. maybe I can con my I-can-make-anything-dad into making one for me..

  • Looks rad! But not only that, I think it’s a real smart way to use a small space optimal. Very nice!

  • “Whatever, Google. I have a beard.” That made me laugh so hard.

    Absolutely love that desk! Seems like a great idea for a small space.

  • Bonjour!
    I’m a french fan of your blog which is veeeeery inspiring!
    I talked about you last week in mine,
    hope you’ll continue a looong time!

  • Bonjour!
    I’m a french fan of your blog which is veeeery inspiring…
    I talked about you last week in mine,
    Hope you’ll continue a long time!

  • Based on your writing style at least, I can see why you and Didier fell for each other. I love the sense of humor you both seem to have!

    Nice desk. I’d say it adds a little rough and manly style to your office.

  • Love it Trey! It follows one of my tags, Keep it simple!

    Had so much fun reading this post…

  • Hi, Trey, nice to meet you!

    I love this simple desk idea as it takes up a lot less space than a traditional desk, and makes use of otherwise wasted corner spaces – I might try this in my next home.

    I’m starting a new job on Monday, and if they don’t already have a puppy in residence, I think I will suggest it at the first available opportunity.

  • Love it.
    Also, I can tell from the way you write that you and Didier have similar humour and style which is adorable and awesome! Aww.

  • Great idea, I’ve got some additional ideas too like covering with some nice and giving it some extra racks or something.

  • I always hung around when my dad was building things for our house and I loved it. In my ideal life I will have all those awesome power tools and spend weekends at the hardware store making some really awesome things just like this desk. Industrial but still homey… I’m such a fan!

  • Trey. Lovely idea you had 🙂 BUT. You have a beard. An old lady from our street got a beard as well. And yet she is a woman. Sex is defined by the sort of the thing you got between legs generally:P

  • You just gave me a perfect idea for my new room!!!! 🙂 so happy!!! Lovly photos!!

  • This was so entertaining to read! Loved it!! Also love how Trey and Didier have a similar writing style- soul mate alert!!!

  • I really enjoyed reading a post written by Trey, hope there’ll be more of those soon!! 🙂

  • HELLO TREY! Love your first post and hope there’s more to come! You seem to have the same sense of humour as Didier, good match so 😉 The office desk is awesome by the way 🙂

    Turquoise Flamingo

  • I like the look of this desk, but do the mending plates and screws on top bother you? Seems like it would be uncomfortable to lay your arm across…?

  • That is really nice; basic, raw, exactly what I like. BTW, I like the 3 rod legs better.

  • Really awesome, I especially love the legs! My only question is something wrong with my eyes or are some of those photos in the negative? I find that a bit hard to see what’s really going on but great post! Love the legs of that desk.

  • gogeous…!!!
    and by the way trey…you made my day.
    i laughed so much by reading your post!!!;D


  • Great DIY!!! and super clear instructions!!

    <3 Val

  • @Erin. Yeah, you can definitely get screws that would flush a little better with the mending plates, but I really liked the look of them popping up. With the way I have everything set up, it’s not uncomfortable.

    @Mary, I don’t think Illustrator and Typepad get a lot very well. So it turned the instruction photos negative on some browsers. I never understand technology. Is it fixed now?

    @Er’body else, you’re all making me blush and stuff. You’re just the sweetest.

  • I have been thinking about building a large corner desk for my office because the ones that I want are way too $$$. I need a big area so I can spread out all my art junk! This tutorial really helps!



  • I see that kelly moore bag under your desk…tsk tsk for bringing out my jealousy monster before 10am!

  • Thanks for sharing the project! I love your writing style – do you have an online presence anywhere else?

  • oh you are a funny one!!! lol love the suggestion google gave you- what do they know!!! hahaha love the desk!

  • Ah, nice to virtually meet you Trey – love your writing and great job on the desk! Also, Didier sounds like a pretty cool boss to me. 🙂

  • So I, of course, *love* the desk (& how personalized the SpG offices are!) but this comment is really just to say that Trey is an awesome writer. We will definitely need another appearance 😉

  • This desk is amazing and minimal, so perfect! I also love Trey’s voice getting thrown into the mix, especially with the line “Whatever, Google. I have a beard.”

  • Love your workspace! And the desk looks rather easy to make. And by that I mean: easier than I thought it would be…


  • I love this item. Beautiful, functional, and rather simple. All great things!


  • It’s great to hear (read) from you, Trey! I love your desk idea and it’s cool to get to know you a little. Hopefully, we’ll show from you soon!

  • Dear Didier,
    Trey is a hoot. That gives him quite a few points in the “keeper” category.

    And also, the desk is pretty darn cool!

  • I don’t ever plan on making this desk but what an awesome post! Very cool indeed 🙂

  • Awesome project, love these kind of desks. And brave you’re going to work with your girlfriend. If I would work with my husband it would end up in an disaster I think 😉 Good luck! xx

  • Great sense of humor Trey! Love your desk and your 25 year old lady beard ;P


  • Table turned out AMAZING looking! And u got no splinters constructing it? Bravo! “Call of Duty” screenshots = LOL!!! I also love the ‘faux sitting at a cafe’ window table wallpaper … yes, pretty .. pretty awesome!

  • Trey, I love it! I have never been a handy person… but I really want to be! You were so specific and detailed that I might actually be able to make that and know what I’m doing at the same time! I totally love that desk and I love your little set up all around it! Thank you!

  • i LOVE the wall with all those images. my wall is almost the same:)

  • What a fantastic desk! I would love to work from home and build my own desk. That’s my long term goal, to work at home and then I’ll be able to create my own office.

  • Great office space, I love the idea of the large black & whites! How did you print them?

  • I just giggled most of my way through this post – cool desk – equally cool writing! btw my 9 year old nephew’s name is also Trey 🙂

  • Love love love it. Perfect for the woods. Only ours will be standing:

  • “Whatever, Google. I have a beard.”

    Just from your writing I can totally see why you and Didier are together. I hope you write for SpG again soon!

  • Don’t you just love google? Lol. It’s nice to get a guy post, and I love the desk! Definitely going to have to use this in the future 🙂

  • This is a really nice desk! Cool place to work + very good idea when you have a small room. Thanks.


  • Trey, you are hilarious! Great post! The desk looks wonderful, too. I’m going to show it to my husband for future house ideas.

  • This is great! It is also something i’m pretty desperate to do at the moment. I really need a new desk and after reading this I am fairly confident I will be able to do it myself 😛 Thanks a lot Trey! Looking forward to more posts from you in the future 🙂

  • great 1st post trey, nice humor coming through and awesome desk!

  • The tutorial is awesome, and I totally want to do this. I must say though, the commentary made it UBER awesome.

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