DIY: An $80 Desk Makeover

For almost as long as we've lived in our house, I've been on the hunt for just the right bedside table. We have a fairly spacious master bedroom by city standards, with room on my side of the bed for more than your average nightstand. A bedside writing desk seemed like a particularly good solution for this space, since I work at home from time to time but don't want to dedicate a whole room to the occasional work-at-home day. 

The problem is, the desk I had, a simple white painted-metal and glass model, wasn’t exactly master-bedroom ready. It was fine in our old office upstairs (now our daughter's room), but it just won't cut it in the master.



Finally I stumbled on a potentially perfect solution: the skirted desk.

Source:  Lonny

Source: Lonny

Not only do skirted tables look pretty and polished as a console or desk, but they enable you to stash a ton of stuff underneath. I love secret storage, and love it even more when it looks like this:

Credit: Nam Dang Mitchell via  Rough Luxe Perspective

Credit: Nam Dang Mitchell via Rough Luxe Perspective

Credit: Palmer Weiss via La Dolce Vita

Credit: Palmer Weiss via La Dolce Vita

Credit:  Tobi Fairley

Credit: Tobi Fairley

Credit: Urban Grace Interiors via  Bungalow Blue Interiors

Credit: Urban Grace Interiors via Bungalow Blue Interiors

All of that inspiration aside, however, I did realize that buying yards of fabric and teaching myself to essentially slipcover my desk—box pleats? Yeah, right—was just not in my weekend agenda. So began looking for shortcuts….

Which I found in a 48-inch party table cover that cost just $54. 

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

I wasn't done yet, though. While that table cover was just the right size to cover the surface of the Lumisource Pia desk I’d bought at a few years back, it would be a bit too short to graze the floor. So, to get a little extra length and add a decorative flourish, I turned to decorative trimming. NYC’s M&J Trim has a great selection, and I ordered this 33mm Greek key jacquard ribbon in Pale Blue/Antique for $8 a yard. I needed at least 8 feet to cover the front and sides of the table cover, so I got 3 yards for $24.

he next step was to cut and sew, which I’ll admit I did a little ham-handedly. I simply folded down the ends of the ribbon for a finished edge, then attached it to the skirt via a single stitch along the top edge.

Ribbon trim
Attaching the ribbon
Ribbon trim table skirt edge

Here’s the finished look.


It’s not perfect. I probably had the tension setting too high when I attached the ribbon, hence the slight puckering you see along the edge. And since the table doesn’t have a center kick pleat, your legs don’t really sit fully under the table like they would a regular desk. But I tend to rove around the house when I work from home, so for the 4-6 hours of my work week that I sit here, it’s not bad. And considering I’ve packed it underneath with magazines and sewing supplies, my legs wouldn’t have any place to go anyhow. All in all, it works. Storage, a work surface, and a clean look? Check, check, and check.


If you can't sew a stitch, you can't find a premade party cover in the right size, or you're simply strapped for time, another way to get this look is to order a fab custom skirt from Society Social. I love the colors and the preppy solid tape trim. Cute, no?

Source:  Society Social

What do you think? Would you attempt this project in a weekend?