Here's my finished hybrid. As expected, it's part Julia Reed and part Martha Stewart with a little inspiration from Haskell Harris. I know you've seen sawhorse desks before, both the DIY variety and the catalog options, but I wanted to share this because the endless options for customization really do make it fun. Well, fun for me. Perhaps not so fun for my dad who built the desk entirely by hand.
[Image via General Hardware.]
Using steel sawhorse brackets from the hardware store with a combination of old wide-plank pine floorboards and two-by-fours, Dad built two sawhorses with shelves as well as a tabletop. But, as shown here, you can buy ready-made legs at IKEA (just search for 'trestle'). Since my father had some pine on hand, I only had to spend around
Now, initially I wanted a cloth-covered top because I liked the idea of a craft-friendly work surface; I planned to use the water-repellent coated linen featured in the Martha video, with the hope I could be totally careless with my Starbucks cups. But when the yardage arrived, I found myself drawn to the olive-brown matte finish on the reverse. So, I went with the uncoated side. The linen feels nice under my elbows and objects don't slide away; time will tell how practical it proves to be. If you are interested in a waterproof-yet-still-attractive tabletop, these instructions for 'lacquering' burlap sound interesting.
For the legs, I was curious to try that inky, slate-like chalkboard paint championed by Haskell. Obviously though, highgloss paint or a rich stain would give a different, more glamorous polish. And Julia's desk looked great in its raw state.
Total cost: under