Technology Nook: Daily Progress + Budget Breakdown

Behind The Scenes of The living Room Technology nook:

Two days ago I posted the living room nook makeover, but today I wanted to share a bit of what went on behind the scenes, plus a full budget breakdown.

Day 0 (Several weeks leading up to the start date)



For weeks and weeks, this idea was only an obsession. Lot’s of sketching in my notebook, researching (finding pretty pictures on Pinterest), and bouncing ideas with Mike (and anyone else who would listen).

Every single day on my drive home from work I pass our local Habitat ReStore, and ALMOST every single day, I stop by. I go so frequently, that I really don’t need to spend a lot of time when I go. I just make my rounds to see if anything has been added.


I had been on the lookout for a budget friendly cabinet or drawer system to use as the base for the built in desk. A new cabinet was not an option, as they can cost $80+ dollars. Building it ourselves also wasn’t an option, because well, we just aren’t that advanced.

This one came to a grand total of $15.20. It was mostly solid wood, the drawers were easy to open and close, the entire piece felt solid and sturdy, and it was the perfect dimensions for being a desk base because it was thin enough to allow room for a desk chair. The only problem with it was the missing top drawer, and a few design concerns. I didn’t love the drawer fronts, they felt a little too “school file cabinet – ish”.

I also had this old chair you can see below that I planned on using for the nook to save money.


Does everyone fit? Yes.


Day 1 (Saturday)

Mike had to work half the day, so we were only able to devote about five evening hours  of the day to this project.


-Built middle shelf

-Started to figure out cord organization (trust me, this took up tons of our time)

-Put base drawers in place

-Built desk top

-Take apart desk chair (this took me a very long time)


Day 2 (Sunday)

This day didn’t turn out as planned. We were only able to devote an hour at most. I was really grouchy.


-found fabric for the chair

-Painted one coat of purple paint on chair

– Painted two coats of paint on most nook walls

-Continue organizing cables

-Realizing today that the shelves need under closure as well. An expense we didn’t really plan for.


Day 3 (Monday)

A full work day for both of us. Like not living room work, but actual real life-sucking job work.


– In the morning before work, I was able to sand and prime the desk top

– I started realizing I didn’t like the purple chair, committed to changing it.

-In the evening Mike built most of the top shelf

-First coat of desk paint applied


-Concealed cables (if you squint, you can see the cable concealers in the corners located in between the desk and first shelf)


Day 4 (Tuesday)

Another full work day (real jobs, not nook work) for both of us.


-In the morning Mike finished building the top shelf

-PM: finish painting walls white in that nook

-Started to sand chair down past the veneer.


Day 5 (Wednesday)

Full work day for Mike. I was thankfully off for the day while Ari remained in daycare.


-More painting/caulking/finishing details

-Bought hardware

-Cut wood for drawer fronts

-Filled in gaps on drawer fronts/sanded/primed


Day 6 (Thursday)

Thanksgiving! We didn’t have plans until the afternoon, so in the morning we actually got things accomplished. Weird.


-Painted drawer fronts

-Put in place

-Begin styling and arranging things


Day 7 (Friday)

Nothing accomplished


Day 8 (Saturday..again)


-Built fake top drawer to match the lower drawers

-finished all painting on every single area



Budget Breakdown With Sources:

Base Drawers: $15.20, Habitat For Humanity ReStore.

Chair: Free (originally I paid less than $20 at a Peddler’s Mall three years ago, but at this point, I consider it free) + $5 purple paint sample

Fabric For chair: $5/Yard, Hancock Fabrics Clearance Bin

Wall Paint: Free “Drifting Snow” by Glidden, color matched with Behr quality. Free. Leftover from other living room walls.

Desk Paint: “Tanglewood” by Behr in High Gloss. Free. Leftover from other living room projects.

Wood: $78, Home Depot + leftovers we had at home from other projects. Wood is expensive, thankfully we were able to use up some leftovers to save money.

Cable concealers: $20

Drawer knobs: $36

TOTAL: $159.20

Okay, so oops. I did go about $59 over my ideal budget. Guess I’ll just eat tuna and rice for a few days instead of nicer grocery food, that should make up for it. Or not. Despite being a little over budget, I’m still VERY happy with the transformation!

full view


One Comment on “Technology Nook: Daily Progress + Budget Breakdown

  1. Hi! I popped over here from Emily Clarke’s blog. I like your blog and appreciate that you write about your criteria, thought process, and staying on budget. This entire nook looks great and functional but I especially noticed how the hardware you chose for the drawers transformed that unit.

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