Making Space for the Holidays

Making Space for the Holidays

Hello all! After a long break, we’re back. And just in time for the holidays which, let’s be honest, can be a little stressful. Here at Incognito Muse, we’ve found that keeping your own personal space (no matter how small) clean and clutter free can really help decompress after a day of holiday hosting/party small talk. To that end, we recently finished a small project that keeps precious desk space clear and is budget friendly! Behold, the DIY makeup-skincare desk shelf:

You will need:

  • desk (ideally white as white is easier to match color wise, but you could also choose contrasting colors)
  • screwdriver
  • 2 short screws
  • CB2 Piano White Wall Shelf 24″ (msrp $24.95 – you can find cheaper versions elsewhere, I like the CB2 one for it’s sturdiness and lacquered finish)
  • tape measurer or ruler
  • pencil

Like many people these days, our home desk is more than a place to write and do work. It does double duty as a makeup and skincare vanity. Few things are more frustrating that having half your desktop taken up by various bottles, moisturizers, tools, etc that don’t necessarily get daily use. Ours is a white Alex desk from Ikea (available for $149). It measures 51 5/8 inches long by 23 5/8 inches wide. If you don’t already have a desk or are looking to buy a new desk, this one works great for smaller spaces as it’s not quite a wide as the standard 30 inches for most desks but it’s also not super narrow. Plus, at 23 5/8 inches wide, it works perfectly with the commonly found 24 inch wall/piano shelf ledges. If your existing desk is less or more wide, you can always look for different length wall/piano shelves or trim one to size and paint the trimmed edge.

If you decide to go with the 24 inch shelf from CB2, it’ll arrive with two holes on the back where the top of two screws will go to hang the shelf.

Before making any holes in your desk, 2 things need to be measured.

  1. Distance from right and left edge to the middle of the hole where the screw top will go in.
  2. Distance from the top edge of the shelf to the top of where the screw will sit when it’s installed. This ensures the top edge of the shelf will be even with the desk when installed.

Our measurements showed the screws are 4 3/8 inches from each left and right edge, and 5/8 inches from the top of the shelf. Because our desk is slightly shorter than the shelf, we decided to line the front edge of the shelf with the front edge of the desk and have a bit of the shelf protruding on the backside where it’s not noticeable. This means when we marked the spots for the screws, we measured:

  • From the front of the desk – 4 3/8 inches in and 5/8 inches down.
  • From the back of the desk, because the desk if 23 5/8 inches wide and the shelf 24 inches wide, the shelf will protrude by 3/8 inches. This means we had to subtract 3/8 inches from 4 3/8 inches measurement to get the proper placement of the screw from the back of the desk. So the final measurements for the back of the desk – 4 inches in and 5/8 inches down.

We penciled in the point where the measurements crossed and screwed in the screws by hand. You can drill a small pilot hole if you wish, but because our desk is from Ikea, the wood is quite soft so be careful with any drilling depending on what your desk is made from!

Make sure to leave the screw sticking out a bit so that it can hook into the holes in the back of the shelf. If your desk has drawers like ours, you should also make sure you use a short screw that won’t go too far and interfere with the movement of the drawers. You can do this by holding a screw up to the side of the desk and comparing length and depth.

Now, all that’s left is to hang your shelf and fill it up!

You may notice the shelf and desk aren’t the exact same white but when the shelf is filled, it doesn’t really bother us. Especially when you get to enjoy a clear and free desk!

Cute Delfts Holland Squibb 1959 Rx mortar, bought at an old New England rummage sale
December 3, 2019
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