Desk Job

When Steve and I moved into our home we started embracing the 70s. After all, the home was built in 1971 so we figured it would be fitting to furnish it in a modern 1970s style. Amazingly, most of our mid-century Danish modern furniture fit right into the decor, which is good since I don’t want to part with my beloved Heywood Wakefield dining room set.

The office/sewing room was one of the places that never seemed quite finished. We had a lovely 1950s desk that looked great, but didn’t fit our decor or desk needs.

The floating top is cool and it’s in great shape, but it isn’t what we wanted so we began looking for a 1970’s office desk. I wanted one with chrome legs, walnut formica, metal or wood/formica doors and a return, ideally. I found exactly what I wanted, but it belonged to a good friend of mine who wasn’t about to part with it.  I scoured eBay, Craig’s List, various flea markets and resale shops, but couldn’t find one. I came close a time or two, but most of them were in horrible shape. Last Saturday, Steve and I went downtown to look in the window of an old office supply store called Moseley Office Supply. It’s been around since the 1950’s and specializes in new and used office furniture. Naturally, they weren’t open on the weekend, but I went back on Monday to check out the used furniture warehouse.

There it was; the desk of my dreams. Well, almost. If I were to get really picky (and I usually do) I would prefer metal doors, but this came closer than anything I’d seen in a couple of years. It was a little beat up, but the top was in great shape and it had a return. I had J.D., the warehouse dude, take off the chairs that were stacked on it so I could take a closer look. I sent several pictures to Steve and he said he liked it. I measured everything and had J.D. place a hold on it and a red chair I found in another room. I told him I’d call the next day to tell him whether or not I wanted it.

That night, Steve and I measured the room and I sent some pics of our old desk to a friend who owns an antique store. She agreed to take our old desk on consignment and give me a deal on the consignment percentage. I arranged to have Pavel and his truck help me with the pick up and desk moving on Thursday. I was set.

We delivered the old desk to Funtiques Thursday morning and went downtown to Moseley’s to get the new desk. J.D. was on a delivery, but Richard was working the warehouse and was very helpful. I was disappointed that J.D. hadn’t done all the work I’d asked him to do, but let it go. Besides, I know I can do a better job fixing the cosmetic damage. We loaded the desk in the truck and drove it home. That’s when things got a bit, well, complicated. Pavel informed me that he wasn’t sure the desk would fit through the door. You see, I’d failed to measure the doorway and stairwell to see if the desk would fit (insert Homer Simpson D’oh! here). He carried in the chair and the return, but the desk was going to be a challenge. Pavel offered to come back on Saturday when he and Steve could haul it, but I insisted I was strong enough to help. I would eat those words. Pavel took the heavy end and I took the “light” end and we started up the first flight of steps. He started to shift the desk to an upright position so he could maneuver the corner and I ended up with a desk on my chest, trapped against the wall. Eventually, I shifted my grip and we ascended. Lots of grunting, a few wall smudges, a floor gouge and a wall scrape later and we had the desk in place. Pavel kept asking me if I really liked it since he couldn’t understand why in the world anyone would buy an old desk. Yes, I assured him, this was what Steve and I wanted.

Steve got home and we leveled it and screwed in the return. It’s gorgeous and I love all the room I have to work on the computer. Now all I need is a nameplate and some great 1970s art for my office. And I’m not moving it again!

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