DIY, Furniture, Home, Interiors, Project, Saving Money
comments 23

I love OSB

Well I do. Orientated Strand Board is gorgeous.

OSB Desk Monochrome Home Office

“Oriented Strand Board uses the same system as plywood: opposing-orientation of wood-fibres creates rigidity, allowing a very stiff panel without great weight. Ideal for roofing, wall sheathing, hoardings and flooring.” Jewson

Well yeah, it is good for all of those building-y things… but it also makes gorgeous furniture. It’s cheap as chips too. Bonus.

Which brings me onto my home office. I’ve been wanting to update it for ages, it was done over a year ago on a complete budget. I used left over paint and bit of old furniture from the loft and it did the job. For a while. But over the past year, i’ve kind of outgrown our third bedroom, it only measuring a minuscule 1.8 x 2.9m. Pretty standard for a “box room” really.

Photos – Olly Gordon

I also wanted to work facing the window so I felt connected to the outside world. It’s mad how quickly a week can pass before you realise you’ve hardly seen or spoken to anyone when you’ve been so busy staring at a computer screen. I knew I was going to be spending much more time at home, writing and planning design work so I wanted a space that energised me. Facing a black wall did not.

So my plan was to run the desk along the window wall and have a piece of OSB cut exact to size. My main man, Evan from Bare Joinery sorted me out with two pieces of cut to size OSB. This was going to make my desktop. Here are some images to give you an idea of how beautiful OSB can be. In the home. Out on show.

We needed two pieces of board to prevent the desk top from sagging in the middle. These were screwed together to make one 1.5m length of chunky desktop.

DIY OSB Desktop

Pilot holes were drilled in the base of the desktop, ready for the screws. My dad helped on this a) because he’s ace and b) loves a project as much as I do. About 15 pilot holes were drilled down the edges and centre of the board.


All the holes were countersunk to get the screw heads flush with the board.


Make sure both boards are totally in line around the edges and free of EVERY single splint of wood before you screw the two pieces together. This did take some time. Don’t rush this bit or you’ll have your desktop gaping at the edges. Not a good look.


I picked up two ADILS desk legs from Ikea at £2.25 each. They come with these large brackets to fix into their desk tops but fitted them easy peasy to the underside of my new desktop.

Clear Varnish

Once the desktop was “made”. It was flipped over and given some serious love with fine grit sand paper, getting rid of any snags on the edges or splints across the top. You really need to get it as smooth as possible before you seal it with varnish or oil.

It had three coats over 24 hours, with a super light sand with fine grit paper in between each one to take off any left over splints. The top and all edges were sealed leaving it water resistant and with a very low lustre sheen. I’ve already spilled water on it and it just wiped right off.

Making Spaces Home Office 2016

And here is said desk. Cost – £24.50.

For this little office update I’m going for a clean, monochrome, minimal vibe with lots of stripped back materials for warmth. OSB, MDF, cardboard will be providing some depth and texture to the space. The window will also be filled with plants to create a fresh and healthy working environment, bringing a bit of the outside in.


I decided to only fit two legs and use my existing HELMER unit from Ikea for the left hand desk support. I’ve packed it out underneath, about an inch to level the desk. And it looks like it’s floating which is pretty cool.


I love the texture of the surface. It’s beautiful…. for a load of waste material compacted together.

There are more changes planned for the space; a wall light, new radiator, artwork and some shelves too. A final reveal of the whole space is on its way shortly.


But for today, it’s all about the desk. Do you like?





  1. Do I like? I love it! I’d never considered OSB for a desk before, but you’ve made an excellent (and beautiful) case for it! I love the floating effect you’ve created. Did you manage to get the surface quite smooth with sanding? As in, would there be any risk of splinters? It’s also amazing what changing a layout can do for a room!

    • Thanks Meera! 🙂 There are lumps and bumps but you can run your fingers across it and it’s not spikey or splintery. I’d say textured would be a good word to describe the finish. Although I only sealed it with oil, if you used a varnish and layered it up over a few days i’m sure you’d got a glossier smoother surface. I may end up doing that if it doesn’t hold up to daily wear and tear…. Feels lovely facing the window now. Am sitting here right now watching the wind blow all the trees about 🙂

    • Rosie Watson says

      Amazing! How thick was each piece of OSB? I think I’ll give it a go 🙂

  2. Oh it’s lovely! At work I work with 3D designers who love OSB and we use it a lot in the gallery too – but haven’t seen it varnished, looks amazeballs! Of course you are now making me rethink my home office plans too – I’ve been concerned about working facing the wall and not the window – hmmm! Great work Karen, desk is fab and looking forward to seeing any future changes x

    • Oh good. I’m glad i’ve popped that thought in your head about facing a window. It’s made such a difference just getting some daylight on my face. If you have the option of facing the window then do consider it. And thanks for the desk love!!x

  3. madaboutthehouse says

    You’re so clever. I would never have thought of that but it looks great. I also can’t work facing a wall and I’m sure you’ll be much happier facing the garden. Brilliant job XK

    • Thanks Kate, I wondered whether you’d like this little ditty. And yeah, facing the outside world makes all the difference!x

  4. Karen, this looks wonderful! Like others I would never have considered using OSB in this way – it’s always seemed too building-y for me, but this is making me regret my Ikea desk-top now! Nice job!

    • Hey, there’s nothing wrong with an Ikea desktop. You can get one for £6!! Amazing. Glad you like it though Jill. Thank you 🙂 x

  5. Looks absolutely fabulous Karen. Facing the window will make so much difference to the way you feel while working. OSB is such a versatile material and the textured look of it is so lovely. Looking forward to seeing the full reveal.

  6. I have just posted my own Study Makeover and got all excited when I saw you had been updating your space with your thrifty desk. It looks fab. What a great idea! I love bargains like this because you end up loving the items even more because they are unique and have saved you some pennies!

    Great minds re: the wall colour. We have grey and white walls in our new study/den and we love the impact the dark grey makes.

    I haven’t been blogging long or following blogs but I found yours early on and I love it! I think it’s a mixture of the great photography and your writing style and humour. I will be back!

    • That’s lovely Jane. Thank you. And yes I do love it so much more because I know nobody else has got exactly the same desk as moi 🙂 I shall take a peek at your office makeover later today!x

  7. Oh wow I can’t believe it was only £25, it looks awesome! Thanks for explaining why you would need 2 pieces for a job like this. I’m new to your blog but if this post is anything to go by I’ve found a good place 🙂 Off to have a better nose around!

    • Hi Lucy, and welcome. Thank you for your lovely feedback. I hope you find more fun stuff on here. There are a load of DIY’s interior design projects and affordable design options. Enjoy 🙂

      • Paul says

        Which times 2 = 36mm, the same as scaffold board or kitchen worktop. Makes it really simple for projects where you want to mix up your materials.

      • I (finally) made my own OSB desk, your step by step instructions were just perfect. I now have a proper desk that I love (good job as I go full time on my interiors business tomorow!). Feels great to have built it myself too.

        Thank you, thank you for posting this and helping me loads 😀

  8. Hi Karen, We’re planning a similar desk top but not so keen on the glossy varnish finish. Yours looks great! Can you please tell me what oil you used / who supplies it. Apologies if you mentioned it above and I have missed it

  9. Claire says

    Hi there
    I know I’m late to the party, but just saw this post yesterday after googling ideas for a new desk top for my teens room, and eh voila, a quick trip to Wickes today and I have two boards ready to go!

    How is/did your deks hold up with the Danish oil as I already have a fresh tin hanging around…

    Many thanks

  10. Timothy Ward says

    Nice desk, I also love OSB.
    My home office has a very large OSB desk and a i made doors for my ikea PLATSA units in OSB to match!

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