Well I do. Orientated Strand Board is gorgeous.
“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.
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.
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.
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?