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April 24, 2021

5 Tips to Find the Best Executive Desk For Under $1K

Soooo if you’ve been following me, you know that an upcoming home office reveal is happening this Spring and it’s being curated beautifully.

Here’s the deal: I really wanted an executive desk and had my eye on a few of them. The only problem was that these desks were either not in the color that I desired or missing functional components like enough drawers for space. 

The goal was beautiful AND functional.

FYI: Nothing wrong with buying at full price. I’ve done so plenty of times. However, in this case, I didn’t see the value in paying $3-5K for a desk that style I liked, but not the color or function.

Then, insert Alisa Bovino, she’s an interior design blogger who swears by this online thrift store called: Facebook Marketplace. She explains that buying furniture at full price is like buying a car at full price. The item loses 20% of its value after purchase and it can’t be recouped.

Tip: #I If you want beautiful, and functional — look in unconventional places.

So enter Facebook Marketplace, a store where you can buy beautiful furniture pieces for bargain basement prices like an auction for furniture without the competition. 

After saving the kinds of desks that I adored (tripping the algorithm in my favor) like Alisa recommends and checking dimensions of the area in my office to the size of the desk, I made an offer.

This was the desk I was originally planning on getting — in hindsight it was a longer desk (89” in length) than what was likely best and smaller in width. It looked well made, and for only $75 I thought it was a steal. I sent an offer 10% higher than what was requested to set my bid apart from others.

Then, I waited, waited, and waited… and heard crickets. I don’t know if he fell off the face of the Earth, but I wasn’t going to wait forever. So I opted for this desk and instead of sending a higher bid, I offered exactly what the seller requested. Originally he had it listed for more and dropped it to $150. He accepted my bid within a few minutes. 

Note: I’m NOT a haggler, so if you’re saying, “Melodee, did you try and low ball him to save more?” No. The answer is no. I detest doing that especially on items already under market value!

Now here’s where things get jiffy, I had done my due diligence (checked dimensions, the seller’s home was approximately 20 minutes away from mine) and I just needed to hire a mover to get it to me. 

Tip: #2 If you’re not picking the furniture up yourself, make sure you have access to reliable movers and that they’re available.

Being the millennial that I am, I searched “moving furniture” or something like that in the App Store and a highly rated moving app popped up. I downloaded it, put in the seller’s address and my address, checked the largest item selection, included photos, and requested the most movers which were two (driver and helper). 

After a few minutes — a man (driver) and woman (helper) accepted and said that they’d be arriving at the seller’s home in 20 minutes. Great. I let the seller know and he said that was perfect. The helper ended up canceling, but the driver was still willing to go if the seller would help him move it into his truck. The driver arrived and sike, just kidding! 

“Ma’am, I’m sorry this is a beautiful desk, but not only is it heavy— it needs at least 3 people, maybe 4 people to move it. I don’t want to scratch and mess it up. I’m sorry, but I’ve got to cancel as I don’t feel comfortable moving it. I’ve had customers complain before about scratching and messing up their items, even though I didn’t.”

Long story short: after getting a mover reference from a friend (a dude on Craigslist who said he’d been in business for 14 years) who didn’t show up three days in a row… and it had been almost another week since I had bought it. 

By this time, I’m exhausted, frustrated, and my energy is depleted. Let’s just say project coordination is NOT my gift.

My sweet Dad offered to help move it. I thanked him and said that I’d rather pay someone as it was really heavy and I didn’t want him hurting himself. 

Ugh. What was a girl to do? 

Then, I remembered my kind, strong, hard working lawn men who keep their word!! I offered them what I was willing to pay the movers, ended up tipping them extra — because why not and they went above and beyond!

The rest, as they say, is history.  Well, not exactly. 

Tip: #3 Measure the width, height, and depth for where the desk will go, AND the door and hallway opening.

You see, I had done my due diligence (or so I thought) taken measurements, knew exactly where the desk would go, and accounted for enough space. But what I didn’t take into account? The desk getting through the doors.

Although it was a bit snug, it got through the front and hallway door, but when it came to the office door. 

It doesn’t look like it’s going to fit through…” they whispered loudly.

We had come too far to stop here. Thankfully, my lawn caretakers are geniuses and figured out a solution — take it off.

The door to my office, that is.

They did it. Now, it’s inside and next step — let’s make it MINE.

Tip: #4 You can upgrade and customize anything with a bit of priming, staining, and good ole fashioned painting.

And by *you* I mean someone else doing it for you, because — girl, who has time to paint?!
this is about as close to paint as I get

This time instead of Facebook Marketplace, I pulled up the original macdaddy of directories —Yelp. I included dimensions & photos of my desk, and requested quotes from vendors who had mostly stellar reviews. I didn’t receive many favorable responses back, other than “sorry, we don’t do that kind of work.

Not again. Come on. Does no one want to work today? (Slightly kidding, I know it’s a small job… and bigger companies even local mom & pops aren’t interested since this is a busy season.)

Then, one company did reply with a quote and I was excited and hesitant, because I didn’t see ANY reviews like not even 1. That made me nervous. I expressed my concern and he shared photos of work he’d done for other clients, references, etc. and explained that his dad actually owned the company, and he was helping him begin his social media presence (all the millennials with elderly not-so-tech-savvy family can relate!!). Since he was professional, polite, and prompt, I went ahead and put down a deposit (also, since I was paying with my credit card — I was at ease with fraud protection too).

Note: I had already done this research prior to purchasing the desk to get a head start. But, I didn’t pull the trigger until getting the desk, which as you know took longer than expected to get delivered.

Tip: #5 Choose a color that compliments your color palette in your moodboard

There are key components to what you should include in your moodboard and you can read that here. Color is crucial. 

Note: Please don’t just pick a pretty color that you like. Think about the space that the desk is going to, your color palette, and that while you may change the wall color, accessories, etc. you’re likely not going to change your desk every year — so choose a color from your color palette that’s versatile (oh and it doesn’t have to be the SAME exact color—as long as it’s in the same color theme family you’re good).

Pulling from my wallpaper sample, color palette, and keeping long-term use in mind…I chose blue.
But not just any blue, and I’ll reveal the specific blue in the reveal later next month.

BEFORE: boring classic brown

AFTER: elegant make a statement blue

What do you think? Do you love it?! I’m obsessed and can’t stop looking at it. Do you prefer the classic brown or statement blue? Let me know in the comments below!

Cheers to feeling beautiful in your home and being at peace in your mind!

With joy & delight,

p.s. Sooo looking forward to sharing the studio home office reveal next month! Stay tuned and wish me luck that everything else will arrive on-time and flow smoothly!

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