The top photo shows what the desk looked like when we purchased it. We found the desk in the basement of an antique shop, gathering dust and unassembled. It's circa 1890 (although I am singularly unreliable when it comes to dates, and I am certain that Corb will correct me on that when he reads this) and came from the Point Judith Inn, located in Narragansett, Rhode Island. According to the grizzled owner of the thrift shop, he was friends/neighbors with the then-owner, whose husband was battling cancer, forcing her to sell the place. That's how the desk came into his possession, and how it sat in his Partners 1basement for about a year.
I don't know what we saw in it, frankly. In looking at the photo now, it looks awfully scuffed up. Corb was the one who saw some potential first, of course. For me, it was the back story that interested me. I'm a sucker for back stories. I mean, who knows if it's even true? It doesn't really matter, it just gives me something to talk about, you know?
But the point is, he saw potential. And for the first few months, it just sat in our kitchen as is, while the wheels in Corb's fertile little mind starting spinning. Then he started making some calls, to see what some local carpenters would charge to fix it up. Then he didn't like the quotes that he received. Then he decided he could do the job himself. Then he freaked out, wondering whether he actually had the vision and skills to get the job done. And in the past month, he finally realized that he did--and he could.
To make it a proper kitchen island, he built two small platforms on the bottom, to raise each desk up a few inches. Next, he sanded and stained the tabletop, which is truly my favorite part of the project. After that, we took one of the paint buckets that the previous owners had thoughtfully left us in the basement, to match the color of the desk to the cabinets in the kitchen. Then came the hard part: sanding and painting the desk itself. Would it look okay? A few people were kind of shocked that he was painting over the wood. But after even just the first coat of primer, both of us knew it was going to look terrific.
And there you have it! This month's episode of "From Drab to Fab" (a title Corb HATES, by the way. He much prefers, "From Old to Bold." He thinks the former title sounds a little gay.)
Note: I have forbidden Corb from embarking upon any more home improvement projects for at least one whole week. Next Saturday, we are all gathering for my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary, which will begin with a small reception at the house. And if you don't think that's causing us stress...