A $5 Retro desk becomes my brand new coffee station!

Jul 11 2016
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I can’t begin the story of this little retro desk until I explain first why on earth I need another piece of furniture in my kitchen. The plan was for the outside glass door there beside the kitchen sink to swing in and fold over in front of the window, so I chose a window the width of a regular exterior door and just left this area totally empty. I had the dream of this door swinging in and against the window/wall: getting conveniently and awesomely and totally out of the way in the summer time when I would then use the outside screen door instead.

(8/1/2019 OMG I can’t believe its been three years since this post came out! Since then my kitchen (and this spot in particular) has gone through a ton of transformations, almost as many as I have myself! I’m a single gal now and I just finished remodeling this entire room!)

Well, once I got the sheet rock and trim on it the door would NEVER open all the way. Oops and shit. So, then I had this three feet of “wasted” space beside my kitchen sink under the window.

After a couple of months of living here I put a kitchen table in the empty spot and the coffee pots moved over because they’re being right there where I wash dishes on the other side of the sink was driving my crazy. So, this spot became my “coffee station” conveniently “out” of the kitchen but still totally in the kitchen to be “convenient” 😉

However, the old kitchen table I put there was just NOT cutting it! I had all of my coffee, tea, honey etc. over in the upper cabinets on the other side of the sink. Not convenient! What I needed was a piece of furniture that included storage. Standing in the kitchen I though to myself, “I would love one of those old dry sinks that they used to have in butler’s pantries!”

Well, it just so happened that very next day (on my way home from work) I passed a garage sale. I’m not gonna stop. Was that a little black desk? I certainly shouldn’t stop. I turned my car around. I’ll be quick! The little black retro desk was just hanging out, looking beat up and sporting a big red sticker on it with a price tag of $5! Sold!

I had to take the legs off of it to get it in my little car but – no problem! Does a little retro desk resemble an old dry sink at all?

Nope – not at all. But, at $5, I couldn’t beat the price tag and, on top of that, I knew I already had all the paint and materials besides to give it a makeover and start using it right away. And all of the drawers worked perfectly!

Old retro desk gets black paint and chrome spray paint in a diy makeover to become our coffee station, before and afterOld retro desk gets black paint and chrome spray paint in a diy makeover to become our coffee station, before and after

As far as I can tell this desk was given to at least one kiddo who gladly beat the top of it up and then it was moved to a garage (or somewhere wet) where it ended up losing its back (not a big deal) and sustaining quite a bit of water damage.

Because of its retro look and because I had some chrome spray paint left over from my Costco stool project I decided to spray the legs. With a leftover 2×2 and a piece of leftover bead board I built a shelf in, turning this retro desk into more of a buffet/console.

I found a grand wicker basket in town that was the perfect fit! I also had the drawer pulls leftover from my kitchen so that was a no brainer. I painted it out with black rustoleum and gave it several coats of semi gloss sealant to keep it safe. All it needs now are some little rubber feet to cover up the bottoms of the legs 🙂

Old retro desk gets black paint and chrome spray paint in a diy makeover to become our coffee station, before and afterOld retro desk gets black paint and chrome spray paint in a diy makeover to become our coffee station, before and afterOld retro desk gets black paint and chrome spray paint in a diy makeover to become our coffee station, before and after

There you have it guys! Is it perfect? No, not entirely, it is really kind of retro for my 100 year old farm house lol, but at least for now, it is a vast improvement and so convenient!

It is just awesome to have everything all organized and in one place now from teas to coffees to whatever you would want to put in them, its all right here now, so handy. The outside door over on the left opens and now sits against the side of my coffee station, this wasn’t how I planned it but I think its better then my plan would have been!

When I designed my whole kitchen I always thought my coffee pots etc. would be on the right side of the sink but they drove me crazy there – they were so in the way!

My “failed plan” actually created the perfect place now for my coffee station, funny how things do seem to work out from time to time!

Old retro desk gets black paint and chrome spray paint in a diy makeover to become our coffee station, before and afterA $5 retro desk gets a makeover before and after painted furniture new life as a coffee station in our kitchen black paint new chrome hardware and a wicker basket diy do it yourself


  1. Sherri
    July 12, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Love it, awesome job!!!

  2. Carol Dammer
    July 17, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Looks great Tarahlynn….you sure are a talented young lady!

  3. Nancy F Lambert
    July 17, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Awesome, I love it

  4. August 5, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Week after week, you crank out the most amazing pieces. This one is no exception. Great job! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Friday’s Furniture Fix. Susie from The Chelsea Project

  5. August 10, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Great job! I love stumbling on an odd item that works perfect 🙂 And $5.00, what’s not to love?

  6. October 5, 2016 at 11:42 am

    What a great idea! Not to mention $5! It nice to have everything right where you can find it and not in your way.

  7. Sue Tait
    October 16, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    I tell ya, I keep coming here to look at the things you have done, and I am in awe over and over. I just love everything in your house, such a comfortable place, and I see each time the love you have put into it… GOOD JOB, Tarah~~!

  8. November 15, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    I love your coffee station – and your creativity! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY Party!

  9. December 5, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    What a perfect solution to your problem and for $5.00! Wow you couldn’t pass that by. It looks wonderful.

  10. December 9, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Another fantastic makeover! The style actually kind of reminds me of what you did with your master retreat. Thanks again for sharing!

  11. December 11, 2016 at 3:11 am

    SO neat!! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  12. December 11, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    All I see is perfect when I look at this transformation! You did an amazing job and thank you for sharing this at Celebrate Your Story.

  13. December 13, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    I love this retro desk! It would go so nice in my office lol xo

    • December 13, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      Thank you 🙂 I was really happy with how this little guy came out! The extra storage is SO great to have!

  14. December 14, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    This is amazing! I love that you added the shelf and the wicker basket. And I LOVE the silver legs! What a great remodel! Love your blog!

    • December 14, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      Thank you Amy!! Hope you have a wonderful week, stay warm out there!

  15. April 27, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Thats a score of a find for 5 bucks! Amazing repurpose too, I adore retro design. Thanks so much for sharing your project at Fridays Furniture Fix Tarah!

  16. April 28, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Looks great… nice to have a project turn out as you need it to. 🙂

  17. September 13, 2017 at 11:55 am

    It totally looks at home. Thanks for the inspiration.

  18. September 25, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    I have been considering a small coffee station but didn’t think I could afford one. Did you prove me wrong.

    Thank you for the inspiration Tarahlynn. Pinning.

  19. October 2, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Isn’t it funny how we ‘settle in’ to our houses and things aren’t always as we expected. Love how you made use of the space you had! You’ve made such a lovely job of this desk renovation – really breathed new life into it. Your Coffee Station is wonderful and I’m so glad you shared it with us at the Hearth and Soul Link party!

    • October 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      Thank you SO much April! This little desk turned out just perfect for that spot under the window, funny how sometimes the furniture pieces we need show up right when we need them!

  20. October 11, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    So cute and simple! We have one made out of an old dresser. 🙂
    I never got around to painting/fixing it up though. Hopefully in the spring!

    • October 11, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      Great idea to use a dresser for a coffee station and isn’t it always nice to have projects to look forward to? Thanks for coming by Lexie!

  21. November 13, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    That looks great, it looks like it was made to be a coffee station! Thanks for sharing it with us at the Homestead Blog Hop. 🙂

  22. January 25, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    What an awesome find! You did a fabulous job of updating it and making it work for your house. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from the Creatively Craft Link Party.

    • January 25, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks Donna, have a great weekend!

  23. February 22, 2018 at 4:17 am

    That is so cool. Thanks for sharing. What a wonderful job you did.

  24. February 25, 2018 at 4:01 am

    What a gorgeous piece. You did an awesome job.
    stopping by from #alittlebitofeverything link up

  25. February 28, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Wow what a bargain. And what a Fabulous transformation! I think the handles make it!
    I loved this.
    Thanks for linking at the party!

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