I have been thinking a lot about how a space can foster productivity and creativity. I am starting my 2nd book and I asked some of my other writer friends what their ideal space for writing would be. They also suggested a remote environment surrounded by nature like a country house with limited Wi-Fi and less distractions. Well, a picturesque country house isn’t available to everyone but I was curious as to whether I could take that idea as a starting poitna dn create a piece of furniture that provides some of the same thing. So, I transformed this wardrobe into a writing desk that has a real living garden growing inside. When you sit it’s like looking into a window full of plants. The plants are given plenty of light by an LED grow light system built into the ceiling of the wardrobe. The inside walls of the cabinet have soft LED lights that illuminate the plants. This project cost around $300 and took about 12 hours to make.
LED Grow Lights
I used one of the LED grow lighting systems to sustain all of the plants inside the wardrobe.
RYOBI Jig Saw
RYOBI Compound Miter Saw
RYOBI Compound Miter Saw
RYOBI 18 Volt Cordless Drill
STEP 1: Strip and paint the wardrobe.
I removed the interior shelves and spray painted the wardrobe matte white. I removed some of the interior supports along the ceiling with my Japanese hand saw.
STEP 2: Cut trim pieces.
I cut pieces of 3/4″ poplar trim and some different pieces of interior molding to create supports for the lights and to frame out the enclosure and hide the edges of the acrylic panels that I would later use to cover the lights. I used finish screws to secure these pieces
STEP 3: Install lights.
I used peel and stick LED strip lights along the cabinet walls and an LED grow lighting system in the ceiling.
STEP 4: Cover the lights.
I used translucent acrylic to cover the LED strip lights but left the grow lights uncovered.
STEP 5: Make a Corian planter tray.
I ut 1/2″ Corian with my circular saw and a fine laminate blade. I then used Corian joint compound to weld the pieces together to make a nice white planter tray. Once the compound had cured I used my orbital sander to sand the exterior edges. I ran a bead along the inside edges of the planter tray to seal it. I then dropped the planter tray inside the cabinet.
STEP 6: Add trim pieces.
I screwed some trim pieces to hide the seams between the acrylic panels.
STEP 7: Aluminum brackets.
I cut pieces of 1 1/2″ aluminum angels to make brackets that can hold the removable desk. I drilled holes in these pieces and then used my jigsaw to cut between the holes. The result is a slot that I will used to secure the desktop to the brackets. I then used a level to screw these custom brackets to the inside of the doors.
STEP 8: Make the desktop.
I cut a piece of Corian to use as the desktop and then glued small pieces of Corian on the underside. These pieces will fit inside the slots cut into the brackets and will keep the desktop secure but removable. I then glued on some more pieces of Corian and then screwed a piece of vinyl trim to the front. This way the underside supports of the desk top will be hidden.
STEP 9: Add plants.
I then added plants and turned on the lights. The LED grow lights will keep the plants alive but I would like to add and irrigation system in the future so that I don’t have to water them.