How To Transform A Boring Built In Desk Into A Beautiful, Trendy Bar

I absolutely love projects that are simple, inexpensive and make a big impact. This is definitely one of those projects. I’m really loving the rattan trend right now. I love the warmth and texture that it adds to any item and the natural feel it gives a space. This weird built in desk space has always bothered me so I decided to take care of that with this simple DIY and turn this boring desk space into a beautiful on trend and updated home bar.


This space in our home I have never liked. When we bought it(see owners picture below) I had plans to tear it out right away. But then it never was a priority. So I just painted it black to tie in with the rest of the home and waited until the right idea popped into my head. The original plan was to tear it out but i wasn’t up for all that work.



So I decided to make it a functional more eye appealing space and not spend a lot of money to change it up. I think what bothered me the most was the open space below the desk. It was an eye sore and so hard to style. That’s when I got the idea to close it in and use it for storage and make it look more like a built in bar.



Step 1

We took off the upper cabinet door and cut out the center panel.



Step 2

We framed out 2 doors to serve as the lower cabinets. All we had to do was measure the size doors we wanted, and used some  1 x 3 boards to  create the size and shape needed. Then joined them with “L” brackets.


Turning an old desk into an updated home bar


Step 3

I gave everything a fresh coat of paint. I used Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams in a satin finish.



Step 4

I cut the cane webbing to fit inside the cabinet doors and used a staple gun to attach it. I found the rattan webbing at Franks cane & rush supply in California. They had a great variety and you can buy it by the foot. Once I received the webbing, they recommend to soak it in water for 2 hours. This makes it more pliable and you can unroll it to dry. This makes it much easier to work with.


Turning an old desk into an updated home bar


You want to be sure to pull it very tightly and staple .


Turning an old desk into an updated home bar



Turning an old desk into an updated home bar


Step 5

I aded some fun handles by painting some old ones with a brushed gold spray paint. Then once dry, I wrapped a small piece of faux black leather around the center and attached with hot glue. I love how they finished off the whole look.




Turning an old desk into an updated home bar


I am so happy with how this turned out and it has transformed this whole space into a beautiful, sophisticated and on trend look I’m proud of.



Can you believe how different this space looks? We are so happy with it and I also gained a little more storage space (I could use every inch around here ) Sometimes it can take a while to figure out what you want to do with a space, especially if you aren’t’ happy with it. Also, being on a tight budget forced me to really think outside the box on how I could successfully make a big impact with very little money.

I also have a fun project in the works using the left over cane webbing. It’s a simple decor piece and i can’t wait to share it with you. be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you won’t miss out on a post or what’s new here at Hip & Humble Style.


Happy Decorating





February 13, 2021

  1. […] Home builder boring to WOW worthy furniture transformation. […]

  2. lynn d'antico says:

    what a great idea for a boring old desk! Love!

  3. Love the cover of this book! How’s it?

  4. Bridie says:

    This is so great! I recently removed a honey oak built-in desk from our kitchen, but I missed the storage so I bought an old salvaged hutch and am about to paint it black. This inspiration is what I needed. I am surprised it’s Tricorn Black, as it looks a little softer (I’ve been in the weeds researching black paint colors). It looks fantastic. Did you use regular interior latex in satin finish or some other type of paint? The rest of our kitchen cabinets got an intensive repainting in SW alabaster as a Covid project and walls are BM Stonington Gray. One more question (sorry!) about the walls up the staircase and in the hallway — did you use 1×3’s or how did you do the “chair rail” treatment. I’m just super impressed with all your projects.

    • says:

      Hi there appreciate the feedback. Yes I used regular satin latex. I actually have a blog post as well on the staircase. Are you asking about the board and batten look on the stairs? We used 1×3 boards for the vertical slats.
      Hope that answered your questions. I’m so glad you are here.


  5. Melissa says:

    Hi! You did such a beautiful job with this transformation! I love how you styled the bar as well. Would you mind sourcing the small lamp for me please. Where it’s from and the name of it? Thank you kindly, Melissa

    • says:

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks so. much. I got the lamp at Target part of the Studio Mcgee line.


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