diy-parsons-desk-hack-media-unit-low-palletTo help launch her book Design*Sponge at Home, Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge selected artists and crafters to customize west elm products to be auctioned off to benefit the New York Public Library. Each of the designers gave their own stamp of style to the various pieces that were auctioned on 9/13. Here is the one-of-a-kind design from Nightwood

Run by married partners Myriah Scruggs and Nadia Yaron, Nightwood is a small Brooklyn-based furniture, textile and home outfit specializing in their own deconstructed furniture, textiles and interiors. Inspired by old things, primitive practices, creative reuse and natural materials, the two have been collaborating since 2003.


Myriah and Nadia started with west elm’s Parsons Desk with Drawers in white lacquer. They were one of the only collaborators to completely change the intended purpose of the product. What started as a chic desk ended as an industrial-style low media unit on wheels.

Nightwood’s love of found materials and reclaimed wood is paramount to their aesthetic. Here, they contrasted the sleek white lacquer desktop with wood discarded from their neighbor’s townhouse renovation (in this case, their neighbor happens to be Ted Allen) and a discarded wood pallet. In what Nadia estimates to have taken about 10 hours, they started with the desk surface and attached the pallet for height, the casters for mobility and finished the top with strips of reclaimed wood. The unit was then stained and painted Nightwood style.



You may notice that they didn’t use the Parson Desk’s legs in the finished piece — they’re saving those for another project! If you’re curious to try a similar hack on your own, Nadia suggests using thinner wood strips for the surface that can be nailed in place by hand.

Parsons Desk with Drawers

There is a Nightwood project featured in Design*Sponge at Home on page 348.

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