Hairpin Desk How To

I received 10,000+ views on the post about my loft, and there were a few people who seemed interested in my hairpin desk. Seeing that I built it in under 10 minutes, I thought I’d make a how-to. *Note: throwing in an Eames chair will make it look that much cooler.*

Choosing a Top

I love the slats with the flecks in the grain

The top is the statement piece. It says a lot about the person who owns it. A darker stain signifies someone who is a little more traditional. An unstained or lightly treated top is minimal — no nonsense. I opted for the lighter top. It is composed of a series of unique, inch wide slats. It added character.

For finding the desk, try scrap yards or thrift stores. I found mine for free in a warehouse that was storing leftover items from a flea market. Craigslist is always an option — try the free section.

Choosing the Hairpin Legs

These were clearly imported — the poor welding says as much

The legs should accentuate the top of the desk. They are slim for a reason: to be minimal, and blend in. Choose what suits your place. If you are going for an industrial look, try getting some raw steel hairpin’s. If you are willing to fork over some more money, get them powder coated to match your style. The legs on my Eames chair are black, so I chose the black legs. There are plenty of suppliers of hairpin legs online. I got mine on eBay for $70.00

Installing the Hairpin Legs


Between finding the tabletop, and choosing the legs, the installation is the easiest process. In order to hide the brackets, I nested them a centimeter in on both sides (hence the square). After lining them up, mark and pre-drill the holes, and use screws short enough to not go through the top of the desk.

When marking the holes to drill, use the same leg you use to measure. This way, if there are any differences between the legs, you wont have to drill again.

Dress it Up

Make it yours! Hang your favorite prints and pictures. Utilize the negative space to create a sleek, minimal design. And, of course, always leave enough room for a coffee cup or two.

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