An Ikea Hack - Office desk partly from Ikea wardrobes

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Established Member
22 Mar 2019
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Stoke on Trent
Im guessing a few will cringe at this - I had the need for a new office desk, couldn't find anything pre made to suit, started to draw up plans to make one, and by the time I added up the timber cost, price for soft close draw runners etc, I started to look at what was already available and how I could modify it to suit.

Id put some ikea PAX wardrobes in one of our bedrooms a while back, and they were solid, and cheep, and got me thinking how I could modify them to suit.

I wanted a desk as long as the wall it was going against (so worktop 2.4meters) and 2 'pedestals' with drawers in. Depth was important, 600mm wasn't enough by the time screens were on it, I wanted enough space to stretch arms for typing etc.

One side pedestal was to contain standard drawers to put office stuff in, the other side was a pen tray, then 2 'pull out shelves that I would sit my work laptops on (I dont need to see the screen of the laptops, I remotely control them from my main computer) and then another drawer that was to hold hanging files.

So the plan formed that I was going to buy 2 white ikea wardrobe carcasses in white (these would match the colour of doors I was going to use for some wardrobes I was to fit in the room later), get drawers and pull out shelves for these - and then make drawer fronts as the drawers are usually hidden behind doors in the wardrobe, and route in a profile to match the doors I was buying for the wardrobes to make it look 'the same' and not just stuck on.

Then bought a 'full stave' walnut worktop from an online company at 2.4m x 720mm to sit on top of the pedestals to form the desk.

I did some research into the best heights for the top of the desk etc to make sure it was usable as a desk (I work from home so would be in front of it for 7 hours a day)

This was all done 18 month ago, so I was with limited kit

Initial plan:

View attachment desk1.png

Side panels cut down to size


Base assembled


Drawer boxes installed


Back panels made holes cut in to line up with the pull out shelves for cabling to laptops

Drawer fronts cut from MDF and tested for size before routing profile on the edges

Profile routed, and then panels primed and painted - initially I painted a panel with satin pure white, which was no where near the colour of the side panel ikea material, so I want to Homebase, armed with a wardrobe side offcut, and they scanned the colour, and mixed me some paint that was a perfect match - I was so pleased with that!!

Pedestals done and draw fronts fitted, I wasn't overly happy with the bottom, so made a 'skirt' to go around them which you will see later


Here you can see the pull out drawers that are for the laptops (middle 2) the top one is for pens etc, and the bottom one is a drawer with no base, and some t section rail added to form slides for the hanging files


Next was delivery of the walnut top - I rounded over the edges and sanded ready for OSMO Polyx Satin


Starting to get the desk setup in the office space. I added a brace in the middle, and then started to add some extensions for power for everything (lots of stuff, multiple laptops, monitors, speakers etc)

And this is the desk in place before I put in the skirts on the bottom of the drawer pedestals

Finished, with some of my made picture frames hanging and 'modern' wall art project!


Plinths on the pedestals

Hanging file drawer


I was quite pleased with the outcome, desk is dead solid, I can use the ikea drawer inserts to organise the drawers, worktop is perfect - sorry about the cat tree, the cat tends to hang out most of the day and look out of the window on his cat tree

Like I say, not to everyones taste, but it was a cheeper way of making the units
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Lol, usually cr@p like insurance documents, car paper work etc - couldn't squeeze the fax machine in :)

I just re read the top of the post, I didn't recycle the wardrobes, the ones I fitted got me thinking of how I could use them, so purchased these to cut up and use as a desk with sufficient drawers etc
Nothing wrong with an Ikea hack, I know a joiner who uses the Pax wardrobe system for the inside of most of his built-ins, good value for money and lots of drawers, rails etc available for them.
I like that a lot. A sensible compromise between time, money and effort. And I like the way that the bit you see the most of - the worktop - is suitably upgraded.
Nice job there.

where did this silly word “hack” originate?
assume that it is an americanism.
please can we have a ban?
Nothing wrong with an Ikea hack, I know a joiner who uses the Pax wardrobe system for the inside of most of his built-ins, good value for money and lots of drawers, rails etc available for them.

yeah that's sort of what I did - I bought an extra PAX carcas to cut up and use to 'box in' the wardrobes.

with this one, I put in a 1000mm double, and then the gap I had wouldn't fit a 500, so I cut the 500 down in width, and then had to cut all the drawers and shelves to the same.

Once fitted, I then cut up a spare carcas to box in

I also dropped them on a plinth as there idea in my head was to have the skirting board run under the wardrobes to make them look built in

These are the office ones, same room as the desk



Good job, nothing wrong with doing what you did, it's like buying a ready mixed spice blend to do your cooking, it's still cooking, you are just making use of a commercial product to help.

I have done a few IKEA "Hacks" myself including building a bed from units that is much more practical than your standard divan base.
The pieces of furniture I’ve built are because I can’t find what I want in the shops. How I get to a solution is irrelevant so long as I get the outcome I’m looking for. Sometimes this is completely from scratch, sometimes repurposing something secondhand, and I have an Ikea hack planned for a tv unit with storage in the playroom.

I think yours is a great solution to get what you want/needed, nicely executed. Great job!

Nice project Rorton. Are your laptops running in docking stations in those drawers or are they just stored there? Hope you have good ventilation, or laptops which don't run too hot!

I have found that re-using pre-fab furniture for projects to be quite satisfying, because a) it's free, and b) it doesn't go in the tip.
Recently had to remove one block of an integrated kitchen unit, and rather than throwing the boards out I made use of the laminated boards for new shelving in other units, and a passive solar dehydrator for food which I have been working on.

The only problem is where to store these pieces and making use of them fast, as I get frequent reminders from the other half as to when will they finally be used and can't we just take them to the tip? 😁
Nice project Rorton. Are your laptops running in docking stations in those drawers or are they just stored there? Hope you have good ventilation, or laptops which don't run too hot!

Thanks - Yeah running in docking stations, IP on the local network, and I can RDP to them. There is 'some' ventilation - summer was a bit challenging - may have to revisit and stick a fan in the side with a thermal sensor to pull some hot air out, at the moment, if they get a bit noisy/hot, I open the draw and they are OK.
I see you've wired up a switch for all your devices, that's a project I've been mulling over as well: I want to wire up the office and put devices on the WAN since there are two of us working in the office, with thicks stone walls. Do you just connect the switch straight to the router or do you have custom router setup (pfSense)?
I have a few switches on the network at home.

When we moved in the house, I flood wired all the rooms with CAT5, terminated in the loft on a patch panel


In here I have my router (currently a Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway) a Raspberry Pi running PiHole for DNS, and a 24 Port POE switch (I call my core switch)

I have a few VLANS configured, management of device, production network, CCTV, IOT etc)

From this switch, I branch out to a smaller 8 port in the office, where my office kit is connected to, with the same VLANs tagged on it - I have similar in the garage, lounge (for all the kit there, SKY, Sonos, Blu Ray, AV Receiver etc) and others in other bedrooms/conservatory.

So short answer is my devices are connected to switches, with a single link back to the router

I also have a number of Ubiquiti WiFI access points, and they are all controlled (including the USG router) by the central Unifi controller software running in a docker container on my NAS.

Whats your setup currently - you have multiple devices just connected by WiFi and the signal struggles due to the thick walls?