I have desperately needed a desk since moving into my current rented room (a lovely attic conversion on a London victorian house complete with skylight and juliette balcony) but after adding two wardrobes and two Malm chests of drawers I was left with absolutely no room for anything else, so an IKEA hack was in order.
I came up with adding a pull-out laptop table between the top two drawers which is the perfect height (approx 74cm) and does not compromise the structural integrity or any of the drawers.
Here’s a before and after of my hack:
Ikea items used:
– MALM chest of drawers
– UTRUSTA kitchen cabinet shelf 80×37 cm (Article Number: 102.056.09 sold as a pack of two for only £6)
Also required (sourced from DIY store):
– Bottom Mount Drawer Slide for the pull-out table (L) 350mm (I found this one for only £5)
– Six long screws (about 30-40mm) for mounting the inner drawer slides to the shelf
– Eight 15mm screws for mounting the outer drawer slides to the MALM chest of drawers
First remove all drawers
Next, the top frame brace has to be cut off
– I used the KVARTAL saw from IKEA which comes with an angle-cutting guide (makes it easier to pull out once cut)
Looking from the inside, undo the two screws (anti-clockwise) and the braces become loose and can be pulled out
You should be left with the metal and wood bits as shown below. Unscrew the metal bit but leave the wooden one in place
Start by adding the left drawer slide
Rest it on top of the wooden bit (pure luck but this happens to be the correct height) and position as shown below so that the drawer slide is on the very edge of the MALM side panel.
Mark and add the first screw
Mark and add three more screws as shown below (they must be screwed in as tight as possible as any protrusion can cause the drawer to get stuck)
You can now remove the wooden bit
Repeat on the right hand side
Fit the inner drawer slides on the shelf (the ones I got came with instructions and it is really easy to figure it out)
– The assembled product must fit into the width of the Malm frame so I had to cut the shelf width to 74,5cm at my local hardware store.
– This may vary depending on type and size of chosen drawer slides
Take out both top drawers (this will give adequate room for sliding the laptop table in place)
Once the laptop table is in, replace the drawers (top drawer goes in last)