I’ve been nursing the idea for months and I finally made it a reality last week. I’ve been using it every day since and it’s even more convenient and useful than I’d hoped. I’ve never seen a similar design for furniture before and I think a lot of people will find it useful.
Ikea Items Used:
Solid Wood (Pine) LINNMON desk (120cm x 60cm)
Red ALEX storage unit and table legs
I love my desk. I’ve had it for a few years now and done some good work at it. The only problem is that I love space too. In fact, I love space a little more than I love my desk. So when I realized that 2/3 of the volume my desk takes up is gorgeous empty space, I knew something had to change. The space under the desk is basically cut off from use because the table top area is permanently in place.
I had the idea of cutting the wooden top section in 3 pieces and using hinges to allow it to fold up onto itself. I was hesitant to cut the wood and interrupt the lovely grain I had painstakingly varnished years before, but I thought the trade off for more usable space would be worth it. So after months of hemming and hawing, I finally got to sawing. I invited my friend Stephen The Carpenter over and we got to work. The first task was careful measurement. I knew I couldn’t go back once I cut my desk in pieces, so we followed the old craftsman’s adage of measure twice, cut once, (more on this later)
For my design to work, the middle section of the desk had to equal the height of the desk’s legs. If the middle section was too long the legs wouldn’t sit right on the storage unit, if it was too short they just wouldn’t fit. We cut the sections to measurements we thought were correct but we got it wrong! Disaster!
Thankfully, we had erred on the side of cutting too little off the desk. If we had cut too much on the first go, we wouldn’t have been able to salvage the project. We started over, and this time we nailed the measurements. What tripped us up in the first place was failing to account for the extra length from the hinges. These hinges were crucial to my design because they allowed the desk to be quickly transformed from its original design to a standing unit with 1/3 the footprint of a normal desk.Once we had the desk section cut to the right size, we attached the hinges so the top section folded the right way.
We reattached the legs and fastened the desk to the storage unit with a set of brackets that matched the hinges. I bought plain brassy-looking hinges, brackets, and screws from a local hardware store for under €20. I think they match the wood nicely.
Finally, my vision was a reality. I have the desk I need for work AND about 2 cubic meters of extra space in my room whenever I’m not working. Ok, so I had to compromise a little, my desk is now about 15cm shorter than it used to be. We had to lose this to make the top of the desk equal the length of the legs. So I have less space to actually work on. But to be honest, this doesn’t bother me. there’s still plenty of space for a laptop, journal and any other bits and pieces I use. For me, the extra space is cheap at the price!