Industrial-style desk from kitchen cabinets

Industrial-style desk from kitchen cabinets

I wanted a custom-made workstation, at the same time large enough to work comfortably, preferably with a lot of room for storage. The desk needs to be in custom dimensions because I had a very narrow place to install it. This industrial-style desk what I ended up with.

It took about one full day to install everything (excluding time to go the stores). The hardest bit was cutting the cabinet properly. But it was a necessary step in order to have a suitable height for the desk. I first tried to leave them full height but 80cm was definitely too high for a desk, even with the chair at the highest position.

Industrial style desk from kitchen cabinets

What I like most about it is its functionality. The desk is super large with plenty of room for two laptops + a big screen. And the industrial-style! I like the association of black cabinets, raw wood and leather handles.

IKEA items used:

For the desk:

  • Black kitchen cabinet frames 40cm width and 60cm width (or different according to your requirements) x 2
  • 3 drawers with black fronts x 2
  • ÖSTERNÄS leather handles x 6

For the shelves:

  • EKBY HÅLL Bracket, black x 6


  • HEKTAR Work lamp, dark gray
  • MILLBERGET Swivel chair, Bomstad black
Other materials and tools:

For the desk:

  • 2 oak boards of 2m X 40cm X 1.6cm and 2m X 30cm X 1.6cm
  • 4 cleats approx. 40cm each
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • 6cm drill bit
  • Regular screws and screwdriver

For the shelves:

  • 3 oak boards of 30cm X 1.6cm X (width depending on your requirements)

Industrial-style desk hack instructions:

1. Assemble the cabinets

2. Cut 7cm on top of the 2 cabinets to make them be only 73cm height and not 80cm. Otherwise, it will be too high for a comfortable desk.

3. Cut 7cm also on the 2 fronts for the 2 top drawers. You should end up just on the edge of the drawer structure but that’s fine.

4. Assemble the drawers with fronts and the handles.

5. Drill the holes for the cables in one of the two oak board.

6. Round the angle of the other oak board. (You may want to cut two angles or more depending on the surroundings of your desk)

Industrial style desk IKEA hack

7. Sand down the edges of the boards.

8. Assemble the two boards on the cabinets with the cleats.

9. Be careful to leave at least 70cm wide between the two cabinets to fit the chair comfortably.

10. Be careful also to place the board with a 2cm overlap at the front of the cabinet to fully hide the front of the drawers.

11. Insert the drawers in the cabinet.

12. Install the shelves on the wall.

13. And your industrial-style desk is done.

Industrial-style desk from kitchen cabinets

Pay special attention to…

Proper positioning of the boards on the cabinets is more difficult than it looks like. I recommend first to link the two boards together with the cleats, and second to fix them to the cabinets.

Would I have done anything differently?

I started with a single board of 60cm width and a height of 80cm (without cutting the cabinets), and it was too narrow and too high, I highly recommend to take the time to shorten the cabinet and to make a full 70cm depth for the desk otherwise it’s too narrow for a monitor with a large base. If you can find a 70cm width oak board, it would work also but they are more difficult to find than standard 30/40/60.

~ by Stefen