I’ve recently taken up writing again, but I needed a nice quiet place to do that – and a place that makes me feel peaceful and happy. We decided to fit out a spare junk room into a writing room, a functional working space.
First, we painted it a lovely pale blue and then decided to make a monster desk out of METOD kitchen cabinets. It was put together over a few weekends – but really probably you should allow two solid days to do this properly (not counting the work to glue up the pinboard).
Supplies for the Monster Desk
(1) BARKABODA worktop (240cm)
(4) HERRESTAD doors in 60cm size
(2) HAGGERBY white finished high gloss end panels
(1) 60x60CM METOD base cabinet
(2) narrow MAXIMERA drawers
(3) medium MAXIMERA drawers
(4-5) pieces of PASSARP felt to line the drawers
(4) push openers
(1) YPPERLIG lamp (with atomizer sitting on the base)
(1) Pantry cupboard 60cm w x 200cm high (cut down tow 180cm)
(8) handmade 120mm 3-rod hairpin legs in stainless steel
(3) BESTÅ boxes in felt (larger size)
(8) VARIERA boxes for upper storage areas / shelves in the pantry cupboard
A bunch of cheap Kmart clear drawer organisers
Directions for the Writing Room Desk
Assemble the base cabinet 60cm square.
Prepare to do the same with the 200cm high cabinet, but cut it down (mod it) to 180 cm. We wanted all the HERRESTAD doors to be the same pattern and size.
Add the HERRESTAD doors / hinges.
We had hairpin legs made at 120mm high – so with the 600mm cabinet, and the 30mm BARKABODO worktop the finished desk height was 750mm which is perfect for me. Fix on the legs.
Stand up both cabinets and place them where you wish them to be.
Fix back the pantry cabinet to the wall to make sure it can’t tip.
Fix the BARKABODA on top of the lower cabinet and to the side of the pantry cabinet (cutting it shorter to fit the length of the room). Fix L brackets to the wall and the pantry cabinet to hold on the worktop. Now it is all locked together!
Put the finished HAGGERBY panels on the underside of the desk (one on the 60cm sq. cabinet, and one on the lower part of the pantry cabinet).
Built and add in the drawers. Three drawers (2 narrow and 1 medium drawer were added to the 60cm sq. unit, and two medium drawers were added to the lower section of the pantry cupboard. The other two upper sections of the pantry above the desk are just shelves for general storage). I did add some BESTÅ boxes in dark grey felt, and then some of the white plastic boxes from the kitchen section (VARIERA), which fit in front of the BESTÅs.
Lined the drawers with the PASSARP felt which looks really nice – plus nothing rattles.
Found that the cheap Kmart clear drawer containers fit EXACTLY in the drawers in various sizes and configurations which are great for stationery – seriously, get yourself down there and clean them out at $2-$4 a pop they are brilliant.
Pay special attention to:
Ensuring the cabinets are level to the walls – your walls may not be square – ours aren’t – but if the cabinets are plumb and the walls aren’t it still looks wonky even if it’s technically correct.
Make sure your tabletop is level – your eye can pick a slight lean, really….
Make sure you know where you want to put your tech on the desk before you drill a hole for the power cords etc. And make sure when you do drill you do it square to the desktop – no leaning holes … or the power management doovers don’t fit.
Make sure you adjust the cabinet doors and hinges when you’re done – so the gaps are all even all the way around and the doors are level and square with the METOD carcasses.
Definitely do fix the cabinets back to the walls or they will tip over on you – the METOD system comes with rails for this purpose but depending on the size of your legs or the craziness of your walls you may want to use wooden blocks and screw through them to get the right distance and setback. The rail system may not work for your application.
When you cut off the top of the 200cm cabinet, save the 20cm bit (as you take it down to 180cm) and use it as a template to cut the right holes at the 180cm point on the cabinets. Works perfectly!
Adding a bit of life to the writing room …
To make the writing room a bit more useful and funky, we fixed two SKÅDIS pegboards to the side of the pantry cupboard. (Hence no more HAGGERBY high gloss panels for the top of the modified 200cm pantry cupboard). Added plants, and a pinboard.
Supplies to liven up the Desk
(2) 56cm x 56cm SKÅDIS pegboard in brown
(4) SKÅDIS grey containers
(3) SKÅDIS grey shelves
Various SKÅDIS hooks and elastic cords
(1) Custom headphone holder for SKÅDIS – 3D printed by Husband (others on Thingaverse)
Add the SKÅDIS accessories to the pegboard in the way that suits you.
Added a ton of fake plants from IKEA and put them in the SKÅDIS containers and on top of the pantry cabinet – which I use to fill the atomiser. Added a beaker from the kitchen section too – I use it to fill my atomiser.
Added the new LED YPPERLIG lamp – atomiser is sitting on its base.
Husband made me a custom headphone holder which fits the SKÅDIS pegboard – for those that 3D print you will find plenty of options online at Thingaverse.
I can also recommend Kmart again for a bunch of rose gold clips, paperclips, from their Stationery section at $1-$2 each (which I put in glass sauce dishes from Ikea). Also, the small kitchen jars with wooden lids at $3 a piece at Kmart are the perfect size to put in the IKEA plant pots – throw away the lids.
The backing board in the picture is FORBO self-healing pinboard (which comes in a roll) which we glued to 6mm mdf sheet (watch that glue it will really spin you around!) and taped to the wall behind the desk with “hold on forever” tape. You have to wait to do this part last to make sure the measurements will be perfect for the available wall – and did I mention nothing is square? Got the FORBO from Designer Pinboards Australia by the metre for relatively cheap – and there’s a bunch of lovely colours – they send you samples and couldn’t be more helpful.
Picked up a replica Eames high back office chair at Temple and Webster and added an existing armchair and sheepskin to the writing room.
The carpet is a cow rug named “Kevin” – also from IKEA.
We added a white 2m by 1m glass whiteboard to the wall as well from Officeworks for less than $250 (cheaper than the sticky whiteboard paper!) – highly recommend you use chalk or paint markers. Regular whiteboard markers hardly show up at all, even the good ones.
Other funky stationery that I did splash out on was from Milligram – which has lovely and addictive things – and you can afford a few special things when you did a pretty swish-o writing room / office fit out very economically! ?
Jules Yap started IKEAHackers.net in 2006 as a personal blog to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks from all over the world. Since then, she has learned a lot more about power tools and DIY. Her site has helped thousands modify IKEA furniture with step-by-step tutorials, craft projects and home styling.