Clever hack for a Home Office in the Living Room

I moved recently and needed a new furniture set for the living room. High on the list was an out-of-sight home office workstation that flowed with the living room layout.

My requirements for the project:

– TV unit, sideboard and bar in same look and feel
– hidden workspace for teleworking
– simple and understated
– bring some warmth to my black & white interiors
– made to measure look & feel for a reasonable budget
– maximize storage opportunities
– floating desk, high enough to clear path for the vacuum robot
– under cabinet mood lighting
– hide devices and cabling

Planning my Living Room Home Office

The IKEA Kitchen Planner made planning a breeze. Drawing out the hidden folding home office fitted inside two METOD kitchen cabinets and hanging from the METOD rail was the most time consuming.

The hidden home office had many design constraints.

For one, the monitor had to be at eye level when extended, but below cabinet level when lowered, while the range of vertical movement of the monitor is limited.

Next, the desk had to be at the ideal ergonomic height while the cabinet had to be enough off the floor for the vacuum robot to fit underneath.

I drew some inspiration from the HEMNES secretary desk and I ended up with a suitable plan. This then defined the above floor height for all cabinets.

SHOPPING FOR PARTS AND SUPPLIES

Kitchen Cabinets:
– METOD wall cabinet frame, 60x37x40
– METOD wall cabinet frame 60x37x80
– Suspension rails to hang cabinets
– VRENA worktops, made to measure by IKEA
– VEDDINGE doors, white, 60×40

Lighting:
– TRADFRI driver for wireless control
– OMLOPP LED strips (discontinued, could be replaced by MITTLED)
– STÖTTA LED strips with sensor

Smaller pieces worth mentioning:
– UTRUSTA connection hardware for doors
– HEMNES secretary desk (302.457.13) hinges for desk tabletop
– UTRUSTA Hinge w b-in damper for kitchen 153°
– MAXIMERA drawers

Not from IKEA:
– Blum Aventos HK Top hinges (could be replaced by IKEA’s UTRUSTA – hinge with damper for horizontal door)
– Eucalyptus black plywood 18mm, 1 sheet, from the DIY store, cut to panels for the hidden home office
– Power Strip

Tools
– Your average DIY hand tools
Driver drill to drill holes and screw
– Drill hammer to hang the rails (since mine hang from stone walls)
– Saw to cut plywood in angles the DIY store won’t cut (I used a table saw)

PREPARATION WORK

The first thing we did was to move the power outlets so they would end up behind the TV cabinet. We also plastered a PVC pipe into the wall to duct cords and cables from inside the cabinet to behind the TV. Tricks to hide wires I pulled before, see this hack for some details on how to do this.

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

I started out with the difficult part, which was putting together the inside of the hidden home office cabinet. This was then fitted with the sides of a standard METOD cabinet.

To drop the table top, I used the IKEA HEMNES hardware from a salvaged HEMNES secretary office desk.

After that the other cabinets were assembled, holes were made for electrical sockets and cable ducts. A big hole was cut in the bottom of a cabinet, to allow the hidden subwoofer’s bass to pass freely. OMLOPP LED strips were added and everything was hung from the suspension rails.

VRENA table tops were added, the table top for the hidden home office is mounted on Blum hinges that fold up to allow room for the monitor to lift when in use.

The Bar Cabinet & Sideboard

Putting together the bar cabinet and sideboard was pretty standard: put the METOD suspension rails on the wall, same height as the TV unit’s rails, put the cabinets together, add OMLOPP light strips, hang on wall, add doors and drawers and finish with the VRENA table top.

The bar cabinet is a combination of 3 high and 3 low METOD storage units. The low units went to the bottom and have drawers. The high units are on top with STÖTTA LED strips and UTRUSTA glass shelves.

Some UTRUSTA shelving were cut and mounted to hide the TRADFRI drivers.

Now for some photos:

IKEA METOD kitchen cabinets used as a TV cabinet and living room home office

This is the finished TV Cabinet with hidden built-in home office. When closed, the work space forms part of the living room decor, not your usual office furniture.

IKEA METOD kitchen cabinets used as a TV cabinet and living room home office

The finished TV Cabinet with hidden built-in home office, opened. It features a lift-up VRENA countertop and drop down desk space for the monitor and keyboard. Pull up a desk chair and it’s ready for work.

drop down desk with monitor and keyboard in hidden living home office

Close-up of the home office in black plywood. VRENA table top lifted, doors mounted with 153° hinges, table dropped and monitor lifted.

hidden living room home office with drop down desk with monitor and keyboard

Side view of the home office setup. Shelves below offer plenty of storage for equipment. Keeping components black minimized clutter.

hinge to hold up the IKEA countertop

Close-up of the lifted table top hinge.

plywood drop down desk with hinge

HEMNES secretary desk hinges used to drop the table top.

hidden living room home office desk in folded up position within the IKEA METOD cabinet

Home office with dropped monitor and table top, desk folded up.

hidden living room home office cabinet. The monitor stowed away between the desk and back of the cabinet

How it looks on the inside when closed up. The choice of monitor is important: the range of the height adjustment has to be high enough to allow for the design to work (I had only 1 cm of freedom in my total design).

The TV cabinet

Under the TV cabinet, cabling and cable duct

Under the TV cabinet without back panel with access to plugs and cable duct to TV (top left). The subwoofer is mounted speakers down on rubber studs over the holes in the cabinet base.

IKEA METOD cabinet with VRENA butcher block set in high and low position

Finish close-up. The home office module is mounted off the wall by 1cm to allow the lifting hinges to work.

Now moving on to the different zones in the apartment.

The Bar Cabinet

Bar cabinet using IKEA METOD cabinet with 3 rows of drawers at the bottom

The bar cabinet, drawers opened.

Bar cabinet stocked

The bar cabinet, doors opened, vacuum robot charging under the cabinet reflecting the OMLOPP light. STÖTTA lights go light up automatically when doors are opened.

The Sideboard

sideboard built from IKEA kitchen cabinets

The sideboard with two sets of doors and two drawers.

sideboard built from IKEA kitchen cabinets

Uniform design flow from one piece to the other.

Hiding TRADFRI cabling behind a cut vertically mounted UTRUSTA shelf.
Hiding TRADFRI cabling behind a cut vertically mounted UTRUSTA shelf.

Hiding TRADFRI cabling behind a cut vertically mounted UTRUSTA shelf.

I hope you enjoyed this hidden home office hack and it gave you a few ideas for your living room work space.

~ by FoxVictor, Herk-de-Stad, Belgium

See my other hacks:

A minimalistic floating TV unit
Old IKEA kitchen cabinet as storage and herbs planter