Make an awesome Murphy Desk with IKEA BESTÅ

Ed R made this because his wife needed a workspace with dual monitors for her work from home setup. But they didn’t have any extra space for a home office. Looking around, Ed saw the deep stair landing and what he termed “6-thousand dollars worth of square footage”.

stairs landing space
Stairs landing – before Murphy desk hack
murphy desk ikea besta hack
Stairs landing after – with Murphy Desk installed

At first, Ed wanted to put up a quick fold down table for a pop-up desk solution but that quickly spiralled out into an extensive DIY IKEA hack project. His requirements was for a home office that:

  • is super minimal and only sticks out around 10″ from wall when closed
  • moves up and down to use as a sit/ stand-up desk
  • has programmable memory positions for desk height
  • plugs into a laptop with only a single USB-C cable that hooks it up to two monitors, keyboard, mouse and webcam AND charges the laptop
  • has accessible power outlets/USB charging
  • can host staircase dance parties (thanks to individually addressable LED light strips)
  • plays Hedwig’s Theme (from Harry Potter) when moving up or down to memory positions, because why not?

What he ended up with is what he calls the “BESTÅmus Prime” — an IKEA Hack that turned IKEA BESTÅ cabinets into a transforming, hidden, flip-down style murphy desk.

IKEA items used:

The making of an IKEA murphy desk

For the full parts list of tools and other materials in this project, please refer to the list on Ed’s blog and gallery of the process. It’s extensive and beyond the scope of this post.

muphy desk hack plan

The short version? The plan was to sit three IKEA BESTÅ frames on top of a set of linear actuators that move the cabinets up and down. They are hidden behind the blue fretwork panel under the BESTÅ units. The BESTÅ hold the monitors and the SELSVIKEN doors fold down as a desk.

Sit and Stand desk positions

When the cabinets are in down position with the doors closed, the BESTÅ units look like a regular sideboard cabinet.

Spacious desk space

But when you flip down the IKEA SELSVIKEN doors, voilà it forms a murphy desk with adequate work space for a laptop and keyboard. Flip up the top cabinets to reveal the dual monitors. The monitors are hung on monitor mounts so you can adjust them for a comfortable distance and angle.

The third cabinet is used for storage.

This was an ambitious project which Ed documented in 3 videos. You can watch them on his playlist here. He says, “Honestly, I don’t expect anyone to repeat my project.” Perhaps not, but definitely gives someone looking to DIY a Murphy desk lots of ideas. And inspire someone to make full use of the stairs landing space and also the space under the stairs.

Go check out Ed R’s Youtube channel.