Ryan Harter

Freelance Android Developer

Building a Modern Desk for Under $150

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When I started working from home a few months ago, the first thing I needed was a comfortable workspace.  I’ve been using the same small IKEA desk since college, so I decided it was time for an upgrade. What I was after was a clean, elegant, and modern workspace that would provide me with a lot of space without taking up a lot.  I really like the idea of a dual workspace desk rather than two desks because I felt that it would allow for more desk space, more leg room, and, overall, be a cleaner look.

The Prototype

IMG_20121224_100706.jpg While I liked the modern look of a floating desk, it really takes a commitment to attach a desk to a wall in your house.  Therefore I decided to try out the dual workstation idea with a prototype. Alright, I admit I didn’t intend for it to be a prototype in the beginning.  But it worked great as one.  I found the height I wanted in a desk, learned that the size was great, and that I loved the two desks in one idea.  I also learned that using normal latex paint on a desktop just makes it sticky. The prototype was a fairly simple IKEA hack that didn’t cost me a lot.  The end supports are just the Bestå bookshelf with custom feet to make them just a little bit taller.  In the center I added an Expedit cut to the appropriate height to avoid a sagging desktop.  For the top, I just cut a 4x8 sheet of plywood that I had lying around in half, lengthwise, then cut some cord holes and painted it.  It was all quite simple and worked well, but it had it’s drawbacks, too. As I mentioned before, I painted it with semi-gloss latex paint which left the surface sticky.  Not sticky like it could catch flies, but papers would stick to it, along with my coffee mug.  The surface also wasn’t actually attached to anything so it would lift up easily.  That’s an easy fix, but it was slightly annoying. IMG_20130313_100411.jpg The only other problem was space.  The bookcases the help up the desk were extremely handy for storage, but they took up a lot of leg room.

The Final Product

IMG_20130314_083832.jpg After a couple of months using the prototype, I decided that I needed to up the ante.  I was trying to think of ways that I could make the desk less sticky (hint, don’t use latex paint) but I also didn’t want to spend a lot making a whole new desk since I had already made on. It occurred to me that I could just use a piece of laminate countertop.  I decided to check IKEA since they tend to have the cheapest around, and it turned out that they sell countertops just over 2 feet deep and 8 feet wide for $99.  It was a steal, so Sara and I went out and picked up a counter that we liked. I then got some triangle braces from Home Depot and attached the whole thing to the wall.  I drilled 3 inch cord holes and have plastic grommets on order, but even without them it came out to be an extremely comfortable, attractive desk that only took just over $100 and a few hours to put together. [pe2-gallery album=”http://picasaweb.google.com/data/feed/base/user/100732597684431934213/albumid/5855195263730993041?alt=rss&hl=en_US&kind=photo” ]