For my new studio in our new basement, I needed a bigger desk. For a few weeks I was considering systems like the Bedford collection from Pottery Barn but when I started to add it all up, it was going to be over $1,000, possibly closer to $2,000 considering the lengh of desk that I needed/wanted. Ouch. I didn’t want to break the bank for the desk, however, I also didn’t want to sacrifice style, or function. Instead of multiple digits for this size of a desk, it worked out to be $300.00. 🙂 So here is the desk I made (yes, made) combining Ikea, Home Depot, and a little elbow grease.
Instructions are below, but the short version of the how-to is that we took three IKEA units and created a custom desktop out of wood from Home Depot.
Picture on the Left: Instead of drawers, I added Ikea baskets that fit perfectly. In each basket, “like items” are sorted together. Right beside my chair is a little basket with pens and pencils. Other baskets hold paint chip decks, camera cords, and items that I need on a regular basis.Picture on the Right: This Ikea base unit serves as awesome storage for all of that computer stuff I wanted to keep off my desk. It holds my CPU unit, my subwoofer, battery backup…all the stuff that you need, but don’t want to see. I put the top shelf higher on this unit, allowing room for the CPUT unit, but the top shelf holds my Graphic Tablet and Scanner, that I pull out when I need to use it.
Step 2: Buy the wood, rent a van / We bought three planks of pine from Home Depot, had them cut to be 129″ in lengh and rented a Home Depot Van to get them home. We pre-calculated that the three planks together, placed side by side, would create the best depth for the desk.
Step 3: Sand, Sand and Sand some more / When we got them home, I sanded down three planks and decided which plank would be at the front of the desk, so I could pay extra attention to the edge that I would be sitting against. The sanding not only smoothed it down (the edges in particular) but the process helped removed markings that were there like a “Made in Canada” ink stamp and some other were just ink marks.
(Above, My power sander, given to me by a neighbour, and Varathane Walnut Wood stain)STEP 4: STAINING
I bought Walnut Stain, water based, from Home Depot. To apply, I used a foam brush, although any brush would do. I combined the staining with a rag. Since it’s waterbased you can get really into it with bare hands, and your hands aren’t going to be stained forever.
I did 2-3 coats of the stain. The thing to remember is when it’s dried, it looks a bit “bleh”, but when I applied the Semi-gloss varathane on after, it makes it REALLY pop. I wish I had sanded again as since being installed in the studio, there are some rough patches.
STEP 6 – Building the base wih Ikea Cabinest
But… there is an issue. The depth of the desk top, is deeper than the base cabinets. So the back plank, was REALLY wobbly.
STEP 7: Securing the planks together
We needed to bring each plank into the house, piece by piece, and secure them together once in the house. If we had secrued them together outside, we would have never gotten them in the doorway. Once we got the planks ino the house, we got them lined up together.
Once lined up, we secured all three planks together with leftover wood. and installed an L bracket from the table top, to the Ikea cabinet.
Summer 2011 Update…We added an extra shelf beneath for more storage.