18 IKEA Desk Hacks That Are Seriously Good - IKEA Hackers (2023)

IKEA, known for its affordable furniture, is the go-to place when setting up a workspace or home office. But that’s not the only thing that makes an IKEA desk so popular — hacks are what give them the wow factor.

IKEA desk hacks look beyond the recommended IKEA range of desks, pulling in kitchen cabinets, dressers and wardrobes and shelving units to create any kind of style, configuration and storage capacity you may require for your workstation. The result is a custom desk for your home office that fits your decor and space.

We’ve curated a list of the best IKEA desk hacks that range from simple compact desks, to L-shaped desks to mega monster DIY desks. Whether you work from home or need a desk for some weekend browsing or crafting, we’ve got you covered.

1. Go big on texture

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Using IKEA kitchen cabinets is cost-effective to set up a dedicated home office with a sprawling table top and lots of storage space for books, files, equipment and more. Carley and Aaron’s workspace is made out of IKEA METOD kitchen cabinets, similar to the SEKTION in the US. A 60cm high METOD cabinet forms one of the supports for the desk. You’ll need to raise the cabinet with 12cm hairpin legs, rounding up the height of the desk to 75cm. Get shorter or taller legs to adjust to your most optimal sitting height. The varieties of IKEA kitchen cabinet doors means you’re bound to find a style you like.

2. Maximise a small desk

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A small desk setup does not mean it should lack functionality. Charles took the basic IKEA PS 2014 Secretary Desk and expanded it to accommodate a large monitor, a second monitor, speakers and a laptop cubby. All the while, maintaining its slim footprint and all important close-it-up-when-work’s-done feature. Aesthetically pleasing modern workstation to maintain a healthy boundary between work- and home-life.

(Video) The IKEA Desk Hack never fails! New Office is looking SICK!

3. Get a custom wooden countertop desk

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Going with a custom desktop can provide a touch of personalisation for your space. Stefen chose black kitchen drawer units in 2 different widths. Then finished the drawers with ÖSTERNÄS leather pulls for a modern industrial style desk. He topped it off with custom cut oak boards with a rounded edge.

4. Table for two IKEA desk hack

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If you want a large single table for 2 persons, this setup is right up your alley. Finding a work table this large is rare and usually very costly. This IKEA hack makes it a lot more affordable. The big beautiful table top is constructed from two KARLBY countertops (98″ length) held together with 4 panel clamps for a strong, stable center seam. Then, Mark fastened the table on 2 trestles or sawhorse legs. The finishing touch is to sand and stain it with Danish oil to bring out the rich walnut grain and color.

5. Hide your desk in a cabinet hack

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When you need a spare desk but do not want it to crowd out the room, hide it in a sideboard. Emma hacked a desk hidden in an IVAR cabinet. The top of the cabinet flips up to reveal the monitor. The slide out keyboard shelf is positioned at the right height for a desk. The bottom of the IVAR cabinet is cut out for more leg room. And she installed furniture legs under the cabinets to raise them up to desk level. When closed it looks just like a regular IVAR sideboard.

6. Squeeze in a desk at the entrance

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Find space for a desk in the least expected nook. Louise of The McCarthy Home found the square inches she needed right off the front door, under the stairs. It was long enough for an IKEA LINNMON table top on ADIL legs and a set of IKEA ALEX drawers. Tying the whole space together is the gorgeous wallpaper and the pops of color from the lampshade and linen cupboard.

(Video) 5 Cheap Hacks To Improve Your Desk Setup!

7. Set your desk on a dresser

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This IKEA desk hack uses the MALM 3-drawer IKEA dresser and KALLAX 2×2 shelving unit. You might be wondering why the dresser is positioned facing out? This takes advantage of the width of the chest, making it a large stable base for a luxurious 32″ deep desk. There is a sight variation in height between the 2 units which Shelly evened out by attaching a 1/2″ wood piece to the bottom of the MALM chest. She also reinforced the back of the MALM with plywood and added trim on all 3 drawers and side of the KALLAX unit. What you may not have guessed — the table top was a repurposed door. Nothing’s wasted.

8. Add a slim desk behind the sofa

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Lauren hacked the EKBY ALEX drawers into a slim mid-century style laptop desk. It may look like a tough DIY project but it isn’t all that hard to do. The hardest part is to cut the boards. And if you can get your local hardware store like Home Depot to cut the boards according to measurements, you’re pretty much set. Then, pre-stain and then stain the boards with Minwax Oak wood stain. Fasten the pieces to the ALEX drawers with a layer of wood glue followed by brad nails. The last step is to add 4 table legs of your choice.

9. Sneak in a pull out desk

A sliver of opportunity and Otis seized it. He added a pull-out laptop table in the space between the top two drawers of the MALM chest of 4-drawers. The desk comes up to approximately 74cm, which is a good height for most people. Best thing is the pull-out desk does not compromise the structural integrity or function of any of the drawers. When not used as a desk, it works as a bedside table for Otis.

10. An IKEA corner desk hack

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Is it possible to have a large corner desk without the corner supporting leg? Yes it is, according to M3KI. You’ll need three 150cm LINNMON table tops (or LAGKAPTEN) and 7 table legs to complete the L-shaped desk setup. Under the tabletops are pine boards keeping the individual pieces together and sturdy. It seems to have held up really well.

11. Add a desk hutch

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A desk hutch like this one by Jyll Mackie can be so beautiful and useful at the same time. The hutch is a custom build, sitting on top of IKEA ALEX drawer units with trim and a plywood table top. If you’re looking for a readymade solution, IKEA has some options such as the PÅHL add on unit and the MICKE add on unit. The key to this is to paint the hutch the same color as the drawers and wall for a seamless built-in look.

12. Standing desk hack

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(Video) 21 IKEA Furniture Upgrade Ideas You Must Try | IKEA Hack Ideas

If you like to work while standing, with a stool nearby for a little breather, you’ll want to add this to your cart. Two set of 2×2 KALLAX shelves and a LINNMON tabletop. Mount the cube shelves on legs to raise it up to your most ergonomic working position. As the LINNMON desk top is deeper than the KALLAX units, you’ll get a bit of overhang at the back, perfect for running cables through. You’ll need to add a length of wood behind the 2 KALLAX units to screw in the desktop with L-brackets. An affordable and good looking standing desk hack for under $200.

13. Work side by side

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A budget-friendly double workstation that doesn’t look cheap. The LINNMON tabletop and ADILS legs is one of the most affordable desk combinations from IKEA. What’s more, you can get two desks from one long IKEA table top. This easy desk setup is great for the kids room. Furnish it with the very useful SKÅDIS pegboard and accessories and simple wall shelves for even more storage.

14. Lighten up with different legs and bases

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One of the best things about the IKEA desk system is the uniform height for most legs and drawer units. IKEA has set it at 27 1/2″ (70cm). Which means you’re not locked into using the same set of legs on both ends of the desk. Mix and match to find the combo that best suits your home decor. A butcher block countertop with trestle leg lightens up the visual of the entire home office space.

15. Make room in the closet

A home office in a PAX wardrobe is a great choice if you want to keep all your work matters in one spot. Judit wallpapered the sides and back of the wardrobe to feel less like working in a closet. The middle shelf is fixed at 75cm with a sliding desk or keyboard tray beneath. Use the back of doors as super large memo boards and inspiration gallery.

16. Desk in a bookcase

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(Video) DIY: Fluffy Stool for Under £10! Best and Cheapest IKEA Hack EVER!

An ideal combination of BILLY bookcases and desk. We love this BILLY bookcase hack that mimics the KALLAX-LINNMON desk combo. First thing, you’ll need to move the fixed middle shelf that comes with the BILLY to an appropriate height for your desktop. Then the desk goes on top of the middle shelf and is secured with screws, drilling from bottom up from the BILLY shelf to the desk. Be careful to use screws in the right length to not to drill through to the top of the surface. Add adjustable legs OLOV legs to support the front. Lastly, do secure the BILLY bookcase to the wall to prevent a topple over incident.

17. Slimmest IKEA desk hack ever

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A small space workstation that’s as small as you can be. All you need is an empty wall to fix the LACK wall shelves with enough room on both sides for your monitor and keyboard shelf. You’ll need to omit one of the shelves to fit the monitor and add a shelf for your keyboard. Unfortunately the angled CAPITA leg holding up the shelf is no longer available. (IKEA, why?!) These angled metal legs look like a possible alternative.

18. IKEA KALLAX desk and room divider hacks in one

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Kill two birds with one hack. Leendert and Nienke used the IKEA KALLAX shelf units to build a tall room divider with integrated desk. A useful dual-purpose setup in a studio apartment separating the home office area from other living spaces.

Have you completed any IKEA desk hacks? Share them with us.


What is IKEA hacker? ›

The world of IKEA hacking has taken off, with fans transforming their affordable furniture into stylish home decor. From customizing shelves and cabinets to creating new items from scratch – there are constant upgrades available for all sorts of needs at your local Swedish furniture retailer!

How can I make my Ikea desk look expensive? ›

How to make your IKEA furniture look more expensive
  1. Knobs and pulls. A super simple way to add some excitement to your room is to simply change, or add knobs and pulls to your IKEA furniture. ...
  2. Furniture legs. ...
  3. Make it float. ...
  4. Change the tops. ...
  5. Switch the fronts.

Can you make a desk from Ikea countertop? ›

The Basic IKEA Countertop Desk

IKEA sells desks, but they are usually chipboard and melamine. They also sell solid wood counter tops, called Pronomen that come in many widths and lengths, so that you can make your desk as big as you want.

Can you make a standing desk? ›

Take a standard desk and make some modifications to turn it into a standing desk. The legs are extended so that the top can be raised up so it's more comfortable for standing. While those changes are being made, a shelf was also added so that a printer and office supplies have a place to sit.

What is a furniture hack? ›

A hack might be as simple as painting the legs on an unfinished table, or taking the handles off a wall system and switching them out with new handles to add that extra bit of personalisation.

How do you make IKEA furniture bars? ›

DIY Bar Ikea Hacks & Building Tips - YouTube

How do you reuse IKEA furniture? ›

21 IKEA Furniture Upgrade Ideas You Must Try | IKEA Hack Ideas - YouTube

How do you make an IKEA L shaped desk? ›

Yes, to create an L-shape desk you can simply put together two desks and use some flat brackets to attach them together. Just ensure the two desks are the same height for a seamless L-shaped desk. What is this? You could even add some angle brackets and mount the corner desk to a nearby wall for extra sturdiness.

How do you make IKEA furniture look vintage? ›

A wooden coffee table or crate can look distinctly more vintage with brass corners. Purchase a set of 4 brass corners and either glue or screw them into your furniture. Wrap your wooden chair sides in yarn. A little yarn can make wooden IKEA chairs look softer and well-worn.

How do I make my IKEA furniture more sturdy? ›

To make your IKEA furniture look more professional and expensive, use glue during assembly. When applied correctly, the glue will prevent wobbling and make for strong, good-looking furniture that will last for many years. Assembly experts recommend using either white Gorilla glue or Gorilla construction adhesive.

Is Karlby real wood? ›

The Karlby countertop is a veneered unit. It is not solid wood, but is it better than a standard Ikea desk top? Yes. Standard Ikea table tops are not even MDF, they are cardboard inside, the Karlby is veneered chipboard, as shown below.

How can I customize my desk? ›

Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  1. Hang a Wire to Display Pictures. ...
  2. Keep Notes in Colorful Holders. ...
  3. Bring in Some Greenery. ...
  4. Add Decoration to Your Boards. ...
  5. Use Fun Magnets or Push Pins. ...
  6. Hold Files With Decorative Bookends. ...
  7. Switch Out Your Mug. ...
  8. Add a Little Interest to Your Writing Implements.
19 Jun 2020

How strong are IKEA countertops? ›

IKEA Quartz Countertops

Quartz is one of the hardest materials known to man, and IKEA's KASKER quartz countertops are made with up to 93% pure quartz. So you can rest assured knowing that your quartz countertops are going to be scratch-proof and virtually indestructible for all the years to come.

What is best way to raise height on a desk? ›

Desk risers

A riser is the faster, and a more affordable way to add a few extra inches to your DIY standing desk or table. You can easily find them online, and they come in different sizes for different desks. So, if you feel like your desk needs to be increased by three inches, simply attach a 3-inch riser to it.

How do I extend my desk? ›

An easy way to make a desk bigger is to add a large board or similar material on top, increasing the surface space automatically. It's important, however, to make sure that the new desk top matches the old desk and that the board is not too heavy for the desk to support.

How can I make my study desk higher? ›

One of the most economical, most accessible, and most convenient ways to adjust your desk and make it taller is using table risers. Risers are readily available and come in different colors, shapes, and designs. With these features, you can properly select a riser that will fit on your current desk.

What can I use instead of a standing desk? ›

5 Standing Desk Alternatives For a Tiny Workspace
  • Standing Desk Riser for Desktops. You can turn almost any surface into a standing desk with a standing desk riser. ...
  • Mounted Shelf. ...
  • Laptop Stand. ...
  • Tablet Arm. ...
  • The Movel - Portable Standing Desk.

How tall should a standing desk be? ›

The average recommended height for a standing desk is 30 inches, but this may not work for you, depending on your height.

Are height adjustable desks worth it? ›

Yes, height adjustable desks are worth their price. If you have the budget you should go for buying one, because standing desks help you work for long hours, prevent you from having health issues, and are ergonomic to use. Sitting for a long time can be problematic.

How do you spruce up an Ikea couch? ›

Use New Hardware to Spruce up IKEA Furniture

Just by adding new hardware, such as knobs and handles, to a piece of IKEA furniture you can spruce it up and upgrade it. You can also add different legs to a piece of furniture, or add legs were there weren't any (such as the IKEA Alex Ekby unit..)

How do you update furniture on a budget? ›

Decorating Tips- How to Update Furniture on a Budget - YouTube

How do you make a DIY bar? ›

How to Build a Bar | This Old House - YouTube

How do you make a party bar? ›

The first row should have liquor bottles, red wine and white wine, in order from left to right. The second row should have a water jug, juices and garnishes. The third row should have soft drinks, jiggers and other bar tools and openers. The fourth and front row should have napkins, an ice bucket and tongs.

How do you make a bar top? ›

How to Build a Bar Top-DIY - YouTube

How do you convert IKEA Malm drawers? ›


Does IKEA furniture have to be fixed to the wall? ›

Not all IKEA's furniture needs to be attached to the walls, only items in danger of tipping over: open and closed storage units, tall items, and sets of drawers. They function without being anchored, but this is a highly recommended safety precaution. Not securing IKEA furniture voids warranties.

What can I use instead of a standing desk? ›

5 Standing Desk Alternatives For a Tiny Workspace
  • Standing Desk Riser for Desktops. You can turn almost any surface into a standing desk with a standing desk riser. ...
  • Mounted Shelf. ...
  • Laptop Stand. ...
  • Tablet Arm. ...
  • The Movel - Portable Standing Desk.

How tall should a standing desk be? ›

The average recommended height for a standing desk is 30 inches, but this may not work for you, depending on your height.

Is Ikea standing desk worth it? ›

If you're looking for a basic, no-frills standing desk at a good price, the Ikea Trotten is definitely worth your consideration. Among the best standing desks, we love the Vari desk, as it looks fantastic and is even easier to assemble than the Ikea Trotten — and it's electrified.

What is a standing desk converter? ›

A standing desk converter is a device that rests on top of your desk and raises your workstation up and down so you can sit or stand at work. They are smaller and generally less expensive than full standing desks.

Are desk risers worth it? ›

They're more substantial in size, convenience, and compatibility. But if you're looking for something quick and cheap to set up right away, whether it's because time and money are tight or because you're not sure whether it's worth the investment yet, a Desk Riser is almost certainly the best option.

How long can you stand without sitting? ›

It is best not to sit in one position for more than 20 minutes, or to stand in one position for more than 8 minutes. If prolonged sitting in the workplace is required or desired, individuals should gradually transition to significant periods of standing.

How often should you stand up from your desk? ›

Sitting behind your desk all day is bad for your health and experts have long been advising people to stand at their workstations for about 15 minutes an hour. But a University of Waterloo professor says his research shows that people should be standing for at least 30 minutes per hour to get health benefits.

How often should you stand at your desk? ›

That means for every 1 to 2 hours you sit in your office, 1 hour should be spent standing. Try to alternate between sitting and standing every 30 to 60 minutes. Bottom Line: Try to alternate between sitting and standing.


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