2020 has forever changed how we work, with most of us now working from home permanently, or commuting into an office only a few days a week.
Now that we’re settling into this new way of working and living, most of us are thinking more critically and long-term about what our work from home (WFH) office spaces need to include to foster and sustain productivity, especially when we don’t have the benefit of a formal office space to trigger that “worker mode” mindset.
You’ve probably heard of people creating clever IKEA “hacks” to build their own (nearly) custom desks to exactly suit their needs, and if you’re looking to create a WFH workspace that’s equal parts functional, attractive, and affordable, you should seriously consider building your own IKEA desk hack.
“Hold up, this is new to me. What’s an IKEA desk hack?”
Simply put, an IKEA desk hack is using affordable building components from IKEA — perhaps a large wooden table top (like BARKABODA), some stylish legs, maybe some storage units (like ALEX), or whatever else you can configure — to create a desk that fits your needs and personal style.
⇛ Did you know? IKEA is actually an acronym, which is why it's in all caps.
The 19 Best IKEA Desk Hack Ideas (according to us, at least)
Ready to hack your way to your own dream IKEA desk setup? Regardless of your desired desk shape or configuration — standing desk, corner desk, or an L-shaped desk — we’ve compiled some of the best ideas from across the internet, so you can find inspiration for your own WFH setup. Here are some of our favorites.
IKEA Standing Desk Ideas
A simple and affordable option, this standing desk uses several pieces from IKEA’s discontinued VIKA series, but we’ve figured out suitable substitutes! The FINNVARD/LAGKAPTEN combo features legs that have the same raising and lowering concept with a sizable tabletop. For additional storage and a raised space for the keyboard and mouse, Nick Wynja used IKEA’s EKBY ALEX drawers and a LACK floating shelf for added height for the monitor or laptop. Looks like the table legs can double as headphone storage, too!
The setup by Nicklas from Sweden on this standing desk is simple but genius: A countertop (the user originally used one from the LAGAN series, which has been discontinued, but the MÖLLEKULLA would be a great sub, as well) cut to size and supported by SANDSHULT brackets creates the desk, and another countertop hanging vertically below hides the user’s extensive data storage equipment.
Another easy standing desk hack, this simple solution has only a short tabletop (there are many options to choose from) and some basic brackets, like the SIBBHULT. Another great option for those who are short on space!
A clever way to combine storage, stability and standing desk health benefits, this IKEA standing desk hack uses KALLAX (formerly EXPEDIT) shelves, BULLIG storage cubes, another KALLAX shelf in a different configuration, and a large LACK shelf to create a deep, multi-functional desk. Click this link to view the original instructions for how to assemble this desk, since drilling is required.
Simple and Easy IKEA Desk Hacks
Whether you’re low on money or space, or you just don’t need a huge desk setup, we’ve included several ideas below that feature simple WFH setups.
It doesn’t get much simpler than this: A MICKE desk and a simple, custom-sized board (64.2cm x 28.5cm x 2cm) for a keyboard tray held on with the metal sliders originally intended for the desk’s drawer.
A slight spin on the TOLKEN countertop and LERBERG trestle leg hack above, use the LERBERG trestle legs with a “live edge” wood tabletop. Live edge table tops can be pricey, but sometimes you can score a real find on eBay or Craigslist, if splurging isn’t in the budget.
IKEA Desks Hacks with Storage
One of the most popular (and easy) IKEA desk hacks is to rest a countertop (like the KARLBY) on top of some ALEX drawers. Fast, efficient, and offering plenty of space to store office equipment, this option is also very affordable.
Similar to the option above, this IKEA ALEX drawer hack incorporates a SKÅDIS pegboard overhead. Using the IKEA SKÅDIS hooks, you can configure your own custom storage for items like headphones, extra cords, and even plastic SKÅDIS boxes (also with lids) for small items like paper clips, pens, tape, etc.
This desk uses a curved tabletop (similar to BEKANT) atop two drawers that feature stylish ÖSTERNÄS leather pulls. For extra storage and space to decorate, Stefen also added LACK shelves in varying sizes supported by brackets, similar to KROKSHULT.
Stacey updated a plain, pinewood RAST drawer to create a beautiful “leg” for her L-shaped desk, and added some classy handles (similar to ENERYDA, but we’re also fans of -pulls-16298/). Check out this link for the how-to guide.
Are both you and your partner working from home? Double up on the space for a fraction of the cost by using IKEA’s MALM drawers + KARLBY tabletops, and floating LACK shelves overhead. Given the KARLBY’s generous dimensions, you’ll never fight over desk space again.
P.S. According to the designer of this setup, you can get a 10-pack of pulls for the drawers from Amazon and simply spray paint them whatever color you prefer for a budget-friendly upgrade.
Ever find yourself needing to step away from a screen to do your best work, perhaps with just a pen in hand and some paper? Using only the ALEX drawers and a countertop (again, the KARLBY is a good choice), this user created two distinct sides to his desk, one suited for computer work and one more suited to analogue work.
Another great option for couples working at home, pair the ALEX drawers with KARLBY countertops, legs for the middle desk (we like the look of HILVER), and MARIUS stools to create an M-shaped desk with a gender-neutral look you can both use and enjoy.
A simple combo of ALEX drawers + LERBERG legs (alts) with LAPPVIKEN door (cut down to size, to hold the computer PCU) + LINNMON table top (similar), this desk is an easy solution for adding storage while also raising your computer PCU off the ground, to better protect it from dirt and grime.
With or without the cool wood plank accent wall behind, this look is easy and attractive to recreate. MITTCIRKEL and metal brackets can be used to create the desktop, NORDLI for the drawers underneath, and KNAGGLIG for the side boxes.
Another variation on the countertop (we also like the look of the BARKABODA) and ALEX drawers hack, this desk also utilizes the BOTKYRKA floating shelf (similar) to organize and decorate the workspace.
For those of you blessed to have an entire dedicated office room to plan world domination (or just make the most epic spreadsheet ever), this desk hack is for you. Use MÖLLEKULLA countertops, BOAXEL shelves and ALEX drawers to steal this “mega IKEA desk” idea (see this link for construction details, too). Pair with this chair to complete the look.