DIY office desk from IKEA kitchen cabinets

I’ve been using this ‘solution’ for my home office for years now. It’s always worked really well for me as it offers loads of storage space. Folks are surprised when I tell them that my desk is actually just a few components of an Ikea kitchen.

My desk is made up of 1x FAKTUM cabinet with shelves, 1 x FAKTUM cabinet with drawers, and a LAGAN solid wood (beech) worktop. However, Ikea have recently revised their entire kitchen range and as a result, the names and sizes of these components have changed. See notes below for more details.

I subsequently replaced the LAGAN worktop with a deeper/larger piece of veneered MDF from a building supply store. The old LAGAN has now been repurposed as a breakfast table in our kitchen. One of the things I liked most about the LAGAN was that it was only 600mm deep, which made the desk sleek and compact – an absolute necessity in my previous workspaces, however, my current space allows for a much bigger desk so I decided to super-size things a little.

My ‘new model’ desktop is only 200mm deeper but it makes a world of difference with a healthier distance between me and my iMac monitor. One small problem with my new size is that I now have an approximate 200mm void between the back of the cabinets and the wall. I am considering some storage ideas in there. Watch this space.

Home office desk DIY

A few things to note:

  • Further to Ikea’s recent launch of their modified kitchen range, and the subsequent discontinuation of the specific FAKTUM cabinets I used, the replacement parts would be: 1 x METOD base cabinet with shelves (400mm wide), 1 x METOD base cabinet with drawers (400mm wide) and 1 x HAMMARP worktop (METOD range of cabinets was previously known as FAKTUM and HAMMARP worktop was previously known as LAGAN).
  • As of May 2014, the US Ikea website does not yet show the METOD range. In this case, you can use 1 x AKURUM base cabinet with shelves (15 inches wide), 1 x AKURUM base cabinet with drawers (15 inches wide) and 1 x NUMERÄR beech countertop (73 inches wide), or your preferred selection.
  • I installed RILL casters under the cabinets on my desk, however, at 800mm / 31 inches tall, the new METOD cabinets are higher than that of a standard office desk (approx 750mm / 29 inches) and will therefore work best with a chair that offers adjustable seat height. AKURUM cabinets are 770mm / 30 3/8 inches tall.
  • The desk length is entirely up to you. You can use it as is or have it cut to the correct size.
  • When planning the size of your desk, bear in mind that the two cabinets of 400mm each will take up 800mm and you will require a space of at least 500mm (or a space slightly larger than the width of your chair) between them.
  • For maximum stability, use screws to secure the worktop to the cabinets.

I have since updated the desktop with a marble look. You can see it here.

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62 thoughts on “DIY Office desk

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  6. Doro

    Hi, very nice desk. We’re in the process of creating our office. We actually gonna get the FAKTUM cupboards from IKEA. In the UK they still sell them until June 2016 (subject to availability) and you can get them if you contact IKEA directly. Might be worth finding out whether that is also the case in the US.
    We’re planning on using a grey worktop like e.g. EKBACKEN.
    I was wondering though what doors/fronts did you choose? Are they matt or high gloss?


    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Hello, thanks for your comment. I can’t recall the name of the door front, but they’re one of the very basic matte options. Hope that is helpful. Kath


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  11. rebecca

    Would you mind letting me know what paint color this is? I absolutely love it! Thanks so much 🙂


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  13. Francisca

    We went to our local Ikea with this idea and where advised to use the cabinets which are 60cm in height. This because the new cabinets need to have a base/plinth to stand on. On the photo it looks like they have a base but apparently they do not have a base. So when you use a 60cm high cabinet, and 8cm legs you will get a heigth of 68 plus the 2,8 cm thickness of the worktop your desk is little over 71cm high, which is a nice height for a desk according to the kitchen rep at Ikea.


      1. Francisca

        We just finished the desk for our daughter, I cannot upload/send you a photo right?
        As my really sturdy and nice office desk won’t fit into the study we just created we are going to make a second one for my study. One difference: daughter has a white top and I will have a wooden top.


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      1. Chris

        Thanks for your reply! Did you have to apply any oil or sand the worktop at all to make it usable as a desk? Or did you find it worked fine as is?


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  16. Ginger

    Looks beautiful, but can you tell a bumbler (me) an easy way to secure the worktop to the cabinets?
    Thank you!


    1. admin Post author

      Hi Ginger, the cabinets have pre-made holes where you can insert a small screw that will secure the worktop to the cabinet.
      regards, Kath


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    1. admin Post author

      Hi Angela, depending on where you are, the Ikea components tend to vary slightly. For the US, these links & their pricing would apply…
      I’ve shown to closest match to what I used but you can lower the price by selecting an alternate countertop. Hope that is helpful.
      Regards, Kath


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    1. admin Post author

      Hi Deb, my chair is so old… and is starting to show its age, I bought it when I was living in London about 10 years ago. I found it in a store called Dwell but I have seen many similar styles over the years. Kath


  19. Sarah

    I LOVE this idea. I’m looking at IKEA online and can’t seem to find either base cabinet. Is it possible they don’t make these any longer??


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    1. admin Post author

      Hi Susan, thanks so much… it’s less serene when my two noisy kids are hovering in the background 🙂


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    1. admin Post author

      Hi Ginnie, glad you like it – it works really well for me. Thanks for stopping by. Kath


    1. admin Post author

      Thanks, Betsy. I must say, the light in my office is fab although very warm in Dubai’s summer! Kath


    1. admin Post author

      Hi Katie, thanks so much. The desk is such a great solution – I’ve had it on the go for many years. Thanks so stopping by. Kath


    1. admin Post author

      Hi Amanda, thanks so much. Good luck with your office, look forward to seeing it soon? Kath


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