Work Station home-office-with-l-shaped-desk-1

Published on December 5th, 2008 | by Contributor


Home office make over! (Almost 100% IKEA)

Jennifer and Sean does a lovely makeover of their home office using mainly IKEA items. I love that it has lots of storage, well balanced and though it has a mix of different IKEA shelving units, they play together nicely. I wish I had so much space (and oh my, all that storage) for my home office.

IKEA home office makeover with L shaped-desk

They write, “We started off with a very boring and bland 8×10 room with an off-center window and rad to contend with. What we ended up with was a functional and stylish office space for two :)

Here’s what we worked with for our IKEA Home Office Make Over:

- 2 EXPEDIT bookcases
- 4 EXPEDIT drawer inserts
- 4 EXPEDIT door inserts
- 2 MIKAEL drawer units
- 1 BENNO CD tower
- 8 NUMERAR 4 3/8″ legs
- 1 GALANT leg
- 2 NUMERAR countertops in aluminum/white (96″ long and 73″ long)
- GUNVOR fabric

To maximize the desk space in the small room, we wanted to have an L-shaped desk configuration. Wall mounted bookshelves would provide the storage we needed while not using up the valuable floor space. After a bit of research, we found that using 2 Expedit bookcases (one mounted on the wall, one sitting on the countertop) would fit our needs. The IKEA sales guy wasn’t entirely sure if the Expedit was suitable for wall mounting, but we figured by using extra wall brackets and strapping underneath, we would be okay.

before IKEA home office makeover

First, we installed some wood strapping to provide support for both the countertop and the wall mounted bookcase. A little hack on the Expedit bookcase was next: we measured out the studs on the wall and installed 4 wall brackets underneath the top frame of the bookcase so they would hit the studs. Then we lifted the bookcase so it sat on the strapping and screwed the wall brackets into the studs.


Storage for IKEA home office makeover

Next, we assembled the two Mikael file cabinets and put them on Numerar legs instead of castors. One of the Numerar countertops was then installed, attaching it to the strapping and sitting it on the Mikael cabinets which formed the support leg at the other end. The second bookcase was then put in place sitting on the countertop, over the file cabinets.

Storage units for our newly madeover IKEA home office

This side of the room was a little heavy, so we cut down the Benno CD tower and used it as a support leg at the other end of the L-shape. The second Numerar countertop was then put on top and attached to the strapping. Ikea has a $2 aluminum transition strip which we used to cover the seam between the two countertops. At this joint, we installed a Galant leg under the countertop for extra support.

Also, since the CD tower had a shallower depth than the countertop, we found an Expedit piece in the “As Is” section and butted it up to the tower to make it look deeper.

Home office setup with IKEA furnishings

A few final touches – sewing curtains from Gunvor fabric, using some Ikea picture frames and magazine files, and throwing down an existing Ikea area rug – and the room was finished. It took a bit of work but now we love working in our new space.”

See more IKEA workspace hacks.

Kitchen island from bookcase and table top
An extra surface for your work top

The Author

This post was contributed by a reader. Please see credits at the end of the post. To submit your own hack, please click here.

54 Responses to Home office make over! (Almost 100% IKEA)

  1. shara says:

    Great makeover!

  2. Jessica says:

    I love everything about this make over, specially the storage idea, I don’t have much storage in my office at home mostly it is found on my bedroom, I think this is a very good idea to add for my home office make over. Thank you for sharing this, my home really need a makeover specially my office.

  3. I am looking to hang my Expedit on the wall of my scrapbook room but I’m concerned about the weight of the unit (excluding what will be stored in/on it). How did this end up working for you all? Did you have any issues with the weight? Thanks!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been reading a lot of concerns about the hollow walls breaking and stability issues. I’m looking into hiring a professional to hang mine on the wall to put my dvd player on but I’m nervous about the idea after reading all of the posts.

    Do you have any updates on how this held up? Would you recommend it to others?

    • Sheila says:

      Did you receive a response from them? I’m wanting to do the same thing but concerned about the weight of the unit as well as the items I will store in them.


  5. Cynthia says:

    Wow looks really nice! I’m looking for ideas for my spare bedroom that I want to put an office area in too. Some of your links just go to the main Ikea website though.

  6. Sherris says:

    LOVE the job!!

    Did you mount the L brackets to the Expedit? If ‘yes’, how b/c the Expedit is very thin walled.
    Also were they just metal brackets?

    Like another user, what size strapping? It looks like 1/2″ X 1″.

  7. Leah says:

    Wow, love this space. Wish I could afford these pieces! Well done. Love the curtains too. A nice finishing touch!

  8. Kelly says:

    Not to be rude, but how much were all the furniture pieces needed for this? Just a ballpark please

  9. Anonymous says:

    Love your ideas in your room and want to copy some in mine. What size is your room?

  10. Anonymous says:

    It looks great, and a very efficient use of the space, but it’s all pretty moot without at least an estimate of the cost isn’t it? (the majority of the IKEA links are broken)

  11. Ellie says:

    Nice work Jennifer and Sean. Really did great job out there. Thinking if I can also make my home office as organize as yours. By the way, thanks for sharing those great shots! Really made us inspired. Keep it up!


  12. Anonymous says:

    Nice Job Guys, I was wondering what kind of brackets you have used?


  13. Jenn says:

    Nice work. May I ask where did you buy the area rug?

  14. Anonymous says:

    What is the interior dimension of the expedit drawer insert?

  15. Tamara says:

    I love this! It is visually, functionally and fiscally terrific. You have a great sense of style and space. I plan on using your ideas to create my own home office wall this week. (I promise to give good credit when anyone asks).

    I am uncertain about how to wall mount the bookshelf. How big is the ‘strapping’ you used under the shelf – I imagine a 1 x2 used as sort of a cleat? – and what size brackets did you use on the top? Pls advise or post another pic if you have one. Thanks

  16. Anonymous says:

    You could make it even cooler.

    There is usually a void space behind Ikea cabinets, about a cm where the backing board slots in.

    You could run some wiring round the back and out the bottom and connect up some of the little spot lights.

  17. monica says:

    Love this hack – will do something similar for a corner office space in my new place…one question, how did you deal with the differences in depth between the counter tops and the mikael drawers?
    Thanks a million!

  18. Katie says:

    So much work and storage space. It looks like I could definitely get a lot of work done in this room!

  19. Anonymous says:

    this hack is the best!! I’m going to steal this look for my study room

    Noraini, Selangor

  20. Wanderluster says:

    Oops Julia – you’re right. It is Brookside Moss by Benjamin Moore which I had colour-matched using a Behr paint.

  21. julia says:

    according to my local store and the behr website, they do not have a “brookside moss.” i’ve found benjamin moore in that name, but it doesn’t look the same. (i understand there will be differences between real life and screen.)

    any chance this isn’t the right name? or is this color perhaps discontinued? and either, could you post the “recipe” for it so i could get it mixed?


  22. Too much time on my hands says:

    Love it and may have to work on my study. I feel a trip to Ikea some time soon.

  23. Christine says:

    I have a room exactly like this! Thank you for the idea and photos. I love this and plan to use the ideas for my own space.

  24. Knuckleboxer says:

    I pretty much have all sorts of IKEA stuff. They’re great space savers and are really affordable too!

  25. K says:

    My favorite Ikea hack ever!

  26. Kevin says:

    Wow, that looks great. So much storage and function packed into a small space. I wish I could redesign my kitchen this well…it’s about the same size!

  27. Anonymous says:

    You did such a great job lining up the Expedit bookcase lines. It could have been so easy to measure one cm off and have a jarring effect on the eyes. Excellent job!

  28. Siddharth says:

    looks really cool!!!

  29. China Grrl says:

    Jennifer – awesome! How much did this cost all together?


  30. Anonymous says:

    Nicely done – but the table blocks the radiator.

  31. Nicole R.J. says:

    Wow – what a fab space! I’ve bookmarked this for ideas when I gfinally get a craft room/office all to myself!

  32. min hus says:

    Just wanted to chime in with another well done! I love your style. Your office looks fab and custom. It definitely doesn’t scream IKEA to me

  33. Alexa says:

    Comment on two comments… I have a very un-handy husband. Using power tools does not shrink your uterus. But it may shrink an insecure husband.

    And colors don’t look exact after being photographed and then reproduced on a computer. Just go get something you like. Brand, on the other hand, can make the difference between one coat and 4.

  34. Wanderluster says:

    Thanks for the kind comments everyone :)

    Brandi – I do have a very handy husband! And thanks to him, I’ve learned to wield some power tools myself ;)

    littlecindy – the green paint is Brookside Moss and the white walls are Decorators White, all by Behr.

    anon – (1) We attached an L bracket I think to the top of the vertical expedit, holding it against the wall. (2) No we didn’t attach the bookcases together. We had to be precise with our measurements ahead of mounting the bookcases though, so that the two bookcases met perfectly and so that the right side of the vertical expedit aligned with the countertop and the file drawer below. (3) the galant leg is behind the chair, sort of below where the printer is in the corner. We added it to provide additional support to that corner.

    Glad you liked our hack!


  35. Killa Kev says:

    What a WONDERFUL and TASTEFULLY DONE hack. It definitely gives me ideas for a future office hack.

  36. Kathy says:

    For over a year now I have been looking for an office hack that was basically vertical storage. This baby rocks! I love it, I will borrow it, I will have to tweak it but it is a wonderful solution!

  37. Adriana says:

    The curtains, walls, accessories, and, of course, the IKEA elements look really good together. You made the offset window work! Great job!!!

  38. Anonymous says:

    This is a wonderful makeover!

    Questions for the hackers:
    1) Did you attach the vertical Expedit bookcase to the wall somehow? (the one with the drawers)

    2) Did you attach both bookcases to each other?

    3) Where exactly is the Galant leg? (it’s hard to see).

    Thank you!!

  39. Fraulein N says:

    This is amazing.

  40. littlecindy says:

    can anyone tell me what paint brand and color that is on the walls?

  41. littlecindy says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Yes, Brandi, Jennifer MUST have a handy husband, because you know us women are just totally incapable of using power tools. (I hear they make your uterus shrivel up!)

    This looks really fantastic, it looks expensive and custom made (which I suppose it was!) Not like, “oh wow, you bought all your office furniture at ikea” like my place…

    That’s also a great color scheme, the green is dramatic without being overwhelming.


  43. dramaqueen says:

    it looks cozy and comforty

  44. Brandi says:

    This is so great. I will assume you have a handy husband!! That would be such a luxury. One of the best hacks I have seen to date as well. Awesome job.

  45. Sheepy says:

    Beautiful! I love Expedit!

  46. Shawn says:

    Nicely done indeed! :)

  47. Mari says:

    Nice! Those Expedit units are so useful.

  48. Quizshow says:

    Wow, that looks amazing. Great job!!

  49. Alberta says:

    One of the best step by step posts…awesome job Jennifer & Sean!

  50. luthien says:

    well done! it looks absolutely fantastic!

  51. cwLoretta says:

    Wow, this is by far one of the best hack I’ve read so far in this Blog. Very functional! It looks like an episode of those Home Improvement show. Going to ‘borrow’ the ideas for my next Den. Great job!

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