Work Station

Published on January 25th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Gustav desk with Billy shelves

Jessica pairs the Gustav writing desk with a hack on the Billy extension units. And it worked out perfectly.

She says, “Living in a small house, my husband and I recently found that the Gustav writing desk was a perfect replacement for a desk that was way to big for the space.  The Gustav fit perfectly on the 45 inch wall available.  The problem?  No hutch or storage space.  We went to Ikea looking for a cabinet to mount above it but most were either 36″ (too short) or 47″ (too long) and we wanted a perfect fit.

We created a custom overhead unit from two 14″ wide Billy cabinet extension units, four wooden extra shelves, two doors for the units and a couple of glass shelves.  Since the extensions are intended to fit on top of a Billy bookshelf, they had no bottoms.  We used two of the extra shelves to create bottoms, attaching them to the sides of the Billy using Kreg pocket screw joining.  To make the cabinet exactly the right length we cut down the remaining two extra shelves and used them to create an open shelving space in the between the two cabinets.  The were also attached using pocket screws, but L-brackets would also work if you don’t have the kit to drill pocket screw holes.

To mount it to the wall, we flipped the entire thing upside down so that the more nicely finished “top” of the unit would be what you would see from the desk.  This also allowed the unit to be attached to the wall through the bracing bar that would normally be at the bottom of each of the Billy extension units.   Because of the plaster walls and odd stud placement in the wall, we also attached a 45″ piece of poplar (which matches the birch finish very well) to the wall to help support the unit.  We attached the doors and added a couple of glass shelves and now we have a perfect fit for the space.  After our next trip to Ikea, we also plan to mount some lighting underneath.”


Meet me on Facebook
I’ve recently created an Ikeahacker fan page on Facebook. I don’t spend a lot of time on FB but I thought it is another great way to reach Ikea fans who are also avid Facebookers. So, if you do Facebook, I’ll love to  connect with you over there. I’ve also added photos of my recent trip to Siem Reap. Yeah, just a spot of me cam-whoring. Take a look, only if you’re interested.  

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

5 Responses to Gustav desk with Billy shelves

  1. Anonymous says:

    That Gustav desk looks just like what I want. And of course, its discontinued! ARG!

  2. That’s really cute. FYI our ikea is now selling a Billy wall shelf that looks just like what you hacked – obviously they saw a need too!

  3. lily says:

    This looks really great. I like my desks as giant as possible, but this desk is so quaint, yet still very stylish.

  4. jrr says:

    The floating cabinets look nice!

    On an unrelated note, it appears that the desk suffers from an issue that plagues me: opening the drawer pushes a pile of stuff off the front of the desk. Good for you if you have the discipline to keep it clear =]

  5. i love the look of those above the desk!

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