Published on January 27th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Pottery Barn inspired desk transformation

Materials: Effective Desk and wood file cabinets

Description: I was inspired by a desk set at Pottery Barn that I couldn’t afford. I used my old (red/brown) Effective Desk and bought two solid oak file cabinets off craigslist for $75.


- I painted the Desk Top and the cabinets Benjamin Moore’s Timid White
- I removed the Ikea legs and hardware from the desk and braced the back corner with some braces I fashioned from metal plates and $2 banister inserts from Home Depot. It is solid!
- The Desk Top just rests on the cabinets at either end.

I love how it turned out.

See more of the Effektiv desk transformation.

~ Nicole, BC, Canada

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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".

23 Responses to Pottery Barn inspired desk transformation

  1. Kirstin Kelly says:

    Amazing! I would never have the vision… Where did you get the hardware for the cabinets?

  2. Nick says:

    That has to be a pretty low desk with file cabinets – I was going to do that once but the desk wasn’t high enough.

  3. Nicole Scott says:

    The desk is called effektiv

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m not the creater of this awesome desk but I think the desk top she used is found on IKEA’s web site,
    Click here: VIKA AMON/VIKA ADILS Corner table – white – IKEA

  5. Hope you reply me… What kind of desk are you using? Please TELL me… because I’m looking for a good corner desk like this… Can you tell me.. what kind of desk, corner and straight? Please… Thanks…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant job. The file cabinets are sensational! The only suggestion I could make is to attach some kind of molding to the underside of the desk top in that the middle space to disguise how thin the top is. (Tricky because of the curve, but you might even be able to get away with a piece of painted foam weather stripping.) Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. teeny says:

    Wow! I know the inspiration desk, and I’ve occasionally coveted it, too. I especially love that you duplicated the drawer fronts and handles to have that old-fashioned look!

  8. Wow! Looks terrific. What a great job!

  9. Astrid says:

    The cabinets look…wow! Great transformation!


  10. Adriana says:

    I love that desk form Pottery Barn and you did an amazing job replicating it! Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Gina says:

    That is FANTASTIC!! I’ve been coveting that desk from Pottery Barn and now plan to copy your great ideas!

  12. Charlotte says:

    A little paint and a lot of ingenuity turned this into a gorgeous corner. Congratulations!

  13. icerabbit says:

    Excellent job!

    Recycling, smarts, tinkering & elbow grease for a wonderful result that really looks the part. I thought the result picture was the inspiration :)

    I’ve looked at this desk a couple times at pottery barn with great interest, but find it too pricey for what it is.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Looks fantastic. Congrats.

  15. Moontree says:

    haha, suck it, pottery barn! I love it when people find or make stuff like theirs for about 20x less. Nice work, Nicole : )

  16. Anonymous says:

    Great looking desk! Was the right edge left unpainted for a reason though? In the picture where painting is “in progress,” the unpainted edge appears on the left. In the finished picture, it appears on the right. Perhaps an inside edge is facing outside by mistake?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant job!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I too love how it turned out! Great hack not only because you made it look so good but also because you did a bit of recycling as well. :)

  19. this is fantastic… i love those hideous file cabinets now!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I’ve seen that desk at the pottery barn. You did a great job!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I think the real winner here is what you did to those file cabinets!

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