Hackers Help

Published on March 16th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Hacker Help: Ikea Laiva Desk and Vanity?

Materials: Ikea Laiva Black/Brown desk

Description: I found this desk and love its little size and clean lines. I am in need of a laptop work space but I also need/want some where to do my make-up and hair, so I was thinking of some way I could make this a lift top desk (kind of like the besta burs) but I just cannot figure out how. I thought this would be the best place to look for help. I know I would need some kind of hinge and a piece of particle board? To close off what will be the inside shelf, from there I am stuck as to how. I do not want to start something I cannot finish..any suggestions would be appreciated. :)

~ Heather, Minnesota, USA

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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 Hacker Help: Ikea Laiva Desk and Vanity?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I actually recently bought this desk and after putting it together, I see IKEA uses the top board is a structural member, acting like a shear wall in the horizontal plane. I like other people’s suggestions for putting in a bottom, but if you care about strength of how much weight this compartment can hold as well as appearances, I recommend drilling furring strips to the inner perimeter of the desk at the lowest level possible, and adding your board cut exactly to fit the inside of your desk. Keep in mind that the edges may or may not be fully square, so both the board and the furring strips will provide the shaping and structure to keep your desk stable. I recommend a decently strong wood or at least plywood if you plan on storing heavier items.

    p.s.—Desk assembly instructions here to give you an idea of how to construct/deconstruct your desk.

    Good luck!

    All the legs and table skirts are attached to it via dowel and screw so it’s going to be pretty tricky to just hinge it as you’re thinking. If you’re going to do this, I’d recommend

  2. bookfanatic says:

    The desk surface is the last part of the desk installed, so it looks like it would be relatively easy to attach it with a hinge instead of the included fasteners. Good luck!

  3. The Bride says:

    Great idea. My advice is to just go for it. At worst you’ve lost $20. It sounds to me like you already know pretty much what’s needed: a bottom board, a good hinge and probably something to make the top stay open when you need it to. This is basically about cutting to size and gluing, nailing or screwing together and getting the right hardware. All easy peasy.

    What I would do is go to Rockler Woodworking, or Lowes, Menards, Home Depot, or any good hardware store. There you will find someone who knows what they are talking about to help you choose the right hardware. If the first person isn’t helpful, find another one. It sometimes helps if you take pictures to help you explain what you want to do. I’ve been doing this for years and am so grateful to all the sales people who have been my teachers over the years.

    Good luck.

  4. Shepy says:

    I’d presume the inside of the top is hollow there, so you’d want to put another board on the inside bottom of that to make a recessed / hidden compartment, then a hinge along the back of the top to allow it to open, perhaps with two breaking joints like in http://www.ikeahackers.net/2012/03/besta-bench-ive-ever-seen.html – then you could have laptop on the top, but it opens up to makeup which can be left inside. And a mirror on the underside of the top.

  5. GeoWulf says:

    I’d say put a piece of masonite or thin plywood under the bottom frame of the desktop section. Take the top board off the table, add hinge on the back and a mirror (that will be face-down when closed). Add some velvet lining (an aesthetic touch of class) to the inside box and you should be good to go. You may need something to prevent the tabletop from going too far back but if you put the table against the wall, you might not require this part.
    ~ Greg, Minnesota, USA

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