Ivar Ivar+Extensive+Hack-755758

Published on May 16th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Extensive Ivar Hack: Workstation & Micro-foyer

Materials: Ivar shelving, lumber (luan, pine plank, molding), various mending plates, L-brackets, handtools (saw, screwdrivers), power tools (circular saw, drill, Dremel).

Description: My flat is rather small and I have a large computer workstation so maximizing space and being able to integrate work and living space is important to me. Also, from the outside, the flat’s front door opened into my living room. If the front door was open there wasn’t much privacy and too much gear would be potentially on display for my taste. This Ivar hack solved these two issues for me.

The “smart” side of the hack provides adequate ergonomic space for my workstation and the “dumb” side works to create a micro-foyer. By adding a “ceiling” above the smart side I was able to create some space to keep the gear I’m not using on any particular project nearby.

This is a big, multi-day, project for those with intermediate “home improvement” experience. For those with several years of intermediate experience I don’t think this hack should present any challenges not encountered before but there are a couple of areas where calling on a friend for an hour or so of their time to assist is a good idea.

The unit is mostly standard Ivar shelving & cabinets. Ikea discontinued their corner shelves so I had to go to my local home improvement store for lumber that I cut to size and secured to the adjacent shelves with mending plates and to the Ivar vertical supports with L-brackets. Brackets and mending plates are used to secure the “ceiling” and elsewhere, throughout, for structural reinforcement. Where necessary and appropriate, shims were used during leveling.

To create the micro-foyer I used luan and standard molding to construct a “flat” or fake wall. The fake wall is two parts, a top panel and a bottom panel, with their seam hidden behind molding. In order to access the back of my equipment and patchbay, the upper fake wall panel is hinged at the top and the lower panel is completely removed. When closed the two panels are secured in place with screws & bolts at the corners and 3M Dual Lock attached to the Ivar vertical supports along the edges.

It’s important to use angle brackets for reinforcement during assembly and, as always with any shelving unit, judiciously distribute the weight among the shelves after completion. This amount of pine will noticeably contract and expand with the weather as it continues to cure (most Ikea pine pieces I’ve assembled seemed to finish curing over time) and the extra reinforcement helps mitigate the potential for going catawampus. If you live in earthquake country and secure it to a wall make sure there is some give; the straps included with the Ivar units, when properly secured to a properly assembled unit, should be enough.

Everything associated with wood working and “home improvement” apply to this hack: measure twice (or more), cut once, use the proper (quality) tool for the task at hand, give yourself enough time and be realistic about the time it takes to complete. I used an accurate carpenter’s level throughout. When measuring and cutting the luan I used a carpenter’s chalk line. I also used hand tools for most of this. When using wood screws on the Ivar vertical supports use a hand screwdriver to avoid splitting, even when screwing into predrilled starter holes.

~ m1ckDELTA

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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 Extensive Ivar Hack: Workstation & Micro-foyer

  1. Anonymous says:

    The fisheye effect is not really appropiate to appreciate what you did there, it is a bit confusing. It’s cool, or whatever, but it doesn’t look great here.

  2. m1ckDELTA says:

    A 12mm fisheye is what I had. It is a special effect lens but it accomplishes the task of covering a large area with a single shot.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It looks great, I like everything that hides away a clutter. Why would you keep only sofa and TV in your living room when you can make a better use of that space, right?

    But I have a question: why do you (and many others) use aspherical lens? I mean the pictures like that always look odd to me because there is too much going on for my poor eyes:)I feel like trying on someone’s corrective glasses (my vision is perfect so far).

  4. Anonymous says:


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