Can I turn the IKEA SVALNÄS desk into a foldable table?

Help! Need suggestions for IKEA SVALNÄS as a foldable table

Can it be done? Here’s the idea. Stop me before I make a mistake please!
I’ve invested big in a fold-down wall bed

wall bed murphy bed

To get it with a desk was going to cost another heap of money. So what if I put a bamboo SVALNÄS desk onto the bed base?

SVALNAS desk combination

SVALNÄS desk |

To make it fold away when the bed is down as so …

wall bed down position

I was thinking of using the hinge from IVAR foldable table.

foldable table ikea ivar
foldable table ikea ivar hinges

IVAR foldable desk |

So the desk would lay flat against the bed base and be parallel to the floor when bed is in use.  

Would love the input of the IKEA Hackers community.

~ by Jinx


Hi Jinx

First up, I love the wall bed. Looks like a solid purchase. And it’s so neat when closed up.

Now, on to your question.

Looking at the SVALNÄS desk, IMHO, it’ll take more effort than what it’s worth to make it work. The SVALNÄS side posts will not be wide enough to accommodate the IVAR hinge and to hold the SVALNÄS desk flush between the posts in upright position. (You’ll need to make a new thicker frame like in the IVAR.)

And because of the extra margin needed for the hinge, the back of the desk will not be flush against the wall, as in the original design. You’ll need to figure out how to keep the desk in horizontal position with an extra horizontal brace and hinges. All these will add up to your cost. If you’re trying to save, it may not be the best way to go. But can it work, maybe? It won’t be easy.

Alternative wall mounted tables

I would rather go for a simpler drop leaf desk like the NORBO or NORBERG. It does not have drawers like the SVALNÄS desk but with the up and down movement, I can’t imagine drawers being very useful.

drop leaf table ikea norberg
drop leaf table ikea norbo

NORBERG drop leaf table | NORBO drop leaf table |

With the drop leaf table, I’ll just need to figure out how to keep it closed when not in use and bed is in down position. Perhaps a magnetic latch will work. Or less visually appealing, string, like how the wall bed mattress is kept in position when upright.

How about foldable table brackets?

I would look outside of the IKEA range for a neater foldable table solution. How about using these folding table brackets and cutting a piece of wood to match the entire width of the bed for a nice fitting desk? Or get a ready made one like this:

foldable table ikea alternative
foldable table ikea alternative

Source: Need Fold Down Table,

Looks pretty neat to me. Minus all the headache and at $89 it’s cheaper than the SVALNÄS desk combination. (But of course, this is not bamboo.) Link to Amazon.

Lastly, do check that your wall bed base is strong enough to hang the desk off it and has enough clearance from base to floor (in down position) for the desk.

Let us know how it goes. We would love to see what you end up doing.

Happy hacking,