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This IKEA PS 2014 Secretary holds a few secrets

IKEA PS 2014 secretary with clever bells and whistles.

As the global pandemic around COVID-19 started to take hold across the world, working from home full time was quickly becoming a reality.

In a two-bedroom apartment with a three year old and my wife, however, I needed to find a setup that met a few criteria:

  • Aesthetically pleasing, as my work area would inevitably be in our bedroom to avoid curious toddler fingers
  • Able to be closed away, so that I can maintain a healthy boundary between work- and home-life, while everything is still at home
  • Able to accommodate a large monitor for work

In searching for a setup and doing some measurements, I always loved the look of the IKEA PS 2014 Secretary desk.

Discontinued, I looked at local classified ads and found someone who actually had one new in box and was willing to ship it. One contactless delivery later, and I was able to give it a shot.

IKEA items used:
IKEA PS 2014 Secretary

Unmodified IKEA PS 2014 Secretary desk

The 27″ monitor I had would technically fit. But it was scraping the top and bottom of the interior. So I decided to give myself some more vertical space:

IKEA PS 2014 Secretary

Related: IKEA PS 2014 Secretary makeover: From orange to minimalist.


The plan
  • Moving the ceiling of the interior space to the top of the desk still allowed for a place for plants and knicknacks
  • Changing the face panel of the top area into a hinged panel allows a 27″ monitor to be mounted at an ergonomic level
  • Adding a stay-up arm keeps the top flap open during the work day
Additionally:
  • For maximizing the open space on the desk, the monitor was mounted on a short VESA arm and bolted through the back panel
  • A small shelf was built behind the monitor to house a power strip and keep cables out of sight
  • Because the top of the monitor was no longer accessible, a webcam is mounted to the side of the monitor via command strip
  • For audio, a speaker was affixed to the bottom of the monitor with (black!) command strips
  • An additional hole in the back allows for some cables to route to the top shelf without being visible.
  • Attached the desk to the wall for added stability to prevent monitor wobble
  • Added a laptop mount out of sight on the side of the desk for accessibility and connectivity

Finally, there wasn’t space for a second monitor, but sometimes I needed it.

Using two short drawer rails and 270 degree hinges, I built a flip-out shelf out of scrap IVAR shelf. This holds an iPad which is to be used with either Duet Display or Apple’s Sidecar.

And for fun, I attached the desk pad with blu-tack so that it will stay in place even when closed.

Process:
Top shelf:
  • Given the trapezoidal shape, align the top shelf where you’d like it at the ceiling. Leave roughly 1cm of space for a lip
  • Remove the roughly ~2cm of overhang on the flat side of the ceiling panel with a saw. (To maintain the front angle)
  • Drill pilot holes and use long wood screws to affix to the sides and rear of the top portion
  • Mount the hinges so that the top panel is aligned
  • Install the gas hinge one side so that panel stays up

These are the Hinges and Lift arm I got off Amazon.

Side shelf for iPad:
  • Using two rails reduces flex and shearing as the shelf is extended
  • Using a hinge greater than 90 degrees allows for clearance as the shelf is re-inserted when closing

Related: A pocket shelf to manage wires beneath IKEA PS 2014 Secretary


Speaker attachment:
  • A small project, but makes a large visual difference. Black command strips creates an integrated look, and right angle plugs keep things out of sight. A black permanent marker minimizes the upside down logo on the grille. 
Monitor mounting:
  • Using a shorter VESA arm allows for a shallow mounting depth, but requires careful measurement to ensure the correct height.
IKEA PS 2014 Secretary with Vesa arm
Desk pad:
  • Simple blu tack affixes a desk pad that stays put when closing the desk shelf.
desk pad
desk pad
Laptop Cubby

Finally, I wanted a way to keep my laptop out of sight. But still easily accessible when I want to work away from my desk. It also had to be thermally sound, so that the computer won’t overheat.

IKEA PS 2014 Secretary with laptop compartment
routed back

I used a jigsaw to make a bowed bar out of the same spare IVAR shelf. It allowed for proper clearance and stability for the laptop in the recessed cubby on the side. I routed Usb-c cables from the back to the side.

IKEA PS 2014 Secretary  with laptop compartment

All in all, I’m very pleased with this project. It lets me have a modern, professional setup that can be easily put away when work is done.

IKEA PS 2014 Secretary closed

IKEA PS 2014 Secretary closed

IKEA PS 2014 Secretary expanded

And expanded

And, it was a hell of a lot of fun.

~ by Charles Vestal, Berlin