Office Makeover #1: Got commissioned (by the wife) and need some ideas!

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Blog entry by live4ever posted 03-14-2010 10:42 AM 5664 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Office Makeover series no next part

So ever since I got bitten by the woodworking bug, the wife has been tolerant but hardly supportive. I can understand that, since I’ve mostly been spending money on tools, and spending time in the garage.

So I was pleasantly surprised today when she agreed to let me use my minimal woodworking skills to makeover our home office, something we’ve been thinking about for a long time.

Originally, we were planning on simply getting a desk and storage system from Ikea (I know, I know, just simmer down!). The office isn’t exactly where we want to spend our bucks on “fine furniture” – it just needs to be efficient, look decent, help us organize, etc. That way, maybe we’ll actually sit down to do some work at home!

In a nutshell, the plan calls for a single, long worktable spanning the entire wall of the room (approximately 10 feet), which would provide ample space for a dual monitor desktop workstation and a laptop workstation, writing area, etc. Wall mounted storage on top (thinking horizontal cabs) with puck lighting onto the desk. Turns out it would actually be cheaper than Ikea (believe it or not) for me to make the desks out of double layer [maple? birch?] plywood. For the cabs, I’ll probably just get the boxes from Ikea and make the fronts myself to match the tabletop.

Where I’m getting stuck and in need of ideas/advice is the legs. Not really married to any particular material – just want it to be slick, contemporary, and, you guessed it, cheap. I suppose I could just look at using the various leg styles Ikea has on their desk systems as a last resort.

Have any of you built something like this? Looking for some inspiration!

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

6 comments so far

View Alan's profile


443 posts in 4287 days

#1 posted 03-14-2010 04:34 PM

If it is the whole length of the wall, what about supports attached to the wall. No legs to get in the way and cheaper.

-- Alan, Prince George

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 4117 days

#2 posted 03-14-2010 04:45 PM

Alan I was thinking the same thing while reading the post. Or a file cabinet on each end or even in the middle, can’t have an office without file cabinets, and set the table top on them.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 4083 days

#3 posted 03-14-2010 05:34 PM

Keep all your skills sharp and build the boxes too. I agree with the others. File cabinets and a more open concept would look great. Build a cabinet that can hide the desktop unit. Add a fan for good air circulation and cooling. Use panel “Z” clips to hold the the top to the wall. Go to like Office Depot or Office Max and just look at the way the office furniture is setup for you to get some ideas and inspiration as to how you want to do your layout.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3998 days

#4 posted 03-14-2010 08:54 PM

quick and dirty
use a 2×4 on the wall where the tabletop can rest on
and a 2×3 skirt under the front so you do get a bow on the table
and two 2×4 under the ends atash to the wall
and only on dublecabinet under the mittle
the you don´t need legs for the table

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3893 days

#5 posted 03-14-2010 09:25 PM

Thanks for the ideas! I really do like the idea of a floating desktop. Using 2×4 cleats makes it pretty simple/cheap, but Z clips are also a good option. I hate drilling into our studs in this house because the walls are plaster and I inevitably hit the lathe nails, but I think it would be worth it.

There was going to be a file cab/drawer unit or two under the desk. The cabs I mentioned not making the boxes for were the overhead wall cabs.

Dennis – in your quick and dirty example, would you attach the desk physically to the 2×4 cleats in any way, or just rest it atop? And would it be preferable to glue or just screw the 2×3 skirt to prevent the bowing?

I’m wondering how much bowing support I need under the tabletop. 10 foot span, supported by cleats at the ends and a file cabinet in the middle…one layer of 3/4 MDF with a top layer of hardwood ply. Do I need additional lengthwise or crosswise supports?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3998 days

#6 posted 03-14-2010 10:07 PM

with the 2×4 you screw them to the wall with the right plugs
a little over a foot between the srews
with the 2×4 you cuold allso make a full frame and no surport of legs if you want
but nomatter how you do it you have to use some ( I don´t know the name)
but here is a link where you can see what I mean but you have to get them a
lot smaller for tabletop attashment

and you have to use 2-3 for every meter all the way round so you are sure it dos´t bow


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