Sunday, September 14, 2008

IKEA hack all the way

Why I don't write here often:

a) Work
b) Recently, health reasons
c) Other hobbies
d) Life
e) Home improvement

Why I DO write here:

I love making things with my hands, and I love sharing the results with others.

As some of you might know, LK and I live in 360 sq. feet in what amounts to downtown Boston. This is done out of necessity and convenience (to work and civilization), in that order. We also share our home with two bossy felines.

As you might imagine, maintaining this small of an abode requires constant organization, ingenuity, and skill. To that end, last year we got rid of our awful boxy black late 1990s TV and DVD player and replaced both with a ridiculously expensive iMac that serves as a full entertainment center.

I LOVE the fact that I can watch Russian television streaming through the Internet on the 24" inches of silvery goodness:

But after obtaining this sexy gadget, there was no good place to rest it except the old television stand, which (as you might imagine) was not the ideal place for work. After a period of adjustment, and considering the narrow sliver of real estate available for the entertainment center, we wanted a desk that would serve the goal of using the computer without cluttering the space too much.

Ideally, we wanted this Parsons Console from West Elm:

It was *JUST* the right size and finish to fit in the space allotted, and blend with the decor. But, as you might imagine, people who live in 360 sq. feet out of necessity don't really have $329 to spend on a desk, no matter how pretty it is. ESPECIALLY if they just bought a really expensive computer.

So we set out thinking of a good IKEA hack that would serve a similar purpose, since there are many an item at IKEA featuring the same type of white laminate finish and square forms. For a while I was enamored of the concept of this VIKA AMON/VIKA TORE combination:

Sadly, IKEA tabletops don't come in depths less than 24", and the max we could allow for our space was 18". Ripping one down and dealing with the unfinished edge seemed like a waste. Then one day I remembered I had a white shelf left over from a project at work that originally came from this UDDEN set for the kitchen:

Armed with a 15" x 48" table top, it was time to find some legs for it. On a recent trip to IKEA to research some OTHER items we wanted to purchase, there she was. Our white beauty. In the AS-IS section. A LACK shelf for $45.

Quickly dispatched home, she became the base for my "45 minute $45 desk" (that is precisely how long the desk took, from start to finish.) It still needs some refinement, but it's fully functional.

The art behind the computer awaits relocation to another wall. The top of the desk is firmly screwed to the bases.

That little mousepad shelf slides in and out, and is made from the middle shelf of the LACK and some glides left over from our TROFAST recycling center set-up.

A week after the desk was born, we received the 2009 IKEA catalogue. Imagine my surprise when I saw the following in its "Workspaces" section:

Turns out they now sell VIKA ANNEFORS table legs, to make precisely what I just made. However, the depth of the IKEA desk remains a min of 24", so I like my 15" hack better for our space.

Maybe now is a good time to mention that with the exception of two vintage pieces in our apartment, EVERYTHING is from IKEA. And we couldn't be happier.

1 comment:

ALISHA said...

Very Nice! Would you mind posting the dimentions of the cubby at the bottom? Where your books and such are. Thank you!