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Ikea hacks - kitchen cupboards for office furniture?

(16 Posts)
whiskyowl Tue 14-Nov-17 08:45:30

Recently, I have spent many hours on the Ikea kitchen planner. Too many. I think it may have addled my brain, which is why I need some advice as to whether this idea is totally stupid or not.

I'm thinking of using Ikea kitchen units (with drawers) as built-in office furniture. Will this look weird?

I am installing a long, narrow desk in the box room - it will be 3 metres long and 63cm wide. I'd like two 40cm chests of drawers either end, and one 80cm chest on the right hand side, next to the 40. The lower Ikea Method base cupboards (the ones that are 60cm high and have 2 drawers) combined with an 8cm plinth and a 3.8cm worktop should come out around desk height (70cmish). I would then use a solid wood worktop over the top. I can use cover pieces to make the whole thing look 'fitted'.

I'd like the central section between to have leg room and for the desk top to be removeable, with foldable legs (which I haven't sourced yet). This is so I can install a simple 140cm double bed in the gap, in the event we have tons of guests (we have one spare room, but occasionally need to sleep 4 adults). This will be a frame with roll-out slats, and a fold-out mattress that can be put together for the occasion, and kept in the loft the rest of the time.

Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms?

whiskyowl Tue 14-Nov-17 08:46:27

Sorry, that should say the "central section of worktop between to have leg room"

whiskyowl Tue 14-Nov-17 08:50:12

(Oh, and one reason I was thinking about kitchen cupboards rather than the chests of drawers is that I've had the chests of drawers and the bottoms always seem to fall out!!)

Tubbyinthehottub Tue 14-Nov-17 08:56:25

We did this years ago, it looks fine. Not the poshest home office, obviously, but it does the job and was cheap.

SoupDragon Tue 14-Nov-17 09:02:23

I don't see why you can't use kitchen units - they're just drawers after all. My only concern would be the height but I see you mention lower units.

With the desk, you could have it so the top is hinged and folds down flat to the wall like a headboard. If it's made from worktop, it would make a seamless run across the units.

whiskyowl Tue 14-Nov-17 09:06:46

"With the desk, you could have it so the top is hinged and folds down flat to the wall like a headboard"

This is a genius idea! grin Thanks! It would save storing it, too. I might have to think about some trestle-style legs or something as they would need to be moved right out of the way for this to work.

I'm slightly worried about power cord management. It being an office, I have various contraptions that have to be plugged in. Ideas/experience on how to solve this v welcome!

SoupDragon Tue 14-Nov-17 10:23:56

I drew you a crap picture. I was too lazy to find pencil, paper and ruler!

The supports could be hinged to the wall so they fold out. Perhaps a magnet on the leg side and the cabinet side to keep them in place when or something.

SoupDragon Tue 14-Nov-17 10:28:39

Is it accessing the sockets that is an issue with the cables or that you don't want them visible?

Ikea do a pop up power socket

whiskyowl Tue 14-Nov-17 10:45:00

That is anything but a crap picture!! It's a Proper Mumsnet Diagram Of The First Order!

Do you think I can find a leg that will be narrow enough to fold behind the desk-turned-headboard without wrecking the hinge? I can't fold it the other way (to the right), as there will be drawer units there! I guess if I could get something really strong and thin, and perhaps set the hinged section into the worktop a bit futher, it would be doable?

The sockets are located behind where the drawer units will go, so I need to find a way of routing cables up to desk level, where stuff like my incessantly jammed printer, laptop, etc. will go. The trouble with very fitted units is that this becomes difficult. I guess I could drill through the desk and through the back of one of the units and route them up, but I'm worried it'll look messy. Don't really want to have to relocate the sockets...

SoupDragon Tue 14-Nov-17 12:19:43

😂 it's amazing what you can do with a finger and an iPad app.

You need to make the batten at the back the same width as the leg so the leg folds underneath the batten and the top folds down over it. My original diagram did not allow for this but I spotted the flaw in my theoretical plan!

So, batten on wall, top hinged to batten, leg hinged to wall. You may need to talk it through with a carpenter to iron out the technicalities!

whiskyowl Tue 14-Nov-17 12:42:57

That makes so much sense!! Thanks soup, you've really sorted me out. I appreciate it!

I'm actually going to try to and fit all this myself (with DH). It'll be a challenge, but we are up for it! I will report back - it may be a while as the room it's going in is currently under construction!

SoupDragon Tue 14-Nov-17 12:53:25

You're welcome smile

The neatest way to do the batten/desk top is to cut a slice of the back of the desk top to make the batten so it's all the same. You do need the right kind of tools to do this neatly though, which is why I mentioned a carpenter.

In my head it's not hard, but often I find reality doesn't match what's in my head!

whiskyowl Tue 14-Nov-17 13:13:06

Yes, I was thinking I'd just cut down the length of the desk around 15cm in (or however much I need for the legs), then use a hinge. (Piano hinge?). I will need to order 2 worktops and will have loads left over, so I can make the holdy-uppy bit (technical term) of the batten, the bit that is screwed into the wall, out of that!

I found a blog with a similar thing, only the legs here don't fold:

SoupDragon Tue 14-Nov-17 13:29:03

I would have thought a piano hinge too.

StillRunningWithScissors Tue 14-Nov-17 14:08:00

I've just assembled all the units for our kitchen and utility room. Read the instructions first, and you'll do fine :-)

The back panel on the cupboards are very thin, so you could cut them easily with a hacksaw or similar to let your cable through. If you'd like it a bit more finished, you could drill a hole the size of the cable, remove the plug, thread the cable through the hole and reattach the plug.

We're planning on hacking kitchen units and billy bookcases to do a built in wall unit, so I've been trawling Pinterest and IKEA hackers a lot.

Good luck!

whiskyowl Tue 14-Nov-17 14:20:42

You know, I think the easiest thing might be actually to move the sockets to above desk height on the wall. Since I'm having big work done anyway, and will have to decorate the whole room anyway, it wouldn't cost that much and would solve a lot of issues...

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