Sometimes Ikea just gets a bad rap

I like Ikea. Go ahead, shoot me…see if I care. Sure, some of their stuff is junk, but, they also have some great things that are a terrific value and as good as anyone else’s.

I wouldn’t buy their sofas (after a year the cushions are flatter than flat) but I’ve used their Billy bookcases a zillion times and their kitchen cabinets are fantastic. The best thing is that a lot of their stuff can be customized either by purchasing the things you need to make them fit your lifestyle or by customizing them yourself.

That’s what I do. I take stock Ikea cabinets and bookcases and customize them into something fantastic.

That’s the subject of my next few blog posts. I’ll show you how I’ve taken stock items and made fully custom built-ins from them.

The first one is a very small den (the size of a walk-in closet) that I did. It was a bit of challenge trying to fit lots of workspace and storage into such a small space and have it look appealing, but in the end Ikea came though.

The plan was to build a built-in desk unit with storage and shelving.





The first thing I did was to remove the baseboards on the left side of the den to allow the cabinets to sit flush against the wall.

Then I installed 2 Billy bookcases (one wide and one narrow) and installed doors. I then re-installed the baseboards running them around the base of the cabinets to give a built-in look.





I took a stock Vika desk top and cut it to fit the width of the back wall, then mounted a lack wall shelf, with a small piece added to make an L-shaped shelf.





To take advantage of the height I added a second shelf above the first.





The result is a built-in desk unit with tons of storage and ample work surface simply by using and modifying Ikea Billy bookcases and Lack wall shelves.

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