2 IKEA Hacks Plus Paint Create a Cozy Home Office (Instantly!)

published Apr 29, 2024
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Whether you’re creating a custom desk, adding cabinetry, or installing a luxe-looking home library, there are plenty of ways to hack IKEA furniture to work to your advantage in a home office redo

When engineer-turned-DIYer Nicole Pankopp (@simplyalignedhome) was converting her home’s super-small spare bedroom into a home office, she turned to IKEA to make the room truly look the part. 

The room had become a catchall for unopened boxes, and it was time to give it a much-needed inspirational refresh. In a previous home, Nicole had turned her dining room into an office space and added built-in open shelving and lower cabinets. She also opted to paint the space a dark color, giving it a moody feel. 

“There was something special about that space that made me feel creative when I was working in it,” Nicole says. “I wanted to carry over the design of the built-in and the dark, moody paint of my old office into our new home.”

After clearing out the cluttered space, Nicole added storage, a built-in desk, and a reading zone where a closet once was.

The home office has two great IKEA hacks.

For the added storage, Nicole wanted something shallow and tall. “I wanted to save time by purchasing IKEA BILLY bookcase units,” Nicole says. “They are shallow enough that I didn’t feel like I would lose a significant amount of space by installing them.” To customize the bookcases, she installed them onto bases constructed of 2x4s and added a trim to the top and the bottom of the units. Nicole says adding trim was her favorite part of the project, as it was the finishing touch. 

There’s also an IKEA hack in the reading zone, which was once a closet. “I removed the doors to be able to make room for the built-in desk,” Nicole explains. “Once the doors were off, I decided to add a reading nook rather than reinstalling them. I installed an IKEA unit in the closet opening. The unit had upper shelving for books and two lower drawers for additional storage.”

A custom desk setup adds even more storage.

On the opposite wall, Nicole built a desk. “I started by installing both a store-bought filing cabinet as well as a custom-built cabinet on either side of the opening for the desk chair,” she explains. “I then made a countertop to span the full width out of red oak boards.”

She installed the countertop, then two bookcases for either side of the desk out of plywood that are the same width as the filing cabinets, and stained those. “I then made cabinet boxes to go on top of the bookcases to provide additional hidden storage,” Nicole says.

Green paint completes the room. 

To bring the dark and moody vibe that she loved from her previous space, she painted the walls with a cozy green (Sherwin-Williams’ Pewter Green). To complete the look and to add extra personality and character to the space, she opted for some vintage-inspired decor, including a vibrant area rug. 

“I love the vibe of my home office!” Nicole says. “It is a space that is both cozy and bright. The room has a window that brings in a lot of natural light, which made the decision to paint it dark easier.

And one last DIY project completes the space. “As I planned to spend a lot of time in this new office, I installed a flower box under the window to make it feel welcoming and natural,” Nicole adds.