Northwest #1: Gursk’s Home Office Makeover – Out With the IVAR, In With Space

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Name: Gursk
Location: Vancouver
Time: 3 days
Cost: $1300

Tell us the tools and resources you used for the project:

Raw Resources:

  • 4×6 sheet of 3/4 inch plywood, maple finish grade on 1 side
  • 10 feet of 1×1 lumber
  • 23 feet of maple finishing tape
  • Zinsser primer
  • Drywall repair compound
  • Wood filler
  • Benjamin Moore Natural Linen Latex Paint
  • Benjamin Moore Natural Linen Oil Paint
  • 6 L brackets
  • 20 EZ Drywall anchors
  • 12 1.5 inch wood screws
  • 4, 2-inch plastic grommets for cable management
  • 2 feet IKEA RABALDER cable management tubing

    Finishing Resources:

  • 2 IKEA BJÄRNUM/ MOSSBY, wall shelves
  • 2 IKEA UDDEN, wall shelves
  • 1 IKEA Vika Byske adjustable table leg
  • LCD monitor mount (Vantage Point model V139-1022)
  • New LCD monitor
  • IKEA ORIGINAL desk pad
  • Keyboard tray & mechanism

    Reused Resources:

  • Lateral filing cabinet, painted black
  • Computer equipment
  • 1 IKEA CITTRA track light
  • 1 Leap chair


  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Drywall trowel
  • Sandpaper
  • Handsaw
  • Drill & assorted drill bits
  • 2-inch hole saw bit for drill
  • Paint rollers & trays
  • Hammer
  • Iron
  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Sawhorses
    (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


    Share step-by-step instructions for how you completed the project:

    Room prep:

  • 1. Remove all items from office.
  • 2. Repair any flaws in drywall with drywall compound, sanding between coats.
  • 3. Prime repaired areas.
  • 4. Paint room with 2 coats of latex paint.

    Desk construction:

  • 1. At lumber supply store, have wood cut.
    Plywood: cut 1 sheet 2 pieces, approximately 6X2, and 4×2 1X1 cut into lengths that will run along perimeter edges of desk, 2-2 foot pieces, 1 6 foot piece and 1 4 foot piece.
  • 2. Sand all surfaces.
  • 3. Using drill bit, pre-drill pilot holes into bottom side of 1×1 wood. These will be used to attach the 1×1 pieces to the lower perimeter of the desk to prevent warping.
  • 4. Line 1×1 pieces up with outer edges of the unfinished side of plywood. Screw 1×1 into plywood.
  • 5. Use and iron to apply wood tape to the outside edges you created by screwing the two pieces of wood together in step 4.
  • 6. Fill any pits or flaws in wood with wood putty.
  • 7. Prime top & sides of desktop pieces.
  • 8. Paint top & sides of desktop pieces. Sand and add second coat, if desired.
  • 9. Allow paint to cure 24 hours. This may take longer if you live in a humid place.

    Mounting desk to wall:

  • 1. Measure height for desktop and draw line on wall.
  • 2. Verify line is level.
  • 3. Using stud finder, locate studs and screw L-brackets onto wall level with the line you drew in step 1. If you cannot locate studs, use drywall anchors to attach L-brackets
  • 4. Adjust the IKEA Vika Byske adjustable table leg so it’s the same height as the line that you drew in step 1.
  • 5. Attach table leg to outer corner of desktop. This will make the mounting the desktop to the wall easier, providing some support.
  • 6. Place desktop on L-brackets and mark the underside of the desktop where each L bracket has been mounted to wall.
  • 7. Place desktop back on floor and pre-drill pilot holes in the locations you marked in step 6. Make sure not to drill through the entire depth of the plywood.
  • 8. Replace the desktop on L-brackets and screw desktop to brackets.
  • 9. Adjust table leg so desktop is level.
  • 10. Repeat for second arm of desktop, or use lateral filing cabinet to support it.
  • 11. Install keyboard tray under desk.

    Finishing steps:

  • 1. Mount Wiremold, Plugmold Tough Multioutlet strip below desktop, within plug distance of an electrical outlet. This will make placing and connecting computer equipment MUCH easier.
  • 2. Determine where you will place your telephone and computer equipment.
  • 3. Use hole saw to drill holes for cables.
  • 4. Place plastic grommets into new holes.
  • 5. Mount LCD to wall.
  • 6. Place computer equipment & thread cables through grommets.
  • 7. Mount IKEA BJÄRNUM/ MOSSBY and IKEA UDDEN wall shelves as per IKEA instructions. Make sure shelves are level!
  • 8. Add mirror and other final dressing touches.
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