After the year that was 2020, the notion that our home is our sanctuary has taken on a whole new meaning. With businesses embracing more flexible working arrangements, our home is where we live, work and play and it needs to be all-encompassing.
Flexible spaces and distinct zones that work together while retaining separate functions will allow you to maximise productivity. Updating your office space to reflect personal style, while also creating a more comfortable, ergonomic home office environment is a great idea, as it will allow you to embrace more balance when studying or working from home.
We have detailed a 10-step process that will enable you to create the perfect DIY desk, maximising storage and also adding an element of design flair with a waterfall end!
what you’ll need
- 900mm deep timber benchtop
- kaboodle 3 drawer cabinet (any modular size dependant on your space)
- 3 drawer panel pack in your chosen colour
- 1 or 2 blind corner base panels (these are optional but will colour match the side of your drawers to the front for a better finish)
- 3 pairs of drawer runners (standard, soft close or push to open – your choice)
- handles if you need them (we have used j-pull panels to create a handle-less look)
- 8mm dowels
- 50mm wood screws
- 70mm wood screws
- PVA glue
- benchtop finish
- screw on feet to lift your drawer cabinet and allow the bottom drawer to slide
tools you’ll need
- drill with number 2 screw tip
- 4mm countersinking drill bit and 8mm drill bit
- circular saw with a fine-tooth timber blade
- masking tape
- a long straight edge
- an orbital sander or sanding block with 120 and 240 grit sandpaper
- tape measure
- adjustable square
- paint brush or applicator and rags (as required by your chosen benchtop finish) and of course, all the appropriate safety gear
Start by assembling the cabinet as per the instructions provided. Before you install the drawers, turn your cabinet over and screw the feet into the underside.
Install the drawers, drawer fronts and handles according to the product instructions. You will then need to slide out the drawers in order to assemble the desk.
Cut the benchtop with a circular saw, carefully following the instructions provided with the benchtop. Remembering to mask the cut and ensure the good side is facing down.
This desk is 800mm deep, but you can go deeper or shallower or even use a 600mm benchtop if you choose. Our top and side are the same depth to create a waterfall edge - however if you want the top to overhang the side, cut it about 10-20mm deeper.
The critical measurement is the height of the desk side. This needs to be 720mm to match the height of the drawer cabinet. The top can be whatever benchtop is left (approximately 1680mm) or can be cut down to fit a specific space.
Sand and finish the benchtop pieces according to the benchtop and finish instructions.
We have used liming white under two layers of kaboodle hard wax oil to lighten the look of the timber. Whatever finish you use, always follow the product instructions carefully and remember to ensure that your chosen finish is food safe if it is going to be used on a food preparation surface.
We have cut a benchtop support rail and corner blocks out of the 100mm benchtop offcut, so if you use the full depth for the top, you’ll need another solid, straight piece of timber for the support.
Cut the benchtop support rail to 50mm high so you can use 70mm screws to fix it to the benchtop. The length will be determined by the length of your benchtop. Cut the corner blocks to be 32mm x 32mm at whatever length is required. You can also use angle brackets instead of timber blocks for the corners if you prefer.
The support will be screwed into the underside of the benchtop and should span from the inside of the side to close to the opposite edge. It will run behind the 560mm deep drawer cabinet and 600mm deep blind corner base panel (if you are using one) – so be sure to work out where these will sit before positioning the support rail. Remember that the blind corner base panels should sit 20mm forward of the cabinet to align with the drawer fronts.
Pre-drill through the height of the support rail in four places using the 4mm countersinking bit, and drill through the corner blocks in at least two places vertically and 2 places horizontally using the same bit.
handy tip: if you have a biscuit joiner you can use it for this next step - we have used 8mm dowels instead.
Measure and drill 3 holes into the top of the side panel, and three holes into the underside of the top using the 8mm drill bit. These holes need to be positioned exactly to line up, so be precise. The face of our side is flush with the edge of the top - if you want an overhang set it back about 10-20mm.
Use the 8mm dowels to pin the side in place then layout your benchtop support and corner blocks. Pre-drill through the benchtop support and corner blocks into the top and side using the 4mm countersinking drill bit to a depth of 20mm.
handy tip: you may need to put the pieces in place to mark the surface then remove them to drill out the holes if your drill bit is not long enough.
Remove all the parts, then glue the dowels back into the side using PVA glue, and glue and insert the side back into the top. Glue and screw the support rail into place using the 70mm screws followed by the corner blocks using the 50mm screws. Wipe off any excess glue then leave to dry according to the glue instructions.
Once the glue has set, screw the same feet used on the cabinet to the bottom of the desk side. Position the top and side onto the drawer cabinet then pre-drill and screw up through the cabinet support rail into the desk top to join using additional 28mm screws provided with the cabinet.
If you are using blind corner base panels to cover the sides of the cabinet, pre-drill and screw them into place again using additional 28mm screws provided with the cabinet.
Replace the drawers and the desk is complete! You can change the colours of your door panels to suit your taste - or even match your study to your kaboodle kitchen to create a consistent look and feel throughout your home!
So there you have it, a desk that not only looks great but is a functional desk too, now we just need to figure out how to make it do our jobs for us…we hope you enjoyed this kaboodle hack and have inspired you to get thinking about your next DIY project!