Thursday, March 6, 2014

IKEA LACK Coffee Table Standing Desk Hack - Tutorial!

At the beginning of the year, I decided to try out standing at work.  I didn't want to make any sort of investment without knowing whether or not it "worked" for me, so I created a makeshift desk from junk I found in our basement at work.  I told myself that if I decided to revert to sitting, no big deal - at least I will have made an effort.'s been over two months, and I haven't missed my 100% sitting days at all (which is sort of a shock to me if I'm being honest).

I did some research and on ways to create a permanent solution and I'm now committed.  Enter IKEA (who else?)!

How to Make a LACK Coffee Table Standing Desk:
   M A T E R I A L S
Four 1.5" screws (I'm guessing on the size...I just used what I had)
Screwdriver (I used the old fashioned kind because I'm a "hoss")
Circular saw ('cause you're 'bout to have to cut a board)
Grand Total:  $44.98!

   S T E P S
Step 1: Put together the LACK coffee table to specifications

Step 2: Saw EKBY JARPEN down to 35" (so that it's roughly the same length as the coffee table)

Step 3: Measure the height at which to apply the shelf to the front of your coffee table.  Ergonomically speaking, you'll want it at about the same height as your hips.  For me, that was ten inches from the bottom of the lack to the top plane of the shelf.  

Step 4: Attach EKBY BJARNUM brackets and EKBY JARPEN shelf to the coffee table according to the specifications in the EKBY BJARNUM package.  This is where you'll need four screws (they don't come with the brackets).  I was nervous that the hollow legs of the LACK would cause the brackets to be unstable, but they're not.  You don't need any special wall-mounting screw stuff if you don't have it...just a screw and a screwdriver - it'll be golden, seriously - it's the sturdiest thing I've ever built.  If you're still nervous, get a wall mounting screw and use those instead.

Step 5:  Once the brackets and shelf are in place, screw the four tiny screws that come with the EKBY BJARNUM into the bottom of your self for stabilization (per the directions).

Step 6: Place your monitor(s) on the top shelf, your keyboard and mouse on the front shelf, and anything you want on the interior shelf.  

Ta da!  You are the proud new owner of a $45 standing desk!

I put mine on top of a LINNMON matches.  If you're interested, the two LINNMONs pictured here (including the ADILS legs) cost a total of $60. 

I've seen other IKEA standing desk solutions that are less expensive, but when a "real" standing desk costs $1,000-$3,000, anything under $100 is something to write home about, right?  

Why did I choose the LACK coffee table (instead of the side tables or the myriad of other IKEA solutions?):
1) I have dual monitors, so the 35" length of the LACK coffee table was perfect - bigger than the other solutions, but not *too* big.
2) It's prettier.  I didn't have to go with the EKBY BJARNUM brackets, but they're the prettiest.  So I did.
3) The LACK coffee table has an interior shelf halfway up - that means I have an extra layer of storage under my standing desk complement (see where the turquoise basket is sitting?  Shelf!)

If you're going to do a standing desk, make sure you buy an anti-fatigue mat to stand on.  It makes all the difference between being able to stand all day without thinking about it and seeing mirages of armchairs.  I've worked out a happy medium at work where I stand for approximately 75% of the day and sit for 25%.  I stand to do most of my work, but I sit when I'm talking on the phone or when someone is visiting my office.  It has been a really great balance so far.  Pay attention to what your body is telling you - if it hurts to sit, stand!  If it hurts to stand, sit!  You're not cheating if you do a combo...there's very little in the world that's "all or nothing," so just do what makes you feel best!


  1. Love it.
    also love the shoes kicked off under the desk :D

    also the light colours make it nice and bright

  2. I love your Ikea desk hack and am thinking of making one myself! May I ask (and sorry if I missed it somewhere), what do you have under the Linnmon table that you made into the standing desk? Is it a file cabinet? -Julie (Seattle, WA)


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