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How to create an alcove desk!

15 May 18 Author:Michelle Gaffaney

Do you need a desk but it wont fit in any of the small spaces you have? Or maybe you have a desk but want to adapt it, make it smaller to free up some more space? Well with a little bit of imagination and elbow grease you can get the desk space you desire.

So firstly, here are the items you will need;

For the table:

  • 1 x desk board (19mm medium-density fiberboard)
  • 1 x narrow support strip for the back (cut to the same length as the desk board)
  • 2 x narrow support strips for the sides (cut slightly smaller than the width of the desk board)

For the shelving:

  • 2 shelf boards (19mm medium-density fiberboard)
  • 2 x narrow support strips for the back (cut to the same length of the shelf board)
  • 4 x strips for the sides (cut slightly smaller than the width of the shelves)
  • 23 x screws, 6 x 80 mm
  • 23 x screw anchors, 8 mm (depending on the structure of the wall)
  • 8 mm drill bit (depending on the structure of the wall)
  • 6 mm drill bit (for wood)

Step 1: To ensure that your desk slots perfectly in the alcove, the first thing you must do is carefully measure the space. Taking time at this stage to make sure everything is just right will make your job a lot easier and quicker. A digital laser measure is the most precise way to do this as it is quick and guarantees accuracy first time.

Position the laser measure with the base of the tool flat against a side wall and measure the width of the alcove, then measure the depth. The strips of MDF board for the table and the shelves will then need to be cut slightly smaller than these measurements – this can be done for you at a local hardware store.

Step 2: Before you fit anything in the alcove it is best to check for pipes or cables which may be hidden behind the walls. The best way to do this is by sweeping a detection tool across your walls.

Once you are sure that the wall is safe to drill through you can mark the height of where you would like the desk top and shelves to sit. Position the support strips at the sides and back of the alcove at the desired heights. Ensure that they are all level by using the incline measurement function on the detection tool.

Step 3: Use a 6 mm drill bit for wood to drill the fixing holes into the strips. Drill three fixing holes in each of the long strips (roughly 5 cm from the left-hand edge, in the center, and 5 cm from the right-hand edge) and two holes in each of the short strips (roughly 5 cm from the left-hand edge and 5 cm from the right-hand edge). Then use a pen to mark the position of the fixing holes on the wall.

Now use the 8 mm drill bit and the hammer function to make clean, precise holes. Then place a screw anchor in each hole to provide a secure hold.

Step 4: Now attach the strips to the wall. Switch the tool to the screwdriving function, lay the strips against the wall and screw them firmly in place.

Step 5: Once you’ve attached the side strips securely to the wall, all that’s left to do is position the desk board and shelves on top of them. You can also add your personal style by painting the shelves a bright colour.

Ta Da! Your very own alcove desk, you can get even more creative and add all sorts of added extras like pen holders fixed to the walls or folder holders hung up above it all. Let your imagination take over 🙂

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Michelle Gaffaney
Michelle Gaffaney - Architectural Director
With a wealth of experience working on a range of projects, Michelle Gaffaney has a passion for design and strong relationships with her clients. Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn