I'm going to share a secret with you. We LOVE Ikea. There - said it. Approximately 90% of the furniture and cabinetry around our office came from Ikea. But wait, you say - as an interior architecture firm isn't it weird to use Ikea items instead of products and furniture we use when designing offices for clients? We don't think so, and here's why!
Much of our set up is created from what we affectionately refer to as "Ikea hacks." We use base structural elements from several different Ikea furniture systems to create the end result that we want. There are two main reasons this works for us. First, we're willing to spend several days putting together tedious Ikea pieces (which we would never wish on anyone). And second, we cut, drill, and finagle items to just the size and fit we need and sometimes, despite the best planning and pre-measuring, this results in a bit trial and error.
To be honest, we like the challenge and love getting to create something budget friendly and unique. It simplifies things for us. We spend our days designing and specifying beautiful office spaces for our clients so that when it came to our own space we wanted to take it back to the basics.
We like having the option of a bar height desk for the option of standing or sitting (in a taller chair). We also knew we wanted open seating (as opposed to private offices) and thus needed to incorporate some sort of storage option so that personal items could be tucked away.
Our desks are arranged in a row of "pods" with two desks facing eachother per "pod" (see above). Let's work from the ground up! The base of our desking system is comprised of one Kallax 2x2 shelf, and two Kallax 2x4 shelves per pod.
On top of the shelving pieces we placed four Capita stainless steel legs. The legs can raise and lower slightly and thus can be easily adjusted to level the desk top. Our desk tops are made out of Karlby walnut countertops that we cut to the size and shape we wanted.
The shelves, legs and walnut counter top provide the overall structure of the desk. Each individual desk is cut from one piece of countertop. We used remnants from the cut to attach the two desks in each pod together (see image below — below the desk are two pieces of wood that span both pieces to secure them together in the middle). The only other modification we made was drilling cord access holes in the walnut behind the monitors so we could run our power cords through the desk.
Our office is arranged with all the desks in a line against a long wall of windows. Between each pod we used a Sektion base cabinet (from an Ikea kitchen line) with two medium Maximera drawers with white fronts to provide a bit more storage. You can see the cabinet in the image below.
An aerial view of the cabinet placement, highlighted in pink, can be seen in the sketch below.
Finally - to keep things cohesive and clean we ran an Ekbacken counter top along entire length of the desks, along the wall on top of the 2x4 shelves and cabinets (you can see the silver edge in the photo above). And that's it! Each employee has a bar height office chair for the option to sit or stand throughout the day. We're thrilled with the end result and after just a week we still have lots empty storage space in the shelving units to grow into.
Stay tuned for an Ikea conference table & storage system hack coming soon!