I love my study at home. It's the space where I play games, stream, write, take photos, make music, watch Netflix, record podcasts and film videos. It's a space that's sole purpose is to give me the means to create whatever it is that I want to create. I'm super lucky that I am in a position where I can dedicate an entire room to that purpose.
For the last few months, that space has felt a bit bland. I definitely realize and appreciate that not everyone is as lucky as I am, so I would always feel a little guilty when I would think like that. This month especially, with the work that I was doing, I needed to get at my gear fast, without much time to tidy anything, so the room became an absolute mess. Cables everywhere, various boxes for things like power boards and batteries laying all over the floor, it seriously was getting hard to move in there.
The few days I had off this month, I would say things like "that day, I'm going to stream or make a video" and the day would come but because the room was basically destroyed, I just couldn't find the motivation to do anything in there. The room lost its purpose. That realization hit me pretty hard and so for my birthday this year, I have decided to redo that space entirely, just hit the reset button, do everything right and just enjoy having a creative space again.
The first thing I wanted to change, is my desk.
My old desk was a majestic workhorse that is now 5 years old and probably could keep going for many more years. I bought it from IKEA (oh by the way I love IKEA and literally buy everything from there) for something like $50. It was cheap, made of laminate and chipboard and survived 3 house moves and about 100 room rearranges (I try to rearrange my room every 1-5 weeks to shake it up) which made it a little rickety. When I bought it, it was brown/black and as the years went on, it got scratched and chipped. I added drawers and changed the legs a bunch of times. Eventually I started to prefer lighter wood and to match the shelves, I decided to get some sticky laminate from Kmart for $5 and covered all the bumps and bruises. It looked ok for about a week but the bubbles and shoddy job I did started to make it look real rough.
I'm super pedantic when it comes to buying new things, as I like things to be a certain way and definitely don't like change in the slightest. My old desk was 2m long which served me well. That said, I always felt it was a little too big, so I went on to IKEA's website and started looking at the desks. Nothing spoke to me, colour or size wise. I just wasn't feeling it, I almost considered buying wood from Bunnings and making what I wanted. Just as I had that thought, it occurred to me that IKEA uses a lot of the same measurements, so I asked myself if it would be possible to just make what I want...
Could I? Could I just mix and match the parts like Lego? Well, it turns out, I can!
I wanted a desk that was over 180cm but less than 200cm. The kitchen benches come in a huge range of colours and are made from stronger materials than the standard desks - some are even solid wood! I chose the Eckbacken because it was 186cm and the colour I wanted. Also it was significantly stronger than my old desk. I had the Alex drawers from my old desk and because I am a huge proponent for storage space without adding anything, I was considering getting a second Alex to even out the other side. I saw the Klimpen in the catalog, it's basically a little bookshelf/cabinet that is the same height as the Alex and most of the table legs have on offer - it also fits an Xbox console perfectly, which means I can hide my console under the table!
Last but not least, for added stability I wanted at least one table leg in the middle. I have about 100 of the Adils legs laying around my house, but they are thinner and metal. I wanted to keep with the wood theme so I picked up a single Hilver leg (it was weird explaining to the cashier why I only wanted one!) as it was solid wood and matched the colour for the most part.
Now I have a custom IKEA desk, that looks good and functions so well too - better than anything that IKEA had pre-made! The total cost for this was $165 as I already had the Alex from 5 years ago and it's still going strong. With the Alex it's an extra $120 bringing the total to $285, which for something that I will use pretty much every day and that is going to last me a long time while fitting perfectly in the space - that's pretty good. Solid wood desks will go for $500 - $4000 easily, and they aren't always custom made for individual's needs.
All in all, I am pretty happy with my desk and can't wait to start using it to make content again - I will be doing more of these articles (next up we have monitor/keyboard/mouse, followed by gaming chairs, a sim racing rig, a video/photo wall, more storage and a work bench) about my room upgrades, so keep an eye here, on my Twitter and Instagram and check out the hashtag #SuperStreamingRoom on both.
Let me know what you think and what your dream desk is - do you have any furniture hacks yourself? I would love to know!