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How to Make an IKEA Hack Standing Desk

Desk Setup
How to Make an IKEA Hack Standing Desk hero

Standing desks have gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. At a previous job, I had a nice standing desk from Herman Miller. Unfortunately, it was very expensive which is something I couldn’t afford for my home. So, I built an IKEA hack standing desk.

The office at my previous house was recently featured on ZSA’s people blog. Since then, I took it one step further and converted it into a standing desk. After lots of research, including helping a friend set up a standing desk of her own, I chose what would work best for me.

Thankfully, IKEA offers quality products at an affordable rate and people all over the internet have found clever ways to mix and match IKEA’s products to build custom, unique, solutions.

Here were my criteria for how to make an IKEA hack standing desk:

Josh sitting at desk
  1. Lots of counter space
  2. Lots of storage
  3. Doesn’t break the bank
  4. Looks good
  5. Can be customized in the future

I’ll go through each piece of my setup, give you some tips, and explain how to make an IKEA hack standing desk.

The Countertop

Karlby Countertop

The countertop is the most important element of a desk. It’s the foundation for a good desk. That’s why so many companies charge a lot for their desks: good quality material is expensive. Thankfully, a wood veneer is a great alternative. I got IKEA’s KARLBY Countertop. It’s 98 inches which is plenty wide enough space for my needs.


Alex Drawer unit in white

The next step for a great desk is its support. When I first built it I didn’t have the budget for a standing desk. I know IKEA sells basic furniture legs but, as someone who lives in apartments, I wanted good storage. I got two ALEX Drawer units. My long desk had plenty of room to give me comfortable legroom in the middle.

Cable Management

Karlby Countertop

Cable management is hard. There are lots of potential solutions, but I got the SIGNUM cable management tool and a power strip that I could mount to the bottom of the countertop. With some time, patience, and attention to detail, I was able to tuck everything out of sight.

Karlby Countertop

All the items above make a great desk, the Alex units do a good job holding the countertop and if you’re on a budget I’d recommend you stop there. I had this setup for years before I decided to upgrade to a standing desk.

Standing Desk

Fully Jarvin Standing desk frame

I thought about getting rid of my IKEA hack and upgrading to a standing desk. I realized getting something similar (without the storage) was going to cost me almost $1000! Because everything was still in good shape, and I already liked the look of the desk, I got Fully’s Jarvis frame only. The white frame with the Alex units made it match the setup perfectly! I’m glad I went in this direction because it was easy to install myself. I made sure to install the frame so the Alex units could still fit perfectly on the edges of the countertop.


BenQ screenbar plus

There are a few accessories I recommend for lighting and comfort:


Standing desk

How to make an IKEA hack standing desk


I’m very happy with how I made an IKEA hack standing desk. It took years of iteration before I finally got to this state and I may make more changes in the future. Hopefully, this guide was helpful and now you can make an IKEA hack standing desk of your own.

Have you built your desk? Have questions about my setup? Let me know in the comments below.


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