In what ways can I mod/hack my desk ?
February 25, 2008 6:23 PM   Subscribe

I'm building a desk for my home office and I could use some help on how to personalize it.

I'm building the desk by using two different cabinet bottoms I've purchased from the Habitat for Humanity Restore. The desk is going to be about five feet long since I need room for my different computer and video stuff. I could use some advice on what to add to it, the only thing I've seen is the pegboard external holder wall.
posted by carefulmonkey to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
If you use a desktop, how about a slide-out keyboard drawer?
posted by j1950 at 6:35 PM on February 25, 2008

I am not sure what you are asking here. Do you want to have some shelving units on top, or a keyboard tray, or are you just looking for funky ideas?
posted by LarryC at 7:00 PM on February 25, 2008

I mainly looking funky ideas. Sorry for the mix up
posted by carefulmonkey at 7:04 PM on February 25, 2008

false-bottomed drawers. hide something ridiculous in there.
posted by Acari at 7:11 PM on February 25, 2008

You may get some ideas by looking at the tricked out jerker desks from Ikea. Also check out ikea hacker's work station section.

Generally I like seeing velcro, zip ties, and other types of cable holder thingies put to good use. If there is a piece of hardware on or near your desk which you almost never touch (wi-fi router, broadband modem, etc.) then mount it out of sight.

A while ago I invested in a bluetooth mouse and keyboard combo. My desk space is now 100% cable free.

If you need or want subdued indirect lighting I recommend hot gluing (or double side taping) LED rope light under the edges of shelfs and other places. I bought a 12' strand at Home Depot for $12.00... not a bad deal.

Unless your desk is going to do double duty as a work table, there is no reason why you can't tack on some shelving units. I really hate seeing a lot of vertical wasted space above a desk - especially ones pushed against the wall. Likewise you can hang shelfs (check Ikea - I love their shelves) above the desk against the wall for added storage.

As soon as I have the budget I'm looking at putting together a built in desk in my apartment. My plan involves mounting my flat screen monitor on the wall and having a narrow surface. LCD monitors have made deep desks more of a liability nowadays.
posted by wfrgms at 7:48 PM on February 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

For my desk I have a USB hub affixed to the table surface using funky orange C-Clamps which always seems to get a reaction from people who see it for the first time.
posted by mmascolino at 8:32 PM on February 25, 2008

Well, since you ask, if you want to go nuts and have any books to store, you could build some incredible custom bookshelves like the ones on Moonlight.
posted by misha at 8:42 PM on February 25, 2008

Not sure if it'll work in your case since you already have the two bottom cabinet pieces, but you could make a replica of you desk and hang it upside down above your desk. This would definitely use up that wasted vertical space wfrgms was talking about. The drawers/ cabinets function in a similar way (flip sliding drawers the right way up) and the bottom surface of the desktop (the deskbottom?) becomes a shelf of sorts. You can mount it to the wall or affix it to the bottom desk. How you affix it to the bottom desk I'll leave to your imagination.

On a much more boring note, you could put a bookshelf sideways at one of the ends - underneath the desktop and next to the re-purposed cabinet. Or take Homer's design advice and add cupholders. Seriously, an external cupholder that swung out and hovered away from precious moisture sensitive materials like keyboards, papers and unlicked stamps might be kinda nice. Also, try an integrated pencil holder/flower vase with the lip flush to the desktop. Just be sure it's removable so that you can shake out little things that fall in there.

if bookcases are in order, you could get some inspiration from this poorly-written blog post.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 8:49 PM on February 25, 2008

Buy a Chumby for it. Not exactly a hack, but it's a funky cool toy IMO.
posted by bxg at 9:57 PM on February 25, 2008

While everybody's on the topic of neatness and cable organization, you may be interested in a Belkin In-Desk iPod dock.
posted by booticon at 8:06 AM on February 26, 2008

Attach metal to the front or side of one of the cabinets, and you will be able to use magnets. For bonus points get an old 5 1/4" floppy, label it "backup!!! important!!!" and stick it on there with a big red U shaped magnet.
posted by yohko at 11:08 AM on February 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

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