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Office Progress

by - Saturday, March 22, 2008

Who knew that installing two bookcases and two countertops would turn into a full day's work. It did... but our end product makes it all worth it. We finally have an office space for two. With digs this nice, maybe its time to start up a new home business!

The shopping list for this room (all from Ikea):

  • 2x expedit bookcases
  • 2x Mikael file cabinets
  • 2 -4pk capita legs
  • 2 Numerar countertops (double sided, aluminum & white, 96") 

We started the day with some of the 'behind the scenes' support done. HandyMan had run a support strip of MDF - a "countertop cleat" - around the perimeter of the room upon which the countertop would sit. He also installed a cleat on the wall to support the horizontal bookcase. Since the bookcase wasn't specifically designed for mounting on the wall, we would need the extra support. The cleat is drilled into the wall studs to ensure it's as strong as possible.

We painted the cleat to match the wall and eventually plan to hide it with cork board. The two file cabinets which support one end of the countertop were built. We did switch out the castors for stainless steel feet because we liked the look better.

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Next step was to mount the bookcase. We don't think the bookcase was meant to be mounted on the wall... they didn't have any examples in the IKEA showroom and the sales person wasn't too sure. But we figured with enough brackets and support the bookcase won't come crashing down on top of our heads.

Here's how we installed the bookcases:

  1. First, Handyman had to find the studs in the wall. 
  2. Then we measured and marked where those studs fell on the bookcase. 
  3. We attached L brackets at those spots on the back of the bookcase. The brackets would be connected to the bookcase on one side and into the wall studs on the other side.

    Here's a tip: HandyMan wanted to make sure he didn't drill too deep (IKEA products typically are only reinforced around the edges and are particleboard otherwise). So, he measured up the screw size and put a piece of masking tape around the drill bit. He'd stop drilling once the tape hit the top of the hole.

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With the bookcase up (after a few missed studs, ahem), we moved on to attaching the countertops to the wall. The first went in easily, again with the cleat and supporting L brackets underneath. The second, which sits under a window, was a bit more difficult. We had to notch it out bit by bit (not easy when the thing weighs 100 pounds). We decided to use the $5 seam cover to hide the chipped end where the countertops meet.

All that was left then was a bit of dressing. We installed a curtain rod, and some of the pre-made drawers and doors that you can buy for the bookcase. All that's left is a bit of finishing touches- curtains, paint out the rad, install a filler panel behind the file cabinets, hang prints on the wall, and find a new lighting fixture. Oh, and a few grommet holes so we can rid of the mess of cords sitting on the countertop.

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You can see the white L brackets in the cubbies, and the cleat (painted green) beneath the bookcase. We haven't had any issues and the bookcase feels secure and attached firmly to the wall.

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Update: the IKEA Expedit bookshelves held up well! They stayed firmly affixed to the wall from 2008 until we removed them when we renovated this home office to a bedroom in 2014.

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  1. You have a LOVELY blog! :)

  2. Thanks design... I'm a reader of your blog too!

    Corey - the vibrant green in your kitchen may have inspired the palatte for our office space :)

  3. Hello! I came across this lovely office on DIY network and i am glad you also have a blog. I am moving into a new house and my office has the same layout as yours. Can you please tell me what color you used for the walls (i love it!) and where you bought the rug from? Thank you so much!

  4. Hi Lavinia! The green is Benjamin Moore's Brookside Moss and the white is Decorators White. I got the rug from Ikea.

  5. Anonymous5:01 PM

    Thank you for the quick response! I appreciate it! Lavinia

  6. Well, I only just found this posting, but I figure it's never too late to say a huge 'bravo' to this project. I love the look of the bookcases on the wall and wish I had the courage to attempt the same!


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