How to Make a Space-Saving Floating Desk

Create a streamlined, custom floating desk that is aesthetically pleasing, efficient and packed with storage with these easy instructions.

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Floating Shelf WorkstationEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo- When it's not in use as a workspace, this floating desk can double as a regular shelf.

As more and more professionals work from home, they find it's important to have a designated workspace for working on a laptop, catching up on reading and paying bills. In homes where space is at a premium, finding room for a workspace can often mean sacrificing one function to support another. Clever multipurpose solutions make it possible to sneak in a workspace, no matter how spatially-challenged a room may be. An excellent, flexible solution that is ideally suited to small spaces is a floating-shelf workstation.

In recent years floating-style furniture has emerged as an effective way to create the illusion of more space. In bathrooms, floating-style vanities free up floor space, creating the feeling of slightly more square footage. In more decorative spaces — such as living rooms, bedrooms and offices — floating shelves keep everyday items within arm's reach in a sleek, light and airy manner. By applying this same principle to a workspace, the same light, airy, space-saving illusion can be achieved to support multiple functions, including working from home.

Creating a custom workspace surface doesn't necessarily come with a custom price tag. By sticking with basic building materials such as MDF (medium density fiberboard), hinges and paint, there are endless possibilities for giving the do-it-yourself floating-shelf workstation a one-of-a-kind look. In a few simple steps, here is how to create a streamlined, custom workspace that is aesthetically pleasing, efficient and packed with storage.

Materials Needed:

  • MDF (medium density fiberboard)
  • table saw
  • pencil
  • notepad
  • stud finder
  • painter’s tape
  • tape measure
  • nail gun
  • nails
  • screw gun
  • wood screws
  • drywall anchors (75 lb capacity)
  • drywall screws
  • clean rag or sponge
  • small dust brush
  • hinges
  • paint roller
  • roller sleeve
  • semi-gloss or lacquer paint
  • paint pan
  • paintbrush
  • jigsaw
  • 2-inch paddle bit
  • drop cloth

Sketch Design

Sketch the overall shape, scale and style of the intended floating-shelf workstation onto a notepad using a pencil or black marker. This will help you determine how much material is needed.

Find Wall Stud

Once the workstation's placement is determined, use a stud finder to find the location of the wall studs behind the wall's surface. This is necessary to properly secure the workstation to the wall.

Mark Wall Stud

Mark the wall stud areas with a pencil or marker.

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