No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.


Dream Desk

Stocked with everything a student needs, this hideaway is an inviting place to pore over homework.




Two store-bought bookcases are filled with handy, stay-organized tools like a calendar for upcoming school events, an "in" box for unfinished assignments, and an "out" box for finished homework to be checked by Mom and Dad.


  • Two store-bought bookcases
  • Measuring tape
  • 3/4-inch-thick pine or plywood
  • Saw
  • Wood glue
  • 1-inch-wide lattice strip
  • Small nails
  • Paint
  • Four wooden support brackets
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Wood filler
  • Paddle drill bit


  1. Step 1

    Position bookcases on either side of window as desired. Measure width in between, and add 2 or 3 inches to each side (to allow front of desk to extend over bookcases' moldings). For desk surface, you'll need a piece of 3/4-inch-thick pine or plywood 6 inches deeper than the bookcases and cut to the width you determined earlier.

  2. Step 2

    Cut away the desktop's back corners as shown above, so it will fit snugly between the bookcases.

  3. Step 3

    With wood glue, attach a 1-inch-wide lattice strip to front edge as a facing, flush to the top of the desk, and secure with small nails.

  4. Step 4

    Paint desk, bookcases, and four wooden support brackets. Determine a comfortable desk height for your child, and mark the corresponding points for attaching two brackets to each bookcase (below).

  5. Step 5

    Drill holes, and screw brackets in place from inside the bookcases. Rest desktop on brackets, and screw down from the top to secure to brackets. Cover holes with wood filler, and touch up paint. (Brackets can be moved to higher positions to adjust the desk as your child grows.) Using a paddle drill bit, drill a 1 1/2-inchwide hole in one corner of the desktop for computer cords to pass through.

Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 5 2002



Reviews (10)

  • L Wills 16 Feb, 2013

    This project is found in the special collector's edition magazine, The Best of MSL, Organizing 2012; displayed until April 2012. However, there aren't any directions, just a prompt to come to this webpage. There are no directions given for the bench, nor is it listed in the Information guide. It looks like you would have to be a pretty skilled woodworker with all those joints, plus bearing the weight of people plopping down on it. I would google "storage bench" to find one instead.

  • Norski1 18 Jan, 2013

    I will try to use the desk idea for my computer have a small bedroom with a window seat

  • britania70 17 Mar, 2012

    fantastic, I love the idea of trying make it !!!!

  • JoniBeigh 8 Mar, 2012

    My 9-year-old daughter likes the desk, but would modify it with a "bacon machine" or a "soda pop dispenser" on the side of it. Hah! We don't even stock pop at our house.

  • FortRidgely 27 Oct, 2010

    Has the answers on how to make the bench been posted? Please let me know!

  • sugarroxie 3 Sep, 2010

    I would also like the bench it or plans to make it! Thanks!

  • harmony1 21 Apr, 2009

    Why don't they ever tell you what ISSUE these ideas come from!!?? Please do this in the future! I have boxes full of these magazine and came here hoping to find the month and year for this idea so I can follow the entire project and see the other photos for this.

  • JACKIE2830 25 Feb, 2009

    Me too!

  • tigersmoke 31 Mar, 2008

    I'd also like the instructions for the bench seat. Does it have rollers for ease moviement between in

  • veggirl 12 Mar, 2008

    Where can I find the bench or plans to build the bench?