A DIY desk such as this one is perfect for compact spaces. Not only does it maximize square footage by fitting into a modular storage shelf, it neatly folds away and puts clutter out of sight.
Photography: NGOC MINH NGO
Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2017
- Modular storage unit (Pictured: IKEA Billy bookcases, from $30 each, ikea.com)
- Measuring tape
- Birch plywood, 3/4 inch wide
- Wool felt
- Circular saw
- Eggshell paint
- Multipurpose spray adhesive
- 2 desk hinges with screws (Pictured: Vintage Hardware and Lighting H-13 extruded brass hinges, in Polished Brass, $21 for 2, vintagehardware.com)
- 2 lid-stay hinges with screws (Pictured: M-11R and M-11L wrought-brass lid stays, 10", $17.50 each, vintagehardware.com)
Measure width and height of opening you want to use for pulldown desk. Cut a piece of plywood to those dimensions. Paint to match shelf; let dry completely.
Cut felt to dimensions of plywood. (Optional: Add a brass-and-leather handle for a cohesive look.) Spray one side of plywood with adhesive, press felt onto surface, and let dry.
Remove shelf and cut down back edge by 3/4 inch (or have it cut at your local lumberyard).
Align plywood desk with shelf. Screw 2 desk hinges into desk and then to shelf (A).
Place shelf and plywood desk in bookcase. Screw lid-stay hinges into shelf and desk (B).