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Concealed Office Instructions

Photography: ERIC PIASECKI

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2007


  • 3 unfinished bookcases (36 by 96 by 15 inches)

  • 1 1/4-inch wood screws

  • Screw gun

  • 2 side frame panels (3/4-inch-thick plywood, 96 3/4 by 17 1/2 inches)

  • Top frame panel (3/4-inch-thick plywood, 108 by 17 1/2 inches)

  • Wood filler

  • Hollow-core door (96 by 36 inches cut to 93 3/4 inches to accommodate track hardware; cut with a circular saw or have it cut at a home-supply store)

  • Wallpaper (enough to cover the front and sides of hollow-core door)

  • Wallpapering supplies

  • Sliding-door hardware set (108 by 1 1/2 inches; two lengths may be put together to equal 108 inches)

  • Apron to hide track (3/4-inch-thick plywood, 108 by 2 inches)

  • Pullout desk panel (3/4-inch-thick plywood, 33 1/4 by 15 inches and side-mount drawer hardware, optional)

  • Edge tape (or banding to cover front edges, optional)

  • Sandpaper

  • Paintbrushes

  • Primer

  • Paint


  1. Join the 3 bookcases together using wood screws and a screw gun. Screws should be placed at the top, middle, and bottom of the interior portions of the bookcases where they meet. Before attaching, make sure all the bookcases are level and flush at the front.

  2. Attach side frame panels with wood screws. Once again, you should screw on the panels from the interior of the bookcase to leave a less damaged exterior. Make sure the panels are flush with the back of the bookcase to create a lip on the front sides and top.

  3. Attach top frame panel by screwing in the piece from the interior of the bookcase.

  4. Fill all holes with wood filler. Sand, prime, and paint the bookcases. If you will be adding a pullout desk panel, sand, prime, and paint it, too.

  5. Cover the hollow-core door with the wallpaper of your choice, following manufacturer's instructions.

  6. Using materials provided in sliding-door hardware set and following the manufacturer's instructions, attach the track under the top frame panel. Then attach hardware to the top of the door to fit into the track. Attach door to track, and slide door back and forth to test it.

  7. To conceal track, attach apron by screwing through top frame panel.

  8. If desired, create a pullout desk panel for extra workspace under the desk, where you can store a laptop. Simply attach side-mount drawer hardware to the interior of the central bookcase and the side edges of your pullout panel. Decide how much space you would like between the fixed shelf and the pullout panel (we left about 4 inches to fit a laptop), and measure down to get the proper height for the mounts. Attach your pullout desk to track, and slide it in and out to test it.

  9. If desired, attach edge tape or banding to front edges of bookcases to create a more finished look.

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