How to build a modern built in desk for your office

When it comes to desks for your office, you literally have an unlimited amount of options! You can pick up a writing desk or even a corner desk, there’s practically a desk for every need and want when it comes to your home office space. However, what you might not realize is that you can build your own desk for a fraction of the cost on a much LARGER scale. When I started researching desks for our new basement office, I was struggling to find something that fit my aesthetic, fit the size of our office, and was cost effective for what we were getting.

Several of the desks I was coming across were expensive, but cheaply made. I wasn’t a fan of spending around $300+ for a lightweight veneer desk, when I knew we could create something much more accommodating. Our office space is long and narrow. We needed to utilize the wall that had the outlet, as well as the square footage to the right of our basement door. That’s when we started drawing up some design plans for our do it yourself office desk.

Things I knew I wanted for our future desk:

  • Long and narrow

  • Aesthetically pleasing

  • Affordable

  • Easy Build

  • “Built in” look

  • Sturdy

Seems easy enough, right? That’s exactly what is was! EASY! This do it yourself desk took roughly 30 minutes to build from start to finish, and is exactly the look we were going for! If you’re interested in building a desk for your office, check out our easy, simple, and affordable tutorial below! BUT FIRST, make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter. Every time a post goes live, it gets sent directly to your inbox! Don’t miss out!

Ok so moving on. Here’s how we built, and you can too, our modern, minimal, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing basement office desk! First, what you’ll need!

Material list:

First we started with the base. For this step you’ll want to make your cuts (specific to every room/space so make sure you measure and accommodate for your office chair!) to create the outside square supports.

The easiest way to do it, is to create an “E” with your four pieces, line it up against a wall, and screw your top piece on!

Next you’ll stand up these four pieces to secure your bottom piece on! It’s easier to do this step standing up so you can apply accurate pressure from above when securing the wood pieces.

Once you have one square end support finished, you can make the same five cuts and create the second square end support for your desk.

If you’re working in an older home, or a space that isn’t level/square you’ll want to make sure it’s level before moving forward with your build. We had to add a few shims to the square end support to make up for our uneven floors. This was extremely simple and took all of 2 minutes to do.

Once your square end supports are level, you can go ahead and measure the length of your desk top piece. We opted for a very long and narrow desk, which is why this desk tutorial calls for 2x4x10 pieces. You could easily make a shorter desk using the 8 foot boards and save a little more money. The 10 foot boards specifically worked best for this space.

After we measured we made the appropriate cuts and placed the 10 foot 2×4 boards on top of our square end supports. To give the desk more solid support we opted to leave them sitting up as opposed to laying flat.

After all of our 10 foot boards were cut, we measured in between the boards and added block supports from the scraps.

Here’s what our desk base looked like once all the pieces were placed together with the block supports.

Like I briefly mentioned above, you’ll want to make sure you accommodate for your office chair. When making the cuts for your square end supports, make sure they’re high/low enough for where you’ll be sitting! We did a little test fit and our current office chair fit comfortably, even at it’s highest.

Once we were pleased with the dry fit, we removed the top pieces of the desk and secured them together on the ground.

You’ll repeat the same steps when you were created your square end supports!

Next, place your desk top back on top of your square end supports! We staggered the middle support block, which allowed us to secure it from the sides once put in place!

Before securing the top piece down, we ran a line of wood glue along the perimeter for extra support!

Here’s how the desk looked once all the 2×4’s and support blocking were in place. This was also after we cut the first piece of MDF. We started by measuring the top of the desk and left a little lip so that the bottom pieces butted up to it, creating a clean line.

Finally, you’ll measure and make the final cuts for your wrapped MDF pieces to finish off your desk! (Sides, fronts, and ends)

Here’s how it looked once all the side, fronts, and end MDF pieces were cut, glued, nailed, and painted!

Here’s a fun behind the scenes timelapse of us building our DIY desk!

Thanks for much for stopping by and checking out our tutorial on how to build a modern built in desk for your office! If you loved this DIY project we would love if you shared it by pinning those photos in this post along with the graphic below. 

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