Custom IKEA Studio Desk
We all have our vices. As my significant other can testify, mine is hoarding all sorts of DJ gear. Boys need their toys - problem is the toys need their space accordingly. My old studio desk had become too small, meaning I literally had turntables bursting out from kitchen cupboards. Then there was the questionable ergonomics and cable management à la India.
There's plenty of studio furniture commercially available, but most are way too expensive and large for a home studio. I stumbled upon an article about people building their own custom studio desks out of IKEA components. Cheap and tailor-made studio desk, you say? Shut up and take my money!
Planning & Drafting
The desk should have room for a 12" DJ mixer, 2 MIDI-controllers, 2 turntables, studio-grade MiniDisc recorder (old school, bitches!), monitor speakers, 15" laptop and a Mac Mini plus an external audio interface and peripherals. Merely having flat desk space to drop everything is not enough, the ergonomics also have to make sense.
Requirements included being able to DJ with both vinyl and MIDI-controllers, have a riser shelf for laptop and speakers plus an additional work space for the Mac Mini. With the help of Photoshop magic and measurements from IKEA's website, I made a mock-up rendering.
Parts & Construction
With the gracious help of my better half, we acquired the parts from the nearest IKEA (bro tip: station wagon). Complete part listing can be found below. According to IKEA customer service the VIKA system is discontinued, but a similar replacing product line should arrive during the spring. Some IKEA stores still have VIKA components in stock though.
1 VIKA AMON corner table top (120cm X 120cm)
1 VIKA AMON table top (100cm X 60cm)
9 VIKA ADILS legs (70cm)
3 SIGNUM cable management (70cm X 16cm)
1 EKBY JÄRPEN shelf (119cm X 28cm)
2 EKBY TÖRE bracket for table top (19cm X 20cm)
1 MICKE drawer unit (35cm X 50cm X 75cm)
Constructing a desk like this is hardly rocket science, but reading the instructions carefully is highly recommended. A power drill/screwdriver, a hammer and a set of hex allen keys takes care of the tool department. The only non-IKEA parts were the plates I used to connect the two tables together for added structural integrity. The plates were scavenged from an old discarded table, but hardware stores should have them on shelf.
It's hard to overstate how satisfied I am with the finished desk. Despite the large quantity of gear, everything is within reach comfortably and ergonomically. We already have many black-brown IKEA furniture at the apartment, so the desk blends in with the rest of the decor. Speaking of aesthetics, the wiring is no longer such an eyesore thanks to the clever cable management rails.
The best part is still undoubtedly the price. Total cost of the parts was around 150€, which is practically nothing for something tailored to my needs. There's still room for little tweaks like adding a headphone rest hook and filling the legs with sand or styrofoam pellets to reduce vibrations. In the meantime I'll just settle for quoting the immortal words of Emperor Palpatine...
Now witness the power of this fully armed and operational battle station!