This article has been archived and is no longer being updated. It may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate due to the passage of time.

I prefer a standing desk but had problems fitting desk space into a smaller suburban house. The solution was to use a corner that previously remained unused due to its shape and location. The essence of the idea is to make use of the dead space created in many houses above the stairs. This boxed in area is designed to give extra head room to the stairs but has the unwanted side effect of creating an area of difficult to use space upstairs. I have seen this used for wardrobes and chests of draws but it struck me as a perfect place to have a standing desk.

I considered placing a normal sitting desk directly on top of the box but was unable to find one that fit properly and did not take up additional room. I needed something that was ergonomic, had some storage space and that had space for my tower, laptop, much used scanner and had some desk space for textbooks. We built a standing desk to fit the bill.

The key was to build a series of levels. I started with two Expedit single cubes, each with drawer inserts. These were attached directly to the built in stair box overlapping the edge slightly so there was enough space to have the tower at the back.  I attached a desktop on top of these using 2 wall brackets and 2 Capita Legs to support a desktop. The desktop is flush to the wall on the left, but with an inch and a half gap at the back for cables. After that I attached a shelf at my ideal typing height for the mouse and the keyboard. I used a few books to place the monitor on the left at the correct height and on the right is an Ikea laptop stand. Finally I used an old camping mat as a standing mat.

Total materials used:

  • Two Expedit single cubes, £12 x 2 = £24
  • Two Expedit Insert 2-drawer units £15 x 2
  • Two wall brackets, £.50 = £1.00
  • One Linnmon desktop, £15
  • Two Capita Legs, £11
  • One Ekby Viktor shelf, £3

If bought new from Ikea, the total cost is £84, not including screws and fixings or the floor mat. I did not buy all materials new. The Capita Legs and desktop was found at a 70% discount in the reclamation section, the Expedit drawers inserts was bought on Ebay, the shelf and brackets were surplus from shelving we put up a while back. I spent very little and now have a standing desk at the perfect height for me in a previously near useless area of our house.

One word of warning – check how thick and strong the box is before you try and attach to it. I was lucky to have a couple of inches of material to play with, but these have on occasion been made with a single thin piece of wood which may not be strong enough without reinforcement.

This article was first published on 1 December 2013 and is no longer being updated. Information may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate due to the passage of time.