CREATING A COOL WORKSPACE : MALM IKEA HACK
First of all - sorry for my recent silence! Seems like I had my own summer holiday from this blog, as a return to my usual interior stylist-assisting work, co-incided with my son Victor starting to crawl, and altogether made it a lot more difficult to find time to dedicate to my online presence.
But September brings around a certain ‘back-to-work’ feeling, and if you’re an A level or University student, this is a definite reality for you. It can be really difficult to focus on the work at hand when you have so many other social pressures around you - and when I recently found out that it can take 25 minutes to refocus your concentration after scrolling through your phone(!), I decided I needed a dedicated area where I turn the Wi-Fi off on my phone and use Victor’s naptime in the most efficient way I can!
There are many cool desk designs available on the high street, and if you’re a new Uni student you’ll have done the typical trip to Ikea with your parents, where you pick up all sorts of crap you don’t need, and a few odd pieces you will. The great thing about Ikea is that because the furniture is reasonable, you don’t feel so bad about personalising it - and the whole point of university (aside from those all important qualifications..) is discovering your personality and individual style for yourself, so doing something a bit different is a must.
After trying a few different Ikea hacks myself, I tried this Ikea Malm one on a set of drawers in my son’s nursery. It’s so frigging simple and easy to do(essentially you just add gold tape), that I decided to put a desk together by making over a second set of drawers and turning them both into a desk.
The great thing about this hack (which was inspired by Lust Living’s Clean White Workspace- but with a few added tweaks), is that you can buy whichever size of drawers you like, to customise it to your needs, and whichever finish- they have a few different options you can choose from.
For the work top, I had a piece of MDF cut to size at Wickes, and ordered some fablon (AKA sticky-back plastic) from Amazon to cover it. You can get all sorts of different prints and patterns of Fablon (including marble if that’s your thing) but I chose matt white, as I figure the gold strips are bling enough for me.
As you can see from the pictures above, it’s super-easy- just mark out the dimensions of your MDF onto the reverse of the Fablon, and continue the lines about 10cm over to add flaps to fold underneath it. Cut away the excess from the corners (always slightly over measure because it’s fairly easy to trim more off if you need to). Make sure the MDF is lint free, and use a clean, dry cloth to smooth it on and smooth out any air bubbles (although you can always get rid of these by popping with a pin and smoothing down later).
Once the Fablon is smooth tuck under the edges (it’s good to spend some time trimming these and making sure they fold neatly under), and smooth onto the reverse side - no one will see this side so it doesn’t have to be perfect.
You can fix the table top to the drawers with a brackets like the one pictured, and if you’ve got little children like me, you’ll have to fix the Malm drawers to the wall with a drill first- so you don’t have any accidents!
But once you’ve got the drill out you can accessorise the area with a metallic noticeboard like mine, add some artwork (mine is fixed with gold tape to match the drawers), and plenty of plants - real or faux depending on your plant killing skillz. Heartily recommend this faux string of pearls from West Elm.
But really the possibilities are endless- you can cover the drawers with patterned Fablon too, to make a real impact, or add some metallic hard ware like I did on this previous Malm hack!
So there you go, now go do it! If you have any questions or tips for this hack pop it in the comments below, and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried it, so go ahead and slide into my DMs… this where I’ll be reading them from now on!