January 12th, 2012

Simple Standing “Work Bar”

Standing Desk Work Bar

We decided to kick off the new year by reclaiming our office space and finally making it our own.  There’s been some interest in how we put it all together, so what follows is a bit of a big-picture “how to” of how we built the standing desk / work bar at which we work so eagerly these days.  Enjoy!

the concept

We wanted a standing desk / work bar area to span the wall of our office to maximize our space, look great, and give us the option to work from a standing position.  Based on that need we identified a few parts that we’d need to construct the work area:

  • Counter top– something we could get in length, that would be both attractive and durable.  Ideally it would look better with age and not chip and wear unattractively.
  • Legs– we knew we’d need something tall to accomodate the standing height, so they’d need to go up at least 40″.
  • Shelving Brackets– We didn’t want an actual narrow table, so shelving brackets would be necessary to support the bar from the wall and anchor it.

But where to procure such ingredients in a cost effective manner…

IKEA Numerar Countertop

off to ikea!

Being a big fan of Ikea Hackers for a long time now, that was our first stop to pick up an inexpensive yet durable countertop which serves as the work space.  IKEA’s Numerär countertop is available in Beech in a very attractive butcher block style construction- meaning that it’s going be solid wood, a whole lot more durable than some of their other fare.

For the legs we went with the Vika Byske legs, the tallest adjustable legs that IKEA offers, in chrome.  They can adjust up to 45″ high, allowing you to fine tune the height to match your physiology.



The construction was relatively straight forward:

  1. Measure the length required for the countertop, cut as necessary.
  2. Twist the legs to adjust the height- to find a height that worked well we used a smaller cutoff piece of our countertop as a test piece to find a height that would allow us to rest our arms bent at a 90 degree angle.
  3. Find the studs in the wall, mark them at the appropriate height, and attach the shelving brackets.
  4. Set the countertop upon the shelving brackets and slide the legs underneath.
  5. Adjust the legs until the countertop is level front to back, and screw the legs and shelving brackets onto the countertop to secure it.  Don’t forget to leave room at the back if you need to fit cabling behind it!


the finishing touch

The cherry on top of our standing work bar are the Zuo Fly barstools we picked up to sit in during those periods in which we’d prefer not to be fully upright.  We wanted something chic and modern, but also not horribly uncomfortable (oh and not cost an arm and a leg).  After an exhaustive search we settled on the barstools- the chrome trim and base matched the legs of our work station nicely, and padded seats offered a good looks AND plenty of comfort.

be inspired!

I hope this has offered a bit of insight into how you can customize your space in a really simple way, that still looks amazing and is highly functional.  Reclaim your workspace, be inspired, it can make a world of a difference in the energy of the work environment!

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