Kitchen Cabinet Home Office Hacks

how to use kitchen cabinets for a home office

Kitchen cabinets can be a great way to create a stylish and functional home office. Whether you're working with a small or large space, using pre-assembled or custom-built cabinets, there are many ways to create a workspace that suits your needs. For instance, you could use IKEA's SEKTION cabinetry framework with your choice of fronts, such as AXSTAD, VEDDINGE, or VOXTORP, to create a stylish and efficient workspace. Alternatively, you could modify the dimensions of pre-assembled cabinets to fit your desired space, as described by a user on, who used pre-assembled cabinets to create a built-in office for homeschooling her kids.


Modifying pre-assembled cabinets to fit your space

If you're using pre-assembled cabinets, you might find that the dimensions aren't quite right for your space. The good news is that you can modify them! This will involve some extra work, but it's a great way to get a custom look that fits your space perfectly. Here are some tips to help you modify pre-assembled cabinets:

  • Measure your space: Before you start modifying anything, it's crucial to take accurate measurements of the space where you plan to install the cabinets. Measure the height, width, and depth of the area where the cabinets will go, paying close attention to any obstacles or irregularities in the walls or floors.
  • Assess the cabinets: Take measurements of the pre-assembled cabinets you have. Compare these measurements to your space to identify any discrepancies. Common issues include cabinets being too deep or too tall for the intended area.
  • Modify the cabinet size: If the cabinets are a bit too big, you can consider trimming them down to fit your space. This usually involves cutting the sides or back of the cabinets to reduce their depth or height. Be very careful when doing this, as you don't want to damage the structural integrity of the cabinets.
  • Sand and refinish: After modifying the cabinets, you'll likely need to sand the cut edges to smooth them out. You can then refinish or repaint the cabinets to match the rest of your space. Sanding and priming are crucial steps to ensure a smooth and even finish.
  • Customise the interior: If your cabinets are too wide for the space, you can also consider customising the interior. For example, you could add extra shelves or compartments to utilise the space efficiently. This can be a great way to create a more functional home office setup.
  • Plan the installation: When modifying pre-assembled cabinets, it's essential to plan the installation process carefully. Consider how the modified cabinets will attach to the wall, taking into account the placement of studs and any existing trim or moulding. You may need to make adjustments to your walls, such as removing baseboards or cutting out sections for the cabinets to fit snugly.
  • Test and adjust: Before finalising the installation, test the modified cabinets in the space. Make sure they fit properly and that doors and drawers can open without obstruction. If adjustments are needed, use shims or scribe moulding to fine-tune the fit.
  • Finish with trim: To give your modified cabinets a built-in look, consider adding trim or moulding to the top and sides. This helps create a seamless transition between the cabinets and the surrounding walls. It also adds a professional touch to your home office setup.

Remember, modifying pre-assembled cabinets requires careful planning and execution. Always take precise measurements, work safely, and allow for plenty of time to make adjustments. With some creativity and effort, you can transform pre-assembled cabinets into a custom home office solution that fits your space perfectly.


Using pre-assembled cabinets as they are

If you're looking to create a home office using pre-assembled kitchen cabinets, you can absolutely keep things simple and use the cabinets as they are. This is a great option if you're short on time or don't want to make extensive modifications. Here's how you can do it:

Choosing the Right Cabinets

The first step is to select the right cabinets for your needs. Consider the amount of storage space you require and the overall dimensions of the cabinets. Kitchen cabinets come in various sizes, so you can choose ones that fit your available space. If you're creating a workspace for multiple people, you might opt for larger cabinets or consider adding more units to accommodate everyone's needs.

Transportation and Placement

Pre-assembled cabinets are typically large and heavy, so transporting them can be a challenge. Consider ordering your cabinets online and having them delivered directly to your home or opt for curbside pickup if you have a suitable vehicle. When they arrive, carefully place them in your desired location, keeping in mind that you may need to remove existing features like baseboards or crown moulding to create a seamless look.

Combining Cabinets and Shelving

To create a unified and custom look, you can combine your pre-assembled cabinets with shelving. Measure the distance between the base cabinets and consider adding a shelf that serves as both a platform for upper cabinets and additional storage space. This will give the appearance of a single, large unit while providing extra functionality.

Countertops and Workspaces

When it comes to countertops, you have options. You can opt for standard countertops or get creative with materials like plywood. If you're using pre-assembled cabinets as-is, ensure that the countertops you choose fit well with the existing cabinet dimensions. Additionally, consider the height of your ideal workspace and install supports on the base cabinets to accommodate your preferred desktop height.

Final Touches and Customization

While you may be using the pre-assembled cabinets as they are, there are still opportunities for customization. You can paint the cabinets to match your desired colour scheme or add lighting to create a modern and efficient workspace. Don't forget to add your personal touches, such as books, plants, or other decorative items to make the space your own.

Using pre-assembled kitchen cabinets for your home office is a practical and time-saving approach. With careful planning and a few simple steps, you can transform these cabinets into a functional and stylish workspace that suits your needs.


Customising IKEA's VOXTORP cabinet for smaller spaces

Customising IKEA's VOXTORP Cabinets for Smaller Spaces

The IKEA VOXTORP series offers a sleek and modern look for kitchen cabinets, with its smooth doors and integrated handles. The series includes a range of cabinet sizes, such as the 15x30", 18x30", and 15x15" options, which can be purchased with either a white or dark grey finish. The VOXTORP series also offers a 2-door corner base cabinet set, measuring 13x30", which can be configured for right or left-handed openings. This corner cabinet features the UTRUSTA hinge with a built-in damper, making it easy to open and close.

When customising the VOXTORP cabinets for a smaller space, consider the following:

  • Measure your space: Before purchasing the cabinets, ensure you have accurate measurements of the space you intend to use. The VOXTORP series offers a variety of sizes, so you can choose the cabinets that best utilise the available space.
  • Modify the dimensions: If the standard cabinet sizes don't quite fit your space, you can modify the dimensions by tweaking the design. This may involve cutting down the height or width of the cabinets to suit your needs.

> “I like to make everything custom and the cabinets were a little deeper and taller than I would have preferred. I was just going to have to deal with it… or did I? My brain started racing and I had an idea. An idea that required me to do some tweaking to the cabinet, so why not modify the size of the cabinet as well?!”

Customise the finish: While the VOXTORP series offers a matte white or dark grey finish, you can further customise the cabinets by painting them to match your desired colour scheme. Lightly sand the surfaces, prime, and then apply several coats of paint, allowing ample drying time between each coat.

> “Roll or spray the first coat of primer or paint and primer. Lightly sand with a fine-grit sanding sponge. Wipe down with a slightly damp cloth. Apply another coat of paint. Lightly sand with a finish sanding sponge.”

  • Add countertops: Depending on your intended use, you may want to add countertops to your VOXTORP cabinets. IKEA offers various countertop options, such as the SÄLJAN and KARLBY countertops, which can be cut to size and installed on top of the cabinets.
  • Utilise cover panels: To complete the look of your customised VOXTORP cabinets, consider adding FÖRBÄTTRA cover panels and toe kicks. These panels are available in matching colours and help to create a seamless and modern appearance.

By following these steps and making thoughtful modifications, you can successfully customise the IKEA VOXTORP cabinets to fit your smaller space, creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing home office.

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Combining IKEA's SEKTION framework with EKET in white for vertical storage

IKEA's SEKTION framework combined with the EKET storage system in white is a great option for those looking to maximise their vertical storage space. This combination is particularly useful for smaller home offices and budgets. The EKET series offers a range of storage options, from small, discreet solutions to large and colourful displays. The EKET storage cubbies can be easily customised to suit your needs and can be combined with floating storage shelves for books and decorative items. For a seamless look, opt for floating shelves in a similar colour to your EKET units.

The EKET series is designed for flexibility, allowing you to change your storage configuration as your needs evolve. Assembly is straightforward and does not require any tools, thanks to the wedge dowel that clicks into pre-drilled holes. However, some users have noted that assembling EKET units can be challenging and may require some physical strength.

To achieve a modern and efficient workspace, consider pairing the SEKTION framework with white EKET units. The clean, white colour will create a sense of openness in your home office. Additionally, the wooden legs available with the EKET series can add a natural touch to your storage solution and make it easier to clean the surface underneath.

For those seeking a simple and sleek look, IKEA's VEDDINGE fronts in white offer a stylish two-piece door and base cabinet set that can elegantly hide your storage. Alternatively, for a more eclectic taste, the TINGSRYD cabinetry offers a unique custom design option.

By combining IKEA's SEKTION framework with the EKET storage system in white, you can create a functional and aesthetically pleasing home office that maximises your vertical space.


Using IKEA's VEDDINGE fronts for a sleek, stylish look

Using IKEAs VEDDINGE fronts for a sleek, stylish look

The VEDDINGE fronts in white from IKEA are a great option for creating a sleek and stylish look for your home office built with kitchen cabinets. The white colour of the VEDDINGE fronts creates a light and spacious atmosphere, while the smooth, clean lines offer a sense of calm. The result is a modern expression that provides a good base for your home office, allowing you to easily add personal final details.

The VEDDINGE fronts are designed with a smooth and seamless finish, making them resistant to moisture and staining. They are also very easy to keep clean, as any stains can be wiped off with a water-dampened soft cloth and a mild non-abrasive dish detergent or soap. This makes them a practical choice for a home office, especially if you plan to have food or drinks at your desk.

The VEDDINGE fronts come with a 25-year limited warranty and can be completed with FÖRBÄTTRA cover panels, toekicks, and decorative strips in white. They fit the SEKTION kitchen series from IKEA, making it convenient to create a cohesive look for your home office.

When creating your home office using kitchen cabinets, there are a few things to consider. First, you will need to decide on the layout of your office and determine the number and size of cabinets you will need. You can opt for pre-assembled cabinets or modify the size of the cabinets to fit your specific needs. If you choose to modify the cabinets, be sure to follow the instructions carefully to ensure a proper fit.

Once you have your cabinets, you can follow these steps to create a built-in office:

  • Modify the cabinets (optional): If the standard cabinet dimensions do not fit your space or your desired custom look, you can modify the size. This may involve cutting or adjusting the height or width of the cabinets.
  • Consider countertops: Decide if you want to add countertops to your cabinets. Plywood, for example, can be used to create a seamless look.
  • Build shelves/upper supports: To create a unified look, you may need to build shelves or upper supports to connect multiple cabinets. This will make your setup look more like a custom built-in unit.
  • Paint or prime the cabinets: Before installing the cabinets, you can paint or prime them to achieve your desired colour and finish. This step is optional and can also be done after installation if preferred.
  • Install the base cabinets: Bring in the base cabinets and secure them in place. If you are adding countertops, you can secure them to the cabinets from underneath.
  • Add upper cabinets: Stack and secure the upper cabinets or shelves on top of the base cabinets. Pay close attention to the seams to ensure a flush finish.
  • Install backing (optional): If you want to add a backing to your unit, such as shiplap boards, attach them to the back of the unit. You can also attach the unit directly to the wall and paint the wall to create a unified look.
  • Secure the unit to the wall: To ensure stability, it is recommended to secure the unit to the wall using screws. This is especially important if you have small children or pets who may try to climb on the unit.
  • Add a desktop: Install supports on the base cabinets at your preferred height, then place the desktop on top of the supports. Apply adhesive to secure the desktop in place.

By following these steps and using the VEDDINGE fronts from IKEA, you can create a sleek, stylish, and functional home office using kitchen cabinets.

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Frequently asked questions

You can use pre-assembled kitchen cabinets to create a built-in office. You can modify the size of the cabinets to your liking, or use standard-size cabinets. You can also add shelves and upper supports to create a unified unit.

You can sand, prime, and paint the cabinets to your desired colour. You can also add shelves or modify the dimensions of the cabinets to suit your needs.

You can use IKEA's SEKTION cabinetry framework with your choice of fronts, such as AXSTAD, VEDDINGE, or VOXTORP. For smaller spaces, you can use IKEA's EKET in white to go vertical with storage cubbies and floating shelves.

Sarah from Making Joy and Pretty Things used IKEA's Sektion pantry cabinets with drawers and open shelving to maximise storage space. She paired them with DIY shaker fronts painted in a glossy modern colour and metallic hardware.

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