Ikea Vika Amon and Utby Desk Hack

We decided to revamp the other day since a lot of time is spent in here. Previously, we had the double black Ikea desk setup – nothing special.

If you’re interested in seeing the before:

Because we needed more table space to get down and productive, we decided to mix and match some pieces from Ikea in true hack fashion.

First we picked up 2 of the Vika Amon tabletops. It’s a nice pine wood (it smells awesome too) with some knots and character :)

The picture above doesn’t do it justice, but just wanted to give you a visual.

After we picked up the top (for $40) we looked through the store to find something that wasn’t your typical desk legs. We decided to use a stainless steel Utby underframe ($90) that was supposed to be used for a bar table.

It was actually pretty annoying because we got everything assembled only to realize that we were about 3 inches off from having both desks fit snugly against our office wall. We ended up sawing off those two inches and here’s the fina result:

It makes the office feel way more open and we have a lot of extra desk real estate so we’re not confined to teeny tiny little table tops. What do you think? Do you prefer the old setup or the new setup?

Don’t let the lighting sway your feelings towards one or the other :) The first one is very cozy and awesome feeling.

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Hack: Vizio VSB200 HD Speaker Bar

Welcome back! I DO have a [rather large] list of swag to post up, so I’ll start with the new speaker bar that we installed.

The other day we went over to CompUSA (yes, it still exists down here) and managed to snag an awesome Vizio VSB200 HD speaker bar for only $69.

We had to get kind of DIY-ish with this because, as you know, we put in the custom focal wall TV mount a few weeks ago. We also picked up some Denka Curtain Wires from IKEA– and as I’m sure you deduced, they’re really for hanging curtains.

So why do we need these for a speaker bar, you ask? We decided to get creative.

We couldn’t necessarily mount the speaker bar directly to the butcher block that we hacked for our focal wall (because the place where the brackets secured wasn’t the right length) so we had to find some way to get around it.

We took the Denka Curtain Wires and mounted that directly to the butcher block. From there, we ran the curtain wire through the brackets and fastened it on the other side (by mounting the other Denka Curtain Wire piece).

To do this though, we had to take the TV off the mount. It was so tight that we couldn’t shimmy it in without the extra leeway. That’s a sign of a good DIY project- when all the pieces fit perfectly together.

Aaaaaand…. VOILA! The final result. That didn’t result in fingers getting cut off, or holes in the wall. I give us a +1 for this. :)

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Focal Wall and TV Mount Hack

Okay, we’re both new to these DIY projects so we had no idea what we were in for when we started this. Just a note, this isn’t done, we plan on installing some tile around this to finalize it. But for now, this is all you get. :)

Some advice? Make sure you have all the tools you need before you start a project. We found that out the hard way :)

Some of the benefits of creating a focal wall like this are….

  • GREAT for small spaces. It takes up so little of the room and leaves the area open so you don’t feel claustrophobic.
  • TV stands and bookcase style things (like our old one) jut out way too far. They’re great for storage, but that also invites clutter.
  • You can hide the wires pretty easily with this focal wall.
  • It’s a bit more decorative than a regular TV mount where the TV is just floating in the middle of nowhere.
  • You can stain the butcher block whatever shade you want to, or decorate it however you want to.
  • You can use sticky, removable wallpaper to switch up the designs over the course of different seasons or years. We should have a followup post at the end of 2013 with some styles and suggestions. :)

This is what our setup (part of, because I suck at taking pictures apparently) originally looked like. Actually, this original TV setup is an IKEA hack, but that’s for another day.

For our focal wall, we decided to go with a nice rich piece of butcher block (called Numerar at the IKEA store). We used the 73 1/4 x 39 3/8.

We picked it up from IKEA and thought it would look awesome- we intend to follow through and put an eco-friendly mini fireplace at the base so butcher block just felt perfect.

What you’ll want to do first is measure out how high you want the focal piece to go. We did our from crown molding by the ceiling to the crown molding at the bottom. If you’re using butcher block like we did, make sure you have a really powerful saw. If you use a rinky dink one, there’s no way in hell you’re getting a smooth cut out of it.

After you measure out how high you want it, cut down the butcher block and save the excess. You’re going to need this to act as a dual mount for the focal piece.

Take the two pieces (we measured ours out to be about 5 inches) and place them at the 1/4 and 3/4 mark of the focal piece. If you can screw these into the wall studs, that’d be perfect. I can literally jump on mine and it won’t budge anywhere now.

Once you get the two braces screwed into the wall, take the main focal piece (the butcher block) and line it up to secure it on.

Now make sure make sure MAKE SURE that you drilled into the studs. Otherwise, you may not be able to withhold something like this:

So, are you ready to see the final result…?! WELL, ARE YOU!?!? Okay, here’s the focal wall hack, starting with IKEA and ending with a TV:


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