Kids room project: Build a cupboard and desk

The perfect little study nook!

Every home has a weirdly shaped space that’s difficult to use properly, and the wardrobe in this kid’s bedroom is no exception. A set of stairs behind the wall made it hard to get to and even harder to store anything. Knocking out the wall improved the access while a mix of flat-pack cabinets and custom creations adds a great range of new storage options. There’s even room for a small study desk. Rad!

Gather your supplies

Wall battens 90 x 42mm x 2.4m primed pine (2)

Flat pack slimline wall cabinets 900mm (2), 600mm (1)

Chrome oval wardrobe rail, flange and centre support pillars

608mm wardrobe drawer unit

Desktop 2250 x 600 x 30mm plywood panel

You’ll also need

Spirit level; drill; 150mm batten screws; acrylic wall paint in Vivid White; clamp; 28mm chipboard screws; 10mm fluted dowels; PVA glue; sash clamps; sliding bevel; power saw; sandpaper; clear satin polyurethane

For you to note

  • When using power tools, wear all safety gear required and refer to your product instructions.
  • Glue all joints unless otherwise noted.
  • Before removing a wall, check it is not load bearing, which is when structural members sit on top of the wall. Seek the advice of a builder or engineer.

Here’s how

STEP 1 So wall cupboards will be easier to access, screw wall battens on edge into wall studs with 150mm batten screws. Paint bottom batten in Vivid White to match the walls, allow to dry. Make bottom batten sit where bottom of cupboards will be.

(Credit: Chris Jones)

STEP 2 Assemble cabinets following product instructions. With a helper, lift first cabinet in position so bottom is flush with underside of batten. Screw through back of cabinet into batten. When placing subsequent cabinets, make front of cabinets flush and clamp together. Join cabinets to each other using 28mm chipboard screws.

(Credit: Chris Jones)

STEP 3 To install a chrome rail under cabinets, support 1 end using flange attached to wall. For other end and in centre, slide centre support over rail and screw up into wall cabinets.

STEP 4 Assemble wardrobe drawer unit and place in position. Screw back of unit to wall studs behind.

STEP 5 To construct desktop, cut a length of plywood panel slightly longer than distance along wall to slope. Retain offcut and join to first strip by dowelling through the edges where they meet. Spread glue along edge and hold together using sash clamps while glue dries. Make uncut edge of offcut start 620mm from uncut end of longer panel.

STEP 6 To determine angle for cut on desktop where it meets slope, hold spirit level on slope and make level. Place sliding bevel on underside of this and set blade to match slope. Transfer this to joined panels, where angled cut needs to be made. Use power saw set at this angle to make cut. Also, cut outside edge of short benchtop piece so it will sit 20mm past line of wall on outside of alcove.

(Credit: Chris Jones)

STEP 7 Sand top and exposed edges of desktop. Remove dust. Apply 3 coats clear polyurethane. Sand lightly after each coat for smooth final coat.

STEP 8 Place desktop in position on top of drawer unit. Screw through top of drawer unit into benchtop to secure

(Credit: Chris Jones)

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