The 40 sqft Standing Office

February 07, 2015

When I began working from home I decided to look into a standing desk. My primary motivation? I didn’t want to pay several hundred dollars (or more) for a good office chair. Also, I only have about 40 square feet of office space, so a good sized desk with legs and office chair would leave little room. Apparently, standing desks are better for your health, too.

So, for the first iteration of my standing desk, I found this desk on Amazon and it served its purpose for over a year. Note: this “desk” is quite small and probably won’t work for most people (I myself decided it wasn’t large enough after a while). But it’s a great cheap option.

Finally I decided I needed something larger and started browsing IKEA’s desks. IKEA sells most (all?) desks as separate pieces - the surfaces and the legs. So, it’s really easy to find a desktop surface that will work for you. I decided on the HILVER table top because it fit nicely in the small amount of space I had available. It’s great for a standing desk because it’s very, very lightweight (compared to other IKEA table tops).

My Current Office


What’s that?? A chair?! I thought this was a standing desk!


So, some days I’m just tired. That happens to parents of twins (ok, that happens to all parents). A tall stool/chair is required those days you just need to rest your legs for the afternoon. I went through a couple of stools until I found one that would do. Here’s the one I settled on. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great cheap option. It was hard to find one that would match my desk’s height, but this one reached it at its max setting.


To mount a desktop surface to the wall you’ll needed heavy duty L brackets. I picked up 3 for about $20 each at Lowes. But you can find similar items on Amazon. You’ll want to mount these into the studs; drywall won’t cut it (I know from experience). The length and durability necessary will depend on the size and weight of the surface you choose.

l brackets

To determine how high to mount the desk (this is important) I used The Human Solution calculator.

You’ll need hardware to attach the L brackets to the wall (get some large screws). I predrilled holes into the studs so I wouldn’t burn out the motor in my cheap drill with the large screws. I used a line laser to ensure the L brackets were aligned, but you can just use a regular ol’ level if that’s all you have.

Once you have the L brackets up, then you can determine how you want the desk resting on top of them.

I didn’t want the back of the desk to be flush with the wall. If it’s against the wall, then you’ll have to run wires along the desk/wall. Leaving a little space allows the cables to drop directly below to their destination. The space also allowed me to mount my monitors with these monitor arms to free up some desk space. I think the style of the bevelled HILVER table I have actually looks better an inch or two from the wall.

wall spacing

Once I had the desk in the position I preferred, I used a pencil to mark the holes to attach the L brackets to it. Then I predrilled some small holes into the desk and then placed it back on the L brackets. Tiny screws are fine here.

Completed Desk Setup

I mounted my HILVER desk by myself during my lunch break one day. It’s a pretty easy project.

standing desk

Cable Management

My wife had purchased some pegboards for the garage to organize our tools, so I stole one of the three panels and turned it into a “server rack.” It saves a lot of space for all of the gear I have in my office.


TV Stand

A TV stand is a perfect addition to a standing desk. Most of my gear is mounted to the wall, but the larger items, a printer and my laptop, are housed in a TV stand I purchased from Wayfair. Make sure you don’t get one that has too much depth though, or you won’t have anywhere to stand. You also need one that doesn’t sit flat on the ground so it’ll allow room for a standing mat to slide underneath.

The Hot Water Heater

Back to my office…


Wait. Is that a hot water heater in this guy’s office?

Yep! I named him Wilson.