Divya is the coffee-loving, multi-passionate, perpetual learner, and writer behind the scenes of Smile and a Coffee. She is a mom of 2 and a project manager at her day job. As a lover of all things organization, decor, and DIY, she documents her journey of organizing and decorating her home on Smile and a Coffee while inspiring her readers with great tips and tricks to create a beautiful home and wonderful life.

Building cabinets and MDF bases using IKEA Sektion kitchen cabinets for a beautiful, bright, and modern home office makeover during week 4 of the one room challenge of spring 2021.

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I cannot believe that we are almost halfway through the one room challenge! 

It’s Week 4 of the One Room Challenge and I’m making over an open dining area into a beautiful, modern, and bright home office.

I am participating as a guest blogger with many other bloggers in the One Room Challenge where everyone gets to makeover a room of their choice over 8 weeks.

You can see all the featured designers here and all the guest participants with a blog here.

Here is what I have completed so far:

  1. Week 1 – Design and plans for the home office
  2. Week 2 – Chose paint colors for the cabinets and walls
  3. Week 3 – Painted the room and started building cabinets

This week I completed building all the cabinet frames and added MDF bases to them. Let me walk you through all that I was able to do.

CABINET FRAMES

My initial plan was to build all cabinets and drawers myself since I want a lot of storage in my home office.

As much I want the home office to function as a work space, I also want enough storage for all the stationery that I randomly buy 🙂 office and computer accessories, printer and all of my photography equipment.

Owing to the pandemic, there is a  shortage of lumber everywhere, and when in stock, plywood is extremely expensive. So I decided to build the home office with Ikea kitchen cabinets instead.

The SEKTION line of the IKEA kitchen cabinets are extremely versatile and can be customized to a ton of configurations.

I have explained all the details of my cabinet design in last week’s post if you’d like to give it a quick read.

CABINET BUILDING – FRAMES

Building the frame of any SEKTION cabinet is extremely simple. You have 4 pieces, the bottom, the sides and the back to put together.

It does not matter what the size of the cabinet is, the steps are pretty much the same. I have 6 cabinets in 3 different sizes

  1. 18 inch wide, 15 inch deep and 90 inch tall – 2 cabinets
  2. 24 inch wide. 24 inch deep and 30 inch tall – 2 cabinets
  3. 18 inch wide, 24 inch deep and 30 inch tall – 2 cabinets

Follow the instructions and put it together, that’s it! Here is one cabinet out of six.

Once the first one was built, I got a hang of it and the rest of the cabinet building process was quick. I built all six of them in one sitting.

CABINET BUILDING – DRAWERS

The next step in the cabinet building process is to build the zillion drawers. From the six cabinets, I have about sixteen drawers.

There are a combination of the FORVARA and MAXIMERA line of IKEA drawers. I have about 6 MAXIMERA drawers and the rest are FORVARA.

While planning and designing the home office, having many drawers seemed like a good idea for storage :), but I wasn’t so sure when I got to build them.

Thankfully, I was proven wrong! The drawers are as easy or maybe even easier to put together than the frames.

It did take a couple of sittings to get all the drawers built, but that was only because I did it in pockets of 15-30 mins at a time.

I did not attach the drawer fronts because I want to add trim to them. So I needed to build just the drawer frames.

Here are all the cabinet frames and drawers built. I can see it taking shape and I am so excited 🙂

It’s not the prettiest picture, but it’s progress and that’s what makes it so special 🙂

CABINET BASES

The IKEA Kitchen cabinets are 30 inches tall without legs. The legs and toe kick can be purchased separately and adding legs would increase the height to about 36 inches.

That is too tall for a desk. But leaving the cabinets just like that is not an option as the drawers and doors will not open easily. They may get stuck.

Christene, from whom my home office design is inspired has a great solution for this problem and I decided to use to the same solution too 🙂

I decided to raise the cabinets by about 3/4 of an inch by building a simple base out of MDF boards.

MEASUREMENTS

The first step is to measure the bases of all the cabinets to make the right cuts.

I tilted the cabinets to take some measurements and since they are just bare frames at this point, it’s super easy to do.

I wrote down the measurements on a piece of paper. I was careful to subtract the width of the MDF board for my side pieces.

Cabinet base measurements

I am using 1×4 MDF boards and their actual width is 3.5 inches. So I need to take 7 inches off the sides to account for that.

CUTTING AND BUILDING

With the base measurements in hand, it’s time to cut the MDF boards to size. I used my circular saw to cut all the pieces.

The circular saw that I have is not available online, but this one is a great option!

To join the pieces, I brought out my Kreg jig and drilled pocket holes into the shorter pieces.

From there, it’s just joining the pieces to form a rectangle base for each of cabinets.

I love working with a Kreg jig and the pocket holes joinery is so much fun and so easy, even for beginners like me 🙂

Here are all the bases, completely done!

All that is left, is to attach the bases to the cabinets

ATTACHING THE BASES

This the final step in building the cabinets. I simply nailed the bases to cabinets using a brad nailer. It was quite easy and got done in no time.

Here is a cabinet, completely done with the base attached.

That’s it for this week! The plan for next week is trim the drawer fronts, paint them if possible and stencil the wall.

Hope I can finish everything I have planned.

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Do join me on the journey as my home office takes shape and comes to life during this season’s One Room Challenge! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more detailed and day-to-day updates on the progress.

Check out other posts related to my home office transformation.

MODERN HOME OFFICE PLAN and DESIGN – ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK 1 (Spring 2021)

MODERN HOME OFFICE – PAINT COLOR CHOICES – ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK 2 (Spring 2021)

MODERN HOME OFFICE – CABINET BUILDING – ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK 3 (Spring 2021)