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DIY Built-In U-Shaped Desk

We made this DIY built-in U-shaped desk custom for a small nook in our bedroom. The dimensions are 100% unique to this random nook of ours, so we don’t have specific step-by-step plans for this build, but hopefully it will give you some inspiration!

We’ve been busy lately at Charleston Crafted and have been preparing for the holidays. Before we could get to most of those projects, we’ve been working on a few crucial projects we need around the house, including building a custom desk/vanity for Morgan.

As you know, we recently made over the guest bedroom (check out the color block wall, cedar plank ceiling, modern platform bed, console table, side tables, gallery wall, bi-fold door and bookshelf!) When we did that, we had to take all the old stuff out of there, including our concrete and plywood desk that we did all our computer work on.

We moved that desk into the nook in our bedroom that also had Morgan’s vanity. We had to turn the vanity and desk to opposing walls of the nook in order to make them fit. Needless to say, it didn’t look good and it was super cramped.

Old desk vanity area

So we decided to build a custom U-shaped desk/vanity that would be built into the nook.

Final DIY Built-In U-Shaped Desk

Building the Desk/Vanity

We opted to go for a floating style desk with two supporting legs on the outside. These are completely for show and really don’t provide any support, but they make the area look more defined.

When drawing out the specs for this plan, we worked on three sections- a desk, a vanity and a Cricut cutting station. The desk and Cricut sides would have open cubbies for storage of supplies. The vanity would have a closed front but a hinged lid to store beauty supplies.

The entire thing is made from 1/2″ plywood and held together with pocket holes. The first step was to cut the top and bottom pieces (three pieces each, joined together). We connected the three bottom pieces together and laid them out.

Bottom of desk constructed

Then, we cut all the dividers, backs and fronts and attached those to the bottoms to create the box.

Dividers added to desk

Finally, we connected the desk and Cricut side top pieces and attached those to the rest of the desk.

Top added to built in desk

We made two A-frame style legs to go on the outer edges of the desk and then stained all of our pieces.

A-Frame Legs for Built In Desk

Installing the Desk/Vanity

To install the desk/vanity, we measured where the bottom of the desk should be (the height of the legs) on the wall and screwed stabilizing boards into the wall with the top at that line. This way, the desk would rest on top of a board on all three sides of the space.

Adding support braces to wall for built in desk

We carried the entire desk up in one piece (minus the legs) and placed it on top of the supports. Miraculously, it actually fit with no testing. In a house as un-square as ours, this really was a miracle.

Built in desk floating on supports

We attached the legs to the underside of the desk, then attached the hinging vanity top to the desk.

Final Constructed Built In Desk Vanity
Desk from right

Styling the Office Area

For all intents and purposes, this is now our office space. We added two shelves with cool brackets above the desk. This can be used for styling and practicality.

Shelves above desk
Desk from left

We also added a round mirror above the vanity side for Morgan to do her makeup and built a custom divider for her things inside the flip top.

Inside vanity portion of desk

We love this built-in desk/vanity and that it is 100% custom to our space. It is working so much better than our previous setups and we feel professional. It also really brought purpose to this nook of our bedroom. We’d love to see if you make something similar!

Desk part

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Friday 5th of November 2021

This is very nice. Do you have designs for breadbox?


Friday 5th of November 2021

Thanks Dave! But sorry, not at this time!

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Friday 16th of October 2020

Love this project! What Stain did you use on the plywood?


Saturday 17th of October 2020

It was Early American -


Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Two questions: how did you secure it to the wall brackets and who did you opt to not edge band the plywood? Thank you.


Wednesday 30th of September 2020

We secured boards to the wall using screws directly through the boards into the studs of the wall. Then the desk sat on top of the boards. We didn't edge band because we wanted to round off the edge since we were using it as a workspace and didn't want the sharp edge poking into our wrists.

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