How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk

How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk | www.fromh2h.com
How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk

It’s not often that I get to solve 4 decorating problems with one project, but this is one of those projects. I had home office stuff stashed everywhere, a dys-functional charging station, a make-shift laptop desk and a TV armoire that I liked but no longer needed.  After moving that TV armoire into the “library” (really a bedroom that I use as a den), I finally came up with the solution…convert the TV Armoire into a desk!

Click Next to see how to convert a TV armoire into a desk.

The Problems

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Bulletin Board and Paper Holder

The first issue I had was home office stuff everywhere!  I have boxes of pens and pencils and erasers, at least 4 staplers, many pads of paper that I have never used, and at least 3 of every kind of charging cord available to mankind.  The reason?  I can never find any of these things when I need them!  So I end up going out and buying another one.

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Original Charging Station

The second decorating issue I had was that my charging station for phones, iPads, iPods and Kindles consisted of a bunch of cords on the kitchen countertop.  Not only was it ugly, but it used up some precious counter space (my kitchen isn’t large enough to give up any counter space!)

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Original Desk

The third issue I had was no good place to put my laptop when I’m working.  This is one of the make-shift desks that I used (not very functional!)

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The outside of the TV armoire

The last decorating problem was that I have a TV armoire which I have been moving around the house trying to get it to fit in…now that I no longer have any big box TV’s, I don’t really need a TV armoire.  But I still like the design of it and hate to get rid of it.  I like the Japanese style detail on the front and the fact that it is not too big and bulky.  My “library” is quite a small room (10′ x 10′) so there isn’t a lot of room for really big furniture.  I also like the gold details on the armoire which go with the black and gold color scheme in the room…so no changes necessary to the outside of the armoire!

Click Next to see more about how to convert a TV Armoire to a desk.

The Original Armoire

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Inside the Armoire

Here’s the inside of the original TV armoire…lots of space for organizing (but not very pretty)!  So I had to come up with a way to make it look nicer and address the list of things that I wanted my desk to have:

  • a slide out shelf for my laptop.
  • a place to hide my printer
  • storage for all those pens, pencils, erasers, staplers, pads of paper, etc. that I can never seem to find
  • a charging station to get all of those cords in a central location
  • a place to store the Tivo and stereo receiver (okay…those aren’t really office-y things but I have a TV and a stereo in the room so I need somewhere to put them)
  • lots of electrical outlets to plug in all of these electronics
  • no masses of cords in plain site
  • lighting so that I can see inside the armoire
  • a small bulletin board so tack up messages

Step 1: Spray Paint The Inside

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The inside of the armoire painted gold

Since I will have to look at the inside of the armoire more often now, I needed to make it a little more attractive.   So I decided to spray paint it gold (which goes with the accents in the armoire and the room).  The reflective surface will also help it be a little less cave-like.  I taped paper across the holes at the back of the armoire so that the paint didn’t up on the back wall.

Spray paint is great because it dries so fast, but the fumes are really strong…so I had to open the windows, bring in a couple of fans and wear a mask while I was painting.

Step 2:  Add A Slide-Out Shelf For My Laptop

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Computer Shelf

Then I tackled the structure of the inside.  First, I wanted a slide-out laptop shelf.  The shelf in the armoire is a little less than 30″ high which is the perfect height for a computer space.  Since the door opening comes in from the sides, I couldn’t use standard side-mount drawer slides.  I went for an old-school-style undermount drawer slide which ended up giving a really clean look that I love (you can’t see the hardware!).

I was able to re-use some pieces of board left over from another desk that I had deconstructed (I knew there was reason why I kept all those old boards hanging around!)  I didn’t even have to cut it…just spray painted it gold, installed the drawer slide, and it was ready to go.

Step 3:  Add a Shelf Over The Laptop Area

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Shelf Over Laptop Drawer

Next I added a shelf over the pull out laptop shelf.  This is where the printer, cord storage and paper inbox will go.

I used doubled the number of boards used for the shelf to make sure it wouldn’t sag (again re-used from another project).  This shelf has to stretch across 30″ without any middle support and will have some relatively heavy equipment on it, so the double thickness will help keep it straight.

To do this, I cut 2 boards the depth of the armoire space and about 4″ high to act as the supports for the shelf.  Then I screwed the double-board shelf to the top of those supports so that nothing needs to be screwed into the armoire.  This helps for 2 reasons:

1.  The first is that the wood used for the sides of the armoire is not very thick and I was afraid that drilling holes into it for a shelf support would have gone right through.

2.  The second is that if I ever need to take the shelf out for some reason, it can be lifted right out.

Step 4:  Add Lights

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Battery-operated lights installed under the top shelf of the armoire

Now I was ready to add the accessories to the interior space.  First I added 3 LED lights to the top of the armoire.  These are battery-operated ones so there are no cords to worry about.  They stick on easily with double-sided tape.

Step 5:  Add Bulletin Board and Printer

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Bulletin Board

Next I added the printer (no special for picture for that…it’s not very exciting).  Then I updated the bulletin board / letter holder with a coat of black paint and some leopard print fabric stapled to the bulletin board.  This was just nailed to the back of the armoire.

The great thing about using a TV armoire for a desk is that they usually have holes already cut in the back for cords, so all those cables can go out the back where you don’t see them.

How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk | www.fromh2h.com
Bulletin Board and Paper Holder

This is the same letter holder/bulletin board that I originally had hanging on the wall…it looks a bit better now 🙂

Step 6:  Add Cord Organizer and Paper Inbox Organizer

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Inside Desk

Now I needed something to cover up the extension cord, provide a charging station, and some room for papers, envelopes and notebooks.

How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk | www.fromh2h.com
Bulletin Board and Paper Holder

I re-used the same paper inbox organizer that I had before.

How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk | www.fromh2h.com
Holes Drilled For Cords

I drilled holes in the back of it that were big enough to fit the ends of the charging cables.

How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk | www.fromh2h.com
Charging Station

Then spray-painted the whole thing black.  The bottom shelves act as a charging station.  The slots at the top are perfect for envelopes, papers and notebooks.

Step 7:  Add Pegboard Storage on the Doors

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Pegboard storage for pens, pencils, scissors, staplers and staples.

The last step was to add storage for all of the office supplies that I can never find when I need them…pens, pencils, erasers, staplers, scissors, etc.

How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk | www.fromh2h.com
Pegboard storage for tape, erasers, tape dispenser, keys, memory cards, paper clips and all of those other small home office items.

For this, I installed decorated pegboard to the inside of the armoire doors.  Pegboard is the most amazing organizational tool ever!  And when it’s decorated, it looks good, too.

Want to learn how to re-create this look? See our post on how to decorate pegboard.

The Finished Desk

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Home Office Armoire

 And here’s the final look with everything installed.  Compare it to what it looked like before I started on the journey to convert a TV Armoire to a desk.

How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk | www.fromh2h.com
Inside the Armoire

It looks better than the original armoire.

How To Convert A TV Armoire To A Desk | www.fromh2h.com
Bulletin Board and Paper Holder

 And functions better than the original mess!

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9 Responses

  • I’m moving to a smaller home and I’m losing the den. I have an armoire that I’m converting to a desk as you did. My question is, how did you install the center mount slides?

    • Hi Sonia…The drawer slide I used came apart (I think most of them do). So I attached one half of it to the shelf in the armoire, and the other half to the slide out board using 1/2″ screws. Then pushed the two parts of the drawer slide back together to install the slide out shelf. (And I did all of that before adding the top shelf in the armoire…it’s much easier to attach the drawer slide if you have more space to work in). Hope this helps!

  • Wanda, would you mind sending me pictures of all the things you have in your den. I’m looking for storage/den ideas. Want my den to also be my sewing area. Elaine

  • Hi, I love your idea, but seeing that beautiful wallpaper in the picture where it’s just been covered, looks to me as though a few of them side by side would make a great wall decoration. I really like that wallpaper and wonder if you know the name of it, or where you bought it. If used as wall art, it would not necessitate putting it over pegboard.

    • Hi Sylvia…The wallpaper is called “Opulence” by York. You can find it online at http://www.americanblinds.com/wallpaper/productid,111926. You should also be able to order it from any wallpaper store that carries the York brand. I did actually use it inside some wall panels in the room where the TV Armoire/Desk was going. I just happened to have a little left over which is why I used it on the pegboard. You’re right…it would be a waste of beautiful wallpaper if that was the only place I used it 🙂

    • Sorry, slight correction…the book that the wallpaper came from is called Opulence. The wallpaper itself is called Geo Teardrop (pattern #77871 in case it helps).

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