DIY plywood kid’s desk area and IKEA hack: Ez’s bedroom

Plywood desk in a kid's bedroom | Growing Spaces

I realised recently that I’ve never actually got round to properly sharing Ez’s bedroom makeover from last year. I showed you her brother’s indoor climbing wall and flip-down desk, and I did a video about the plywood Ikea-hack in Ez’s room, but never followed it up with a proper post. And she absolutely loves her room, so it seems only fair to share it here.

I have a thing for plywood in kids’ rooms, so when we moved the twins into their own bedrooms last Christmas, I wanted to make it a feature of their new spaces. I love the warmth and texture it adds, and it has an industrial feel that makes it feel modern when left bare in an interior setting. Plus it’s inexpensive – a big bonus when you have two rooms to decorate!

We chose a range of bedroom storage from Ikea to hack – Nordli – and I thought we could use the plywood to clad the Ikea units, giving them a smarter, more fitted look. We assembled the two sets of Nordli chests (leaving the drawers out at this stage) and lined them up along the wall, butting them right up together. I had originally planned for the lower unit to act as a sort of reading nook with cushions so that Ez could sit on it to read, but it’s ended up working better as a book shelf. Ben picked up the 18mm ply we’ve used to clad the units in B&Q – they offer a cutting service so he got the pieces cut into strips that were the right width to make them easier to load into the car.

IKEA chest of drawer hack | Growing Spaces

We lined the side and top edges of the Ikea units with the ply, fixing it in place by screwing through from the inside of the chest (make sure to check the length of your screws so that they won’t come all the way through the ply). Another thing to note is that the ply is quite rough, so you’ll want to give it a really good sand to avoid any danger of splinters etc.

DIY plywood kid's desk | Growing Spaces

Top of Ez’s wish list for new room was a desk so Ben built her one using the same ply – it’s held together with angle brackets, and then we’ve added a board to the wall behind that she can use to display her drawings or favourite pictures (I admit I *might* have tweaked the display a bit to take these pictures). The desk chair is the Jules junior desk chair from Ikea, and the clock is the Pantry Clock from Rose & Grey.

DIY plywood memo board | Growing Spaces

books | Growing Spaces

DIY plywood desk area | Growing Spaces

cacti | Growing Spaces

The room works brilliantly – there’s plenty of storage for clothes and toys so that we can keep the space reasonably tidy, and I think the ply-cladding gives the furniture a designer feel that’s budget-friendly.

I tried letting the twins come up with themes for their rooms themselves, but it was too hard to find something that both child and parent (me) could live with. Huge rainbow mural complete with smiling cartoon sun, rain clouds and stars anyone?! We compromised and they chose elements of the room and the colour scheme. Ez’s favourite shades are yellow and purple so I’ve used those as accents, and she has a yellow feature wall next to her bed. More on that next week…

Updated: click for Ez’s yellow feature wall



  1. February 26, 2016 / 2:10 pm

    This is fantatsic, there is something lovely about Ply and the fact it is not overly pricey makes it even better.
    My little girl is going to be getting her own room this Summer, I can’t decide if she is old enough for a desk area as I think she may love one x

  2. Sabine
    December 30, 2017 / 12:05 pm

    What a great idea! Just did it with two IKEA Valje shelfs and it looks great. Thanks for this inspiration from Berlin!

  3. kylie
    July 10, 2018 / 4:39 am

    hello! I love this!!! i have been looking for a great idea for a desk in my daughters room!

    Do you mind sharing the dimensions of the desk you made?

    Thanks so much!

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