A Professional-Level Desk In A Dorm

Heading off to college comes with its own set of challenges. Harder course material, living away from home for the first time, and dealing with roommates are common hurdles to overcome, but an oft-overlooked issue is the poor quality dorm room desks. For a place that a student is expected to spend a majority of their study time, colleges and universities don’t often provide inspiring areas in the dorm rooms for this task. With a few tools and some time, though, anyone suffering in a dorm can have a much better place to work.

This desk build comes to us from reddit user [lucas_talbert] and is noteworthy for using simple tools and materials to transform the standard, boring desk in a way which won’t upset the facilities manager in charge of the dorm furniture. The backer is a piece of plywood which was covered in bamboo flooring. It was screwed into the back of the desk and secured with L-brackets. A piece of 1×4 was attached around the edges to help hide the LED lights and cables as well.

We like this build for its impressive transformation of an otherwise drab dorm room into a place that most of us wouldn’t mind having as our main workstation, even beyond college. It also uses common materials and is easily removable, both of which are perks when living as a student. The one thing it doesn’t have, though, is the ability to exercise when using it.

9 thoughts on “A Professional-Level Desk In A Dorm

  1. It’s fancy looking, but not professional unless your job is to look at art, grow plants, listen to music and apply lotion to your hands.

    Everything else is poorly though out:
    The task lighting is awful.
    There is a lot of glare on the monitor from the window.
    The finish on the wood compounds the glare problem.
    The LED lights serve no purpose.

  2. Well planned and executed design.

    If the window glare bothers you, lower the shade and use the directional task lighting as needed.

    This project shows you don’t have to live with the cinder-block-cell environment typical of low-cost, low-maintenance housing. The plants, artwork, indirect light, and using the space to full advantage provides a great deal of comfort that while not directly measurable, is certainly … uh … comfortable.

    BTW, that institutional “yellow” is probably the worst color for a work or living space … it screams “Get Out!”.

    Thanks for sharing this project … much food for thought.


    1. While doing my masters thesis in Moscow I lived for about a year in a car garage turned student apartament. Meanwhile I spent money on things like Art of Electronics book, license for Altium Designer etc.

      That effort and suffering landed me a job at Roscosmos and it paid nicely.

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