Wire Shelving Desk Hack

I feel in love with Wire Shelving when my husband and I first got married and we had no money, yet needed functional storage. We headed to the hardware store and bought metal shelving rack towers to store our books, to hold our TV and stereo stystems (remember those!) and clothes.


I love how the clean, functional modern lines of the system just kind of blend in with any decor. It’s large, and strong, yet still “airy” so you hardly know it’s there.metroshelvdeskhack006

Those stainless steel racks we bought 20 years ago are still with us. And, they still look awesome. We’ve bought a few more of them to handle storage problems for the boys. And this week, I turned one into a functional desk storage system in our kitchen, and it looks awesome.


This best part about the wire shelving units is how functional they are — I’ve used the bottom of a rack to hold hooks for coats, to store shoes in the mudroom, and to create a makeshift pantry on our screened porch. You can mix and match the shelves and create any system you need.


This functional storage desk system has already earned its weight in gold, solving a huge work/study/space storage problem in our kitchen, with four boys clamoring for space to work, and store their papers. Why didn’t I think of this earlier! It would have solved so many, many problems over the years.metroshelvdeskhack2002

But here it is! And here’s how you can make it too. I had enough room to make a wide desk, to serve two people — but if your space is limited, you can make a one tower desk, using 3 18″ Wide units — deep. metroshelvdeskhack008

Ideally, you will need 3 Wire Shelving systems, measuring 18″ deep each, to create this desk. Don’t worry — you will find a use for every bit of these shelves.metroshelvdeskhack2005 Measure your space to determine how wide you can make your desk. I had a great deal of space. I made mine with a 72-Inch shelf in the middle, and two 36″ inch towers.  I simply built the two towers on the sides, and added a single shelf from the wide rack to flip backwards to brace the two smaller towers together. I ordered one with a butcher block — but you can go to the hardware store and have wood cut to fit the top shelf. Because the wire makes a terrible writing surface. 


Now, that it’s here, I can’t believe how functional the entire system is, letting the boys work in the same place, and leaving the kitchen table free from their clutter. metroshelvdeskhack2001For years, I’ve thought about adding this, but was afraid it would be too cluttered in front of the windows. It is clearly not.

The best part is that it’s metal, and I can add magnets for photosmetroshelvdeskhack003 and papers to sign. And hooks give us extra storage.metroshelvdeskhack002

They key to making this system work, and not looking too cluttered is coordinating containers. I did not have enough coordinating red containers — so I took some mismatched ones, and used mod-podge to cover them in my favorite Christmas red and white wrapping paper. It was easy enough to do, that I can change them to a simple red and white stripped paper after Christmas.metroshelvdeskhack2004

I also have room for extra storage in the kitchen, without cluttering up my counters. metroshelvdeskhack009

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