How I built my DIY ergonomic desk for less than 99€

Improve productivity and health.

David Leuliette
4 min readJan 5, 2020

As a freelance React Native developer, My weekly routine is working 4 days per week for a client based in London, and one day per week — on-site — in for a French client. Since I am working remotely mostly from home, I needed to have a decent office.

You can design your perfect productive environment

I had 2 constraints: budget and space. There is tons of affordable desk available on the internet but they are not working on my case because:

  1. I am super tall (1m98)
  2. I just moved back to France into my girlfriend’s flat and I don’t have a dedicated room to work.
  3. I need to fix my desk on one wall.

Step 1: Collect materials

If you want to make your own DIY desk, just start by taking the measurement for the woods boards. In my case, space is a big requirement, so I choose to have only one big metal adjustable foot. I found the GERTON one on IKEA.

I cheated a little bit at this point, because my parents are living in the countryside. They helped me with the painting and cutting the wood boards. And they have all the tools whereas in my flat in the city I don’t have a garage.

Painting in progress
Painting in progress

As a design Engineer, I didn’t forget to add an Apple-style curve to one of the edges. Back home, I had everything ready to fix on the wall.

Need to find the prefect wall for this
Need to find the prefect wall for this


  • 2 wood boards
  • 2 wood rails
  • 2 metal
  • 8 ankles for plaster
  • 1 adjustable metal foot
  • (optional) White painting

All theses materials should cost less than 99€, my biggest expense was the ajustable metal foot 39€.

Step 2: Ergonomic metrics

Do you know there are rules for ergonomics desks? I worked for ages in different companies in an open space where these rules are simply ignored. I understand that at scale, people in charge of furniture are using excels spreadsheets to calculate budgets. And they often choose the less expensive solution who’s going to work for most of the people.

According to this ergonomic calculator website, with a height of 198cm, my desk should be 80cm high, and my chair should be 53cm high (distance from the floor to seat).

  • Desk height: 80cm
  • Height of chair: 53cm
Just found the perfect wall
Just found the perfect wall

After fixing the ankles and the 2 wood rails you are ready for the last step: fixing the adjustable foot.

Et voila
Et voila

Pro-tip : Don’t forget to cut one edge for the cables when you have all the tools available.

Always have a swiss army knife at home
Always have a swiss army knife at home

Step 3: Add a Giant Screen (not included in the price)

You are now ready to work, just add a giant screen, a timer and some cables.

32 inches screen fits almost perfectly

Bonus Step: Find the perfect chair

This article is for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money BUT you need a decent chair because you are going to spend a lot of time in front of your screen.

I spend some time searching for chairs on eBay and I found the perfect one.

It costed me 120 €

One of the things I like being a freelance working remote is that you can design your perfect productive environment.

For my next office, I will definitely invest in a standing/walking desk if I have space. Working remotely is great because you don’t lose your time on commuting but you are living like a kind of a hermit. Don’t forget to go out for some exercice or even better go to the gym.

Your health is more important than your job.

If you liked this article, check out:

- How I wrote my first book as a indie hacker

If you want to learn more and improve your skills, you can follow me on Twitter as I continue to document my journey.



David Leuliette

Freelance on a mission to automate my life. Currently launching a book about the React Native ecosystem →