desk guide

last week ac and i ordered a new desk for our bedroom- i really need to stop working on a couch and he needs a place for his desktop. so i figured while i was looking for desks i would compile a list of some of my favorites on the market. it turned into a desk slideshow that i just posted. prices range from a target/ikea level to serious splurge status but since this audience spans that range i thought i’d include them all. ours falls in the budget range so if you’re looking for a desk and would like some ideas just click here to see the full slide show. ours is the last desk in the slideshow…

[image above: I live in a city (New York) where space is the ultimate luxury—a luxury most of us don’t have. This Copenhagen desk from Room and Board ($1099 at is a great solution. Tucked away beneath its maple, cherry or ebony veneer, there are three storage units for hiding papers, files and even a computer tower. I could also use the unit in my living room for extra storage and pull out the laptop surface only when I need it.]

[image above: Another space-saving desk is the Seymour Home Office Armoir. It blends gracefully into most rooms and has three cubbies with adjustable shelves, a sturdy center shelf for computers, books or a television screen and two bottom compartments for shelving or storing a computer tower. There’s also a hidden keyboard tray for computer hardware or desk accessories. $1999 at]

[image above: This Nelson Swag Leg desk would also be perfect for if I was looking only for space for a laptop and, say, a small lamp. This little guy tucks quietly into a corner or alcove for a discreet writing nook. $1745 at]

[image above: If I had space for a large desk, something bolder and dramatic, I’d have preferred to convert a table. Tables usually have striking features that help them stand out in a room. The Melody Striped Dining Table ($1298 at at the top left easily doubles as a spacious executive desk. The Melody’s bright orange, pink and red stripes will make sure you stay awake on a late deadline. To the right of the Melody is Baleri Italia’s Big Bend desk, ($5356 at a bold statement in either natural or black plywood. At bottom left is the Big Bend in natural plywood. Last but not least is the Timavo table, a classic that will double as a dining table when space is limited, but your budget isn’t. $4500 at]

[image above: I am always attracted to the idea of a white desk: clean, sophisticated and reminiscent of offices you see in movies with big vases of peonies on top. Top left is a white wooden desk from Context Furniture ($650 at, a modified picnic table-meets-saw horse. (It comes in red or moss grey, too.) I love the thick, curved surface of the honeycomb desk, made from a unique resin composite ($5,500 at If you’re on a budget, Target’s simple writing desk ($99 at and Ikea’s fold-up work station are great choices. Ikea’s hides your computer, magazines, files and folders neatly behind white doors with birch detailing ($199 at My favorite is bottom left: The Kant Desk, available at Thorsten Van Elten’s online shop ($1519). Its clever tilted shelf makes for simple storage of your office accoutrements.]

[image above: I’m not a huge fan of black desks, but they do have a certain sleek appeal. Offi’s Window desk ($700 at gets a nice jolt of color from its bright red drawers. Marcel Wanders goes for all black in his Two Tops desk for Moooi. Its carved legs and dual tops allow it to double as a stylish eating surface. The dark chocolate stain on Material Furniture’s Autopilot Desk, far right, looks dark enough to be black in most light. Added bonus? The Autopilot is made with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified sustainable wood. $1250 at]

[image above: A great wooden desk can be both classic and modern. Today’s modern finishes combined with classic lines make for some of the best desks on the market. Brave Space’s Delta Desk (top left) combines solid maple wood with unique winged shelves that make use of dead space under the desk. I love that you can choose a colored enamel for the shelves to add a little spice to the design ($1350 at Offi’s Wave Desk (bottom left) puts a nice spin on a simple shape with its curved top shelf. Made from a single sheet of folded plywood, the Wave desk has just enough space for your laptop (or a small desktop) and a small selection of accessories ($599 at Modernlink’s eco-friendly bamboo “Jimmy” desk (bottom right) is available with a dark “baked” bamboo finish or a lighter “raw” finish, depending on your taste. I love the sleek “gills” in the surface of the desk made for holding letters and paper ($4800 at Skram’s beautiful Wishbone desk (top right) might be my favorite though- it’s smooth wooden surface (available in a wide variety of woods ranging from Rosewood to Macassar ebony) looks striking on top of the powder coated steel frame. $2300-$440 at]

[image above: I was tempted by the simplicity and lean (no pun intended) lines of this Sloane Leaning Desk at Crate and Barrel ($129). You can use one unit or several for a wonderful solution to the home-office dilemma.]

[image above: Glass desks can be a wonderful way to visually “lighten” a space. The Piu desk at DWR has a tempered glass top and powder coated steel legs for a sturdy but airy feel. On sale for $650 at]

[image above: Atlantico’s White Oak console table doubles as a sturdy, simple desk. With space for laptop and accessory storage you can place this near a door for dual entryway and office use. $1695 at]

[image above: I love a little pop of color with my furniture, and Blu Dot’s Modulicious Power Deskette lets you choose cream, grey, pale pink, chalk, blue, charcoal or red drawers and doors. $899 at]

[image above: Speaking of color, my head was definitely turned by this classic Eames design. I love the colorful partitions and steel frame. I can’t imagine them ever going out of style. $1195 at]

[image above: On my dream list for the future is Marc Newson’s Riga desk for Cappellini, with its $7,088 price tag. If I ever hit win the lottery, I’ll be blogging from behind this white lacquered desk. Available at]

[image above: West Elm’s classic Parsons Desk is a crowd-favorite. Most of my friends and blog-cohorts list it as a go-to for all sorts of situations. Its price tag ($150 on sale) makes it within reach for most of us and it’s simple shape blends well with most decors. Try a powder blue or light green finish for something different. Available online at]

[image above: So what did I end up with? The Remsen Desk at West Elm has a light frame that combines clean white legs with a sleek chocolate-colored top. The Remsen was one of the few desks my better half and I could agree on so we recently purchased this for a small nook in our bedroom. What it lacks in storage space it makes up for in good, clean lines and a small foot print. $299 at]

  1. AfricaLive says:

    I spent all weekend looking for a new desk (new school year, fresh start…) These are great finds- I’d only found a couple of them (pottery barn, offi). I especially like the one from Room and Board.

  2. Natasha says:

    The cabinet/armoire style desks look beautiful, but I always worry that there really isn’t enough leg room there to work comfortably. I think a smaller, sleek desk works well, can be easily moved, and is good when you want a view out of your window as opposed to looking at a wall.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you are looking for a more affordable version of the Eames desk try I ordered a few pieces for them for my office and they are beautiful and match our “real” Eames piece from the same line.

  4. Heide says:

    Where is that black, orange, and white ball lamp from??? I love it.

  5. Meagan says:

    Your slideshow made me want another desk – and I just got the West Elm Parsons in Polished White! I adore the Parsons desk – its super versatile and beautiful, especially in the white. My iMac looks gorgeous on it.

  6. design*sponge says:


    i’m not sure- they’re super familiar but i’m blanking. anyone else know?


  7. domesticated_desk says:

    I recently started a personal blog based on my love for desks. You found some really good ones that I need to check out- thanks for the great list!


  8. Lucy Gazelle says:

    The lamps are a classic re-release of Lytegem that DWR sells (as do other retailers). I link to it from my name below.

    Great day on d*s today – holy cow!

  9. Kristina says:

    I still love my Max by Kartell with wheels and the Tolomeo with the clip by Artemide… and I would love to get a Catifa by Arper but with wheels and arm rest…

    Very important to have wheels on things if you’ve gotta move stuff yourself!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    great finds grace- i’m in search of a L shaped desk, can you recommend any?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Great blog

    Slightly off topic, we have a white desk on oak legs which we love, but can’t find a decent looking filing cabinet anywhere.Any ideas?

  12. Anonymous says:

    the guys at Vessel make a pretty good worktable w/ hidden storage:

  13. Stacy says:

    Not sure why you couldn’t go clockwise from top left on all the pictures above. I thought that was your thing. I’m talking myself down now from my temporary excitement thinking that the Wishbone desk was $599.

  14. grace says:


    i believe the rest are clockwise from the top left. there may have been an error in transferring them from the HG site. i’ll fix that.


  15. stacey says:

    I am desperately looking for a white desk like the following pictured here.

    I am going to go with a parsons unless I can find one with this shape (i.e., the legs). It needs to be smaller than 42″ width.

    Anybody have any leads or ideas?

  16. Richard says:

    There’s a plethora of ‘inspired’ Eames, Saarinen and other chairs, but does anyone know if there’s a manufacturer of Eames inspired Desk Units?

  17. Richard says:

    Thanks Anonymous, I tried modernwoodworks but since i live in the UK their shipping costs mean i may as well fork out for a vitra authorised one… :-(

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  19. Andrew says:

    Is this (and the other guides) updated at all or is this all info from 07′?

  20. Caroline says:

    such a great help, thanks. I can’t wait to see more like the West Elm AShford that is really a cabinet/desk.

  21. Keeks says:

    Just found a link to this so maybe others are still referencing… I have personally found that West Elm’s furniture doesn’t hold up very well. Less well than even IKEA, in my experience. Veneers peel, chips appear almost immediately, etc. Anyone have comments or similar experiences?

  22. alan says:

    what slim design!
    i like it, modern and ergonomic furniture.



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