From Contemporary L Shaped Desk to Antique Secretary Desk – Explore the Vast and Varied World of Desks

The right desk can make a significant difference to the look of a room.  But more than an attractive piece of furniture, it can also have a great impact on the productivity and overall health of the person using it.

If you have already started the search for a new desk, then you know that there are a huge variety of types, sizes, and styles out there.   It can be really confusing to understand what is available, how each of these desk styles differs from one another, and which is the ideal one for you.

collage of different desk styles

Our goal with this website is to help you sort through the many types of desks,and to provide a resource to assist you in making the best desk purchase decision to meet your unique needs.

Your choice will be dependent on a number of different factors.  To get started, it’s useful to first ask yourself the following five questions:

  1. Who will primarily be using the desk?
  2. What activities will it be used for?
  3. How frequently will it be used, and for how long in a single sitting?
  4. What is the size of the room or space it will be in?
  5. What is the style or look of the décor in the room?

These five considerations will help you tremendously in zeroing in on the desk styles that will best suit your needs.  Let’s look into each of them in a bit more depth.


1.  Who will primarily be using the desk?

Clearly desks for young girls or boys will have a different size, height and features than those designed for adults.  And adults that are taller or shorter than average may find standard dimensions to be uncomfortable.  The standard desk height is typically between 28.5-30 inches.  This is often too high for people shorter than 5 feet tall, and may be too low for those taller than 6 feet.


2.  What activities will it be used for?

Many desks are designed in unique shapes and with specialty features to accommodate certain uses.  If you simply need a space to sit and hand write notes, you might choose a small writing desk, an antique secretary desk, or a roll top desk.

But if you’ll be using a computer, then you’ll likely want a desk that is designed with computer use in mind, with storage space for the computer itself, a shelf for the keyboard, a place for the monitor, as well as extra surface area for writing.  Often an l shaped desk or a u shaped desk with hutch or without is ideal for providing for all of this, plus extra space for keeping a printer, scanner, and other office necessities close at hand.

Alternatively, if the desk will be heavily used for playing computer games, then a smaller footprint gaming computer desk with places for storing games, controllers, and peripherals is especially useful.  Other specialty desks include drawing desks and music studio desks.


3.  How frequently will it be used, and for how long in a single sitting?

If the desk is to be used for all day office work, then greater attention should be paid to ergonomic and comfort factors.  An adjustable height desk allows you to vary the height as desired throughout the workday.  This way instead of being stuck sitting at some pre-determined standard desk height, you can work equally productively whether you are sitting or standing, at a height that you control.


4.   What is the size of the room or space it will be in?

As with any furniture, you’ll want to make the most of the area you have available.  Sizes vary tremendously.  For larger open space you might opt for a u shaped or l shaped desk, or an expansive executive office desk set.  In rooms with less available area, you may prefer more of a space saving desk such as a corner computer desk, a fold out desk, or a wall mounted floating desk.


5.  What is the style or look you want to achieve?

The piece you choose can be simple and utilitarian, or add a stylish touch to a room.  You might want it to blend in with the current décor, or stand out as a key showpiece.   Styles range from contemporary to antique.  Materials vary from sleek metals to classic woods.  And colors are available across the spectrum, with black, white, and stained woods offering the greatest selection.


Once you’ve thought through the 5 questions above, you’ll be better equipped to continue your search for the ideal piece to meet your needs.  For even more information, dive into our other articles to find features and characteristics of different types, plus a growing number of reviews of specific desks.