In an office space, the desk is typically the focal point and centerpiece. With so many desk designs available, it is easy to create an entire office motif based on the desk design alone.
A home office desk design not only includes desk material, finish, shape, and size but also placement in your space. Popular desk designs include traditional, contemporary, elegant, and more along with credenzas, side tables lamps and monitor placement. The best desk design for any individual person meets their practical needs while also suiting their personal aesthetic preferences.
While all home office desks provide the same overall utility, their various designs can be tailored to individuals’ specific needs.
Creative custom designs can boost a creative workspace while clever organization and personal touches can elevate a standard office desk.
By the way – before we get too far along here, if you want to get more great ideas for your home office and connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.
Home Office Desk Design
Home office desk design is more than just how a desk looks. Desk design is about how a desk is constructed, how a desk is styled, and how a desk fits in a space. Additionally, a desk’s design should be practical, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.
Office Desk Materials
A major design factor comes from the materials that manufacturers use to create a desk.
For example, there’s something very stoic and grounding about a big oak desk that you won’t really find in a glass or acrylic desk. By that same principle, though, a large oak desk won’t fit very well in a contemporary or minimalist office space.
Below are the most commonly used desk materials.
Depending on what kind of overall vibe you want your home office to have, your desk material is going to play an important role. Materials also have an impact on cost and durability.
Wooden desks are, by far, the most popular desk material.
Wooden desks can fit well in any office design scheme from traditional to rustic to contemporary.
Wooden desks can be light or heavy, depending on the type of wood used.
They can be painted or stained, giving you complete control over how your desk design looks in your office. Wooden desks create a sense of groundedness within a space.
Solid wood desks can be constructed from all kinds of wood types, including maple, oak, elm, pine, walnut, teak, cedar, mahogany, and bamboo. You can also come across desks that are constructed with plywood and particleboard, though these are not solid wood and are less durable.
Glass desks are sleek and elegant. They fit in well with minimalist and contemporary office designs.
Glass desks are usually lighter and easier to move around than solid wood desks, though they can get heavy if the glass is cut thick.
Glass desks are usually see-through, so they elevate other designs in the room. Additionally, they reflect light and can brighten and open up a space.
Downsides of glass desks include their durability and difficulty keeping clean.
Glass desks are more likely to crack or break than other materials, which can become quite dangerous and stressful.
Also, each fingerprint and streak will show up on a glass desk where they wouldn’t on other materials.
Metal desk designs are less common, but they do exist. Most metal desks are made of steel, which goes well with industrial-style offices. Steel desks are durable but quite heavy.
Depending on how the desk is constructed, a metal desk can have rough finishing, which might damage office flooring or be uncomfortable to use day in and day out.
Plastic Laminate / Acrylic
Plastic desks are relatively common because they are cheap and easy to move around. Plus, plastic desk designs come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Certain plastics, like PVC, are quite durable as well.
One drawback of plastic desk designs is that they are not nearly as durable or long-lasting as wooden desks.
Plastic desks don’t have that elegant, stately appeal that large wooden desks have, either. Still, not everyone has ample space for a giant wooden desk so plastic desks can come in handy.
Different Desk Designs and Styles
Anyone who has purchased or window-shopped for a desk in the last five years knows that the word “desk” contains multitudes.
No longer is a desk simply a surface on top of four legs. Below are just a few of the desk designs and styles that you can find in stores and online.
Traditional desks are desks that feature well-established designs that have been around for a long time. Traditional desks won’t be at home in modern or contemporary offices, but they will fit in well in vintage-styled libraries or studies.
Traditional desks are typically large, brown, and made of wood or wood-like material. MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard. Executive desks are often designed in the traditional style.
Pinterest user S. B. Long Interiors creates an elegant traditionally designed home office here:
Modern / Contemporary Desks
A desk with a modern or contemporary design will be sleek and light. These desks will typically be more minimalist and feature straight lines.
Each of these desks is on the smaller side with straight, angular lines. Pinterest user Homary’s lovely contemporary design is shown here:
Different Desk Shapes
With desk design comes desk shape. A desk shape has a whole lot to do with a desk’s utility and how it’s going to fit within a space.
For example, if you have a tiny room to work with, you might not go with a large U-shaped desk.
But, if you have a wide-open home office to fill, you probably won’t choose a wall-mounted floating desk.
L-shaped desks are shaped like the letter L.
You typically have one straight surface you work primarily on and one surface that you can use for storage and secondary work.
However, Pinterest user SifresizAraclar2 has their L-shaped desk set up in a creative way, which utilizes both angles equally:
U-shaped desks are shaped like the letter U. Shocking, I know. A U-shaped desk is similar to an L-shaped desk, but it has an extra surface.
When you work at a U-shaped desk, you’re typically surrounded on three sides with workspace.
You can see how much space becomes available with a U-shaped desk based on this upload by Better Homes and Gardens:
Clearly, this desk design works best in larger spaces.
Corner desks, on the other hand, are great for small spaces.
If you don’t have a ton of room for a massive desk, a corner desk can fit into even the tightest, most awkward spaces without taking up much room. Just be sure you have enough space to scoot your chair in and out.
As you can see, even some of the smallest corner desks still have clever built-in storage to optimize their design utility.
Floating Desks (Wall-Mounted)
Floating desks are another space-saving desk design. Instead of choosing a desk that takes up a great deal of floor space, you can mount your desk to the wall and let it “float.”
Pull up a chair when you need to use your desk and fold your desk away when you’re done.
Desks Designed for Different Needs
So, you know what design you like, but what design do you need?
Of course, with all the desks on the market today (and the infinite possibilities with custom-made desks), you can marry the two.
Desks for Dual Monitors
If you work from home, you’re probably on the dual-monitor bandwagon by now.
Working with multiple monitors makes it so much easier to get work done efficiently because you don’t have to bounce back and forth between 40 open tabs.
If you’re one of the many who swears by dual monitors, you might want a desk design that tailors to this setup.
Desks for Multiple People
Extra-long computer desks along one wall can easily fit two workstations. Pinterest user Jessica Welling shows how this can easily be done:
With a table in between for additional space, the setup becomes even more efficient. Pinterest user Top Shelf DIY has this great completed desk design:
If you have a full room to use as a home office, consider taking your desk off the wall and placing it in the middle of the room.
Using one large desk or two desks pushed against one another in the center of the room is a convenient, attractive way to set up multiple workstations in the same space.
This simple but effective design by Pinterest user Ballard Designs is a great example:
Desk Designs for Small Spaces
The best desk to use when you have very limited space is a desk with a compact design.
Either a corner desk or a floating desk will have an innovative design that allows you to work even in tight quarters.
If you live in a studio apartment with very limited square footage, it’s smart to think outside the box and create workspace designs using multifunctional furniture.
- Set up your laptop on a console table and pull up a chair.
- Use a storage ottoman for office supplies as well as seating.
- Look for mobile desk designs that you can wheel around the room.
Pinterest user City Chic Decor conserves space in a studio apartment with this beautiful and functional design:
Desk Designs for Optimum Storage
If you have space in your home office for file drawers and bookshelves aplenty, consider yourself lucky.
However, if you need a desk that lends itself to maximum storage despite limited floor space, you’ll want to look for an efficient design.
Multifunctional Desk Spaces
A dedicated home office space is always the ideal. However, if you must share your office space with another area in the home, try making the most out of a single piece of furniture by creating a multifunctional design. Kitchen, dining room, and coffee tables can all be workspaces.
Designs for a Desktop
Now that you’ve looked at desk designs and makeups, consider how you plan to design your desktop space. There is more to desk design than just the desk itself.
Once you choose a desk and get it fitted inside your office, you must choose how to organize your desk accessories for optimum work efficiency.
For a space-saving desk design, choose items that fit into a compact space and don’t take up too much of your desk surface.
- VICNOVA Monitor Stand Riser: A monitor stand lifts your computer monitor off your desktop and gives you a bit of hidden storage.
- TROPICAL TREE Clamp LED Desk Lamp: A clip-on desk lamp attaches to the side of your desk rather than taking up precious space on top.
- Safco Products Underdesk Hanging Organizer: For files and paperwork, an under-desk organizer can keep things from piling up on top of your desk.
Cord clutter can quickly overwhelm a space, so creating a functional desk design that keeps your cords in check is essential.
Fortunately, cord management isn’t difficult to manage.
- Artwork Craft Bamboo Cable Management Cord Organizer Box: Cord management boxes keep cords and power strips contained and hidden on desktops, creating an appealing visual.
- Scandinavian Hub Store Under Desk Cable Management Tray: A cord management tray keeps troublesome cords out of sight and untangled underneath your desk.
- TESSAN Wireless Charger Power Strip: A tiny charging station can take care of your phone charging needs without becoming cluttered.
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