Browsing: A dozen desks for the home office
The home decor industry may still be in a post-recession slowdown, but if fall furniture collections are any indication, consumers are supremely busy in one particular room: the home office. High demand for residential desks may not exactly bode well for the nation's workforce, but at least it has spurred more options for those setting up shop at home.
Manufacturers are rolling out a number of new desks tailored for house and apartment. British manufacturer Thelermont Hupton's latest, the Farm, above, consists of individual saw horses made of solid ash that can be topped with a work surface of your choosing. Buy some additional horses as sculpture, and you've got yourself a stable. The company will begin taking orders soon for delivery starting in January, a spokeswoman said. Keep an eye on the firm's website for pricing and availability.
The solid oak frame is open and airy while still providing a ledge for document boxes. A nicely angled drawer on the right provides a tad more stealth storage. London-based Case Furniture started selling Covet in September for 1,025 British pounds, or about $1,600.
Keep reading for more noteworthy designs — practical workhorses, budget buys and some inspired statements against cubicle conformity ...
For space-crunched folks looking to tuck a desk into the corner of a rustic living room, the 5-foot-wide Wright desk, above, just might disappear into the woodwork. The three drawer fronts are milled from telephone pole cross bars. The drawers are set in a case made of sustainably harvested North American walnut. Price: $775. Hold It Contemporary Home, San Diego.
For a solid sense of refinement, look to Secret from the German firm Zeitraum. The desk's graceful lines are carved of solid oak, cherry or walnut and finished in natural oils. Twin flaps at the rear of the desktop open to storage compartments -– one for cords, perhaps, and another to keep pens, scissors, staplers and such out of sight. For price and availability, contact Zeitraum's U.S. retailer Suite New York.
The Cant desk from Blu Dot takes its name from the cantilevered desktop, a walnut-veneer work surface with a rear cutout for cords. It's perched atop giraffe-like walnut legs and crowned with a petite steel shelf that comes in gray or red. Price: $599.
Looking to save space without sacrificing style? The Ledge, above, is a 4-foot-wide, 18-inch-deep desk that cantilevers from the wall. The right side has a slide-out surface for your laptop; the left has a drawer for everything else. A nook in back helps to manage cords. It comes in solid walnut ($1,500) or in fiberboard finished with glossy red paint ($1,300) from Urbancase, and prices include shipping. The Ledge also can be ordered through Ford & Ching in L.A. and A+R in Venice.
Restoration Hardware has been emphasizing a humble-meets-luxe look, mixing reproductions of industrial antiques with burlap-upholstered wing chairs and distressed leather steamer trunks. The new French Factory Metal Desk, above, is a hefty 154-pound piece with twin curved storage cubbies. A hidden panel slides out from the demilune desktop to provide a work surface for a laptop. Price: $1,995, catalog and Internet only.
Cash-strapped shoppers may look to Ikea, CB2 and West Elm fur budget buys, but the Tate desk above came to us from Plummers. The high gloss and chrome might appeal to Regency queens as much as the price: $275.
At the other end of the spectrum: We first saw Swedish designer Helena Svensson's desk, For Every Little Thing, at the Milan furniture fair. A clutterholic's nightmare, the piece actually would be quite functional for neat freaks. No more opening multiple drawers in search of keys, stamps, rubber bands, the dry-cleaning receipt. Just look, then pull. Gray-painted beech is topped in Optiwhite glass, which is free of the green tint so common in tabletops. Price: $4,300. E-mail the designer at email@example.com.
We also saw the Applied Literature table, above, in Milan. Ivanka Studio of Budapest, Hungary, collaborated with artist Janos Hübler to create the artwork. The concept: Outdated political texts could be pulled out, leaving a void in the concrete and an opportunity to fill the empty space with another work of differing shape or depth. Contact the studio for pricing, or stay tuned for what the studio says is a "serial-production" version of the design.
L.A.-based MashStudios' newest desk is a freestanding piece made of solid walnut. A grooved pencil-holder is built into the desktop, and a powder-coated aluminum cubby provides a spot to stash -- what is that, a photo album? A high school yearbook? Why do I think that's not really work? Whatever. Simple lines, solid-wood construction, attractive price: $860.
Bluelounge, known for clever mobile-phone and iPod recharging stations, has tackled the cord clutter of the computer desk.
The Pasadena design firm's StudioDesk has a work surface that slides forward, revealing a well where cords and a power strip can be stowed out of the way.
The flat-pack design includes solid mahogany legs that customers attach themselves to the white laminate desktop; the black faux-leather mat is included.
-- Craig Nakano
Photo credits, from top: Thelermont Hupton, Case Furniture, Hold It Contemporary Home, Zeitraum, Blu Dot, Urban Case, Restoration Hardware, Plummers, Louise Bjerkert for Helena Svensson, Ivanka Studio, Mash Studios, Bluelounge