Desks

Gently Used, Vintage, and Antique Desks

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HOW TO PICK THE PERFECT VINTAGE DESK TYPE

If you find yourself paying more heed to your virtual desktop than your literal one, you’re not alone. True, our virtual desks don’t accrue stray paperclips and wayward receipts the way our real-life ones can, but that’s certainly no excuse to forgo a workspace spruce-up every now and then. In fact, whether you’re in the midst of a remodel—or just another work week— there’s never been a more apt time to ask if yourself if your office desk is working for you (or if it’s haplessly turned the tables on you…)

First and foremost, when opting for a vintage desk, it’s best to keep in mind that they’re, well, vintage. Most used desks weren’t designed with computers and their excessive entourage in mind. The best way to tackle it? Take an inventory of what you need most from a vintage desk. This includes honestly assessing your intended office space and determining what it can handle square footage-wise. Still, it may be that you have studio art needs and a pint-size alcove in which to fit them. Sound familiar? If so, don’t fret! With that with a little ingenuity (and our handy vintage desk guide below), you’ll be desk-prepped!

THE PARSONS

An expansive workspace anchored by four square column legs makes the Parsons desk an inspired studio or computer desk. If you’re looking for a long desk in which to spread out while working, a Parsons desk is in for the win! While Parsons desks can be minimal, that’s not to say they’re boring. Beyond the standard lacquered white desk, keep an eye out for Parsons desks in richly polished burl wood or brass. If you’re looking for a glass top desk, there are also Parsons desks out there to fit the bill. A word to the wise, however: if you need a desk with drawers, it’s best to double-check any Parson’s desk you’re eyeing (they don’t all have them). And a PSA for apartment dwellers: Parsons desks can also be used as a credenza desk, buffet, or DIY bar when not in use.

WALL FLOATING DESK

While we won’t deny the cozy, isn’t-life-grand? vibes induced by working from home in bed, urbanites needn’t consider it the only option. Whether you’re in a studio apartment or a one-bedroom that leaves the office co-oping with either the living room or the bedroom, a wall floating desk can be a manna. This modern desk design was popular in the Mid 20th Century, embraced by the Modernist makers who valued function just as much as style. Designs range from simple floating beams (Danish designer Arne Hovmand-Olsen made some divine ones) to multiple-shelf, modular desk units banded together by steel. In an especially small space, a floating beam desk could be placed in an entry, double-timing as a place to drop keys and mail when not in use. A shelving unit model merges desk and bookcase, making it a killer choice for efficiency-style living as well. Ans since floating desks can be hung at your preferred height they're a perfect solution if you're looking for an adjustable desk to permanently park at standing height. Ergonomic and stylish? What more could you ask for?

EXECUTIVE DESK

Have an entire room to dedicate to an office? First off, we’re enviously green! Second, don’t be afraid to go bold! With an entire room to unleash creative forces, an executive desk is inspired way to conjure up some drama and cultivate that boss-like persona (without garnering eye rolls from your co-workers). While traditional mahogany desks in the executive style will always hold appeal, we cannot deny the appeal of a wooden Mid-Century Modern executive desk. Golden maples and umber-tone wood play beautifully off strong right angles, while file-style drawers make Mid-Century Modern executive desks as practical as they are swoon-worthy. If you like the exec style, but prefer a more industrial desk, consider a tanker desk. These Mid-Century mammoths are constructed of metal, lending them old school newsroom vibes we love.

VINTAGE WRITING DESK

If you live in a small space and you've fallen in love with a small writing desk, it can be a bit like falling in love with a hulking, mud-loving pup. You adore it, but does it really suit your lifestyle? With their knee holes and cabriole legs, vintage writing desks are as romantic as can be, but working at them for extended periods of time can take a serious toll on your body. If you’ve fallen head over heels for a vintage writing desk and there’s no turning back, we recommend assigning it to tasks other than your 8-hour-a-day workstation. Refashion one as a bar in a living room, or as a console in an entry. You could even use one as a nightstand in a bedroom, creating the perfect place to sit and jot down your thoughts in a journal before bed.

SECRETARY DESK

If you work from home then you know how important it can be to close up shop at the end of the day. Enter: the secretary desk. A desk equipped with a cabinet-style top hidden behind doors, the secretary desk masquerades as a pretty armoire when not in use. The closable doors make secretary desks a great choice for those seeking a computer desk that will hide the unsightly cables, printers, and monitors. Secretary desks come in a variety of styles, so whether you’re seeking a wooden desk, corner desk, or a roll top desk, a secretary is a style worth checking out.