Minimalist home office deskOne of the most important components of an efficient and productive office is the desk. Often, you are looking for small home office desks that will fit in the space you have to work, whether your office is incorporated into your house decor or set up in a separate room. While the types of desks available today are unlimited, I am going to provide an overview of 10 home office desk ideas that encompass the main types of desks available. From exploring the different types of desks, you will have a clear idea of which type of desk will fit your individual needs. I will break the desk types into five general categories because these identify the underlying benefits of desks at home. These categories include minimalist desks, desks that “hide the office,” storage desks, large footprint desks and ergonomic desks.

Minimalist desks

These desks are particular useful for small home office desks. They can be easily incorporated into the living space because they are small and inconspicuous. If you are working in a nook or cranny in your home, these will fit well.

Floating desk – These wall mounted desks optimize small spaces. They can go into small home offices located in unused corners or even fold up when not being used. There are many ways the floating desk can be mounted to minimize space but maximize work surfaces.

Corner desk – A corner desk is designed to fit into a corner. They can actually be small to fit into an otherwise unused corner. However, they can also be quite large and have multiple drawers and other accessories that spread down the corner walls of a home office. A primary benefit of this type of desk is the ability to utilize otherwise unused spaces.

Home office desks that “hide the office”

These desks allow your work to be hidden very quickly. While some take up more space than a minimalist desk, when closed, they blend in as a piece of furniture in your home decor.

Small desks that hide the office

Secretary (or drop leaf) desk – Secretary desks are small desks with a hinged, flip-down workspace. Often secretary desks have storage at the bottom but others just have an open space at the bottom. Benefits of the secretary desk include the smaller footprint and the ability to close the flip-down workspace to hide “the mess” when guests knock on your door.

Roll-top desk – A rolltop desk is similar to the secretary desk in that the workspace can be closed off. This desk has a sliding roll top constructed of narrow wooden slats fitted along slides or grooves that roll up to work or roll down to hide the workspace. These desks are usually quite large and heavy, containing a combination of stacked compartments, shelves, drawers and various nooks that provide easily accessible storage for the user. Roll top desks are generally quite ornate and most also have drawers along the side for more storage.

Large desks that hide the office

Armoire desk – An armoire desk contains a work space built within a large cabinet that is generally 5-7 feet high. The work surface usually slides out with a slide-out keyboard/mouse shelf. Often, the armoire desk also contains file drawers for storage under the workspace. While the armoire desk has a large footprint, it is beneficial in the home office because it has two to four full-height doors that can be closed to hide the detritus of the office.

Computer desk – Computer desks provide space for the computer tower and monitor or multiple monitors and a laptop. This type of desk is to provide a workspace for your computer as well as a way to hide the computer, the cords and cabling that are part of the home office. Designed to conceal the technology you use, they are often desirable for the home office space. The computer desk is typically simple and efficient, yet larger than the writing desk. While the secretary desk, rolltop desk and armoire desks conveniently hide the artifacts of your office work, the computer desk hides or camouflages the technology used in the home office.

Storage in your home office desk

Storage desks are useful in the small home office because they provide additional storage space for the materials you need to get your job done.

Credenza desk – These desks have a side credenza – or an additional piece of furniture or a sideboard that provides extra storage and extra workspace. Place credenzas alongside the desk to form a little cubby in the room or along the wall. Commonly, credenza desks take a larger footprint in the room, although the additional storage and workspace make them desirable for the home office.

Pedestal desk – A pedestal desk uses two pedestals to support a work surface. DIY pedestal desks typically place a surface on top of a two-drawer file cabinet on the left and right. These desks are good for those who want stored items to be quickly accessible while working.

Large footprint desks

If you are lucky enough to have a separate room as your home office, this may be the desk for you. It is quite impressive looking but typically takes up more space than other types of desks.

Executive desks – The executive desk is the big kahuna of home offices with plenty of drawer space and surface area. Generally executive desks take a much larger footprint than other desks. Often, they are thought of as a desk for the “professional” office. Typically executive desks are seen in banks and lawyers offices and would generally need a separate room for a home office rather than a nook or corner in another room.

Ergonomic Desks

Ergonomic desks allow us a less passive working environment. For the home office worker, it is important to be active even while hard at work. Does that make sense?

Standing desk – These desks have become more popular lately.  Standing desks help with the negative health effects of a sedentary work environment.  With a standing  desk, you stand up while working on your computer or writing. This somewhat ameliorates the detrimental effects of sitting all day. Although the research is still not definitive as to whether standing while working is beneficial to your health, more and more people are choosing to stand while working.  A variety of products are available that will easily convert your desk into a standing desk either permanently or temporarily.

Suggestions for choosing your home office desk

With so many choices in types of desks available, asking the following questions can help you select the ideal desk for your work at home office?

  • How much space do I have for a desk? Do I have an entire room or just a corner of a room in which to work?
  • Will I need to “hide” components of my office at times? A separate room or curtains around your office workspace handily hides the clutter. But, if a guest (mother-in-law) knocks on my door, can I hide the clutter quickly? Can I close the door or do I need to close my desk up to hide clutter?
  • Do I have papers, books,  or materials that I need to quickly and easily access? If yes, then I might prefer a desk with storage drawers built in for easy access.
  • Aesthetically, what design do I like? Do I prefer minimalist design or ornate furniture that makes a statement? Or somewhere in between?
  • How much money do I have? All types of desks can now be purchased at a variety of price points.
  • Will technology need to be readily available on the desk? Do I need a laptop and tower, monitors, tablet, mouse, keyboard, phone, camera or video equipment easily accessible?
  • Is time an element? For example, do I want to purchase a desk already assembled to get up and running fast? Or, do I prefer one in a box assembled at home or even one built from scratch?

Final thoughts on your perfect home office desk

A desk can be one of the most important components of your home office. For much of your work day at home, you will likely be working at a desk. When beginning in your home office,  you can use a table. But, I encourage you to find a desk that fits your work style, your technology needs and your health as quickly as you can. While the choice of desk might seem easy, studying your individual needs will help you to make the right choice in your first desk. A desk perfectly suited to you and your needs ensures a more productive (profitable) day.  Use the list of questions above to give you a better idea of the type of desk uniquely suited to you.