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  • Chelsea J Marshall

A Beginner's Guide to Selecting the Right Desk

The home office sure has changed over the years! Technology has affected the way we manage our homes, businesses, and studies. But despite all the differences, one thing remains a fixture – the desk. With so many different types to choose from, how do you pick the desk that’s right for you and your office needs?

Table Desk

Glen Mission Table Desk - Home Office Furniture

The JD Writing Desk is shown in oak, also available in brown maple, cherry, or quartersawn white oak.

Available in in twelve sizes ranging from 36”W x 24”D to 68”W x 30”D, all 30”H

See store for details

A table desk is the simplest writing surface available. It is open & airy, often with an open back. Most styles will come with a pencil drawer or two, but there is otherwise very little storage. As such, they are most practical for casual work areas, or for adding work area outside of a home office, like in a living or dining room.

Author's Series Pencil Desk in Brown Maple - Home Office Furniture

Our Writer's Series desk is shown in brown maple

54”W x 28”D x 30 ½”H

Pedestal Desk

Glen Mission Traditional Single Pedestal Desk - Home Office Furniture

Our Valley Traditional Desk is shown in oak

42”W x 26”D x 30”H

Also available 30”D

When talking about desks, the term “pedestal” refers to the column of drawers next to space where you slide in your chair, which is typically referred to as the “kneehole.” A desk can be a single pedestal, with one column of drawers, or a double pedestal, with drawers on either side of the kneehole.

Glen Mission Desk in Quartersawn White Oak - Home Office Furniture

Our Valley Mission Desk is shown in quartersawn white oak with optional black accents

Available in six sizes ranging from 50”W x 26”D to 68”W x 30”D, all 30”H

See store for details

Drawers can be pencil drawers, box drawers, or file drawers, depending on their size. Pencil drawers are the shortest top to bottom, and are best for storing writing implements. Box drawers are a little larger, while file drawers are taller and typically come with rails to store hanging file folders.

Computer Desk

Glen Traditional Computer Desk in Cherry - Home Office Furniture

Our Valley Traditional Computer Desk is shown in cherry

Available in six sizes ranging from 50”W x 26”D to 68”W x 30”D, all 30”H

See store for details

Of course, technically any desk can hold a computer, and this is truer with today’s laptops and all-in-one computer models. However, for those who use a traditional desktop computer, complete with tower, monitor, keyboard, and peripherals, we offer desks specifically designed to accommodate your technology’s needs. Center pencil drawers are modified to drop-down keyboard drawers, and one pedestal of drawers is replaced with a cabinet for your computer tower. On many models, the door of the tower cabinet is designed to look like drawer fronts, to achieve symmetry on a double-pedestal desk. These desks also feature punch-out for wire management, and some models can even be built with a power strip.

Executive Desk

Glen Mission Executive Desk in Quartersawn White Oak - Home Office Furniture

Our Valley Mission Executive Desk is shown in quartersawn white oak

72”W x 36”D x 30”H

Also available 66”W

An executive desk is simply a pedestal desk with a finished back. They are mostly found in formal offices, floating the middle of the room, away from any walls. As such, they are typically not built to accommodate much technology, although portable devices like laptops & tablets are easily used with this type of desk. The desk top is typically built to overhang the back side of the desk, so that a chair or two may be pulled up for collaboration.

Virginian Office Suite with Executive Desk, Credenza with Hutch, and Lateral File with Bookcase in Quartersawn White Oak - Home Office Furniture

The Jamestown Office Suite is shown in quartersawn white oak

Executive Desk: 69”W x 36”D x 30 ½”H

Credenza with Hutch: 72”W x 24”D x 73 ½”H

Lateral File with Bookcase: 48”W x 24”D x 73 ½”H

More pieces are available, see store for details

In a formal office setting, you would typically expect to see a floating executive desk arranged in front of some sort of credenza or desk with a hutch. Such an arrangement allows open desk space for meetings and paperwork while computer tasks are moved to a wall with easy access to electric outlets and internet cables. Place the executive desk and the credenza with approximately 3’-4’ between them. That way, you’ll have plenty of room to work, but won’t have to roll your chair too far when switching between workspaces.

Hutch-top desk

Concord Desk with Hutch in Cherry - Home Office Furniture

The Lexington Desk & Hutch is shown in cherry

75”W x 23 ½”D x 79 ½”H

For extra storage, most desks can be topped with a matching hutch. Hutches can have open shelves, cabinets, or some mix of both. Some can be built with corkboard backs, or with a task light added. Most are built standard with cord management to accommodate desktop computers or laptops. These are almost never used floating in a room, and thus are not built with finished backs.

Waterville Desk with Hutch in Q

The Rivertowne Desk is shown in quartersawn white oak

48”W x 24”D x 48 ¾”H

Also available at 60”W

Most of out flat-top desks are available with hutch tops. Although the hutch is typically tall, bringing the overall height to around 72”, some collections offer shorter hutches, such as the Rivertowne desk, shown above.

L-Shaped Desk

Classic Office L-Desk with Hutch in Oak - Home Office Furniture

The Highland Classic Office L-Shaped Desk is shown in oak with optional hutch top

75 ½”W x 70 ¾”D x 70 ¾”H

Just as the name would indicate, an L-shaped desk is one that has a 90° bend in it. These desks are ideal for maximizing your work surface in minimal space. The peninsula that extends from the primary portion of the desk is known as the “return.” These desks are available with or without hutches, and are ideal for the corner of a room.

Forbes Avenue L-Shaped Executive Desk with Hutch in Cherry - Home Office Furniture

The Fifth Avenue L-Shaped Executive Desk is shown in cherry with optional hutch top

78”W x 72”D x 79”H

Another way to use an L-shaped desk is to place the hutch-side against the wall, allowing the return to extend into the room, as shown above. This allows for meetings & collaboration, much like an executive desk. In this way, it’s ideal in a smaller office.

U-Shaped Desk

Lindsey U-Shaped Desk in Cherry - Home Office Furniture

The Buckingham U-Shaped Desk is shown in cherry with optional hutch top

72 ½”W x 99”D x 77 ½”H

A U-shaped desk is simply an L-shaped desk with a second 90° turn. It’s like having an executive desk paired with a credenza, with an extra workspace joining them on one side. Again, it maximizes the work surface while minimizing the space needed.

Partner Desk

Generations Partner Desk in Cherry - Home Office Furniture

The Executive Partner Desk is shown in cherry

101”W x 91”D x 78”H

If your office is all about teamwork, a partner desk is perfect for you! With two computer workstations and a return in between, these styles are ideal for collaboration. This can also be a great solution for families, allowing two children to do homework or school projects simultaneously.

Our Amish builders create such a large variety of desks that, unfortunately, we can only show a fraction of what is available online. Please contact us if you have questions about a specific model, or stop by our showroom to view our builders’ full line and options!

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