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What type of desk is best for your small home office?

Home space has become recreational space, entertainment space, and office space. It’s tough to concentrate using a dining room table or kitchen table as an office desk. Plus, your friends might feel some resentment if they have to stand and eat at the kitchen counter because your latest office project is taking up the table.

If you think your small space can’t support a home office, think again. There are desks to fit all types of spaces from nooks to corners to just a small wall space. Things you need to consider include your personal design style as well as how you plan to use the desk. Maybe it is an area where you will pay the bills or maybe you need a sturdy computer desk.

There are lots of computer desks available, as you can imagine, and your space will help in your search for the best small computer desk.

Space and purpose

Measure your space and then look around. Does that area have an outlet so you can plug in your devices plus a lamp if you need additional light? Is there enough room for a small storage cabinet nearby? In this location, will you be sitting over a heating or air conditioning vent? Is there room to open drawers if your desk has them?

When you start looking at desks, remember you need one high enough so your knees clear. Also, check to see if it has a storage/cubby area in the back and a hole for you to feed your cords through.

desk with two monitors

If you are using a computer and a monitor, measure the amount of space each takes so you get a desk that is wide enough. If you need two monitors, add the extra space into your calculations. If you have a large monitor, make sure there’s not something on the wall that will interfere with the way you usually set up your production area.

If you have to have items tacked to the wall because that is your reference system, make sure your space will allow for that. 

If you are looking at a desk that mounts to the wall, that might not be practical if you are a renter. A wall-mounted desk or floating desk is going to require that you mount it to studs, so that’s something you need to consider before purchasing.

computer on desk

Options, options, options

There are narrow desks called writing desks or secretary desks. Not totally suitable if you like to spread out and use multiple devices. But they do fit nicely against a wall and can be long enough to give you storage space and a drawer or two. They are typically about 22 inches wide.

Some secretary desks are similar to roll-top desks. They have a piece in the front that either slides in and hides the desk or folds over the front of the desk. The beauty of this is, you can fold it up and your work is done. You don’t have to worry about wandering past and thinking, “I should sit down and finish that.”

Wall-mounted desks free up floor space, but they have to be mounted to studs. There are some wall-mounted desks that flip up. There are also wall-mounted desks that have a drop leaf, which is an area that folds down giving a little more space and stability.

Corner desks can be shaped like a piece of fat pie, or in an “L.” 

Writing desks are wider than secretary desks, usually about 42 inches wide. They give you plenty of space if you have the space to fit them in.

Ladder desks have a desk area and then stacked shelves, like a ladder.

There are standing desks if that’s what you want.

modern home desk

You need a desk

Perhaps you are thinking you should just lounge on the couch and work or maybe spread everything out on the bed. Be assured, this will interfere with your productivity! A dedicated “work” space means you will work. You will sit down, or stand up, and get done what needs to be done. Organize your space to be productive. That doesn’t mean boring! If bright colors move you to be productive, then get a bright desk and some bright office supplies. If you find neutrals soothing and that helps you work, then go for those colors. And, remember, get a good chair!

Editors' Recommendations

Kathleen Ostrander
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kathleen has worked for United Press International and she's written about everything from style to pets for newspapers…
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