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The 20 Best Modern Desks for the Home Office
By M. W. Byrne,
Hi Consumption, 7 May 2015.

Unless you’re a personal trainer or a stage magician, odds are pretty good that the place you are going to spend most of your life is sitting at your desk. If you work from home, it’s not only where you toil, but where you play, where you correspond, where you create, where you celebrate victory and mourn defeat. It’s the place where your best work comes to life, and it should be a monument to those accomplishments.

Modern desks are built for the busy entrepreneur who needs something to suit their style and make their jobs as easy as possible. Whether you are an executive who needs it to convey power and reliability to incoming clients, a technophile who needs a place for their tablet, smartphone, wireless router, and multiple monitors; or an artist who requires space to express their ideas, we’ve sought out something for each of you. Looking to function and form, each of the 20 best modern desks for the home office are artfully made to be your co-worker for years to come.

1. iSkelter Lift


Office Addendum: There’s no need to replace your current desk with a hybrid model that allows you to sit or stand as you see fit. Rather, with the iSkelter Lift, you can supplement your current setup with a simple device that alters to suit your needs. Able to rest on the top of any desk or table, in seconds it transforms from a sitting to a standing model. The top is complete with plenty of niches for your tablet, smartphone, and other office appliances with gaps for feeding cords through to enable rapid adjustment without catches or snags. [Purchase: US$298]

2. Chamber Desk


Secret Compartment: This desk looks like just another acrylic writing table, but pull the secret handle and the truth is revealed. The entire piece opens giving you a whole storage compartment that is much better than a drawer. It has 9 square feet of storage that acts as the stylish rug under which you can sweep the debris that invariably accumulates on a busy person’s desk. Nearly 5 feet long and 2 feet deep, the surface sits atop a solid white oak base. Cut-outs for wires help you organize even within the recesses to give some method to the covert madness. [Purchase: US$499]

3. IKEA Bekant Adjustable Sit/Stand


Any Position: Chairs that rise and fall are everywhere, but only recently have desks with the same feature become popular. Going from twenty-two to forty-eight inches in height you can sit, stand, or crouch with a Bekant desk. Electronic adjustment allows for switching between modes without additional work or effort. The exterior veneer resists stains, scratches, and superficial damage. Underneath is a cord net that prevents dangling wires from becoming unprofessional and unseemly. To keep costs down, the materials are simple but effective. A birch veneer treated with acrylic lacquer surrounds particleboard, aluminium legs, and some plastic where required. It might lack individuality, but offers an affordable entry price. [Purchase: US$499+]

4. Hecklerdesign OneLess Desk


Shape Shifter: Streamlining is the name of the game with the OneLess. Two independent parts come together to create a slim workstation made specifically for computer use in mind. One tier sits at the ideal height for a computer monitor while the sliding lower portion lands at the perfect place for a keyboard. When not in use, the bottom half can slide safely away, reducing the consumed space to almost nothing. Both parts are made from cold-rolled, 12-gauge steel that stands up heartily in the toughest office. [Purchase: US$749]

5. Minimal Wall Desk


Ungrounded: Legs just beg to get in your way. They lurk there, waiting for an errant turn to catch your knee or toe for a painful experience that sends you sprawling. Lose them forever with the Minimal Wall Desk and create more floor space without losing your beloved work desk. Able to mount to any wall, you still get the features of a traditional desk, including a sliding keyboard holster that is perfectly balanced to avoid shifting weight unnecessarily. With large and small sizes available you can put this at whatever height you desire and thumb your nose at gravity. [Purchase: US$799]

6. Bluelounge StudioDesk


Cord Wrangler: Even if you minimize your workspace to the barest essentials, cords, wires, and cables can still clutter it to the point of uselessness. The StudioDesk eliminates this high-tech morass with a tasteful slot and hidden repository for all of life’s connections. A power strip is built into the interior so a lone cord is all you need for a space-saving, trip and tangle free working environment. Access to the undercarriage is handled via an opening top rather than awkward drawer for cleaner, quicker, more visible plug access. [Purchase: US$825]

7. Celine Desk


Art, Work: Practically a freestanding sculpture in its own right, the Celine Desk is slight and slender all the way around. Ideal for home offices where space is difficult to come by, it can fit happily in nooks and crannies. A simple side cubby and main drawer are the only storage spaces available and all you need. The broad, angular top doesn’t waste a centimetre of its forty-seven by twenty-seven inch size, allowing you to work unencumbered and encouraging an uncluttered space. Coated in a veneer of either oak or walnut, It conjures up both the kitchen table of youth as easily as a Martian landing pod from pulp sci-fi. [Purchase: US$850]

8. Artifox Desk


E Pluribus Unum: Deceptively straightforward, the Artifox combines a great deal of facility into what is essentially a standard table. A groove for holding tablets and smartphones is cut into one side with cords running beneath the surface for a less troublesome workspace. Hanging racks on either side hold headphones or provide an anchor point for wayward cables. One side of the broad surface is given over to an inset dry erase board for quick note taking or idea recording. Broad enough for a laptop, desktop, or multiple monitor array, its open nature is also highly collaborative. [Purchase: US$1,159+]

9. Herman Miller Eames Desk Unit


Back to the Future: Undeniably retro in design, there’s a playfulness about the Eames Desk Unit that is sure to tempt the creative soul to think outside the norm. Fully five feet long and twenty-eight inches deep, there’s quite a bit of space to spread out your drawings, blueprints, or storyboards; yet it seems to have a much smaller footprint and fits handily in cramped rooms. Each upright and cross piece is made from zinc-coated steel that won’t weather yet appear ethereal and deceptively slender. Like hazel eyes, it seems to shift from cosy to modern depending on the decor around it. [Purchase: US$1,266]

10. Restoration Hardware 1910 American Trestle Drafting Table


Shifting Easel: There comes a time when it is impossible to improve on perfection. Though the design is more than a hundred years old, this proves that even with all the ergonomics at our command, for those who need the proper surface for sketching and drawing, the drafting table of yesteryear is still unparalleled. Cast iron mechanics and a broad base allow the 1910 to be stable at any angle and any height with adjustments to accommodate the largest and smallest of workloads. [Purchase: US$1,270]

11. Covet Desk by Shin Azumi


True Transparency: Glass surfaces make interesting tables, but using them as desks often reduces the functionality and increases the risks. With the Covet Desk, designer Shin Azumi has found a way to keep the true aesthetic of glass without losing much in the way of operation. The cross-hatch, picnic table frame comes in walnut or oak and provides a discreet storage shelf for files and material as well as holds a small drawer for papers and everyday items. The effect is a melding of rustic and modern that looks especially good in a home office. Lots of surface real estate allows you to spread your work out. [Purchase: US$1,391+]

12. Herman Miller Airia Desk


Hidden Depths: Graceful aluminium legs arc up to meet the walnut veneer surrounding the white laminate surface, giving the Airia a graceful, clean, airy style. But this is no frivolous, gossamer lily. A concealed storage compartment with multiple removable cork-lined trays help keep the tools of your trade close to hand. Three covered slots allow you to route cords away and tuck them into the bowels of this beast, keeping your workstation clear. Peripherals are likewise handled by sitting on the raised secondary area, up and away from where the miracles of industry happen. [Purchase: US$1,869]

13. Primary Desk


Anciently Modern: Imagine this made out of chrome and it could easily be a background prop for Battlestar Galactica. When created out of walnut, the Primary Desk is a nod to one-room schoolhouse desks that has a modern feel. 5 angled drawers work around your laptop and offer slick, space-saving storage. The open back permits you to run cables out the back rather than up, over, and around keeping the front area accessible. Pull tabs instead of handles cut down on snags and add a smoother look and feel. Beneath the walnut exterior is dense Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) that is sturdy without being weighty. [Purchase: US$1,995]

14. Herman Miller Nelson Swag Leg Desk


Everything in its Place: Drawers can be a deadly trap. They begin organized but soon become repositories for pens, noise-cancelling headphones, papers, AC adapters that may or may not go to something, and candy wrappers. The answer is to use cubby holes instead. In the Swag desk they are hidden from view by a walnut veneer backing that keeps your professional equipment out of sight but never out of mind. Though the design comes all the way from 1958, it has been upgraded with grommets for wires and just the right amount of space to stash what you need, including a laptop. [Purchase: US$1,997]

15. Clybourn Desk


Vintage Craftsmanship: Made by a small woodworking company based in Wisconsin, each piece is lovingly made by hand with attention to detail that makes each Clybourn desk truly unique. Stainless steel supports are the signature keystone of this executive desk. They add a timelessness and resiliency to the design. The centre of the lower portion is a fully retractable shelf that draws your keyboard and accessories out smoothly in a ballet of motion. In a spare bedroom or the centre of a corner office, it bears a quiet dignity and sense of class that is empowering. [Purchase: US$2,199]

16. Stir Kinetic M1


Technical Interface: Office desks are made to hold computers. They don’t typically link up with them. The Stir Kinetic M1 is controlled entirely through a touchscreen built right into it. Using their software you can arrange pre-sets for the desk height, set standing and sitting goals for yourself, and even sync up with wireless smart watches and fitness trackers to help you clear the bar. CNC machined into a smooth design, it has curves in all the right ergonomic places. Stashing data in the cloud and multiple-user login are just some of the features offered by this digital marvel. [Purchase: US$2,990]

17. Blackhawk Secretary


Disappearing Act: Put any table on casters and it can become a mobile workstation but you’ll be hard pressed to take your files along for the ride while keeping them organized. The Blackhawk Secretary is a fully equipped executive suite compressed into a storage locker. Drawers and cabinets move along with the place for your computer and can be deployed with a tug. When not in use, fold it up and it becomes an amusing modular cabinet with a masculine patchwork of aluminium panels that looks more like a gun safe than a wheeled office. [Purchase: US$3,990]

18. Symbol Audio Desk


The Sound of Success: Music brings about inspiration, but if it is diluted by being pumped through a pair of ear buds the power dims along with the bass and treble. Tucked behind sliding panels, the Audio Desk has a pair of four-inch titanium cone speakers backed by a five-and-a-quarter-inch sub-woofer. The effect is a sound bar that works with almost any device. A deep, mid-century inspired table-top allows for wires to be hidden while ports and dampening increase the fidelity of the speakers. Available in the most beautiful wood finishes: cherry, maple, oak, or walnut. [Purchase: US$3,995]

19. SteelCase Walkstation


Walk to Work: Die-hard multi-taskers who know that sitting for days on end puts you at risk for innumerable health problems will find the Walkstation perfectly suited to accomplishing tasks and feeding their fitness tracker. With a maximum speed of just 2 mph, this sets a leisurely pace that won’t interfere with your tasks at hand as it burns calories. The desk itself can be adjusted electronically to suit your height and the readout gives you the standard information common to a treadmill without taking up space or creating distracting noise. [Purchase: US$4,459]

20. Walter Desk


Executive Workbench: There’s no mistaking the rugged masculinity that the Walter Desk exudes. The broad top is hot-rolled steel flanked by the quiet majesty of reclaimed oak that would be at home in a hunting lodge. Each side drawer is specifically left unfinished for a raw look that is naturally functional. Without a doubt it is hand crafted and made to order by master builders in Brooklyn. Though it bespeaks of power, there’s a bucolic accessibility to the Walter Desk that is inviting. Nonsense and frivolity wither before it as it reminds you that a desk is first and foremost a place of work. [Purchase: US$5,650]

[Source: Hi Consumption. Edited. Some links added.]