Secretary desks are space-saving desks. In fact, that’s why they were originally designed. They were meant for temporary use at odd times of the day (and night) but also had to look unobtrusive when not in use. Only people who could read and write had desks and they tended to be wealthy people so their furniture, including their desks, reflected their wealth. It was only in the 19th century that desks became the dreary, functional objects that they often are today.
If you require a small, space-saving desk then you can’t beat a secretary desk with a touch of character and taste.
The first decision you have to make when considering the purchase of a secretary desk is whether you prefer an antique or a modern style. If you settle for the antique style of desk then your next decision is self-evident: do you want a genuine antique secretary desk or a modern reproduction in an antique style?
Buying a genuine antique desk is not as difficult as it sounds. There will often be auctions and salerooms local to you where old secretary desks can be found. Remember that antique desks, although often beautiful, are seldom in perfect condition. Renovating an old desk can be time-consuming and costly, so factor that into the price you are prepared to pay. Antique catalogs are a useful guide to the true price of a desk but you have to be sharp if you hope to get a bargain.
If you buy a reproduction antique desk or one made in a classic style, you can expect excellent quality but don’t be too sure that you’ll pay less than you would for many of the truly antique desks. In the end, it all comes down to your personal taste.
Your taste may also guide you in the direction of a modern secretary desk which not only has smoother lines but is also designed to take a computer system and telephone.
Almost all secretary desks are made with a certain degree of style. Both modern and antique desks tend to look like elegant pieces of furniture rather than business tools. They enhance any room, be it a living room, a home office or a business office in a downtown company building.
Should you require a desk at home, you can fit one quite nicely into a living room, a bedroom or even a corner of your hallway.
Secretary desks are proper working desks. You can sit comfortably at one all day without problems. Granted, their surface area is smaller than that found on the average office desk but they more than make up for that small deficiency with their ability to help you organize your paperwork and other odds and ends.
You can hide all your clerical clutter in a well-designed secretary desk with all its nooks and crannies. Your personal letters, pill bottles and loose change can sit safely out of sight in their allocated pigeonholes until needed. It’s astonishing how easy it is to find things when you don’t store everything in one large drawer.
A modern secretary desk with hutch addition on top gives extra space to the user. Some hutches are also designed to take a flat screen computer monitor. The advantage of a hutch is that papers and other items can be reached without opening the desk.
While you can use a laptop with just about any secretary desk, some desks also suit a desktop computer. The main computer unit usually sits under the desk, either on the floor or in a cupboard.
The keyboard and mouse are positioned on the writing surface of the desk, either connected to the main unit by cables running through a small unobtrusive hole drilled for the purpose or (especially in the case of antique desks) a wireless mouse and keyboard are used. The computer monitor is placed on top of the hutch or within a cabinet that is part of the hutch.
To set off your secretary desk, you really need a tasteful chair. Go for comfort over style when you buy a chair but you can get some very impressive chairs within that limitation. Leather is very popular but chairs covered in a suitable cloth are often found in bedrooms and some living rooms.