Many of us can remember the big mahogany desk in Grandfather’s study. It had little niches filled with postcards, stamps, canceled checks, and the odd foreign coin. He would sit there and pay his bills, writing check after check. Today, many of our bills are on automatic bill pay and anything else can be handled on our phone or tablet. Unless we work from home, our desks can become just another place that gathers clutter. To that, we say: It’s time to give these pieces a new life.
Idea #1: Use it as a vanity
A desk is the perfect size to become a vanity. There is room to place a chair underneath and it has drawers to hold makeup, hair clips, etc. Its top can hold those pretty perfume bottles and a lovely jewelry box. Consider the vintage Hollywood Regency desk and chair, which will add a little glamour to your bedroom. The desk has three drawers with brass accents. It comes with a chair that has a bamboo motif and the same white finish as the desk, creating a perfectly coordinated look.
Idea #2: Try it as a sofa table
If your sofa faces a focal point that leaves its back exposed, a sofa table is the solution for filling in that awkward spot. It adds interest and can hold a piece of sculpture, books, or a plant. A sleek desk such as the Modern Writing Desk from Giorgetti Eos would be a wonderful addition. Its clean-lined, understated appearance does not compete with your sofa. Its single, unobtrusive drawer also adds a little extra storage.
Idea #3: Move it next to the bed
A smaller desk can stand in for an end table or a nightstand, like in this serene design by Young Huh. The key is choosing a petite desk, like the vintage parquet single drawer desk. Its curved cabriole legs also create a beautiful silhouette.
Idea #4: Place it in the kitchen for a petite dining table
Tiny apartments can have a proper dining space — you just need to find a table with the right dimensions. Though you’d never expect it to be, a desk is the perfect solution for these situations. For example, the whitewashed ash Essentials Desk Table by Uhuru (seen in the photo at the top of the story, from the Greystone Mansion showhouse in Beverly Hills) would work beautifully as a dining surface. Streamlined and stylish, we also like the desk’s white metal base, which allows for a spacious look.
Idea #5: Make it work for media
Here, designer Sam Allen used a small Parsons-style desk to function as both a mini-office and as a minimalist media center. If you’d rather not wall-mount your television, place it on a slightly bigger surface, like the Caste Design Oak Carbon Desk, which was designed by Tye Best. It would look gorgeous in your contemporary room.
Idea #6: Place it by the door
The antique Country School Desk would be a charming addition when placed by your front door (it would also look fabulous on a porch) or even in a sunroom. Holding a plant or flowers, it has a welcoming presence.