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10 Space-Saving Desk Designs

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No matter how tiny your abode, a proper desk is still attainable. These 10 smart setups make the most of small spaces with big style.
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  In a corner of Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti's sustainable midcentury house, a small desk is situated to take full advantage of the inspiring view. Photo by Misha Gravenor.   Photo by: Misha Gravenor

    In a corner of Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti's sustainable midcentury house, a small desk is situated to take full advantage of the inspiring view. Photo by Misha Gravenor. 

    Photo by: Misha Gravenor

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  Steven Johanknecht, a principal at the design firm Commune, tucked a teeny desk into the bedroom of Sofie Howard's trailer at Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park in Malibu. "'Doctor Steven' came in and worked his magic," says Howard of the renovation of the one-bedroom, 500-square-foot trailer. The bedroom allows for a tiny niche for a built-in wood desk. The target painting is by Alia Penner. Photo by Spencer Lowell.   Photo by: Spencer Lowell

    Steven Johanknecht, a principal at the design firm Commune, tucked a teeny desk into the bedroom of Sofie Howard's trailer at Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park in Malibu. "'Doctor Steven' came in and worked his magic," says Howard of the renovation of the one-bedroom, 500-square-foot trailer. The bedroom allows for a tiny niche for a built-in wood desk. The target painting is by Alia Penner. Photo by Spencer Lowell. 

    Photo by: Spencer Lowell

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  Taking its cues from local barns and silos and the rolling Wisconsin terrain, the Field House is a kind of modern observatory for watching winter turn to spring and the great vault of the heavens. A silo ladder in the study leads to the roof deck. Both desk lamps are Tizios by Richard Sapper for Artemide; the pendant is a Zettle’z by Ingo Maurer; and the Kalos armchair and Solo desk chair are by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia. Photo by Tom Fowlks.   Photo by: Tom Fowlks

    Taking its cues from local barns and silos and the rolling Wisconsin terrain, the Field House is a kind of modern observatory for watching winter turn to spring and the great vault of the heavens. A silo ladder in the study leads to the roof deck. Both desk lamps are Tizios by Richard Sapper for Artemide; the pendant is a Zettle’z by Ingo Maurer; and the Kalos armchair and Solo desk chair are by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia. Photo by Tom Fowlks. 

    Photo by: Tom Fowlks

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  Architect Bruce Bolander made the most of a limited footprint in a house he designed in a Malibu canyon. With the small bedroom unable to accommodate any "normal" size desk, the architect designed a very thin custom steel desk where resident Heidi Wright works. The floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors from Metal Window Corporation open the entire corner of the room up to the outdoors. “The mountains across the way are almost like another wall—they contain the space to the point that you feel like you’re in a much bigger space, that you’re part of the overall landscape,” says Bolander. Photo by J Bennett Fitts.   Photo by: J Bennett Fitts

    Architect Bruce Bolander made the most of a limited footprint in a house he designed in a Malibu canyon. With the small bedroom unable to accommodate any "normal" size desk, the architect designed a very thin custom steel desk where resident Heidi Wright works. The floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors from Metal Window Corporation open the entire corner of the room up to the outdoors. “The mountains across the way are almost like another wall—they contain the space to the point that you feel like you’re in a much bigger space, that you’re part of the overall landscape,” says Bolander. Photo by J Bennett Fitts. 

    Photo by: J Bennett Fitts

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  Uni, an international group of designers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is riding out a self-professed renovation high that never seems to cease. In their 700-square-foot live-work space, the firm principals make the most of their limited space with a pair of midcentury Heywood Wakefield desks, which another principal salvaged from a Harvard junkyard and then restored. Photo by Adam Friedberg.   Photo by: Adam Friedberg

    Uni, an international group of designers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is riding out a self-professed renovation high that never seems to cease. In their 700-square-foot live-work space, the firm principals make the most of their limited space with a pair of midcentury Heywood Wakefield desks, which another principal salvaged from a Harvard junkyard and then restored. Photo by Adam Friedberg. 

    Photo by: Adam Friedberg

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  Armed with a masters in architecture from Columbia University and only 3 years in the field, architectural designer Alan Y. L. Chan renovated a wreck of an apartment in an early 1900s building on the Upper East Side. The second-floor walkup was just over 400 square feet, with three rooms divided by light-blocking partitions. When rolled across the apartment, the table serves as an extension of the concrete desk, partially tucking underneath to extend the work surface and create an interplay of materials. “Each part must serve multiple functions,” says Chan. 

    Armed with a masters in architecture from Columbia University and only 3 years in the field, architectural designer Alan Y. L. Chan renovated a wreck of an apartment in an early 1900s building on the Upper East Side. The second-floor walkup was just over 400 square feet, with three rooms divided by light-blocking partitions. When rolled across the apartment, the table serves as an extension of the concrete desk, partially tucking underneath to extend the work surface and create an interplay of materials. “Each part must serve multiple functions,” says Chan. 

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  Tucked into a partially enclosed storage area of a 1980 house in Borrego Springs, California, a desk by Florence Knoll displays the resident's midcentury pottery. "It was such a tight fit, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to get the desk back out," she says. Photo by JUCO.   Photo by: JUCO

    Tucked into a partially enclosed storage area of a 1980 house in Borrego Springs, California, a desk by Florence Knoll displays the resident's midcentury pottery. "It was such a tight fit, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to get the desk back out," she says. Photo by JUCO. 

    Photo by: JUCO

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  Just beyond the foot of the bed in a couple's 704-square-foot house in Portland is a small, low desk for freelance writing projects. Photo by John Clark.   Photo by: John Clark

    Just beyond the foot of the bed in a couple's 704-square-foot house in Portland is a small, low desk for freelance writing projects. Photo by John Clark. 

    Photo by: John Clark

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  Architect Carol Sundstrom of Seattle-based Röm Architecture Studio provided fellow architect Karen Braitmayer a desk in her Seattle home that slides out when in use and tucks away completely when not. “This was our solution to providing Karen with a place to work at home,” says Sundstrom. “She used to work in the bedroom, but we cut the room down considerably, and we thought it would be best to keep the bedroom as a place to relax.” Photo by Kathryn Barnard.   Photo by: Kathryn Barnard

    Architect Carol Sundstrom of Seattle-based Röm Architecture Studio provided fellow architect Karen Braitmayer a desk in her Seattle home that slides out when in use and tucks away completely when not. “This was our solution to providing Karen with a place to work at home,” says Sundstrom. “She used to work in the bedroom, but we cut the room down considerably, and we thought it would be best to keep the bedroom as a place to relax.” Photo by Kathryn Barnard. 

    Photo by: Kathryn Barnard

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  Now you see it: Accommodating a family of four in under 700 square feet rarely looks as effortless as in this storage-smart renovation, where a dining table–desk folds down from its usual post as a flush front to the bookcase. The table’s base, which itself is an additional storage container, rolls easily into place to support the surface. Photo by Raimund Koch.   Photo by: Raimund Koch

    Now you see it: Accommodating a family of four in under 700 square feet rarely looks as effortless as in this storage-smart renovation, where a dining table–desk folds down from its usual post as a flush front to the bookcase. The table’s base, which itself is an additional storage container, rolls easily into place to support the surface. Photo by Raimund Koch. 

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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