11 Best Secretary Desks for Small Spaces
Your decor will be totally overhauled by adding a secretary desk!
Get rid of those inefficient bulky pieces of furniture you have taking up all your space, and get yourself one of these best secretary desks for small spaces. They appear absolutely gorgeous with almost any decor scheme you’ve got going, and they truly do make your life that much easier. We have searched for the top hutch, floating, armoire or bookcase out there, and we’re proud to present you with our findings!
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Guide To Buying A Secretary Desk
There may be things that you haven’t considered – such as where you can actually put it, whether you need an armoire or a floating desk, and what a hutch is. It is good to know what you’re in for when shopping for furniture, especially where size and pricing come in, so do be sure to take a read through our guide and let us know which style of secretary desk you think is the greatest. We’re here to give you some interesting information and help you to make the right choice, because after all, these are designed to make your life easier and your house prettier!
What is a secretary desk?
They used to be found in homes across the world, and they would hold all the stationery such as ink and paper that people would need to write up their letters and accounts. They got the name “secretary desk” because they have an optional working space, and storage spaces either below or above, or both. They are not just a plain surface desk to write on, they have little compartments and often can be closed or locked up to protect the contents inside.
The most common type in the past were the armoire style, otherwise called the ‘secretary and bookcase’ or ‘bureau and bookcase’ as in European countries. These are much larger than the image you see on the left, because they are used to store much more than just writing utensils and paper. You could find an entire selection of classical works in one of the older armoire office design of secretary workspaces, because they really were that large!
The materials that these workspaces are often made out of include:
Wood – ranging from particle board, laminated wood and solid mahogany, you will find different grades of quality in the woods used. If it is a more traditional looking piece it is likely that a hard wood like teak or oak would be used, and for a more modern look you can expect a particle board which is made from compressed wood chippings. This would make the modern style easier on transport and construction, as they are lighter.
Metal – several worktops will have metal fixtures on them, particularly those in the modern style. These fixtures are strong and easily replaceable, and that gives them a good advantage over solid wood constructions. It is much easier to machine a new metal leg than to carve out an intricate antique style wooden leg. Cleaning metal surfaces is easy too, because they don’t need to be treated with any special oils like wood might. On the down side, they do look a bit industrial, and so would most likely suit contemporary decor, not traditional or conservative styles.
Glass – two of the items on our list have glass tops, tempered glass to be exact. These are strong and visually appealing, but also lean quite heavily toward the modern aesthetic. They are bright and sometimes see through, and most of them offer some type of shatter resistant or shatter-proofing within them to provide that extra peace of mind. Glass is very easy to clean as well, but it does pose a significantly higher risk of breakage if sharp or heavy objects are dropped on it.
They’re are helpful because they are designed to give you a place to work and a place to keep your most needed items – pens, pencils, electronics etc. They can be a quaint addition to your entrance hall or the most striking piece of furniture of your lounge. Guest houses and hotels could also benefit from placing a secretary desk in the hotel room or reception area to have pamphlets about the area, a guest book to sign in to, or simply to hold some tea and coffee.
For writers and home office designers, the secretary desk might not only be a space saver: homes which have a dedicated work desk that takes all the heavy lifting may also have a secretary desk as a luxury item. They seem stylish, and can really bring an area to life if placed in an eye-catching area. Who cares if you already have a desk in your room? The secretary desk is inherently personal, it allows you to show off your eye for design, and the fact that you actually know a bit about the desk too. Because these are not as widely used anymore they are also rather rare items, and you will find that people will soon be interested in being just like you, and buying their very own secretary!
Where is the best place to put a secretary desk?
They are great put into small spaces between other furniture, corners or hallways, because they are compact and save on space. Let’s glance at where you should be thinking about situating your desk by the design we have on our list:
Plain standing – these can fit just about anywhere in the house, and because they are the smallest type of secretary desk that we find. Entrance halls, guest areas and living rooms would be ideal for these because they don’t usually need to hold more than a few convenience items and provide a nice flat workspace for you or your guests. As you can pick them up and move them around they are the most versatile, and we recommend that you try having them in different spots around the house until you really find the ideal place for them.
Ladder – the ladder secretary desks are not as versatile as the floating type, but they can still fit in a variety of locations. Some nice ideas are in the kitchen for magazines or cookbooks, in the bathroom for toiletries, in the hallway for décor and storage, or in a guest room as a budget desk. We would even say that the darker ladder style can be used in a garage, to hold tools and woodworking books, but it is mainly meant for household use.
Floating – we suggest that a floating secretary desk is ideally mounted in an area that isn’t too cluttered, such as a bedroom or study, as they do tend to take up more permanent wall space than other workspaces. Because they must be mounted on a bracket they cannot be moved without a lot of extra effort, so using them as a permanent fixture in the corner of your guest room or underneath your study window would be a great way to give them a suitable position.
You could also mount the bracket above a low dresser so that it can be used while standing, which can save even more room. If you hang a mirror against the back of the floating desk you could also use this as a make-up station in your bedroom or bathroom – the choice is yours!
Armoire or “bookcase” – these could fit well in bedrooms, studies and living rooms. In a hallway the armoire would be overbearing and take up a lot of space, where in a bedroom it can be used to store clothes, books, a desktop computer and a whole range of other things. In the study they can replace an unwieldy flat top desk that doesn’t have any room to stack books, so they can end up saving some floor space while looking great at the same time. In your living space might also seem pretty great, because some armoires are fully covered by doors and simply look like a wardrobe or T.V. cabinet. These can add a nice centre piece to the living area that has a vintage style – and black dark woods are in!
The last thing to say on this topic is that placement suggestions are not the only way to decide where to show off these secretary workspaces, you can try your hand at Feng Shui and put it in an unlikely place to liven up an area. The choice is yours, and you should have fun with finding your new desk a proper corner, bedroom, hallway or whichever type of floor space you choose.
What is a floating desk?
A floating desk is mounted to the wall and does not touch the floor at all. It is “floating” because there are no anchor points that reach the ground. These are usually found in bedrooms or studies because they stay put, and offer quite a bit more shelf space than the smaller standing units do – apart from the armoire designs which are the largest.
The floating desk gives you a good amount of leg room, and tall people absolutely love these, because they don’t have pesky cross-bars that get in the way of their legs when they try to stretch underneath the table. This means that there is also place to put other things underneath a floating desk if you don’t need the extra leg room, like a stack of books or a computer tower.
They work well to replace a flat top table in children’s spaces, and they can function as an all in one station for their school books, computer and electronics. School time can be a breeze if your child has a floating desk to work on, and there should be more than enough space for their books in the many compartments on the sides and top that they can use. Even when it’s holiday time, your kids will need somewhere to watch series on their laptop, and you really don’t want them to be sitting in the lounge with their speakers blaring endless re-runs of Glee.
You could even use a floating desk as a make-up station (similar to a vanity mirror) if you wanted to, and place a mirror in the cubby hole space in the middle. The cubby hole is simply the space between the left and right storage areas, where you would usually put your computer or books. The different compartments would be ideal to house your cosmetics, curling or flattening irons, towels, and various toiletries. No longer would you have to look around in the bathroom for where you left that tiny eye pencil that’s been evading you for days. Organising is easy and looks great with a floating desk.
They arrive disassembled in the box, so you will have to put them together by yourself. Installing a floating desk is a big task because not only do you need to put together the actual desk design, but you also have put in the mounting brackets and make sure the desk rests comfortably and safely against the wall. When you begin the process you must lay out the components on the floor and check that you have everything you need to start assembling it. That includes the metal mounting brackets, screws, wooden boards, and any other fittings that go along with it. If you miss out a screw in a vital load-bearing area you can say “goodbye” to your floating desk. The last thing you want is to mount it on the wall, call over your family to have a glance, and force them to watch your hard work fall apart in front of you. Take your time, and follow the instructions. If you’re unsure about something, always ask for a second opinion from a friend – or call dad!
If you’re the adventurous type, you may even want to try and make your own floating desk. This will cost you a lot more time and money in terms of labour and tools – designing, drawing, a saw, drill, sandpaper, glue, paint, steel and screws. If you don’t want to go down this time consuming route you should really purchase a pre-designed floating secretary desk that you just need to assemble and put on to the wall. If you do insist on building your own, this video below shows off a project undertaken by How-To, taking the floating secretary desk design from scratch to finish!
As you can see it’s probably more effort than it is worth for a regular customer, but it does add a personalised story to the desk which a store bought piece of furniture just won’t have. It’s not impossible to make your own floating desk, but it does take a special kind of person to take on a project that big when we’ve got some top quality products just waiting for you to put into your shopping basket.
What is a desk with a hutch?
A desk with a hutch can be closed up by a hinged or tracked wooden door, so that you can store items inside. A hinged door like the one on the ladder style desk the hutch or storage cabinet will fold down to become a flat writing surface, which can then be used to hold a laptop, papers, and more. The convenience of having an optional workspace that you pull out when you need it is great. You can have it open when you need to, and closed when you do not. For example, if you don’t have enough space to buy a proper flat top desk to operate at, you could purchase a hutch desk instead so that you get the benefit of having a workspace as well as a bookcase, and your guests wouldn’t even know it.
Some hutched desks even have a lock built in to them so that you can hold some rare special items inside – think 30-year-old whiskey or your new electronics. It is nice to be able to lock things away in an unassuming place, and because doesn’t look like it isn’t a safe or a lock-box, people probably won’t think to try and break in to it. We wouldn’t recommend placing priceless items like family heirlooms or expensive diamonds in these, however, because they can still be broken into if someone is determined enough. Save your most important items for a nice solid safe.
Besides security there is just the convenience of having a clean house. The hutch is a saviour for people who need to stow away their messy work station for later without actually cleaning it up. We won’t judge you! If working in your own environment is what gets you to be productive then all the more power to you. You might want to cover up when guests arrive, though, so a hutched desk would be great to allow you the freedom to work in a mess and still look like a class act when friends or family arrive for dinner.
These can be a perfect addition to your entrance hall if you want a place to keep your car keys near the door without leaving them in plain sight on a hook or a bowl. They sit great in hallways and barely take up any space, so you can definitely be assured that the hutch desk will suit your needs.
Where to buy secretary desk?
Well that’s easy – right here! We have done the browsing for you so that you don’t have to go to several shops and measure everything one by one. Amazon is a convenient place to shop from for that reason, because all of the product dimensions are right here at your fingertips. You can look through and make a decision in just minutes compared to walking around antique shops and being disappointed by high prices and varying quality. With our selection you know that you are getting the very finest quality products and delivery services, because we search through brand after brand so that you don’t have to waste your time or gas driving around.
When you shop for a secretary desk from other vendors you might have to pay much, much extra for shipping, but Amazon has some great deals on shipping because they deliver internationally. If you purchase items over a certain amount of money or have a premium account, you might also qualify for free shipping!
Be aware that some items do not ship internationally, so you will need to check that the item you want it available if you live outside of the U.S. Supporting local industry is a good idea if you are a U.S. citizen, though, so don’t be afraid to use ‘local shipping only’ as a chance to give something back to your country while you pick up a brand new secretary desk. Once you have your delivery there might be some assembly required, so the first thing you should do is to check your packages for all the screws and pins you might need to work with. Once you’ve arranged those together you should take a peek at the instruction manuals, to see which pieces go where, and what the first step in construction should be. If you need help, you can always treat it as a family event and get your kids involved in holding legs in place while you line them up.