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Writing desks have a certain élan that is glamorous, classic and sophisticated. While they are reminiscent of times gone by, writing desks display an heirloom elegance that never goes out of style. No matter where you position your writing desk – in a niche, in a corner of the room or even a hallway – it’s going to be the center of attention. Select a writing desk that says “you:” choose a type of writing desk that will best express your personality.

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Standard Writing Desks

Standard writing desks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, materials, finishes and styles. They typically resemble a table and usually have a smooth, generous work surface. Depending on the style and the manufacturer, they might or might not have drawers. If you are buying a writing desk for your home office and will be using a computer regularly, consider purchasing one that includes hidden storage for the CPU and the keyboard. Usually made of wood, a standard writing desk has an uncluttered look with a timeless appeal, making it the ideal accent piece for a living room, den, home office or guest room. Adding a writing desk to a home or home office creates a unique work space atmosphere.

Writing Desk Style

A traditional writing desk commands respect. Usually constructed of wood, writing desks in the traditional style have decorative and structural elements that reflect the social customs and aspirations of past historical eras. They can include elegant features like turned feet, pilasters, carved accents and moldings. A traditional writing desk will inspire you to pass it down through the generations.

A transitional writing desk such as a standard writing desk combines elements of both the traditional and contemporary styles. While it often resembles traditional in spirit, the lines of transitional style furniture, while linear, are relaxed and flowing. Profiles tend to have rounded edges and corners. While such accents as crown molding and carved legs are still used, other more classic decorations like motifs and intricate scrollwork are not typical. A transitional writing desk possesses a sophisticated and urbane allure.

Contemporary style writing desks possess clean lines, geometric profiles and an uncluttered appearance due to the careful use of decorative detail. Visual interest is often created through the use of mixed textures such as wood and leather, wood-on-wood panels or two-toned finishes. Contemporary writing desks are known for simplicity of line and geometric forms. This style gives a room a casual and comfortable appeal while being inviting and warm. A contemporary writing desk may be constructed of light colored woods like pine or maple but be finished in rich tones like espresso, white, beige and black.

A country style writing desk has a universal charm that is hard to beat. This style is the ideal choice for someone who enjoys furniture that has a more classic appearance but with an added rustic or pastoral charm. Popular country sub styles include English country, French Country and Mission. Country style furniture is commonly made of wood, in a range of finishes, from dark to light, including milk-painted, washed or distressed finishes.

Secretary Desks

Secretary desks, also known as drop-front desks, are typically more compact than other types of writing desks, but are still available in a number of different sizes. A secretary desk is an ideal way to utilize dead space in a hallway, niche or awkwardly shaped room. They are usually made of wood and have a fold-down front that converts into a convenient writing surface. Hence their other name, drop-front desk. The work area can be easily hidden from sight by simply closing up the lid. Secretary desks that include drawers provide ample storage while using less floor space. A secretary desk can include handy organizational features such as a letter organizer, small drawers and cubbies with adjustable shelves.

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Roll Top Desks

A roll-top writing desk has a cover that rolls down from the inside of the top of the cabinet, keeping documents safe and out-of-sight. Roll-top desks are traditionally made of wood and can have carved accents, hidden compartments, files drawers and organizers. Some types of roll top desks have been designed to accommodate a computer and its accompanying peripherals, which makes it especially handy if you want to keep the monitor from view when not in use. Roll-top desks add a stylish, vintage look to a home office, den, family room or hallway.