Masquerade_by_NaomiFaMi Ball 2008

Writing Desk Style

Writing Desk Buying GuideThat command huge sums and inexpensive kits that can be put together with a minimum of tools by anyone who has a half hour or so to spare. Writing desks are everywhere. This very ubiquity and variety combine to form the greatest problem faced by anyone looking to buy a writing desk: Just what kind of desk will best fit their needs? The best way to resolve this issue is by identifying the needs that the writing desk is to meet and working backwards from there. One the reasoning behind the purchase is understood, selection becomes much easier.

What Is a Writing Desk?

In the simplest terms, a writing desk is a desk that someone writes on, but that definition can apply to any kind of desk, not just a writing desk. By definition, it is usually considered to be a desk with a flat surface to write on and often drawers underneath in which to store . With modern writing desks, the biggest thing that separates them from other desks is size. Most writing desks are relatively small, usually fitting up against a wall, unlike an office desk which can often dominate a room and must be large enough to accommodate a computer, keyboard, mouse, speakers, printer, and other office necessities.

Identifying Writing Desk Needs

The first step to buying a new or antique writing desk is understanding what kind of writing desk will best meet the new owner's needs. A junior high school student and a retiree may both need a writing desk, but the right desk for each person may be very different. Some people may be more concerned about appearance, others about size, and still others about functionality. The question each prospective purchaser needs to answer is what matters the most to them. Once they know their needs, then they can find the best fit.

Consider the Room for the Writing Desk

It is always important to look at any piece of furniture in conjunction with the room where it will be used. Look at the amount of space that is available, particularly along the walls. Knowing how much room is available makes deciding on a writing desk that much easier. Style is equally important, particularly with antique desks. What is the style of the room, if it has one, and will the desk the homeowner has in mind fit that style? A Baroque antique writing desk would look out of place if the rest of the room is furnished in a Swedish Modern style.

Consider the Writing Desk User

Different users not only have different needs but also different usage patterns. A lovingly restored antique writing desk does not make much sense for someone looking for a desk their rambunctious 10-year-old can use to do homework. That customer would be better off looking for something that will be valued for its ability to provide the necessary functionality, a flat surface to write on, rather than for a condition that will last exactly as long as a child with a short attention span will take to get bored with homework. Someone who wants more of an accent piece is more likely to maintain it in a condition to hold its value rather than hand it over to a child. A third group may want an older desk for the functionality as much as the appearance, intending to both use it regularly and to take care of it.

Consider the Writing Desk Features

As with anything that has been around for centuries, writing desks come with a variety of features, some of which benefit given users than others. Before making a purchase, a wise consumer looks at the following list of features to see which ones are likely to benefit them.



Letter Organizer

Cubby Holes


Provides a place to store papers and small items out of sight

Stain-Resistant Surface

Keyboard Tray

Understanding these features and their use makes it easier for any consumer to determine which writing desk best meets their needs.

Secretary Desk

This writing desk, also known as the drop-down, is a great fit for someone who does not have a lot of space and is looking for something that takes up as little space as possible when not in use. Looking like a cabinet when closed, these desks feature a writing surface that is hinged at the back, allowing it to fold down for use and up for storage. Secretary desks often have large drawers below the writing surface, further reinforcing the cabinet motif. One benefit for some users is that this design forces them to put things away as the work surface disappears when not in use.

Roll Top Writing Desk

The roll top desk has been around for a long time and for many is the classic writing desk. Bigger than the secretary, the classic roll top has a slatted cover that rolls down to hide the writing surface when not in use. There are even roll top desks that are designed for use with a computer, and hide the monitor. It is a great option for the out-of-sight-out-of-mind approach. Owners can have their work, or writing, out when they need it, and put safely away and undisturbed when not in use. They are also a great way to combine modern technology with vintage style.

Standard Writing Desk

A so-called standard writing desk can come in many shapes and styles. The focus, however, is on writing. Most older designs provide a touch of elegance, while simultaneously increasing the amount of available work space. The typical writing desk is fairly small, flat-topped and provides a large enough surface to work but not much more than that. Many have drawers, and some are even fitted for inkwells, depending on the age of the design.

Where to Buy a Writing Desk

As with anything that has been around for a long time and is still in regular use, writing desks are readily available. Customers who prefer to shop locally can find them at specialty furniture stores and most major brick-and-mortar retail chains. Those who prefer the greater variety that can be found on the web can not only find them at most major Internet retailers but also online auction sites like eBay.

How to Buy a Writing Desk on eBay

Buying a is a simple matter of typing the words in the Search box that appears on every eBay page and watching the results appear. Once you have a set of results, you can use the filters in the sidebar to narrow the listings by everything from age to style to material. You can also sort them by everything from price to seller location. After you have narrowed the list down to only those writing desks that meet your needs, the next step is to find your best match from among eBay's many reputable sellers. The place to do that is the seller's profile page, where you can see everything from their feedback rating to their shipping location. You can also find out if they can bundle two or more items together to reduce shipping costs or even arrange for a pickup from a local seller.

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