FurnitureFilter: Please help us find a stylish, compact computer desk-like thing that hides all components.
May 7, 2010 12:17 PM   Subscribe

FurnitureFilter: Please help us find a stylish, compact computer desk-like thing that hides all components.

In the corner of our gorgeous living room we would like to setup a piece of furniture that acts as a... desk. It wouldn't look like a desk because the only thing immediately visible is a widescreen monitor attached to an arm. In front of this desk is an Aeron chair. On, or in, this desk is a mac mini. This mac mini need only be physically accessed for the optical disk slot. This mac mini has wireless components that can be stashed away, hidden. There's a printer that connects to this mac mini via USB, this should be hidden as well but also within access.

I google "small computer desk" and I see the right idea but too much stuff is exposed. The Ikea Jerker almost works, so does this Wave Desk, and so does this this gorgeous piece of art. But again, with most of these there's no way to stash components.

Stylish, renewable, and so on is desirable but we don't want to spend more than $500 or so.
posted by ezekieldas to Technology (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The most clever approach to this I've seen is mounting all the computer stuff below the desk surface. This is the example I'm thinking of, but this one is pretty comprehensive. Combine that with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and it's a pretty clean.

The printer, however, is probably going to need a shelf.
posted by pwnguin at 12:29 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

What about something like a printer stand? I can't vouch for this one in particular, it just came up in my search, but something like this idea?
posted by devinemissk at 12:34 PM on May 7, 2010

One thing to be cautious of: Stashing components usually means cutting off their ventilation. A computer behind a closed door will overheat pretty quickly. So, if there's a door in the front to hide your gear behind, you need to make sure there isn't a back. Believe me, computer gear generates heat. Without ventilation, the enclosed space just gets hotter and hotter until your gear overheats. The only gear I'd stash behind a closed door is gear that's off when the door is closed. I do this with a printer.

I own this and think it's quite possibly the world's greatest desk EVER! It's basically a flat top that rests on a file cabinet on the right and a printer stand on the left. Sadly they don't sell the printer stand component anymore, but they do sell a computer cabinet. Like I said, it's an awesome desk! It's a little over your budget, but it's real furniture instead of a cheap thing you'll replace in a few years. Best! Desk! Ever! :)

Best of luck finding something that suits your needs!
posted by 2oh1 at 12:47 PM on May 7, 2010

I really like this idea of under-peg-boarding. Thank you. The printer stand is a good idea but I'm hoping to find it incorporated in the rest of the piece. And, as for the ventilation --yes, this is definitely an item to consider. In worst case, I could solve that problem with a drill.

I forgot to mention earlier this is a narrow space, a "flat" corner sort of like this \_/ (as opposed to a conventional corner of \/ The width of that space is about 2.5 feet.

Thanks a bunch for your comments.
posted by ezekieldas at 1:57 PM on May 7, 2010

Hm. Well, this is...utilitarian at best, but this is probably the kind of thing you want. You just want it prettier. I found that one by searching for "computer armoire" -- which is something you might also consider, especially if you can find one with a removable top. (Or a top you might be willing to cut off.)

Other ideas to consider are using a solid printer stand/file cabinet type piece and having a piece of glass custom made to set on top for the top of the desk (also giving you some room for your knees when sitting in your Aeron chair). You could then mount the arm to the wall (or get a wall-mount arm.) That would be cool. You could install a keyboard tray inside the printer stand and have an extra shelf put in if you needed it for additional components. Printer stands usually have cutouts in the back for ventilation as well.
posted by devinemissk at 2:13 PM on May 7, 2010

Another possible search term is "secretary desk." Still maybe not ideal for an arm-mounted monitor, but definitely stashes everything away.
posted by devinemissk at 2:23 PM on May 7, 2010

I've done something very similar to the projects shown on the "closet entrepreneur" link. Under the worktop (which is solid wood), I got a snake tray from Ikea with a bunch of cables wound around it, and a small shelf made of plywood scrap suspended by driving threaded inserts into the bottom of the worktop and hanging the shelf on some long screws. It's not quite as tidy as I'd like it to be, but it beats the hell out of having everything on top. Oh, and of course a big 2" hole to pass between top and bottom, with a "desk grommet" to tidy that up.

I also use velcro cable ties to keep cables together, so that where possible, I'm effectively dealing with one fat cable rather than several skinny ones.
posted by adamrice at 3:47 PM on May 7, 2010

not a recommendation for a specific desk, but for many desks. and a few hacks.

you might want to check out my go-to, apartment therapy & their subsite unplugged. they point you to where to buy most of the desks they feature, and have how-tos for most of the stuff they hack. might find something there that fits your bill.
posted by msconduct at 3:14 PM on May 8, 2010

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