Can you help me find a new desk?
December 30, 2007 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me find a new home office desk?

I just want a large, well-constructed, reasonably attractive horizontal surface. I don't care about drawers at all.

Something like Crate and Barrels' Parsons Dining Table would be perfect, if only it were a bit smaller. The width of it is perfect, actually, but 42" deep is a bit absurd for a desk. 32-36" is probably the max.

Any ideas on where I can find a nice, overpriced slab of wood?
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
At 32-36" wide (and a little less than 7' long) you could just get a solid-core slab door and improvise legs for it.
posted by jon1270 at 10:27 AM on December 30, 2007

Why not IKEA? I built a beautiful, sturdy, solid-wood desk there for under $100.
posted by mykescipark at 10:31 AM on December 30, 2007

Not sure how committed you are to the style of the Parson's table that you linked to, but Shaker Workshops has a 33" D trestle table that might work (link to maple, but they also have pine and cherry).
posted by vers at 10:33 AM on December 30, 2007

Response by poster: I'm not super-committed to the style. I was actually going to buy Crate and Barrel's "Oak Park" desk, but they discontinued it and then my local store ran out of units while I was busy trying to find matching side tables and lateral files.

That said, the whole house tends to be semi-contemporary, and both me and my wife tend towards hating country styles.

As for IKEA, I have to say no on two major fronts: Their stuff is too small, and too flimsy. The goal here is to buy a desk that will last for the next 50 years :-)
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:47 AM on December 30, 2007

Best answer: Find a local furniture-maker and have it custom made. Depending on your design needs, you could probably have it done for somewhere between $1.5K and $2.5K.
posted by notyou at 11:02 AM on December 30, 2007

Best answer: Short of custom built, BLTD is filled with options.
posted by notyou at 11:07 AM on December 30, 2007

While it doesn't appear available for online order anymore, if you can find one of these (zip code required) at your local Staples, they make for a great cheap desk.
posted by Ryvar at 11:22 AM on December 30, 2007

Best answer: Modern? Design Within Reach, perhaps?

Here's one.
yes, I've been work table shopping lately.
posted by vers at 11:24 AM on December 30, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks vers, the one you linked to is my new front runner. It's nearly perfect.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 11:42 AM on December 30, 2007

Do you have a design store near you? My conceit is shopping at high-end design stores in secondary cities. You don't get a price savings, but I find the service much, much better. If I walk into a store in Manhattan or LA, I always get the feeling that since I'm not a hedge fund wife ready to drop $20,000+, they don't want to deal with me. Try calling up Retro Inferno, with the description of what you want. I am sure they are more than happy to take pictures of the tables not shown on the web site and/or ask around their extensive contacts.

Again, you won't get a discount, it'll probably cost $2000 on the upper-end, but you at least have an investment in an Knoll or Herman Miller piece of furniture. I don't collect to make money off of it, but I haven't seen any of my pieces depreciate. If anything they are probably the highest appreciating assets I own.
posted by geoff. at 11:46 AM on December 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I do have design stores available. I hadn't thought of them because, like you, my experience shopping at them in major cities has been somewhat unpleasant.

That said, I'm not in a major city anymore, so it's worth a go.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 12:57 PM on December 30, 2007

This (pdf) is painfully expensive, but very, very cool.

I've wanted one for years.
posted by cmyk at 1:28 PM on December 30, 2007

Response by poster: cmyk: That is an incredibly cool desk. I'm actually glad that it's too large for my fairly modest home office, as it removes the temptation to justify such a silly purchase. That said, part of me keeps thinking "If you ditch the credenza and do wall-mount cabinets instead, there's plenty of room for it...."
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 2:09 PM on December 30, 2007

I got a 1930s large solid oak desk for 50$ from a government surplus auction. I don't normally do auctions, but this was much more low key, and they had a lot of robust office furniture, well used but attractive for that, including desks and tables. (OK, I see you want overpriced, but you could blow the money you save on on desktop toys.)
posted by Rumple at 5:06 PM on December 30, 2007

Response by poster: Follow-up: I decided to buy the Tavola desk that vers linked to. I picked the alum/frosted finish, and I'll try to remember to post a follow-up once it arrives.

I considered higher-design, but day-to-day practicality won out. The Tavola is almost the exact size I was hoping for, the design should be sturdy, and it's reasonably priced.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 8:53 PM on December 30, 2007

Response by poster: I got the Tavola, and so far my review of it is pretty positive.

I was a little disappointed that the base isn't a completely solid welded base, but is actually 4 pieces (leaving 2 small joints on each of the short sides of the desk/table)

That said, it looks beautiful assembled. The frosted glass ends has the expected slight blue/green color to it. It's also extremely sturdy. The glass just sits on top of the base (with a few little plastic things to cushion it) but the glass is so heavy that it doesn't budge at all, or seem in any way precarious. Whole thing has no wobble to it.

Anyway, I'm really happy with it, especially since i got it for $150 less than it's selling today (I got it for $700, and used a $50 coupon. the frosted/aluminum combo is now selling for $800.)

Thanks for your help!
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 5:41 PM on January 10, 2008

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