A designated work space is crucial for any home or office. Some people fight the need for a desk, quickly learning that: a kitchen table means jelly stains on tomorrow's assignment, important documents disappear in drifting to-do piles, and you have a million pens multiplying in the silverware drawer. If this sounds like your current situation, you need a desk.
But where do you even begin? What will best suit you and your needs? Desks come in hundreds of varieties, each serving a unique function and might not be what you need. Likewise, having an efficient work space can increase your productivity and decrease stress in the workplace. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help narrow down to the perfect option for you.
Why do you need a desk?
"Form ever follows function" is a wise piece of advice coined by architect Louis Sullivan. So ask yourself: what is your desired function? Do you need a place to finally get your computer off the carpet, a place to study before finals, or a place comfortably write a novel? The answer will determine the style of desk you want to look at. Each desk design serves a specific purpose and choosing the wrong style can make your work space less functional. For example, setting your computer on top of a small, kneehole writing desk creates a cramped environment that isn't ideal for you or your carpal tunnel. You want to purchase something that will bring you joy because it functions correctly.
Where is this desk going to go?
Is this desk for the home or the office? What room will you put it in? How much space do you have in that room? These questions will help you decide they style you want. It's crucial to determine how much space you have; a piece that's too large can overwhelm a small apartment. Having measurements can help you find a desk that looks like it was made specifically for your space.
What kind of materials should your desk be made from?
Now, before you assume "Only the best wood and metal for me," consider this: are you in a stable housing situation or will you moving around a lot in the near future? Do you want something sturdy and permanent, or something easily dissembled and lightweight? Depending on your answers to these questions, you might have to change your mind on your desired materials.
Also note that heavy, solid materials can make a small space feel even more claustrophobic. However, open backed chairs and thin legged desks can feel flimsy in a large space. To help you decide, consider the materials already used in the space. Try to match the tone of the room by finding complimentary metal or wood to match the existing hardware of the space.
Should you get a new or used desk?
The internet is constantly creating easier ways for quality secondhand goods to be exchanged. It is worth a quick glance at your local exchange pages to see if you can pick up a functional piece for a discounted price. Often times you will be able to find something better than you would have been able to afford new. Here are a few helpful commandments when picking up used furniture.
Should you buy custom made furniture?
If you have a space that you wish to set up as a permanent office, it can be a good idea to have an office desk built in to the structure of the room. Cabinets and counter tops can be designed to create a pleasant flow around the room, and maximize function. Lifehacker has some quality suggestions on determining how to custom design your own office if that is a good option for you.