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Executive desks for executive living

Executive desks for executive living

Working from home has never been more popular and an executive desk is proving to be an essential item of household furniture. Gone are days of balancing a laptop on your knee on the sofa or squashing onto the end of a kitchen table.

There are numerous different styles of executive desk available and so it can be tricky to figure out which one will best suit your work needs plus fit into the interior of your home. Here are some key points to consider:

  • If you are fortunate enough to have a dedicated room for your home office or a separate study then you have a free hand when it comes to looking at style and design, but if your executive desk needs to fit into a living area in your house or conservatory then try and pick a style which is complementary to the interior – there are plenty of executive desks which can double up as a work table for other family members, incorporate helpful storage options and won't look too functional.
  • Choose the largest desk you can accommodate – cluttered working areas will become frustrating and there will be an inadequate tabletop area for everything you need which might include a laptop and printer plus a separate keyboard and that’s before you consider files and any paperwork, these can all take up a lot of room.
  • Think about your working pattern, is this executive desk for occasional use or an item of furniture you will spend hours at every day?
  • Is the desk to be shared with other family members as a communal work station or is it going to double up as a pleasing item of furniture in a living space or lounge?
  • How much electronic equipment do you use? Is this executive desk designed to be a location for phones, laptops and printers and if so, consider the number of plug sockets you will need.

Types of executive desk

There are countless types and styles of desk and the two key factors which tend to determine choice are the interior space that the desk will sit in and the type of work that will be done at it. Here are some of the different designs you can choose:

  • Writing desk – a writing desk tends to be smaller and more compact, ideal for rooms where space is at a premium. Writing desks are an old-fashioned and traditional piece of furniture but have morphed into modern and minimalist pieces for people who just want somewhere to rest a laptop or notebook.
  • Computer desk – this is a desk designed specifically to accommodate a computer so they often have a shelf or cabinet to store any computer tower and a pull out keyboard tray which is handy and space-saving as well as offering the user a better ergonomic position. Computer desks generally prioritise function over form so work well in a dedicated home office but might not be the look that you would want in a living or social area in your home. However, some companies do produce computer desks which blend with family orientated and stylish interiors.
  • Executive desks – this category tends to refer to much larger desks for a dedicated work area or home office and they can be L-shaped or a horseshoe shape to maximise storage.
  • Traditional desks – if you want a proper desk style then you could choose an old or antique piece which looks lovely in a period setting, typically made from a dark hard wood like mahogany with a polished wood top and a column of drawers incorporated on each side. There are more contemporary versions which are very popular from the later years of the 20th century, crisp and modernist designs from makers like Ercol and very much inspired by the simplistic lines of Scandinavian furniture which was highly influential at the time. The use of furniture from the 1960s and 1970s, either original pieces or designs which draw from these styles, is bringing back pieces of furniture which had previously fallen out of favour like traditional desks but also sideboards and coffee tables.
  • Credenza desk – a credenza desk is a desk combined with a sideboard and has a long history dating back to 14th century Italy when dining rooms needed additional storage space aside from the main table. They are a great choice if you want something that doesn’t look too much like an office desk and require additional storage without having to resort to filing cabinets. Credenza desks are available in a variety of styles and wood choices to suit a range of interiors.
  • Secretary desk – a secretary desk has a fold down writing surface on top of a base which is chest style and can have ether drawers or cupboards, a great place to keep papers and tidy away cables and other bits and pieces. The top section folds out to use as a surface and then the folds back in to form a sealed upper cabinet. Most cabinet sections contain small drawers and cubby holes which are perfect for pens and stationery items. A secretary desk will keep everything neat and tidy, and they are usually quite space saving when not in use.
  • Floating desk – a floating desk is a wall desk concept, fully functional but generally smaller with no intrusion into floor area. They are often designed with attractive shelving so if you remove the laptop, then they can just be a nice addition to the interior and work well in any room.
  • Standing desk - standing desks or as they sometimes called, rising desks, are designed to offer the option of standing rather than sitting due to the health implications of remaining seated for long periods of time. These desks have an adjustable height to give you the option of standing up to work and are useful if different members of the household will be using them as they are fully adjustable for both children and adults when seated. Standing desks are quite functional pieces and so do not always suit family interiors but work well in a dedicated office space.


Ergonomics is actually all about work safety but when it comes to an executive desk, the key points to consider are the height, the type of chair you choose to sit on and how much equipment you have.

Whilst the choice of executive desk is very important in terms of user comfort, how you arrange your work station is key to comfortable and ergonomic working. The executive desk must have enough space for you to work in a position that is not twisted and, at the correct height. There are plenty of laptop stands which can alter the height of your laptop so that it is on your eyeline as you work.

If you need to work on papers or take phone calls then you should have an executive desk which is big enough for you to move away from the laptop without twisting or turning your position. A large desk and a wheeled, swivel chair will allow you to easily move to different areas of the desk without disturbing what you are currently doing.

An ergonomic chair is really important if you intend to work in a seated position for regular hours. These chairs are designed to support your back and neck whilst you work but if your executive desk is inadequate in that it is too low for instance or too cluttered then this will not encourage good working habits irrespective of the quality of the chair. It is better to buy the right desk first and then find a chair to suit you rather than the other way around; all ergonomic chairs are fully adjustable in terms of their back support and height settings. Tempting though it is, it is best not to drag a chair out of the kitchen to sit at your executive desk or slump on the sofa with your laptop balanced on your lap or perched on a low coffee table as you will end up with problems with your back, neck and hands.

Draft chairs are a different type of chair with more seat and height adjustments so that there is a greater range of flexibility to change the way that you sit. Most draft chairs also include a footrest so you can relax back and take a phone call for example, and then change the position again to continue working at a laptop.

An executive desk can be a stylish addition to any home and with the advent of regular home working – popular before Covid but certainly accelerated by the pandemic – more and more people are looking to incorporate a work station or office area into their living accommodation. Executive desks are available in a huge variety of designs and styles whether you are looking for something subtle to fit into your home or have a dedicated office and need a large and fully functioning piece of furniture.