Best desks for designers 2018

Whether you work at home, at a studio or in a shared workspace, here are desks that will be sure to make your working life easier.


We all know how important it is to have a healthy working environment, especially if you're a freelancer juggling work from home.  Alongside choosing a tablet, laptop or desktop, having the right desk is one of the most important things to get right in your office or studio space. It's something you'll be returning to most of the week, so you'll need to like it, if not love it. 

Designers need a lot of room to spread out creative ideas and work on preferred devices, whether that be a Wacom Cintiq or iMac Pro. Whether you do this at home, at a studio or in a shared space, whether you sit or stand up, have a desk with compartments or like to keep it minimalistic, we’ve got you covered with this list of desks for designers.

These desks range from affordable Ikea flat-pack John Lewis options, to desk designs made available online so you can make it yourself, such as Opendesk. Read on to be inspired. 

For more, see best keyboards for designers and artists

Aerodesk

Aerodesk offers designers a convincing amount of freedom when it comes to office or studio workflow. 

Providing a wide surface area for larger projects and ample elbow room, a minimalist design and choice of various bright colours alongside the classic black and white, it should find favour with any designer.

Stand or sit by using the desk’s actuators that rise or fall in height to your desire, or turn on the LED lightbar to either simulate natural daylight for those dark days, or use a fixed colour glow to enhance your environment.

You can also charge your phone wirelessly using a Qi charger or inbuilt socket, and keep your device wires out of sight. 

Aerodesk ships internationally, and gives the option of bespoke applications on request.

The brand provides three different models to best suit your needs. The 1400 Plus model includes conductive charging and an adjustable LED lightbar, and at the top of the range is the 1600 Pro, complete with a Corian top and available in a number of colours. Find more model specs here

Buy the Aerodesk online here. Prices start at £1,495/US$2,107.


Opendesk 

Opendesk does manufacturing and production a little different to traditional methods, and we’re right on board with it. 

You can download Opendesk furniture designs and create  a desk yourself, or you can choose to have the furniture made locally to reduce the distribution journey. It already has clients such as Google and Greenpeace.

Opendesk provides you with an estimated cost and lets you request and receive quotes from manufactures near you typically within 48 hours. Choose your preferred maker-quote and pay online and then receive your chosen desk model direct from the maker.

Or, for a more expensive price, choose Opendesk Express which acts as a managed maker service with fixed pricing and an instant checkout, delivering free in your area within two weeks.

The desks are minimalist and made with a Baltic plywood finish. There is a range of designs and chairs, shelving and other furniture if you're up for it. 

Featured in this image is the lift standing desk - an adjustable height workbench designed and shared openly by Joni Steiner and Nick Ierodiaconou. It's estimated to cost £649/US$914.

Designed as a two-person workstation, the desk works as two useful shelves. It can also work back to back or against a wall, moulding to the shape of an office.

Explore pre-made Opendesk furniture designs.

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Another Country

Another Country creates desks that feel homely, warm and non-clinical. Describing their design as "unpretentious forms of British Country kitchen style", inspired by traditional Scandinavian and Japanese woodwork, Another Country provides functional, honest desks for modern designers.

We’ve chosen to feature 'Desk Two' here, a solid beech or oak desk with rounded edges, a central placed drawer and trestle-style base that gives it character. The desk has been awarded the Design Guild Mark, so it’s design and materials have been noted.

Buy for £895/US$1,261.


Altwork

Altwork is probably out of most designers' price range, but it's an epic, inspirational design so we definitely wanted to add it to the list. Altwork is an entirely configurable workstation on wheels. Instead of getting a sore back from being hunched over your desk, the Altwork lets you lie down and work, or sit with your feet up. Although it might seem a little strange, Caitlin McGarry has reviewed the desk and loved the idea of pressing a button and reclining. When lying down, you have easy access to a keyboard and mouse thanks to an adjustable desk and magnets.

See how it works in the video on Caitlin McGarry’s review

Buy the Altwork for US$5,900/ around £4,185, or a payment plan with a deposit of $960.


string 

This desk has a solid oak wood surface that can be electronically adjusted to a height that suits you, freeing you up to sit or stand. It’s minimalistic, with a wide working space and an aesthetic that will easily fit with any home office or studio space. You’ll have to fit together the desktop and adjustable table frame yourself. This desk is designed by Swedish company, string furniture. If you visit their website, you can build your own string shelf with its app for iPad. 

Buy for £1,682/US$2,370.

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Paco

This desk (again, it’s oak) has a beautifully smooth, rounded finish and offer loads of storage space and a sturdy design. Designed to be for those working from home, the retro shape and angled tapered legs will look sleek in any office space.

If you buy this desk from Made, you’ll even get free home delivery and a 14-day no hassle return.

Buy for £399/US$562.


Urban Grain

This lengthy, rustic desk is made in the Urban Grain Manchester furniture design workshop, from locally reclaimed wood. At 240cm long, this is desk is for those who have floor space, and want loads of space to work with. If it’s too long for you, the seller can make one to fit your own specifications. Just get in touch.

And it’s sustainable too – it’s made from locally sourced, reclaimed scaffolding board plants which are sanded down but don’t lose their authenticity. Matching stools and benches are also available.

Buy for £1,245/US$1,754.


Cleancut Wood

This desk is compact, industrialist with exciting in-built compartments, and it’s on wheels, so can be moved around easily at will. There’s pen slots, organiser pots, phone charger slots and other storage areas. Sizes of the desk can be customisable, and even the storage options. Just simply let Cleancut Wood know what you will like, and they will draw it up and send it over for approval. The desk is made from solid-kiln-dried jointed oak boards and galvanised steel legs.

Buy for £745/US$1050.

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Sauder

This dual workstation designed by Sauder is rather an elaborate corner desk, but it still manages to look minimalistic with a lovely salt oak finish.

We picture designers using this desk at home or in a studio. It’s kitted out with cubbyhole open storage and drawer features with fill extensions slides and a fixed shelf. 

Buy the Sauder L-shaped desk US$339.99/around £270. It can be purchased from Sauder’s online store or through Amazon.


Ikea

Maybe not the most glamorous, but everyone needs an Ikea option – and if you’re a little strapped for cash and not too fussy, you really can’t go wrong with this little number. 

Although Ikea has a few decent options, such as desks with adjustable heights, we chose the bamboo Lillasen to feature here.

The desk has three drawers so you can the tabletop tidy, it’s simple and durable, has a decent amount of surface area to spread out, and the back is finished so it can be placed in the middle of the room.

Buy for £115/US$162.


Ebbe Gehl

There’s plenty of handy storage with this oak desk by Danish designer Ebbe.

It includes two drawers, a shelf and a fixed, open compartment. You’ll either have fun or surely stress out creating this desk, as self-assembly is required.

Buy for £799/US$1,126.

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Life Carver

This desk is a combination of a smooth oak finish desktop with a white steel frame. There’s extra storage space in the top drawer. It’s a desk that will non-imposingly fit nicely into the corner of your office space but still give you a flat space to work on. This is a flat pack desk, but if you’re looking for a desk on a budget, that doesn’t give away the fact you are on a budget, this is a good option.

Buy for £49.99/US$70.