These 12 Mid-Century Modern Desks are Chic and Sleek
The French word for desk and office, le bureau, is interchangeably used—and for good reason. To generalize, we work at a desk and in an office. So, it’s no wonder that the French use the same word for both. But when it comes to design, these spaces have different needs and approaches.
Lately, the traditional concept of a desk (and offices, for that matter) has morphed into all sorts of seating and standing arrangements, partly due to the prevalence of the easily ported laptop. However, some jobs and aesthetics call for something more. Enter the trendy design movement of mid-century modern and today's office workers (whether at home or on-site) will surely have cause to be excited to sit at a proper desk again.
Nest Casa shares an affinity for mid-century modern designs and has already put the spotlight on its chairs and dressers. To recap, mid-century modern primarily refers to a design movement prevalent between 1947 and 1957, through its roots formed earlier and extended into the early Sixties. It's marked by clean, graphic lines devoid of decoration with a focus on the materials used. To illustrate this landmark style, Nest Casa rounded up 12 of the best mid-century desks to ignite a passion for any job performed at them.
Editor's Picks: Mid-Century Modern Desks
Owning a vintage piece of furniture from one of the great designers associated with the mid-century modern design movement—including, Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Florence Knoll, and Eero Saarinen, to name but a few—is surely possible. But for many, it's a dream: Sites such as 1stDibs sell originals that are generally in the five-figure range. Luckily, this style has inspired many furniture makers to recreate pieces inspired by this pure, unadulterated design theme. The selection below fulfills the desire to own a desk in this style while staying within any budget range.
Should cartoon character George Jetson from The Jetsons own a wood desk, it might very well have looked like this one made by the Leopold Co. of Burlington, Vermont. Made from fine grain walnut, this desk exemplifies the mid-century design movement in both its simplicity and its depth. Interest arrives in the negative spaces created by support bars, further defining its unique look. The drawers seem to be suspended beneath the top, gliding smoothly on aluminum rails.
The Margot desk from Lulu and Georgia has a similar gravity-defying effect. Its main storage cabinet sits under the desk, suspended from the ground by a base made of thin rails. Furthermore, the black desk is accented by the minimalist-leaning wicker, which graces the front of the unit.
X marks the spot for this unusual and intriguing mid-century modern desk designed by Renzo Rutili for Johnson Furniture. Referencing the Italian style of the era, this walnut and maple veneer desk takes its cues from the works of T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, the British architect and furniture designer. Drawers are stacked neatly on one side while the other is left open to artfully exhibit the creative X-shaped legs.
Rattan and wicker are the trend du jour as a new generation of homeowners discovers its unique possibilities. The Balboa Desk is made from solid hardwood and enveloped in rattan (the multi-use material made from climbing palms) and topped with a glass desktop to protect the rattan and provide a smooth surface on which to work. Not to mention, it fits nicely into the current organic and earthy design movement.
This solid walnut and glass mid-century modern design desk from Koen pays homage to Carlo Mollino's 1949 Protractor desk design. Its glass top seems to float above a unique base that looks like the angles created by the geometry tool. A cube stack disguises drawers on one end while a small, glass-topped shelf juts out on the other, creating a visible storage space.
Pure and simple, the Celine desk exemplifies mid-century modern design. A singular drawer and an open cubby fill the streamlined mid-century modern inspired rectangular top as angled legs support it.
The glamour of a bygone era lives on in Aliprandi Valentino Design’s 02.03 Collection green writing desk, designed by Italian architect Davide Rizzo. Curves formed by rounded corners and a pop of a 24-karat gold finish join a pale, raffia-covered body and a bright green writing surface. The result is an enticing place to rediscover the art of writing—or, to simply anchor a laptop while drafting your next tome.
1960s Kai Kristiansen Palisander Freestanding Writing Desk, Denmark$4,326.72 BUY NOW
This mid-century modern desk is made from Sheesham wood, also referred to as Indian Rosewood (due to its prevalence in India). It’s similar to mango wood because of it grows plentiful in India too and is solid enough for furniture making. It's revered for its exciting grain, highlighted on the hexagonal pattern on the front of the filing cabinet drawer. Angled legs add to the retro feel of this piece.
A prime example of Sixties Danish design is found in this Palisander writing desk. It was designed by Kai Kristiansen, a pioneer of the Danish Modern movement, who first opened his Copenhagen studio in 1955 and is still creating today. This practical desk bearing six drawers exemplifies a perfect union of form and function.
These clever slats blur the line between design attributes and disguised practicality. Hidden behind them on this Line Storage Desk are drawers and cubbies to stash all of your office supplies. This desk also recalls lines of the Frank Llyod Wright–designed Falling Water. The natural harmony with nature in that masterpiece is reflected in this desk, which exudes a peaceful feeling.
This handsome desk in dark, warm, toasted acacia wood adds a distinguished, masculine mood to any room. Pale cane wicker accenting on a front panel gives a strong color contrast that adds to the interest of this mid-century modern desk.