Saturday, 18 November 2017

Rob finds a small computer desk.

Small computer desks for home

      Key Points: Computer Desk
  • Desired price point $200.
  • Small footprint of around 50” x 24” approx. (140 cm x 60cm)
  • Durable finish.
  • Flat Pack
  • Manufactured wood or steel and glass.

    It all started when we were setting up a study space for my youngest son.
    He needed a place for homework and general messing around that his small bedroom would not permit once we put in the double bed he requested! (I know, he sleeps alone but wanted more space to stretch out his 6 ft, skinny frame.)

    The next door room was vacant as his older brother had moved out of home. This spare room would be an ideal office or study.
    But what to do about a desk? 

     My intention was to find a small computer desk with drawers that would accommodate the desktop computer and leave space for slim line monitor and some writing space, as well as give him a place to organize a few personal papers and homework.

    The plan was to visit an office suppliers and check out small computer desks suitable for home use and see where that led us.
    I had no idea there was such a range of materials and styles 
    available in office desks, so I hope this article can help you find the right small computer desk for you.  

    Budget of course comes into it so we quickly dismissed the large solid wood designs. While very attractive they would not really suit a small room anyway and were expensive – as most good joinery is.

    These days with a lot of what I call ‘computer work’ being done on tablets and even smart phones, it may not be considered ‘trendy’ to work at a desk at all, but I think there is still a positive case to be made for having a dedicated space set aside for study or work, where your ‘tools’ can be stored and organized and a place you can call your own. Fortunately these days many manufacturers are responding to the need for small computer desks that can fit into tight spaces with only a small foot-print so you can utilize spare space in a hallway or alcove - even in a closet where your tiny ‘office’ can be closed with all your equipment neatly stored and hidden from view.
    Tip: Plan Ahead
    Do your planning before you enter the store so you have a good idea of what your needs are, what your budget is and what will go with your general décor.

    To keep this brief, we eventually narrowed our choice down to 3 styles that were best to meet our criteria:
    1. Small enough footprint to fit neatly into a 10’ x 10’ room.
    2. Space for a standard computer tower to fit under the desk, but not essential if you use a notebook or tablet.
    3. Writing space with a keyboard and monitor in place. (Handwriting is still required in some subjects!) Hopefully room for a printer as well.
    4. Not too heavy if we need to transport and easy to assemble when we get home and preferably stain and heat resistant so it will remain looking good.

    Small white desk with drawers

    Small white desk with drawers
    (Click the Image for More Info)
    Our first choice was a compact desk of standard height, measuring about 54 inches wide and 23 inches deep (that’s 137 cm x 58 cm). 

    Not a huge desk area but big enough for a notebook and a pc monitor as well and maybe a desk organizer on the side. The model we looked at also had a file drawer and a second stationery drawer hung on the left ( not able to switch this to the right as the holes are pre- drilled.)

    There was also a larger pull out drawer with a fold down front that would hold a keyboard and mouse or even a storage place for a notebook or tablet.

    The file drawer was designed to hold standard suspension files and ran on ball rollers to make it easy to open even when fully loaded.

    All in all this was quite an impressive smaller desk but at this price you are not going to get solid hardwood. The smooth white finish that will resist scratches and spills. ( The laminated finish means re-painting will not be easy either, should you want to!)

    On the down side, this Broadview Computer Desk is laminated particle board after all and it does come as a lot of pieces so it will take a couple of hours to assemble despite the fact that some key parts are pre-assembled in the factory. Yes before you ask, all of the nuts and bolts and screws can be identified in the assembly instructions by scale drawings. I think most people like to rush into assembling these things and end up using the incorrect screws or bolts and get into bother.

    Tip:  Assembly
    Take the time to identify all the hardware against the instructions list and identify each piece before you begin. It will save angst later! 

    A useful additional extra is this organizer unit that fits snugly on the desktop, should you need more drawer space or open cubbies to tidy that clutter.

    (Click the Image for More Info)

    Overall, I liked the price and size so it was definitely a contender, but my son was keen to look at glass desks for comparison.

    Glass top desk with drawers

    (Click the Image for More Info)
    For a more modern look we checked out glass topped desks.  ( See above).

    One we liked had a small top 22.4 x 46 inches (57 cm x 116 cm) and a solid looking steel frame and a tempered glass top that looked like it could hold some weight, but don’t sit on it! It is not intended to be a seat, but your equipment will not present a problem. 

    Assembly looked easy with the all steel frame, but I was told the file cabinet was the most fiddly part.
    If you are not familiar with assembling furniture, refer to the Tip above re: identifying parts and layout carefully before bolting parts together.

    I liked the easy clean surfaces and rugged construction without looking industrial. 

    Admittedly there was no keyboard drawer, but the two drawers under the desk were very similar in size to the Broadview desk described above. It is also a lot lighter than that wooden desk.

    The clean lines and compact size made this a top contender for our hunt for a small computer desk for home use. It also wins out on price over the more traditional white laminate desk.

    The glass top model is known as a Merax Home Office Computer Desk and is available at Amazon.

    Black wood office desk

    Before we left the store, we also looked at another desk in this category; the black wood office desk.

    Now I should explain something here: Blackwood to me is a species of Acacia that we have traditionally used for furniture and kitchen cabinetry. When I saw blackwood office desk on the card my eyes lit up! 

    What they actually were selling was a wood desk finished in a black stain. Very dark. Looked good but was made of a combination of solid and composite wood – in a black finish. Which was a long way from the blackwood I had grown up with. I might add that blackwood I grow has dark sections in the heartwood of log that is hard and durable timber, but it is not a dense black.

    Chelsea lemon furniture design Canberra Australia 

    This is blackwood furniture but don’t expect this finish in the cheap desk that I am talking about here. So black wood is not blackwood!

    Remember Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland? “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” But I digress.

    Montrese Black Computer Desk
    Classic black finish is the preference of many people and the desk we were shown was in a laminate finish.

    Clear assembly instructions were provided for the MontreseComputer Desk and you will only need a screwdriver to put it together!The curved lines of the drawer and cabinet face, make this solid desk look refined and stylish.

    Note that this one has a storage cupboard and drawer, not a file drawer as in the previous desks. With the shelf removed the cabinet would allow a1inch tower PC (mid tower) to fit , and for smaller consoles like X-box it would be fine and cabling would be possible using the 2 cable cutouts provided.
    One thing to consider if you wanted to conceal a PC in the cabinet is adequate air flow and personally I would not recommend it. For your router and WiFi modem it would be perfect.

    As a storage cabinet it is a useful 19.25" tall x 14.25" wide by 21.77”deep.

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