The humble writing desk

Desks are a functional piece of furniture

The humble writing desk

An essential item in many homes a desk can have many uses ranging from its original one, which was for reading and writing to that of an elegant piece of furniture to adorn our rooms.

The word "desk" originated from the Modern Latin word desca "table to write on", from the mid 14th century. A desk may also be known as a bureau, counter, Davenport, escritoire, lecturn, reading stand, rolltop desk, school desk, workspace, or writing desk. 

In today’s world, most people see this classic piece of furniture as a functional object. As long as people are writing, the desk, be it large or small, portable or fixed it will remain to be an important part of our surroundings.

Until the 17th century, desks were common only in churches and other religious centers; it was only the clergy who had a need for writing furniture as not all the nobility could read or write. You would have found the early desks had a sloping top design since these were used primarily in monasteries and universities before the invention of the printing press when the books that were read or written were large parchment volumes.

The many uses of the desk have been adapted to modernisation over the years. Until the late 1980s, they remained a place for paperwork and "business machines", but the personal computer was taking hold in large and medium-sized businesses. New office suites included a "knee hole" credenza, which was a place for a terminal or personal computer and keyboard tray. Soon, new office designs also included "U-shape" suites, which added a bridge work surface between the back credenza and front desk, also additional drawers and compartments were added for storage and convenience.

Whether you’re looking for a space-saving bureau that matches your living room or an office or reception desk for your business, we can now find desks in all shapes and sizes to suit our own personal space.

Looking for a desk that works for you can be fun, and a lot of the footwork can be taken out of this task if you start online. Lionshome has a great selection of desks and I found the perfect starting point. Take into account the room you would like it for, whether you have a specific colour scheme or theme you would like to follow. Consider what you would like it constructed from wood which is sturdy, natural and robust, hardwearing as well as elegant, plastic is durable, lightweight, generally lower in cost and easy to maintain or why not upcycle or construct something yourself.

Lastly who will be using your new piece of furniture is it for yourself, the whole family to enjoy or perhaps the younger members of the family. Giving kids a desk of their own is great for creating focus, making them feel special and grown up. Whether this is for arts and crafts or homework children just love to use furniture on their own scale.

Poppy Watt