Pros and Cons to Help You Choose a Desk Layout

Pros and Cons to Help You Choose a Desk Layout

Taryn Williford
Aug 12, 2010

Yes, I work (mostly) from my sofa. And after struggling to keep work organized in the living room, I'm ready to buy a big girl desk and set up the home office of my dreams. But with an entire spare bedroom to work with, I've got the entire world of desk shape options in front of me. So which one to choose? Here's a helpful guide to the Pros & Cons of each.

Corner Desk
+ Flexible, fits in difficult room layouts.
+ Great for multi-purpose rooms like kitchens or living rooms.
- Little screen privacy.
- Lost space behind a corner monitor.
- Who wants to look at a corner?

L-Shaped Desk
+ More desktop than a corner desk.
+ Everything is closer than if you were sitting at a long desk of the same length.
+ "Divided" desk space.
- Also loses dead space behind a corner monitor.

U-Shaped Desk
+ Tons of desktop space.
+ "Divided" space.
+ Great orientation for anyone with two monitors or for two people sharing a desk.
- Takes up a big footprint in the room.
- A U-shaped desk designed for one room probably won't work in another.

Along-the-Wall, Straight Desk
+ Stable desk.
+ Will fit in many rooms and moves well from home to home.
+ The entire desk is usable, no dead space.
+ Can be recycled and put to use in other rooms of the house (i.e. as a dining table).
- No clear delineation to split computer/writing spaces.
- Who wants the wall as their view?

Center-of-the-Room Desk
+ Lots of screen-prying privacy.
- Wire management is a pain.
- If your back is to a window, you'll be battling glare.

Double-Bar Desks
+ Best of both worlds, since it's technically two desks (a center desk and a straight wall desk, usually).
+ Tons of desktop space with two separate surfaces.
+ Looks awesome and executive-like.
+ Plenty of storage.
- Requires a lot of dedicated floor space.\

Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments!

(Images from: Matthew's Sculptural Home Office, Make a Polished and Modern Concrete Desk,, Chez Larrson's Custom Laptop Nautical Theme Desk, How To Make Desk Cords Go Invisible, Ambience Dore.)

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