Today we’re looking at comfortable and stylish contemporary home desks for small spaces. Now that so many more people are working from home, I thought I would update and republish a post from more than five years ago, when I first started this blog.

Good news – as well as being practical and versatile, the latest crop of small desks for home use are very stylish too. Thankfully, gone are the days when desks for the home were simply smaller versions of bland, regulation-issue office furniture. So if you have the space for a home desk, however petite, it can add a lot of contemporary style to your home.

As with all small-space furniture, the best home desks will incorporate storage so all my finds have drawers, cupboards or shelves. From my own experience of hunting for a small home desk, I’ve limited dimensions to 130 cm wide and 60 cm deep. That said, many of the desks below are smaller than that so hopefully there’s one that works for you.

Here are the results – my pick of the best contemporary home desks for small spaces updated for 2020. I hope you find one you like.

Contemporary, compact home desks for small spaces

The chic, deco-inspired Harvard Desk from John Lewis & Partners is perfect for small spaces. With its contemporary colour palette and brass detailing (it’s also available in grey) it could work equally well as a sophisticated console table or dressing table. Dimensions: 120 cm wide x 55cm deep.

Oak and white small home desk for small spaces by Case Furniture at John LewisAlso from John Lewis, and part of their ever-growing collection of iconic British contemporary designs, is the Celine desk by Nazanin Kamali for Case Furniture. Petite and elegant, its gentle tapering legs give it a dainty aesthetic, but it’s practical too, with its slim hidden drawer and laptop compartment. Dimensions: 110 cm wide x 55 cm deep.

Hiba oak and metal framed industrial style home desk for small spacesFans of industrial style will love the Hiba Oak and Metal desk from La Redoute. The simple, metal-framed desk has two handy drawers, shown above. Pictured below is the desk with matching vertical extension that provides extra, space-saving shelves and drawers. The Hiba desk measures a compact 105 cm wide x 38 cm deep.


Grey and pine leaning ladder desk with drawer and shelvesWhen space is at a real premium then a leaning desk might solve the problem – and it’s wallet-friendly too.  Measuring just 66 cm wide x 46 cm deep, the Kleur Leaning Desk offers a good amount of desktop space, plus a laptop drawer and two handy shelves above.

For a more sophisticated take on the desk and shelves combo, this is the grand daddy of them all. Now a design classic, the string® shelf system was originally created in 1949 by Nils Strinning and can be expanded or reconfigured as your requirements change.

Now available on the high street from John Lewis & Partners (and not as expensive as you may think) this bundle of string® units forms a shelving unit with three shelves and one larger work desk.  Here it is below in my fantasy work setting…

Heal's Treviso Desk in walnut by Matthew Hilton for ErcolDon’t be fooled by the slender proportions and sleek lines of the Ercol Treviso desk. This desk gives ample work space on two levels, plus three storage drawers. Designed by Matthew Hilton and exclusive to Heal’s, the Treviso desk is handsomely crafted from either oak or walnut and measures 122cm wide x 53cm deep.

Looking for a elegant home desk to blend into your living area? Try the Marshall Home Desk from Perch & Parrow – it’s sleek, minimal and very unobtrusive.  Shown above in bronze it also comes in a silver colourway and measures just 130 cm wide x 50 cm deep.  I highly recommend their Home Office Edit – you’ll find more  stylish desks plus gorgeous swivel chairs (like the one above) that won’t break the bank.

John Lewis & Partners Soren Narrow Desk in walnut fromIf the mid-century look is your thing, then how about the walnut Soren Narrow Desk?  Full of character, with smooth, curved lines, it has two floating drawers and a hardwearing faux leather top. Dimensions are 110 cm wide x 50 cm deep.

Elona Console Desk in slate blue with black hairpin legsThe Elona Console Desk from MADE is simple and streamlined and can be used as console table, dressing table or home desk. Made from engineered wood with powder coated iron hairpin legs, this contemporary desk also comes in a green colourway. There are grey and white versions, too, with brass coloured hairpin legs which look very glamorous. Dimensions: 120 cm wide x 50 cm deep.

We love the clean angles of the Origami Desk by Ethnicraft. It’s made from solid oak with either cream (above) or black painted drawers and measures 135 cm wide x 55 cm deep.

Images: brands and retailers as credited above

This post was revised and republished in November 2020 to update content.

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