Small home desk - retro style table with yellow Formica top and oak legsMore and more people work from home these days, either part or full time.  But even if we don’t, we can still spend an awful lot of time at home on the computer.  And yes, it’s true that the home PC is now redundant for many, with more portable devices travelling with us wherever we go.

That said, a practical work or desk space at home that’s comfortable and organised is of real value.  Slouched on the sofa with an iPad, or crouched over the laptop on the coffee table is a surefire route to aches and pains.  Plus, if our body is cramped and uncomfortable it’s pretty certain that our brain isn’t functioning at its best either.  Inspiration is always strongest in conducive surroundings.

But what if we don’t have the luxury of a dedicated room for a “home office” and have to fit our workspace into our living areas?  In that case, I think it’s fair to say that utilitarian office-type furniture isn’t really what we’re looking for.  So I’ve been on the hunt for the most stylish, versatile and comfortable contemporary home desks and tables that will suit any number of interior styles and budgets.

Contemporary home desk in oakMy first two choices are for lovers of the classic wood desk, but with a highly contemporary feel.

1.  Above: the Mira desk in lacquered oak by Ebbe Gehl for John Lewis has beautiful styling and design details, plus practical features such as the swing-out drawer and top shelf.  A matching mobile filing cabinet and shelving unit are also available in this range.

Contemporary home desk with drawersjames-tattersall-plan-desk-drwaer-side2.  The beautifully crafted Plan Desk by James Tattersall is inspired by traditional plan drawers; the large top drawer is capable of storing A1 prints, architectural plans or your laptop computer and files, whilst two smaller drawers sit neatly beneath to hide the usual desk clutter.

The desk top sits on simple trestles allowing easier transportation and the option of replacement to customise the look or height of your table, and two colour options are available – blue top with oak drawers (shown) or white top with walnut drawers.

MADE Fonteyn contemporary home desk for small spaces3.  If retro and vintage home desks are more your thing, the curved silhouhette of the Fonteyn desk above, designed by Steuart Padwick for, lends it a playful atomic-era vibe.  Again, it’s small and compact, beautifully designed and solidly constructed in oak and walnut. I have one of these myself; it gets lots and lots of compliments (plus it makes people smile!) and no-one can believe how much (as in how little) I paid for it  (Read a previous piece about Steuart’s work and see more of his designs here).

Habitat Robson modern home desk in oak with black metal legs and retro styling4. Designed in house and exclusive to Habitat, the Robson oak desk is right up my design street.  I love the contrast of the natural oak with the black powder-coated metal frame. And the detail of the fine, black metal knobs is the cherry on this particular style cake.  Not just a pretty face, the Robson desk has lots of practical storage too.

Retro style table with yellow Formica top and oak legs by Winters Moon5.  And finally in the vintage line-up, pictured above is a contemporary take on 1950’s formica table from Winter’s Moon.  Made in the UK, the Perky Formica Table has a birch ply and Formica top and solid European oak legs which are unfinished.  Shown here in a cheery yellow, it’s also available in pale grey.

Contemporary home desk, the John Lewis James Desk 6.  You may however be looking for something more contemporary to create a workstation that blends unobtrusively into your living space.  The James Desk from John Lewis features sleek, chromed steel legs topped with an 8mm  toughened glass top, and is a real bargain at £99.

Clear glass table top on white trestles from Habitat

7.  Habitat have a choice of trestle legs in powder coated metal or wood finishes and glass table tops in various sizes that enable you to create your own individual look that’s as discreet or bold as you like. Above: Nic trestles and Lagon glass table top.

Cornell Walnut Home Desk with matching chair8.  We love the rich walnut tones and retro lines of the elegant Cornell desk above, again from MADE.  There’s a matching chair too.

Heal's Brunel contemporary home desk in solid oak with black hairpin legs9.  The Heal’s Brunel Desk, above, designed exclusively for them by Rob Scarlett, combines Scandinavian and Industrial design.  For me it’s the perfect stylish, versatile, contemporary home desk and I’m coveting it madly. Beautifully crafted from solid American Oak, it has two wide drawers plus a raised platform at the back for plenty of useful storage space.

contemporary home desk in white and oak10.  Rounding off my Top 10 contemporary home desks is the wonderfully versatile Camber Desk, another Steuart Padwick design.  The Camber works perfectly as a desk, but could equally well be a dressing table or console table.  An elegantly curved solid lacquered oak top sits atop stylishly-angled solid oak legs.  We love!

Whatever your style, we hope you’ve enjoyed our round up of contemporary home desks to keep you comfortable and inspired while you work.

Images: brands and retailers as credited above

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