Small writing desk, big style: 12 desks for small spaces - C

March 20, 2024

Small writing desk, big style: 12 desks for small spaces

Get top tips for choosing a small writing desk, plus discover 12 high-quality pieces to help you maximize your space and style.

Get top tips for choosing a small writing desk, plus discover 12 high-quality pieces to help you maximize your space and style.

Small spaces can be a design challenge, especially if they need to serve multiple purposes — like a living room, home office, and game room in one. But we love a good challenge.

Small writing desks are an ideal way to squeeze a workspace into a small space. These petite pieces include everything you need in a desk — namely, a simple work surface — and nothing you don’t. They can help you carve out an area to work from home or encourage your kids to do their homework.

But first, you need to figure out how your small writing desk needs to be. Learn how to choose the right desk for your space. Then discover 12 pieces that are so beautiful they’ll inspire pages and pages of prose.

How to choose the right writing desk

Small writing desk: Colella 2-shelf Writing Ladder Desk Cappuccino

Writing desks have the smallest footprint of the classic desk styles. They don’t have the bulky attached drawers of executive desks or the tall, chest-like structure of secretary desks.

Instead, they feature a clean, minimalist design with a tabletop, legs, and sometimes a number of drawers just below the tabletop. This simple layout makes them great for small spaces. But to find the best one for your space, you’ll need to decide on a size and style before you head to your local furniture store.

Here’s how to ensure the small writing desk you’re considering is right for your space.

Pick a spot

Whenever you purchase new furniture for your home, it’s best to decide where you’ll put it before you shop. This will allow you to choose a piece that looks tailor-made for that spot.


Once you have a spot in mind, measure it. One of our favorite ways to measure for new furniture is to use painter’s tape to block off the spot where we want to put it. You can block off the largest and smallest amount of space you’d like your desk to fill.

This gives you a visual to ensure your chosen piece will fit the room. Once you’re happy with the size you’ve blocked off, measure the length and depth of both the smaller and larger squares of painter’s tape. This will give you a size range to look for when you shop.

Consider your other home decor

If you already have an established home decor style, you’ll want a writing desk that blends with the rest of your space. If you haven’t established your interior design style yet, your small writing desk could define your space. Consider how you want your home to look and feel so you can start curating your style.

For instance, a mid-century modern design will look very different from a French Country-style home, which will look very different from a Hollywood Regency aesthetic. However, you can also mix styles to create an eclectic interior design or transitional style.

If you’re not sure which interior design style you want, start by considering the colors and materials you like. Sticking to a color scheme and consistent materials can create a cohesive feeling. For example, you can create a warm, cool, or earthy color palette. You can also start by choosing between earthy materials — like solid wood and stone — and space-age materials like acrylic and chrome.

When you’re looking for a writing desk, opt for colors and materials that match your current home decor to create a look that fits with your space.

12 small writing desk styles that are pretty and petite

We’ve rounded up a dozen small writing desks to fit a variety of home decor styles. They range in size from itty bitty to simply small so you can find the right fit for your space.

1. Dobrev 2-Drawer Writing Desk

Small writing desk: Dobrev 2-drawer Writing Desk Weathered Grey and Clear

Rustic farmhouse meets glam style in this modern design. The Dobrev writing desk is like a contemporary version of French Country decor. Its weathered gray finish looks comfortable and lived-in, while the acrylic side panels add elegance. It’s the office furniture equivalent of hanging a crystal chandelier over a wood dining table.

2. Analiese 3-Drawer Writing Desk

Small writing desk: Analiese 3-drawer Writing Desk Antique Nutmeg and Black

If your style is more industrial farmhouse than glam farmhouse, then the Analiese 3-Drawer Writing Desk will be the perfect fit. The antique nutmeg wood finish, paired with black metal legs, creates a reclaimed look. And if you’re squeezing your workspace into a corner of your living room, this style pairs beautifully with a rustic coffee table, like the Stephie 4-Drawer Coffee Table in honey brown and black metal.

3. Bradenton 1-Drawer Writing Desk

Small writing desk: Bradenton 1-drawer Writing Desk White and Walnut

For a piece with an extra-small footprint, the Bradenton Writing Desk is only 17 inches deep, giving you just enough space for a notebook (of either the paper or computer variety) and your essential office supplies. This space-saving design takes up about as much room as a console table, making it easy to squeeze into an entryway, living room, hallway, or bedroom. It’s a great match for Scandinavian design or mid-century modern style.

4. Karri 2-Piece Writing Desk Set

Small writing desk: Karri 2-piece Writing Desk Set Walnut

Another mid-century modern writing desk, the Karri desk set includes a minimalist writing table and matching chair with gray leatherette upholstery. Mid-century modern furniture is a great choice for small spaces because the pieces are designed with a smaller footprint. This piece makes an excellent study desk or work desk for multi-purpose spaces like living rooms or bedrooms.

5. Tatum Rectangular Writing Desk

Small writing desk: Tatum Rectangular Writing Desk Cement and Gunmetal

For an edgy, industrial space, the Tatum writing desk features a faux concrete top (meaning you get the look of real concrete without the weight) and a metal trestle base. It’s a sturdy, minimalist design that can fit into a multi-purpose space or inspire your home office design. Complete the look with a matching bookcase.

6. Pinckard 1-Drawer Ladder Desk

Pinckard 1-drawer Ladder Desk Grey Stone and Black

If you’re trying to sneak a desk into your living space, the Pinckard ladder desk is a classic writing desk that you can pair with matching ladder-style shelves to create a workspace within your living room storage unit. The complete set gives you 10 open shelves and one large pull-out drawer for plenty of storage space — allowing you to make the most of a small space.

7. Brennan 3-Drawer Office Desk​​

Brennan 3-drawer Office Desk Cappuccino

This modern design is ready to get down to business. The Brennan 3-Drawer Home Office Desk has a built-in file cabinet to give you a lot of storage space, even if you don’t have any extra space. This design proves you don’t need a bulky L-shaped desk or corner desk to fit all your office supplies — and the look is perfect for a contemporary living space.

8. Estrella Writing Desk

Estrella Writing Desk Antique Nutmeg and Gunmetal

For the ultimate in rustic, minimalist design, the Estrella writing desk has a wood-look tabletop and metal legs — all with modern, rectangular silhouettes. The black metal provides a striking contrast to the weathered wood tones, and you can complete the look with a matching file cabinet.

9. Weaving 2-Drawer Computer Desk

Weaving 2-drawer Computer Desk Black

Black furniture may be one of the most sophisticated modern trends, and the Weaving 2-Drawer Computer Writing Desk is the perfect piece to show you why. This contemporary design pairs black metal legs with a black tempered glass tabletop and two drawers for a look that is small, dark, and handsome. The slide-out keyboard tray sits below the desktop, making typing more ergonomic for shorter individuals.

10. Gemma 2-Drawer Writing Desk

Gemma 2-drawer Writing Desk Glossy White and Chrome

To add more glamour to your life (and your space), the Gemma 2-Drawer Writing Desk features a glossy white finish with a sparkling chrome frame and elegant curved silhouette. It has two felt-lined drawers to provide scratch-free storage for valuables and electronics. The hutch allows you to place your office supplies below while raising your computer screen to a more ergonomic height.

11. Colella 2-Shelf Writing Ladder Desk

Colella 2-Shelf Writing Ladder Desk

Another ladder desk, the Colella writing desk allows you to hide your workspace within your living room storage. It includes a classic writing desk with two open shelves up above. You can place it between two matching 5-shelf ladder bookcases for a total of 12 open shelves — giving you maximum functionality from your office furniture. The simple, timeless design is perfect for transitional spaces.

12. Percy 4-Compartment Writing Desk

Percy 4-Compartment Writing Desk White and Walnut

This white and wood writing desk is ideal for Scandinavian or mid-century modern homes. The hutch features four compartments for organizing your office supplies. Plus, this wood desk is also built to last with Asian hardwood and an MDF top. The Percy 4-Compartment Writing Desk makes an ideal study desk or work-from-home desk for small spaces.

Style comes in all sizes

Even small homes are multi-purpose spaces. We use them for working, playing, planning, dining, entertaining, resting, and relaxing. Even if your home is small, you need to make room for all your activities.

A small writing desk can squeeze into a living room, bedroom, entryway, or even a hallway, adding both form and function to your space.

To discover more ways to style your small space, check out our guide to the best furniture for small spaces.

coaster-desks-home-office-Percy-4-Compartment-Writing-Desk-White-and-Walnut coaster-desks-home-office-Percy-4-Compartment-Writing-Desk-White-and-Walnut-hover

Percy 4-Compartment Writing Desk White and Walnut

Percy Collection

coaster-desks-home-office-Gemma-2-drawer-Writing-Desk-Glossy-White-and-Chrome coaster-desks-home-office-Gemma-2-drawer-Writing-Desk-Glossy-White-and-Chrome-hover

Gemma 2-drawer Writing Desk Glossy White and Chrome

Gemma Collection

coaster-desks-home-office-Tatum-Rectangular-Writing-Desk-Cement-and-Gunmetal coaster-desks-home-office-Tatum-Rectangular-Writing-Desk-Cement-and-Gunmetal-hover

Tatum Rectangular Writing Desk Cement and Gunmetal

Tatum Collection

Where To Buy

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