A desk is an essential part of any office and fortunately, there are enough choices to suit everyone’s needs. After all, a home office can occupy a small corner in some other room, or be a designated room of its own. Desks can be used part-time, or full-time, depending on the work habits and schedule of the individual working there.

For a smaller desk, perhaps only used for occasional paperwork, look to George Nelson’s mid-century classic ‘Home Desk’, manufactured by Vitra, a compact writing desk with a few open, colourful compartments and a small shelf. A more traditional, pared-down, option is Frank Lloyd Wright’s wooden, Cassina-produced ‘619 Meyer May’ desk from 1908.

To increase the desk’s surface area and maximise storage capacity, designers have often placed the drawers and shelves underneath the desktop. The celebrated Bauhaus architect and designer, Marcel Breuer, designed the minimal, tubular steel ‘S285’ desk in 1935, which is still in production today by Thonet. The ‘Eames Desk Unit EDU’, designed by Charles and Ray Eames, today made by Vitra, combines an elegant, exposed steel skeleton with colourful, plywood infill panels.

Carlo Mollino’s 1949 ‘Cavour | 2690’ desk for Zanotta, is a dynamic composition of asymmetrical wooden elements with a glass tabletop, while Franco Albini’s 1958 ‘Albini desk’ for Knoll International is a restrained design with a glass desktop, chromed steel skeleton and a floating wooden drawer. Antonio Citterio’s ‘Arne CA130D+SA105D’ for B&B Italia offers relatively large storage space, the desk surface itself pivots on one of its ends and can be rotated into the desired position.

And if even more surface area is required, a large table can provide a solution. Egon Eiermann’s ‘Eiermann Table 1’, manufactured by Richard Lampert, features a minimal steel skeleton with a height-adjustable desktop, while Charlotte Perriand’s, three-legged, 1972 ‘511 Ventaglio’ for Cassina is robust, asymmetrical and made out of solid wood. If flexibility is important, perhaps ‘N.E.T. 700’, designed for Søren Ulrik Petersen for MA/U Studio, a system of steel trestles, with wooden desktop reaching up to 15 metres, is the answer.

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