Top 50 Best Built In Desk Ideas – Cool Work Space Designs
Not just an implement for the college dorm room, a built-in desk is an architecturally stylish and surprisingly practical addition to the modern home.
Beautifully situated and equally convenient, a built-in desk eliminates clutter in small spaces and conversely adds a touch of the updated chic to larger abodes.
The question is, which model is right for you?
Depending on your spatial desires, these built-in desk ideas and designs can feature any number of drawers, shelves, and top space compartments, with additional storage units and concealed cubby holes for all that extra paperwork.
From sleek single-occupant nooks to fully appointed New England secretary-style models, the array of built-in desks featured in today’s leading design guides are destined to keep you working in endless ease and unabashed splendor. What’s more, with every imaginable material available, from marble to repurposed wood, you can be sure your desk will blend seamlessly with your home’s interior, year in and year out.
Every well-outfitted gentleman needs an office space in which to conduct his affairs and keep his life running smoothly. You don’t need to rent out an entire office to enjoy the benefits of a fully equipped desk, nor purchase bulky furniture that is sure to lose its relevance in no time. The right built-in desk will keep you in good stead and even better style, no matter the task at hand.
1. Built-In Desk Cabinetry Ideas
Do you have a wall of cabinets somewhere in your home? This is an ideal spot to create your built-in desk. You can blend the desk into the cabinetry so that it visually “disappears” as the cabinet doors hide the desktop, and the rest of the shelving distracts the eye.
To successfully incorporate your built-in desk, try to keep the desktop in line and flush with the rest of the cabinets. You don’t want it to extend out beyond the face of your cabinets because this will break the continuous cabinet illusion. It also shouldn’t be a different height than the cabinets on either side of it. If you need more workspace and the desktop comes out further, then create a decorative edge so that it looks artfully done. Then stick with drawers and cabinet doors on the bottom half of your cabinetry. You can then pair this with more cabinet doors or shelving on the upper half of the cabinets.
Use the cabinets to hide your technology. You can create a cubby for your printer and wireless router to hide in. Just be sure you build power outlets into the back of your cabinets. You’ll want them evenly distributed throughout. This will prevent you from having to run cables from one shelf to another.
2. Lighting Ideas for a Built-In Desk
Having the right lighting is vital to making your desk area a usable space. You’ll want to focus on creating task lighting. This is a bright, direct light that’s focused on where you plan to sit and do work.
You could create this illumination with recessed or track lighting in your ceiling. Or you could mount spot or LED lighting underneath the shelving. For a traditional look and additional light, you can place a tabletop lamp on your desk. Finally, don’t forget the beauty of natural lighting. You could put your desk under or near a window and enjoy the sun’s rays filtering in.
If your desk is a part of a larger shelving or cabinet unit, then add lighting to the rest of the unit. Put this on a separate control from your task lighting. This will allow you to create a visually appealing accent lighting effect. You can turn this lighting on to highlight the rest of the shelves on display and darken your work area by comparison. This will make a beautiful display and enhance a room’s ambiance if your desk is in a commonly used space.
When choosing your light bulbs, stick with energy-efficient CFL or LED bulbs. These bulbs use less energy, last longer, and come in a wide range of color temperatures. Choose a light that is labeled white or daylight. It should be between 3500 and 5500 Kelvin. Anything above this and it will be too blue. Anything below this and it will be too yellow. This middle ground is the sweet spot for eye comfort and maximum productivity.
3. Nook Built-In Desk Ideas
Take a look around your home and look for unused or wasted space. You can build your desk into this small nook and create a built-in desk. You could create a desk in the space under your staircase, on the landing at the top of your stairs, in a larger hallway, or the nook meant for your laundry appliances.
These small spaces have a cubby quality about them and are ideal for creating a built-in desk with shelving and drawers. The trick to making your nook feel inviting is to have plenty of light. This will keep your built-in desk from feeling like a dark cave.
When creating your desk, think about how you intend to use the space. If you need a simple workspace, then you need the bare minimum of a floating shelf to use as the desktop and additional shelves above. If you need a more robust and functional space, then you can add cabinets or drawers underneath the desktop and above your workspace.
Get creative with how you create the workspace. Work with the space that you already have, such as building shelves of different lengths for your desk under the stairs. Also, consider installing your lights into the ceiling to complement the natural light coming in through a nearby window.
4. Home-Office Built-In Desk Ideas
If you find yourself working from home, then you’ll want a desk that can closely replicate the functionality of the one in your office. But instead of looking like a soul-less cubical desk, it should seamlessly blend into the design and style of your home. The most important thing is to dedicate enough space to your desk and have a way of separating yourself from the rest of your home. This will enable you to conduct phone calls and video conferences without fear of disruption.
Give yourself plenty of workspace with a desktop that extends beyond your immediate work area. It could extend the entire length of one wall, or wrap around to create an L shape.
These are also the best types of desks if you aren’t the only one working from home. You can create multiple workstations so that you and your significant other can each have your own workspace.
Just because this is your home office doesn’t mean it needs to feel like work. Add homey touches and personalize the space, so you feel comfortable. Add items that have inspirational or emotional meaning as decor to your shelves. Place plush pillows on the seating. Drape a cozy throw over a guest chair. Use a plush chair or love seat as your guest furniture. Lay a beautiful rug on the floor to both define the space and add warmth.
5. Children’s Built-In Desk Ideas
Desks aren’t just for adults. Your children need a space where they can do their homework and study. This creates a dedicated space that is meant for educational purposes. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be serious or boring. Try to create a desk that is both functional and fun.
Keep the desk design simple and user-friendly. You only need a flat workspace and storage that holds your children’s belongings. The simpler the space, the more likely your child will be able to keep it clean.
Don’t be afraid to go vertical with the desk. The area you have to work with may be small, but the vertical space will allow you to create additional needed storage. Try using a combination of open shelving and closed cabinets. This will give your child easily accessible shelves while also keeping the space looking tidy.
Don’t forget to make the desk fun by personalizing it. Consider your child’s tastes and interests when creating their desk. You could paint it their favorite color. You could even frame and display their artwork. Place some of the favorite toys or most cherished belongings on the shelves.
Finish the desk area by choosing a chair that works perfectly for them. You could choose a child’s size chair to make it comfortable and easy for them to sit. A couple of cushioned boxes on wheels will give your child functionality and comfort while sitting at their desk.
6. Small Built-In Desk Ideas
Is your home limited on free space? Maybe you only need a laptop to do your work. If either of these situations applies, then you’re a prime candidate for a small built-in desk in your home. Small desks fit into tiny nooks and require a minimal amount of space. Thanks to their size, these desks are the most versatile. You can install them in your kitchen, hallway, living room, or the corner of any room.
You can have cabinetry or drawers, but most small desks are a simple workspace just large enough for your chair and laptop. You can make the space more functional by having overhead shelving or cabinetry. You could even paint the wall above your desk with chalkboard paint. This will give you a built-in note board.
To make this desk work in your home, skip the typical desk-looking furniture. Your desktop, cabinets, and shelving should blend into the surrounding cabinetry and home design. This includes using decorative trim, cabinet hardware, and even painting the space to match.
7. L-Shaped and Wrap-Around Built-In Desk Ideas
If you need more space for your work or have an unused corner in your home, then you’re the perfect candidate for an L shaped desk. A small L shaped desk will allow you to pivot left and right as you work. A larger L shaped desk could create two separate workspaces on each of the legs of the “L”. This makes it a good solution if you need a workspace at home for more than one person.
When creating your desk, choose the area where you will sit and perform the majority of your work. You’ll want to ensure you have enough task lighting and outlets in this area. You can use the rest of the L for additional storage under the desktop.
If you’re creating two workstations at your desk, then you’ll need to consider the functionality of both workspaces. Both areas need enough lighting and dedicated storage. You’ll also need to have double the number of electrical plugs to accommodate the additional technology. Pay attention to how each person will maneuver at their desk as both chairs need enough space around them so that you aren’t bumping into each other.
When setting up your desk, think about how you want to work. Which side do you have more room at? Which direction do you want your back to face? Do you have more maneuverability if you sit in one spot versus another?
8. Built-In Desk Ideas for Kitchens
Kitchen desks tend to be a small workstation that are perfect for doing quick tasks or paying bills. These built-in desks are in the middle of the most used room in your home, so they don’t make great desks for those looking to work from home full time. Most kitchen desks are a few feet wide and are framed by your kitchen cabinets.
The advantage of these small workstations is that you’ll have plenty of light. Kitchens tend to have the most built-in lighting, which will work in your favor when working at the desk. They’re also close to the snacks and drinks, which makes working at your desk more enjoyable.
If you decide you want a desk in your kitchen, build in plenty of organization and storage space. This area tends to collect mail and other papers, so you need a way to keep all of it organized. It’s also helpful to have a way to hide the clutter. Cabinet doors and drawers can help you close the space in and keep the paper clutter out of sight.
Built-In Desk FAQs
How do I choose the right location for my built-in desk?
Consider the traffic flow patterns in your home and your ability to ignore distractions. If your family spends the majority of their time in the kitchen and you’re easily distracted, then placing your desk here is a bad idea. At the same time, you don’t want to stiff yourself on space. Your desk should be placed somewhere that you’ll want to spend time. Try to place your desk where you’ll be able to concentrate and stay productive while working from home.
How do I make my built-in desk beautiful and functional?
While you can’t do much to make your phone, printer, and computer more attractive, you can minimize their visual impact. Start by creating cubbies or cabinetry that you can tuck these items away in. That way, when they aren’t in use, they’ll be out of sight. Another thing you can do is hide the cords. Place your technology near the outlets and create holes for threading the cords behind your desk. This will keep the area looking neat, organized, and less like a cubicle.
Must I use a traditional desk chair with my built-in desk?
No, you can use any chair you want with your desk. The most important thing is to find a chair you can comfortably sit in for hours at a time. Look for a chair that helps you sit in an ergonomically correct position. You can find these qualities in a wide variety of chairs, so look for one that fits the style and feel of your home.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
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Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather WatchCheck Price
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.