Subscribe for your chance to win £250!

ufurnish - The Home for Furniture Discovery
Log In / Sign Up



On Sale





Secretary Desks

237 products from 3 retailers

Secretary Desks

One of the questions our members often approach us with, is how they can replicate a traditional and quaint feel in their home office, by using furniture and items which do not scream “home office” but rather appear to be something a little more decorative when not in use. After all, the problem with many modern desks is that they are so large and dominate large areas of space, leaving little room for other activities in any given room. The solution? Secretary Desks.

What is a secretary desk?

A secretary desk is a structure which is often sat up against a wall and boasts a solid four leg base topped with some drawers, with a desk above the drawers and then a set of shelves atop the desk. The standout feature of a secretary desk is that the actual desk section can be hinged out of the way – either operating by being pushed back into the structure, or else in some instances closing upwards or downwards to become a smooth surface.

When not in use as a desk, a secretary desk resembles more of a bookcase or a dresser than an actual desk, with its tall stance and solid structure. It is only when the desk is pulled out that its true purpose becomes clear.

These desks were super popular a few decades back, with many antique and traditional homes finding that they are drawn to the early designs of secretary desk due to their ornately engraved and decorated wooden exteriors, and their basic but ingenious designs.

What are the advantages of a secretary desk?

Of course, the main advantage of a secretary desk is that the desk doesn’t dominate an entire room as a permanent desk, but rather sits neatly against one wall posing as a dresser or bookcase until such a time as you need the desk. Buyers should be careful to test the desk sliding mechanism before purchase, particularly with an older design or model, as the hinge can sometimes become stuck or jammed, and there have been known instances where the desk itself starts to drop and create a slight slope over time – not a huge issue, but certainly something you want to avoid if you plan on working at the desk.

Secretary desks are attractive and aesthetically pleasing, now available on the modern market in a whole range of finishes including clean white structures, natural rustic wooden finishes, traditional dark wood designs and many more. We tend to find that the more modern designs do not boast a bookcase on top of the desk, but rather a lower set of drawers or small shelves which can most often be used for decorative accessories – adding vibrancy and life to the secretary desk.

Another advantage is the way in which you can conceal items and drawers, with some of the older designs featuring doors which closed over the top bookcase and kept its contents hidden. This allows for more private work to be done – and means the secretary desk can sit in a living space in the home without all your work being on show.

And finally, the beauty of a secretary desk is that it really can go anywhere – from its own office home, to a corner of the living room or even an area of the bedroom. With its multi-purpose design, the secretary desk is an old interpretation of something which today would be seen as innovative – probably the biggest reason why these desks can still be found on the market today.

For the best range, try antique and second hand stores, as well as furniture retailers and homeware decorate furniture stores.

Read More

Stay in the know with

Ideas and advice straight to your inbox