Double-Duty Desks: 14 Adaptable Office Furniture Designs

Even if you’re really into minimalism, a desk should be much more than just a piece of waist-high furniture with a flat surface. With a clever design, a simple workspace can pack in a whole lot of function – and some are almost sculptural in appearance, making them an integral part of the look of a room. These 14 (more!) desks save space, integrate storage, provide privacy and adapt to your needs in surprising ways.

Desk Held Up by Blocks & Balloons

(images via: dezeen)

Heavy on one side, and light on the other – this playful desk for Dublin creative agency Boys and Girls is supported by heavy wooden Jenga-style blocks and balloons, which are actualy permanent hot air balloons made of strong rubber composite. The balloons are air-tight and will never degrade. Those aren’t ordinary ribbons, either – they’re reinforced with titanium. The project was conceived after a magazine write-up about the company called their reception area “small and routine.”

Privacy Desk: Time Flies by Lisa Frode

(image via:  lisa frode)

It’s hard to concentrate on any kind of project when you feel like you have no privacy. Industrial design graduate Lisa Frode has a solution: a tented desk, inspired by the curtains that can be used to divide airplane cabins to create private rooms. Called ‘Time Flies’, the desk design features a wooden frame and a zippered, removable canvas cover. Just imagine if a concept like this were extended to cubicle farms – you could futz around on Facebook, as your employer fears, or maybe become even more productive thanks to fewer distractions.

Surreal CEO Desk

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Looking like a pixelated photo of an old-fashioned, Rococo table, this somewhat surreal desk by designers Staffan Holm and Johannes Tjernberg is supported by curving legs made up of small individual blocks. Entitled ‘CEO’, the desk is made of black enameled beech and MDF.The designers were inspired by the idea of mimicking the Rococo style using simple LEGO shapes.

Sleek & Simple Wall Desk by Raw Edges for Arco

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This desk design wins big in both the space-saving and aesthetic departments. Design duo Raw Edges created the wall-mounted desk, which looks like an ordinary shelf when closed, but opens to reveal a flat work surface. When closed, it also forms a hidden storage compartment.

E.L.A. by Bozhinovski Design

(image via: elzadesign)

This space-age looking desk is suspended from the wall by steel cables. Bulgarian studio Bozhinovskidesign created the cantilevered E.L.A. desk using fiberglass, with a small storage compartment on the underside. “The idea was that the desk flies on the air, so we decided to build only two legs, and attached it with steel ropes from the wall.”

Woven Desk by Bram Vanderbeke

(images via: bram vanderbeke)

Here’s another desk that offers not just a flat workspace, but a private nook. ‘Woven’ by Belgium-based designer Bram Vanderbeke is reminiscent of both bird nests and basketry, made from thin strips of MDF.

Rotating Wooden Workspace

(image via: saule design)

What do you need from a desk? With this crazy rotating wooden design, you can get more than you ever imagined. Called the ‘Alice’, this desk rotates into and out of all kinds of positions. It can provide multiple workspaces,  and various platforms for all of the equipment and materials you need throughout the day. And when you’re done, it all swivels into a fairly compact little rectangle.

Land(e)scape:Topographic Storage Desk

(images via: design milk)

There are no screws, wood glue or any other kinds of fasteners or adhesives holding this desk together. The pieces are ‘stitched’ together using electrical cord, woven from one end of the desk’s ‘landscape’ to another. Entitled ‘Land(e)scape’, the design by French student Elodie Elsenberger features a caged lamp and various slits and pockets for papers and other supplies.

Snap-Together Modular Desk System

(images via: dornob)

If you need way more storage in your desk than the average person, maybe this modular workspace is for you. The Strates System from Mathieu Lehanneur is a stackable system of nesting modules that form work surfaces and storage areas.

Goggle: Sophisticated, Curved Office Desk

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The elliptical Goggle Desk is definitely a statement piece. This oval-shaped desk from Italian furniture manufacturer Babini is customizable with either a hollow center or cabinetry, and comes in a range of colors in glossy and matte finishes.

Egg-Shaped ‘ReWrite’ Desk by GamFratesi

(images via: apartment therapy)

Here’s yet another quiet and convenient little work pod offering a compact, private space that feels separate from the rest of a room without taking up valuable real estate. The ReWrite by GamFratesi is, according to the designers, “thought of as a kind of isolating working bubble, that can work as a satellite desk anywhere one can feel the need of concentration and shielding – in open office spaces, public spaces or at home.”

Curvilinear Desk by Eric Ritter

(Images via: Ritter furniture)

Modern furniture not to your taste? You might like this aesthetically pleasing wooden writing desk by Eric Ritter. The desk is made of pearwood and black walnut in a design that would be right at home in a hobbit house.

Wall Desk by Vurv Design Studio

(images via: vurv)

For people living in truly tiny spaces, whether wee houses, houseboats, mobile residents or super-compact apartments, a wall desk like this might just be the ultimate in office furniture. The design, by Vurv Studio, manages to fit lots of storage sized to fit standard letter-sized paper, and the flat work surface folds up.

Modern Steel Desk by Max Ingrand

(images via: minimalist home)

Designed in 1966, the Max Ingrand Desk still looks as fresh and modern as anything else that’s produced these days. It’s made from a single curved sheet of stainless steel.