Desk Disaster

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for a new desk. I actually came to the conclusion months ago, but I’ve finally accepted that it’s time to make the change.

In case you haven’t read my past blog entries (in which case you’re not my best friend anymore) here’s a picture of my current desk situation.

You might notice the shocking curve in that middle shelf and the dangerous angle at which those top shelves are leaning. This is what it should look like.

Well, that’s what it would look like if you bought it today. Unfortunately, I bought my desk when I started university…which somehow was almost ten years ago. Sigh.
Anyway, I bought this desk when I started university and thought it was going to be great. There are many problems with this desk, however. Major problem one – there are no drawers. This desk is seriously deceiving in storage. It has all those shelves, so you think it’s great, but really everything just lays everywhere.

Problem number two – it’s so big. Like, really, really big. Especially since we have laptops and no desktop anymore. It’s just too big and has no useful space.
Problem three – it’s at a weird height. I don’t know what the deal is with this desk, but the height seems off. See, I’ve mentioned before that I’m a court reporter in real life and I type transcripts at home on a freelance basis for another court. So, I spend a lot of time typing and proofreading at the desk. I found the desk top was too high to type and hurt my back (I measured it, and it’s 76 cm high) and the keyboard try seems too low (it’s 66 cm high) and makes my hands fall asleep.
Problem number four, it is a bitch to put together. It’s only made out of particle board, but htose pieces are so heavy! My desk has been moved a total of eight times that I can recall – sometimes needing to be disassembled to do the move, other times being moved in one piece. This last time when Jagger and I tried to put it together at the new house there was literally a moment where I was on all fours under the desk (shh, it was serious) supporting the main part of the desk on my head/back while Jagger tried to switch the side pieces because we’d put them on backwards. In the process of this final assembly, lock bolts fell out, chunks of particle board fell with it, dowling snapped…suffice it to say, I’m a little wary of the desk in its current state.
So, I’m on the hunt for a new desk. It’s hard to find one that fits in the space I want, still has lots of workspace so I can spread things out when I’m proofreading and can hold two laptops and is, of course, cheap. Because I’m super cheap.
My problem is that I want something vintage and Mad Men awesome like this…

“Yes, Mr. Draper I’ll have that ready straight away.”

But, I think it will end up being too ginormous and not be the right height for typing.

I like this little number on Kijiji…

And I think I could fit a keyboard in that top desk, but I think I would rather have drawers to my left and the corners look rusted.

I’m interested in this one that’s for sale on Kijiji, if only because the guy says he would trade for beer. Classic.
But I don’t know if it’s quite what I’m looking for.

This one from Jysk is super duper cheap, which is awesome, but I think the height is wrong and it might be too small for proofreading. And, it’s not terribly pretty.

I really, really, really like this one at IKEA, because I can mount that sliding part on either side of the desk and that would give me the spare room when I’m proofing, but I don’t know if I $200 like it…

I know, I know. I’m being ridiculously cheap.

I like this IKEA one a lot too, but the height isn’t right, and I would have to mount a keyboard tray underneath to try and correct it. Plus, it’s $170, which I also think is too expensive.

So here are my el cheapo favourites from IKEA so far. Item number one is just a simple table. It’s the right height though (70 cm, so right in between my current too high/too low level) and it’s only $40. There’s no storage though, which might be a problem.

Or there’s option number two which gets extra points for cuteness when you see it in blue like this…

It’s just your basic computer cart though, and I think it’s the same height as my current desk. Plus, the counter isn’t huge, which would be hard with two laptops. It is only $60 though.

Why can’t awesome things be super cheap or free? Why can’t I build my own furniture?

What do you guys think? Any suggestions? What kind of desk do you prefer?

10 thoughts on “Desk Disaster

  1. I really like the white Ikea desk. I was eyeing it up when I was at Ikea a few months ago. Though the one you can have for beer sounds like a great bargain!


  2. I have a ginormous (and I DO mean GINORMOUS) roll top desk that I bought ages ago and I have rearranged and lost serious floor space to keep it, but it has like a million drawers up above and a door on the right and more drawers on the left and a giant work space and 2! extending boards, one on each side and I love it so much. *tear*

    anyway. I like that dark wooden one with the cubes on the side. The white tabley one would be functional, but like you said, no storage. Furniture is MAD hard to find. Keep looking, you'll find something! I know it!


  3. I have to admit im not too much of a fan of the desks you have on here. They don't seem to address your storage issue.
    I like the idea of getting a sheet of board from home depot, or habitat for humanity (do some good and save some money) and hang it over 2 filing cabinets. This would give you something original and give you a lot of drawers for storage. You could also buy a cheap old door from habitat (you can get them for like $10 there. Had to buy one for our place here so we could cut a cat hole in for Dude!) and put some glass or plexiglas over top of it for your desk top. Again set it on some filing cabinets (which you said in the past you wanted) or a couple short book shelves. Plus, if your keyboard tray is still functioning in your old desk you could take it off and attach it to this.
    Just a thought. Good luck 🙂


  4. i have one very similar to that first one on your wish list (my work place ordered it for me since i work at home. heh. I even get to keep it if i quit)
    I LOVE it. It's the perfect size and has tons of storage!


  5. Thanks for the suggestions! My problem is that I'm just so cheap – I don't want to spend money on anything decent! I would consider making one – we'll see what I can figure out. I definitely need a filing cabinet, it's on the list of things to get. Stay tuned and I'll let everyone know what I end up doing!


  6. I agree with the filinig cabinet door deal. Chelsey had one for years and it's amazing, though it takes up quite a bit of space – but lots of working space!

    Another great idea is if you get a desk with a removable hutch, REMOVE it (I know right?) and then attach it to the wall. This requires a studfinder (mind almost fell off the wall) and some heavy duty brackets if you plan on putting books on it (I did – lots of large heavy dictionaries and printer), but it saves SO much room on the desktop and gives you lots of storage space (blank wall = shelving potential)


  7. Something like this

    Take the hutch off, flip it upside down and attach it to the wall. Bit bit part can be for your big ass printer, and the shorter shelves can be for your books.

    A big desk is like a big purse. The larger the purse the more crap you carry around (or the more crap lies around) so bigger isn't always better (although I know you like to carry a lot of crap around)


  8. I have a pretty basic desk: four legs, one drawer underneath, but it's really wide and looks kinda old-fashion-y, so I like it. I've got a file cabinet under one side of it, and these little two shelf bookcases on each side that complement it nicely.

    Someday I really want one of those old school, enormous high-backed rolltop desks.


  9. I have a beautiful desk downstairs, that got oodles and oodles of use when I was in university. It housed a ginormous desk-top computer and was covered in texts and papers all the time.

    Then I graduated, and sadly the huge desk-top computer is gone, and the only use the desk gets is being where my cats eat their food, and it also still houses my printer. But I am remiss to get rid of it, because I love it so much:P

    I do a lot of editing and working from home, and on those occasions I usually just adopt the dining room table. Tons of room to spread work/proof-reading/papers out, plus room to work on my laptop.

    I hate to say it, but my favourite is the $200.00 one from Ikea, with the extendable shelf that can go on the right or left side.

    Oh, and remember, if you decide to go for the Kijiji desk, ask if plans to build actual legs for it, as opposed to the “not-so-permanent” ones I think he's using in the picture:)

    Happy desk shopping!


  10. I'm with Teebore, I really, really want one of those huge rolltop desks. I was so close to buying one last year but couldn't decide which one to get.

    My desk at home is small and short which works just perfect for me because I'm not small or short. I usually sit on the couch and type or write. Sometimes the kitchen table, sometimes my bed. I just move to wherever is most comfortable for the moment. I would love an awesome chair and sweet desk…one day.


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