Studious style: The latest in desks from the furniture market

Patricia Sheridan

It's never too late to be studious. While students' thoughts turn to books, it might be time to rethink your work space whether you are matriculated or still taking graduate classes in the school of life. The best place to start is the desk, the centerpiece for transforming the cerebral into the tangible.

It's the one spot in the home you approach with a definite purpose. It's the place to get serious about studying, paying bills, writing, reading and unintentional daydreaming, so why not make it great?

The Las Vegas Furniture Market and the International Furniture Market at High Point, N.C., offered some possibilities.

Here's a glance at some of what's out there:

Nothing ignites the imagination more than travel, which is why Steven Shell's cartographer's desk with drafting table elevation and drawers for storage is almost attractive enough to be distracting. Once you have studied the hand-painted map that makes up the work surface, you will want to use it to plan those trips from Outer Mongolia to the Outer Banks. (For more information, visit

The painter's work desk by Bob Timberlake Home for Century Furniture is the perfect place to spark your creative spirit, whether you choose to doodle a game of hangman on the gas bill or start writing the Great American Novel. In mahogany solids with open storage, pencil tray and tilted lift lid. (

The Harborview table desk with leather inlaid top on inverted metal Z legs is sleek enough to go from the bedroom to the family boardroom. It's from Sligh's Longboat Key Collection. The simple but elegant design speaks to those who desire a clear path from A to B. Sit, do, done. (

Not just for recipes anymore, Paula Deen's sawhorse work table for Universal Furniture is a real workhorse. The piece from the Down Home Collection has three drawers and four shelves, plenty big enough to hold the weight of your interests from pencils to photos, from books to iPads. (

If you have space issues, then French Heritage's slanted corner desk with ebony and red trim and brass accents might be just the ticket for tackling tedious tasks. It features drop-leaf sides for expanding or deleting your area of study and will fit nicely into any corner of the house. (

From the Atelier Collection by Hickory Chair is the Sonia demi-lune desk. Inspired by a French Neoclassic writing table and crafted from ash solids with walnut veneers and antique bronze pulls, it's a handsome addition to any room. You can request your own hardware, and it's available in more than 70 finishes). This is one desk you can really make your own. (

Preppies love their style coupled with color, so Lilly Pulitzer's Kelley campaign desk in green lacquer with brass hardware will have them feeling right at home and ready to attack everything from the J. Crew catalog to that Princeton application. (

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