The usual back-to-school shopping list includes crayons, pencils, tissues, scissors, notebooks, lunchboxes, and backpacks. Those backpacks, of course, will be bringing home homework — and textbooks and projects and art supplies. If your child needs a place to study or work at home, a desk should also be on your supply list.
Abby Gruman of Abby Leigh Designs in New York said any at-home desk or study space should include “plentiful storage for pens, pencils, paper.” Look for a wire-management system, as well as electrical and USB supports. If the desk doesn’t come with these, make sure there’s enough room to add them.
In terms of materials, “wood is always a great choice, but don’t be scared of paint, stone, or a faux finish,” said Shaolin Low of Studio Shaolin in Honolulu.
“All new desks should be a standard height” of about 30 inches, said Mary Patton of Mary Patton Design in Houston. “If you are shopping for a vintage desk, make sure it’s not too short. That can be fixed by adding acrylic risers underneath the legs.”
We asked Gruman, Low, and Patton — all mothers and interior designers — to share their favorite desks for children. Here are their picks:
Gruman said one of her favorites is the Studio Duc indi art desk ($695, westelm.com). The desk, available in midnight, light gray, and white, comes with built-in organizers for supplies and a bench seat generous enough for two small children to share. Gruman, who has two children, is eyeing it to create a dedicated place where her kids can color.
Gruman also recommended the Outline metal and wood kids’ desk ($499, crateandbarrel.com), made of engineered wood with an ash veneer and powder-coated steel in either white or blue. She likes its two large drawers and the “playful” hooks on the side. For even more storage, add floating shelves on the wall above it, or put a bookcase next to it, she suggested.
“We are finding a lot of our clients loving standing desks, and some kids who do, too,” Low said. She recommends Uplift Desk’s desktops ($299 and up, upliftdesk.com), which can be mounted on the company’s adjustable steel frames ($549 and up) and will transition from sitting to standing with a button. The desktops come in walnut, white, black, ash gray, maple, and cherry laminate, as well as a whiteboard laminate, while the frames come in black, white, gray, and industrial options.
Gruman also loves Ducduc’s Austin desk ($1,350, ducducnyc.com) because of the options for customization. Choose from white, dark brown, light gray, natural walnut, or downpour blue for the frame and accent colors. There are also four color options for the drawer pulls. Choose a color to custom-paint the drawer boxes, too. The optional desk-plus-hutch ($2,245) can store books, pictures, piggy banks, globes, and trophies, Gruman said.
Low said one of her favorites is Acme Furniture’s cargo desk and hutch ($359.99 and up, amazon.com). The metal desk comes in red, blue, white, or gunmetal. The door conceals a shelf and two compartments for added storage.
Although those cute little tables or mini-desks are tempting, remember that children grow up fast. You’re better off with something larger for school-age children, Patton said. “Look for something not babyish and [that’s] functional,” she said. She likes the Adio computer desk with shelves ($499.99, wayfair.com), which has a white base and a shiplap gray desktop.