A handmade desk adds both a function and a unique aesthetic to any space in your home or workplace. Craftsmen who specialize in studio furniture, or one-of-a-kind or limited production furniture, are skilled at choosing the wood for each project to highlight both the character of the wood and the function and style of the piece of furniture.
Whether a craftsman is building a traditional cherry or walnut secretary or a modern mahogany stand up writing desk, he will often use a combination of traditional joinery and modern furniture making techniques in its creation.
The most important thing to notice when looking at finely crafted wooden furniture is that a high quality handmade desk lends itself to both an aesthetic and functional component. The desk should look beautiful on its own, and its design should suggest its most functional use. For example, a formal and elegant secretary desk is also useful for storing and organizing papers and desk items. It will not, however, be the most useful computer desk. A modern flattop desk, on the other hand, lacks the organizational tools of a secretary but provides an exceptional space for a computer.
The design of a fine desk should therefore be thoughtfully laid out to be ergonomic for its use. If you’re looking at flattop desks, it should be wide enough and long enough to easily fit a computer, as well other desk items without overtaking the available space.
If there are mounted bookshelves on top of the flattop desk, they shelves should reasonably be able to house a books of a few different sizes. For any style desk, it should be built with skill so that you want to use it for its intended purpose. A high quality desk is functional for your use, and elegant to look at.
In addition to designing a one-of-a-kind desk with logical dimensions, a craftsman should always strive to bring out the natural elegance and beauty of the wood he is working with. Even a layperson without any background in fine furniture building can appreciate the vibrancy of the color of the wood, the elegant swirls of the grain of the wood, and the texture of its surface.
An experienced furniture-maker will start with the finest material available, no matter what style or type of desk he is building. Craftsmen value mahogany because the density of the wood makes it easy to match up the grains in each piece of wood. Other excellent choices to work with are walnut, cherry and maple woods because it is easy to bring out the innate characteristics of the wood.
Whether you value the design of the desk over the function or the function of the desk of the design is something you should consider when looking to buy a high-quality handmade desk. One desk that is extremely elegant in design is the traditional secretary desk, which once opened reveals the organizational aspects that led the desk to be affectionately called a “secretary.” On the other hand, a shaker flattop desk allows you to spread out your work on it while appreciating its basic design. A skilled craftsman can help you determine what will work best for your needs and style.
Studio furniture makers differ from craftsman of factory-made furniture in that they primarily focus on one project or client at a time. They start by hand selecting the exact pieces of wood for a given style and type of desk. They will then treat the wood accordingly, use only high-grade veneers, and individually prepare each piece for the pattern. The craftsman always has an eye on the details of the wood so that he can accentuate the natural beauty of each design, making each piece of furniture unique.
Because of the level of detail that studio furniture-makers go into, it is rare that you will find a “cookie cutter” piece of high quality handmade wood furniture. Finely crafted furniture is an investment for the home, but a craftsman should feel comfortable guaranteeing their handiwork to make sure your fine, handmade desk becomes a family heirloom in years to come.