All About Mid-century Modern Desk Design and Our Top Picks
Workplace Inspiration

All About Mid-century Modern Desk Design and Our Top Picks

|Mar 19, 2024
1,269 Views

As furniture trends continue to evolve, manufacturers are taking inspiration from the early 1930s to 1960s period. This was a time when a mid-century modern desk or any other furniture focused on minimalism while exuding clean lines, unlike designs from the past that lacked functionality.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what a mid-century office desk is and its characteristics. Keep reading until the end, as we will also review the top six modern workstations that you can buy in 2024.

Let's get started!

What Is a Mid-century Modern Design?

Considered to be a movement in the interior, product, and architectural design, mid-century modern became popular during the post-World War II period. It's often characterized by clean lines and does not feature decorative ornaments.

What Is a Mid-century Modern Design?

Are Mid-century and Retro Designs the Same?

Those with little to no architectural, product, and interior design knowledge often use the terms "mid-century" and "retro" interchangeably. While they may seem similar, they are not the same. 

Mid-century design arose in the 1930s and gained popularity during the post-World War II period. On the other hand, a retro design takes inspiration from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

However, it's not limited to these time frames, as you'll find retro pieces with elements that date back to the 1930s.

Another key difference between the two types of designs is the adherence to the principles. While mid-century modern style focuses on minimalism and functionality, retro is often characterized by its playful nature, encompassing bold colors and eclectic patterns for a funky vibe. 

An executive desk set with a mid-century modern design, for example, will have clean lines and superior finishing, while a retro furniture piece may have ornaments and bold patterns.

Are Mid-century and Retro Designs the Same?

Characteristics of a Mid-century Modern Desk

Here are the key characteristics that you might find in a mid-century modern desk: 

Minimalism

Clean and sleek lines have become the new norm, and you'll find that most manufacturers will produce a mid-century modern office desk using simple materials held by wooden or steel legs.

White desks, for example, are becoming more common in homes and workplaces as they provide a sense of minimalism and elegance.

Characteristics of a Mid-century Modern Desk

Geometric Patterns and Shapes

The use of ovals, triangles, and other non-traditional shapes has taken center stage. Design features like geometric patterns are popular for creating a sense of continuity.

A Mix of Materials

Over the past few decades, manufacturers have been using either man-made or natural materials.

However, in the last few years, trends have drastically shifted, prompting businesses to incorporate vinyl, plastic, fiberglass, and other man-made materials with wood, glass, metal, and marble.

A mid-century modern executive desk, for example, typically consists of wood, plastic, metal, and other materials. This results in a stylish product and a relatively more environmentally friendly table than the bulky workstations of the past.

Functionality

Previously, furniture used to be bulky and impractical. Manufacturers would take pride in producing heavy desks or tables with ornaments and stylish designs.

However, as consumer demand has continued to change over the past few years, companies are pushing for furniture that is not only stylish but also offers functionality.

A mid-century modern standing desk, for example, allows you to transition between a sitting position and a standing one, helping prevent the medical problems associated with an inactive lifestyle. It also has drawers and storage space for gadgets and other accessories.

Functionality

Ergonomics

Workplaces and professionals have slowly realized the importance of desk ergonomics. They're investing in comfortable workstations that can help them pump out more productive hours without straining their eyes, back, or neck.

The standing desks by Autonomous is a mid-century modern standing desk that helps you stay active by adjusting the height of the table. You can alternate between sitting and standing positions throughout the day to stay active.

Natural Hues

Besides offering functionality and practicality, a mid-century modern computer desk may use bright colors against neutral tones, such as white, black, and wood.

The home office desk by Autonomous, for example, comes in dark bamboo against a white or black frame. It looks elegant and screams modern.

Top Six Mid-century Modern Desks That You Can Buy in 2024!

Here are our top six picks for the best mid-century modern desks in 2024: 

1. West Elm Mid-century Desk

If you're looking for a mid-century modern writing desk, you can't go wrong with the 52-inch Modern Mid-century Desk by West Elm.

How We Picked and Tested

When we were searching for some of the best mid-century modern desks, we came across this stunning table by West Elm and knew that we had to order it. Lo and behold, after it arrived at our doorstep, we quickly put it to the test.

While testing this mid-century modern desk with drawers, we kept functionality, durability, and aesthetics in mind.

Who Should Read This Review?

This review is for anyone searching for a gorgeous mid-century modern writing desk for their home office. Marketing professionals and accountants will appreciate the built-in drawers for their essential documents.

Features of the Product

Inspired by the iconic 50s design, the Mid-century Desk by West Elm has a lot of space to spare. It comes with large side drawers for storing books, documents, and accessories and a center drawer for your pens.

With an angular base and tapered legs, the West Elm mid-century modern writing desk is a stunning table that's made from FSC-certified wood from responsibly managed forests. It comes with a certificate of low emission, which might tickle your fancy if you're environmentally conscious.

This West Elm mid-century modern desk is crafted in a fair trade-certified facility in Vietnam. Every purchase empowers workers who spend countless hours making this table.

West Elm Mid-Century Desk

West Elm Mid-Century Desk

star-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-icon10 reviews

Pros
Cons
The West Elm mid-century modern writing desk is crafted in a fair trade-certified facility.This mid-century modern desk with drawers is quite expensive.
It's made from sustainably sourced materials.There are limited variants to choose from.
he table offers built-in drawers for storage space.

2. Xavier Apartment Desk

In recent years, the real estate market has become unaffordable for most potential homebuyers, prompting many to move into apartments.

While the limited space may make it challenging for homeowners to live comfortably, modern and compact furniture like the Xavier Apartment Desk can make your life a little easier.

How We Picked and Tested

When choosing the best mid-century modern desks, we had to keep in mind the needs of the people. With many living in apartments, we had to find a product that would easily fit in a tiny space while providing sufficient storage space.

The Xavier Apartment Desk stood out due to its striking yet modern and compact design. We had to get it and put it to the test for our readers.

Who Should Read This Review?

This review is for all those people looking for a mid-century modern writing desk that is compact and aesthetically pleasing. Apartment residents may find this table suitable for their needs.

Features of the Product

The Xavier Apartment Desk is a striking table that offers high style (walnut veneer on a plywood core) in a small space. It's only 60 inches long and made from high-quality materials, making it a perfect workstation for a decent-sized living space.

With one large and one small drawer, the Xavier mid-century modern computer desk provides a bit of storage space for your documents, pens, and gadgets.

Xavier Apartment Desk

Xavier Apartment Desk

star-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-icon41 reviews

Pros
Cons
The Xavier mid-century modern desk with drawers looks gorgeous.This mid-century modern writing desk may not be suitable for those requiring ample storage space.
It's compact without sacrificing style.The table lacks cable management and other features.
The table is made from high-quality materials, including walnut veneer.

3. Carson Carrington Takt Writing Desk

Secretary desks have transformed over the last few decades, and the Carson Carrington Takt Writing Desk is a perfect take on reviving vintage furniture.

How We Picked and Tested

The Carson Carrington Takt Writing Desk is a mid-century modern secretary desk that looks great and comes at an affordable price. We tested it out so that you can make an informed decision without risking your money.

Who Should Read This Review?

Anyone who is searching for a mid-century modern secretary desk should read this review. It's also for people who want an elegant writing table for their bedroom or living space.

Features of the Product

Made from manufactured wood, the Carson Carrington Takt Writing Desk is a stunning table with a rectangular desktop resting on four splayed legs. It provides a contemporary feel to your living space or office.

With a two-tone finish and clean lines, this mid-century modern desk offers plenty of surface area for your laptop, monitor, and gadgets. It also comes with three drawers, allowing you to tuck away your office supplies, essential writing materials, and accessories.

We love how the manufacturer added safety stops on the Carson Carrington Takt Writing Desk. It prevents your fingers from getting pinched in the event of a clumsy drawer closure. Plus, it also has a built-in USB port!

Carson Carrington Takt Writing Desk

Carson Carrington Takt Writing Desk

star-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-icon203 reviews

Pros
Cons
The Carson Carrington Takt Writing Desk comes with a built-in USB port.This mid-century modern office desk might be challenging to assemble.
It offers ample storage space.
The design is modern and elegant.

4. Feiha 40.25" Desk

Are you looking to create a "cloffice" desk setup? Do you want a table that is compact and looks modern? Look no further than the Feiha 40.25" Desk, an exquisite mid-century furniture for your home office.

How We Picked and Tested

We were looking for something that could fit in tight spaces while offering an elegant workstation for your home office. With more than 500 positive reviews, we had to check out the Feiha 40.25" Desk.

Who Should Read This Review?

This review is for anyone who is looking for a stylish yet compact mid-century modern executive desk. Those who want a multi-functional worktable that can also serve as a centerpiece for decor items may find this product suitable.

Features of the Product

Crafted from a combination of solid and manufactured wood, the Feiha 40.25" Desk is a stunning piece of furniture for your home office. It's a mid-century modern writing desk that features a large drawer for your writing tools or chargers. You can even store your laptop in it.

AllModern Charcoal Gray Feiha Desk

AllModern Charcoal Gray Feiha Desk

star-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-icon593 reviews

Pros
Cons
While the Feiha mid-century modern computer desk has a single drawer, it is large enough to accommodate a laptop.Its desktop may not accommodate all of your gadgets and work stuff.
It looks stylish and is compact.

5. Latwon Desk

Whether you want a table for your home office or an elegant workstation for your workplace, the Latwon Desk may be the right product for you.

How We Picked and Tested

With an average rating of 4.3 out of five stars across more than 1,200 reviews, the Latwon Desk was the most popular table we stumbled upon while searching for the best mid-century modern desk.

We tested the table in different settings to assess its functionality, aesthetics, and durability.

Who Should Read This Review?

Anyone who is looking for an affordable mid-century modern office desk should read this review.

Features of the Product

Made from manufactured wood, the Latwon Desk is a gorgeous mid-century modern desk with drawers and sleek curves. Due to its compact size, it's suitable for many uses, including writing, studying, and working.

Although the Latwon Desk is compact, it comes with good cable management for a tidy setup and two drawers for your pens, notebooks, and a couple of accessories. You can place it anywhere to create a comfortable office or study space.

Corrigan Studio® Latwon Desk

Corrigan Studio® Latwon Desk

star-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-icon1235 reviews

Pros
Cons
The Latwon mid-century modern office desk is made from pure wood.The Latwon Desk only has limited finishes available.
You can easily assemble it.It's wider than most mid-century modern computer desks.
It's highly versatile.

6. Skyline Decor Mid-century Modern 2-drawer

The Skyline Decor Mid-century Modern 2-drawer desk is a simple-looking table that stands out due to its gorgeous oak and gray tones. It's perfect for a home office or workplace. 

How We Picked and Tested

While we prefer a curved desk or a standing workstation in our studio, we needed a table that could easily fit in an underutilized corner.

There were many options to choose from, but we decided to stick with the Skyline Decor desk, as Autonomous offers premium quality products at excellent prices.

Who Should Read This Review?

Those who are searching for a mid-century modern desk with drawers and a decent-sized desktop should continue reading this review.

Features of the Product

An ideal fusion of traditional and modernity, the Skyline Decor Mid-century Modern 2-drawer desk has an inviting appearance with a two-tone finish. It looks stunning and can easily complement any living space.

With two decently-sized drawers, this small computer desk uses natural raw materials, which is a huge plus for environmentally conscious people.

Skyline Decor Mid-Century Modern 2-Drawer Oak and Grey

Skyline Decor Mid-Century Modern 2-Drawer Oak and Grey

star-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-icon6 reviews

Pros
Cons
The Skyline mid-century modern desk has an elegant and minimalistic look.While the table has two drawers, it lacks storage space.
It has a lovely contrasting two-tone style.
The desk is made from premium materials.

Final Thoughts

A mid-century modern desk can act as a centerpiece in a room or a divider to separate your living space from your home office.

The designs are often minimalistic, while the focus remains on ensuring functionality. It can easily fit in any part of your home or workplace, bringing a contemporary feel to the atmosphere.

SmartDesk One offer

Spread the word