Office furniture, especially the desk, often reflects the personality of the person sitting behind it as well as the values of the company. It’s important to put some thought into what you purchase. While buying a used desk can save you some serious cash, it can also deter customers, clients and investors, especially if it makes too bold a statement.
We rounded up some of the most ridiculous desks money can buy and offered some classier alternatives in hopes of saving you from embarrassing furniture situations.
1. Dragon Desk
Now, we’re not saying that this antique desk from the Far East isn’t beautiful. The intricate carvings and flower details are the work of a true craftsman. However, the desk has such a strong, specific aesthetic that it’s hard to picture in just anyone’s home or office (unless of course it’s in the home of an Asian scholar or the office of an antiques dealer). Plus, considering the desk legs are carved dragons with outstretched wings, we’re pretty sure your coworkers might think you’re playing a little too much Dungeons and Dragons on your off time. If it’s an antique desk you’re shopping for, opt for something with a little less embellishment, but still heavy on style, like this gorgeous Kittinger Partners Desk.
With all the news about how a sedentary lifestyle shortens your life expectancy, treadmill desks are growing in popularity. But they’re not necessarily the most attractive pieces of furniture. When you take away the treadmill part of the desk, all you’re left with is just a strange looking piece of furniture that vaguely resembles a piece of exercise equipment. That’s what we think of this wood-and-glass piece. Sure it’s sleek and modern, but don’t tell us we didn’t warn you when it starts tabulating how many calories you’ve burned while filling out expense reports. Instead of buying this odd little desk, why not get an actual treadmill desk? You’ll show clients you lead an active lifestyle and burn actual calories at the same time.
Secretary’s desks are old classics that you can find in abundance on eBay or Craigslist. While they’re nice pieces for your home, they don’t exactly scream working professional. Especially when the dashboard of your desk features a mirror. It might be handy for knowing whenever anybody is sneaking up behind you (so you boss won’t catch you playing Words With Friends again) or for checking to see if you have lipstick on your teeth, but it looks more suited for the lady of the house who has to plan a weekend garden party than a successful professional. If you’re hoping to project a little more authority, but still like the classic appeal of a secretary’s desk, try this Kimball desk and credenza featuring beveled glass doors.
The person selling this one-of-a-kind-for-good-reason 1970 Chevy Nova Car Desk says it’s magnificent, unique and very rare. Well, that’s one way to describe it. Maybe it’s the fact that the car is lime green or maybe it’s the giant pinup logo lying across the hood, but we definitely wouldn’t describe it as professional. We know people like to make style statements with their offices, but we’re a bit concerned about the type of statement you might be making. Like that maybe you’re the type to hold after-hours drag races in the parking lot or that you spend your weekends watching “The Fast and the Furious.” If cars are your passion, perhaps you should opt for something a little more subtle (or at least a little classier) like this desk that features actual moving gears or the futuristic Luna Desk.
This bare-bones rustic desk looks sturdy enough, which is important for furniture (you don’t want something to fall apart minutes after buying it, after all). But it also looks as if it might belong at a construction site, alerting construction workers and other passersby to watch out for falling cinder blocks or cranes swinging giant metal beams. Instead of purchasing a desk that appears to have been made with scraps of wood leftover from a weekend project, look for something that’s simple and functional, but still clean and professional, like this basic cherry desk.
This aquarium desk is a conversation piece, we’ll give it that, and it’s nice to provide a habitat for some of Earth’s most beautiful creatures. But then we have to get practical. Aquariums aren’t exactly low maintenance they require gurgling filters, algae removal, fish feeding and carcass removal (hey, fish don’t live forever!) and who wants to add all of those chores to your already busy day? If you want to keep a little aquatic friend at work, try opting for a smaller option like this Mini USB Desk Aquarium.
Shop for high-quality used desks at Arnolds.