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How to Buy a Desk

How to Buy a Desk

Your desk is the main piece of furniture that anchors your office and supports all the work you do. Today, it’s much more than a writing surface. A desk holds your computer and peripherals, docks your laptop and other mobile devices, and stores documents and tools.

The desk also takes up the largest footprint in most workspaces, which makes choosing the perfect design even more important. Simplify the process with our 5-step guide to desk-buying.

1. Find a Location for Your Desk

  • Measure to get the length, width and height of your space.
  • Assess your space and take note of any windows, pillars, baseboards, existing furniture, doors, and door swings.
  • Look for electrical outlets and data ports.

2. Choose a Desk Shape

  • Executive Rectangular Desks – A rectangular desk gives you plenty of space for focused work and can comfortably house your computer and other tech equipment, perfect if you need a surface for focused work on a computer or a notebook.

  • L-Shape Desks – If you need more space, L-shape desks provide more surface area so you have room for your computer and any paperwork you need throughout the day. L-Shape desks are also a great choice if you host small meetings or one-on-ones in your office.

  • U-Shape Desks – If you have the space, the U-shape configuration may be the best option if you want to maximize your desk space, while giving yourself plenty of room for all the multitasking you do throughout the day. U-shape desks do it all by giving you space to meet with colleagues or clients, house all your tech, and organize your office essentials right at the surface of your desk.

3. Choose Your Base

At Source, we carry a range of bases that complement your personal and office style. From traditional designs to modern looks, our collections feature distinctive bases that each have their own unique flair.

  • Classic– Our Classic collection offers a timeless and elegant style, featuring a fully enclosed base to maximize privacy.

  • Elements- Elements gives your workspace a clean feel with simple lines that are minimal and modern in style.

  • Signature– Add a stylish, mid-century vibe to your office with the iconic angled legs of the Signature collection.

  • Encore– The black beveled O-shaped legs of this collection make your office look crisp and elegant.

  • Height-Adjustable Bases– Maximize ergonomics in your office with a height-adjustable base that lets you customize the height of your desk based on your body. With a height-adjustable desk, you’ll also be able to stand while you work. This can relieve back pressure and give you more energy throughout the day. Discover more benefits of using a height-adjustable desk.

4. Choose a Desk Top Colour

Source offers multiple laminate finishes that complement just about any style. View our laminate swatches here.

5. Choose Your Add-Ons

Not sure where to go from here? Don’t worry! At Source, we’re happy to guide you through your options, while providing you with helpful advice that will make it easy to choose a desk you’ll love.

Important Parts of a Desk

What is the top?

The top of a desk refers to the surface or tabletop where work is typically done. It's the part of the desk that provides a flat, stable area for writing, using a computer, or performing other tasks. Performance desktops are made with high-density laminate and DuraEdge detailing for a sturdy, long-lasting surface.

What is considered the main part of a desk?

When we talk about the main part of a desk, we’re referring to the surface where most of your work materials and equipment will live. With L-shape and U-shape desks, the main part is usually the side where the desk is the largest, giving you the most space to work.

What is a desk return?

A return is an extension of a desk that forms the L-shape configuration. By transforming a straight desk into an L-shape or corner desk, returns provide more surface area, which is great for organizing the way you work.

What is a bridge?

A bridge is commonly found in U-shape desks. It acts as the connecting piece between the two side sections of the desk, forming the “U.” The bridge often serves as an additional workspace for tasks requiring extra room or as a connector for various components of the desk. It can also provide a convenient space for equipment such as printers or scanners.

What are grommets?

Grommets are rings that are installed into precut openings on the surface of a desk. These openings are usually circular or rectangular in shape, allowing wires and chords to pass through easily for neat wire management. In some cases, grommets can also be used to securely install charging ports, monitor arms, or desktop panel systems.

What are telescoping legs?

You’ll hear this term in the context of height-adjustable tables and standing desks. Telescoping legs typically consist of two or more tubular sections nested within each other. These legs have sections that can slide or extend in and out, allowing the user to adjust the height of the desk to their desired level. More telescoping sections means the height-adjustable standing desk can cover a wider range of heights.

What is a modesty panel?

A modesty panel is a vertical panel or screen that is typically found on the underside of a desk. Sometimes, a modestly panel is built into the design of a desk and at other times, it’s an additional piece that is mounted underneath the desk. The purpose of a modesty panel is to maximize privacy between the user and potential office guests, like clients or coworkers.

What is a hutch?

A hutch extends your desk storage, consisting of shelves of cabinets that keep important paperwork and office essentials within reach. They mount to the surface of your desk or onto the wall directly above your workstation. Hutches can also mount to the top of a credenza for a comprehensive storage unit in your office.

What is a credenza?

A credenza is typically placed behind or adjacent to a desk to provide additional drawer or cabinet storage. It can be used on its own, with a hutch, or as part of an L-shape or U-shape desk configuration. It has a flat surface, similar to or shorter than the height of a desk, that can be used to organize important items in your workspace.

What is a pedestal?

A pedestal is a small storage unit consisting of drawers and compartments that are commonly placed on the underside of desk. This convenient location makes it perfect for files and office stationery. Sometimes, pedestals are mounted directly underneath the desk, but they also come in mobile options that are equipped with castors for mobility.

What is a Bowfront Desk?

A bowfront desk is a type of desk characterized by its gently curved or bowed front edge. This design feature gives the desk a more elegant and sophisticated appearance compared to traditional rectangular desks, perfect for executive offices. Bowfront desks are more comfortable to host meetings with colleagues and clients, as they provide legroom on the bowfront edge.

What is a Bullet Desk?

A bullet desk is a type of desk that features a rounded or bullet-shaped extension attached to one side of the main desk surface. This extension usually protrudes outward and is typically used as an additional workspace or a meeting area.

Find Your Perfect Desk with Source

With so many styles, configurations, and sizes to choose from, you're guaranteed to find the best desk for your office with Source. Talk to us today to get started.


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