3 Expert Tips To Choose A Floating Desk

Whether you need a compact desk for working from home, a dedicated area for getting your paperwork and finances straight, or a place to do your nails and makeup, a floating desk makes a great, space-saving option. Here are our expert tips on choosing a floating desk for your home,

What are the different types of floating desks?

Floating desks come in a wide range of types and styles, so be sure to browse through all of your available options before settling on a particular type and style.

Hanging floating desks

Hanging floating desks are generally compact models that protrude just enough to accommodate your laptop. They are a useful addition to any room and can also be used for dining, holding drinks or for decorative items when you're not typing away.

As hanging floating desks don't have any legs, they give the impression of a more spacious room. While they are aesthetically pleasing and provide a handy place to set things down, if you are very short on space or need a larger working area, then you would be better considering a fold-away floating desk.

Black Wood Hanging Floating Desk
Long Dark Wood Hanging Floating Desk
Wood Wall Hanging Floating Desk
Light Wood Hanging Floating Desk
Simple Wooden Hanging Floating Desk
Simple White Hanging Floating Desk

Fold-away floating desk

Fold-away floating desks provide excellent space-saving solutions for small homes. They also prevent the clutter and build-up that you tend to get with a traditional desk, for an optimized, streamlined workspace.

When you are choosing your fold-away floating desk, there are two distinct types to consider.

Drop leave style

Firstly, you have styles that work like traditional drop leaves; you drop down your working area that floats from the wall-mounted base.

This provides you with a compact desk, where you will be facing the wall. Often these units are fairly narrow, making them a good choice for small rooms that tend to get a lot of traffic, so you can still work away and have plenty of space for other people to pass.

Fold-out style

The second type of fold-away floating desk folds down into a larger, conventionally-sized desk with an end piece that serves as a support leg.

This makes for a larger, better supported workspace, which can also serve for other purposes such as dining or craftwork. You sit at a right angle to the base station and have a much larger desk surface area at your disposal.

However, while these floating desks fold away to just a few inches, when in use they can hamper circulation in very small homes.

Light Wood Folding Floating Desk
Folding Floating Desk with Hutch
Small Fold-Away Floating Desk
White and Wood Fold Away Floating Desk
Black Wood Fold Away Floating Desk
White Folding Floating Desk with Chalkboard

Floating desks with storage

Whether you opt for a hanging floating desk or a fold-away one, choosing a floating desk with storage is a smart way to keep your home organized.

  • Shelves

    Even compact hanging desks are available with shelves, giving you a handy space to store paperwork and accessories. Fold-away models often come with shelves built into the wall unit for out-of-sight storage.

  • Hutch

    Some fold-down floating desks have a hutch section with a variety of different compartments into which you can organize your work or letter writing equipment, as well as file paperwork or store computer and electronic gadget accessories.

    As your desk conceals this area when it's not in use it makes for a neat and tidy finish, with no visible clutter. 

  • Cabinet

    Some more traditional-style floating desks resemble storage cabinets. They tend to be taller than hanging style models and often feature cabinets that are accessible even when your desk is not deployed. This makes this style of floating desk a great option for very small homes where you really need to maximize every inch of space.

White Floating Desk with Shelves
Square Black Floating Desk with Shelves
Rectangular with Rounded Sides Floating Desk
Small White Floating Desk with Drawer
Floating Desk with Hutch
Modern Floating Desk with Small Shelves

How to choose the best material for my floating desk?

Traditional wood, metal or even plastic, here are the advantages and disadvantages of each material that is used for floating desks.

Wood

By far the most popular choice, wood is a highly versatile material.

While solid wood tends to be more expensive, you can also find veneer wooden floating desks. Durable and natural, wood is a traditional choice. It can vary hugely in looks depending upon your choice of finish.

For low maintenance, choose a wooden floating desk that has been treated with an anti-stain finish.

Small Wood Floating Desk
Rectangular Solid Wood Floating Desk
White Wooden Floating Desk with Hutch
Brown Wood Floating Desk for Bathroom
Wood Salon Stations Floating Desk
White Solid Wood Floating Desk

Metal

Metal is another popular choice, in particular for compact fold down desks. Thanks to its strength, some of the most compact fold-away desks are metal, folding away to just several inches wide.

While metal is a durable, heavy-duty choice, always check the finish to ensure that you can easily wipe it clean without any danger of rusting. Also, bear in mind that large sheets of metal can be prone to denting, so if you need a large, solid workspace, you may prefer to opt for a wooden model.

Heavy Metal Floating Desk
Metal Informatics Floating Desk
Vertical Metal Floating Desk
Metal and Wood Informatics Floating Desk
Metal Wall Mounted Floating Desk
Small Vertical Metal Floating Desk

Plastic/acrylic

Plastic floating desks add an extra touch of modernity, although they also look great paired with metal or wooden features.

Opt for a transparent acrylic floating desk for an ultra-modern look that will keep your room looking uncluttered and more spacious even when it's in use.

Bear in mind that if you opt for a transparent model you may wish to have the base or any storage parts in an opaque material to ensure that your clutter doesn't show through.

How to choose the best floating desk for my decor?

Here are the styles of floating desks that you should focus on to complement your decor.

Modern

Look for a fold-down floating desk in an accent color as an interesting focal point on your wall. You could also choose a hanging model with clean lines and a streamlined finish.

Floating desks are ideally suited to modern interiors, if you're in doubt and have a neutral modern room, opt for a simple model with a gloss finish.

Traditional

There are many beautiful wooden cabinet-style, drop-down floating desks that perfectly complement the elegance and comfort of a traditional home.

Opt for one with a rich wood finish or stain and plenty of storage space. While traditional-style models tend to be bulkier than modern versions, they do still save plenty of space when compared to regular desks.

Minimalist

Focus on the finish and looks when choosing a folding desk for your minimalist home.

Floating desks are a great choice as they won't detract from your pared-back, clean finish. Metal or plastic are good choices, although a wooden floating desk can also make an interesting focal point.

Choose models with interior storage or basic hanging models without shelves or any extra details.

Industrial

If you have an industrial-style room, we recommend going for a wooden hanging floating desk with metal brackets.

These solid, rustic-looking floating desks also work well for dining solo or for drinks with friends. Otherwise, opt for a fold-away model for a larger workspace and more storage.

Natural wood and dark metal details will help to maintain the utilitarian theme running through your home.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.