The name “secretary desk” conjures images of an old-fashioned piece of furniture. In fact, these classic desks have been around since the 1700s, although they’re still very much in use today. Antique secretary desks will often command very high prices, but you can also find reasonably-priced pieces in styles ranging from mid-century modern to Scandinavian.
You usually won’t find a secretary (or as we call them today, a personal or administrative assistant) behind a secretary desk. These pieces are designed primarily for an inner office or a home. The classic design features drawers built into a wide base, and a hinged desktop which folds down for use and then folds back up to cover more drawers, storage nooks or shelves. With most antique secretary desks, supports must first be pulled out to hold the desk top before it is lowered. More recent units have automatic mechanisms to raise and lower the top.
The desk’s upper drawers and shelves are normally housed in a hutch sitting atop the base, and taller hutches are likely to feature bookcases or bureau drawers concealed behind glass or folding doors. In most cases, the hutch and base are constructed as an integral unit, although less-expensive units may consist of a separate hutch to be mounted on the base after purchase.
If the name secretary desk doesn’t sound familiar, that may be because it often goes by other name such as secrétaire or escritoire. It’s even called “desk and bookcase” in some European nations, since the furniture often resembles a bookcase or bureau when the writing surface is folded up. Half-wide secretary desks can sometimes be found in antique shops.
Modern versions of this classic desk are likely to be called reproductions because they resemble the antiques that inspired them, but you also can purchase high-quality secretaries hand-crafted from solid hardwoods like oak or mahogany. Less-pricey models will usually be manufactured from MDF (pressed wood) and then painted or covered with a durable veneer.
A secretary desk isn’t the type of furniture which will blend seamlessly with the rest of its surroundings, because of its elegant style and large size. Whether it is a true antique or a reproduction, however, it will stand out and add a touch of class to any room where it’s placed.
Traditional approach to an old-fashioned, antique-looking flip top secretary desk made out of burned oak wood with a coat of varnish. The desk has two drawers and a couple of display shelves, as well as a rack on the bottom.
Colorful and bright setup for a cozy corner in a living room, furnished with a large cabinet with a couple of shelves on top and drawers on the bottom, as well as a desk in the middle, providing an additional workspace.
A classy secretary desk of wooden materials in white. It has a crown top, a cutout base, low angle legs. A down part has shelved door cabinets and drawers, a hutch - a shelved cabinet with glazed doors. A flip down desktop hides drawers and shelves.
A chic secretary desk of mahogany wood painted semi-gloss white. It has a rectangular desktop, 2 tiny drawers below, an arched apron, turned tapered legs. A hutch has a crown top, 3 open front shelves, rounded side posts, an upright slatted back.
Shabby style for a vintage secretary desk with a hutch on top, made out of white-washed, white-painted wood with a slightly distressed coat of paint and pastel blue insides, which give the piece a sophisticated finish.
Antique design for a large and spacious secretary desk with a sizable hutch on top, made with a white-painted oak wood with a distressed coat of paint. The desk has three drawers on the bottom and three shelves on top for display.
Vintage look for an old-fashioned secretary desk with a hutch on top. The desk is made out of white-painted oak wood and has a sizable hutch on top with a glassed cabinet, providing a lot of storage space.
Vintage style for an old-fashioned, primitive secretary desk with a hutch on top. The desk is made out of white-painted oak wood with a distressed, weathered finish, which gives it a unique, old-fashioned appearance.
Traditional design for an old-fashioned secretary desk in a graham style. The desk has a sizable hutch on top which hides three tiers of shelves behind a glass door, which together with drawers below provide a lot of storage.
Antique approach to a Jamestown-style secretary desk with a hutch and a set of spacious drawers underneath. The desk is made out of dark oak wood and the hutch above has glass doors which hide a couple of shelves.
An elegant secretary desk with hutch of wood in mid browns. It has a flip-down desktop, 3 drawers with golden metal C-pulls, turned corner posts, low bun feet. A hutch has a crown top, a 2-glazed door shelved cabinet, a wavy apron over a shelf.
A chic antique style secretary desk with hutch of wood with a whitewashed beige finish. A bottom part has a flip-down lockable desktop, 3 drawers (with 2 ornate metal pulls each), curved angle legs. A hutch has a crown top, 2 shelves, 2 glazed doors.
A chic vintage a bit worn woody secretary desk in beige with golden undertones. It has curved front lines, a lockable flip-down top, 3 drawers with C-pulls, paw legs. A hutch has a split arched top and a shelved cabinet with lockable glazed doors.
A classy woody secretary desk with hutch with an aged white finish. It has a flip-down desktop (hiding 4 drawers and 8 shelves), a 2-door shelved cabinet, low angle legs. A hutch features a crown top and a shelved lighted cabinet with glazed doors.
Finished in a dark stained wood, this secretary desk with hutch creates a stylish and functional office furniture. Its multiple storage spots create together a great way to hide your documents and papers.
This antique secretary desk with hutch constitutes a perfect proposition for a refined, classic interior. Ideal not only for a home office, but also for a bedroom, or a living room, it creates an inimitable ambience.
Traditional design for a spacious secretary desk with a hutch on top, made out of solid wood with a white coat of paint and a smooth finish. The hutch has three shelves for display paired with a plenty of drawers beneath.
Susannah File Drawer Secretary Desk
An antique-looking secretary desk with a spacious hutch on top, made out of oak wood with a dark tint and a polished finish. The hutch has three shelves for display, paired with eight additional drawers underneath.
Clarksville Secretary Desk with Hutch
Fitting perfectly well into all classic and classy decors, this secretary desk with hutch comes with an automatic drop lid slide mechanism. Offers various pigeonholes that allow a laptop to be closed and stored. Measures 86.5'' H x 35.5'' W x 20'' D.
Fresno Armoire Desk
Finished in classic bright oak, featuring inside bottom with adjustable shelves, this beautiful secretary desk with hutch will be a proposition for all classic interiors. It measures 44'' H x 38'' W x 16'' D, while the drop down area 38'' W x 29.5'' D.
Bernard Traditional Painted Drawer Secretary Desk
Automatic drop lid slide mechanism, wire management and surge suppressor distinguish best this beautiful classic secretary desk with hutch. Beveled glass emphasizes its refined, traditional appeal. Measures 89'' H x 35.5'' W x 20'' D.
Berghoff Secretary Desk with Hutch
A classy secretary desk of wood in browns. A lighted hutch has a crown top and a 2-glazed door cabinet with 2 adjustable glass shelves. A lower part has 4 angle legs, drawers with metal C-pulls, a drop-down lid hiding 2 small cabinets and 7 cubbies.
Cappuccino Secretary Desk
A pretty traditional secretary desk of wood in mid browns. It has an open front base, a 2-door shelved cabinet, 2 drawers. Small mushroom pulls are of metal. A low hutch has a slanted front, a rectangular top, pigeonholes behind a drop-down desktop.
A chic antique style writing desk handmade of hardwood in mid browns. It's adorned with carvings especially on tall curved tapered paw legs. It has a rectangular top with indented edges, 2 drawers below, a low hutch with pigeonholes and sloped wings.
Old-fashioned design for a classic secretary desk with a flip-top structure. The desk is made out of oak wood with a dark tint and a polished finish and has a couple of storage drawers and a handy shelf on the bottom.
Antique style for a Jamestown secretary desk with a spacious hutch on top, all made out of oak wood with a dark tint and a polished finish. The hutch has three shelves hidden behind a set of glass door, perfect for photo display.
Antique design for a Lexington-styled secretary desk with a hutch on top, fitted with a couple of display shelves on top hidden behind glass doors and a cupboard on the bottom, which provides additional storage.
Vintage approach to an antique, unfinished secretary desk with a sizable hutch on top, all made out of exquisite mango wood. The desk has two shelves behind a glass door on the top, perfect for a photography display.
A classy antique woody secretary desk in browns. It has 3 curved panel lockable drawers (with ornate metal pulls), paw legs, a flip down top. A hutch has a cabinet with 2 glazed doors with geometric lattice and an arched split top with a pinnacle.
A classy vintage solid wood secretary desk in natural hues. A lower part has 2 shelved doored cabinets flanking 3 drawers with edge pulls. A flip down top hides shelves and drawers. A hutch with a crown top has a shelved cabinet with 2 glazed doors.
Ideal for traditional or rustic offices, this secretary desk with hutch is made of mango wood. It features a drop front, ideal for a keyboard and plenty of various storage holes and nooks.
Enchanting with its natural wooden appeal, this desk with hutch will fit perfectly well to all traditional or rustic interiors. 3 bottom drawers, 3 glazed shelves on the top and a set of nooks between them, form together an impressive storage space.
This secretary desk with hutch constitutes a perfect proposition for all shabby chic or cottage-inspired decors. Due to its multifunctional construction, it can be used either in a bedroom or a home office, depending on your needs.
An awesome antique secretary desk of wood in warm browns. It features finely encrusted panels, a rectangular flip-down desktop, 3 lockable drawers with brass ring pulls. A 2-door hutch contains shelves, drawers, cabinets, has an arched split top.
An attractive traditional secretary desk of wooden materials in warm browns. It has a rectangular top, drawers with metal shell pulls, gently slanted flared downwards angular
legs. A trapezoidal hutch has 3 small drawers above 3 open front shelves.
An Amish-styled secretary desk with a built-in hutch on the top, made out of solid oak wood with a light tint. The desk is fitted with a cover, as well as a drawer and a cupboard underneath for additional storage.
An old-fashioned approach to a tall secretary desk with a hutch on top, made out of oak wood with a dark brown tint. The desk is fitted with three drawers for storage, as well as a shelf for photo display and a cupboard on top.
Shabby chic take on an elegant secretary desk with a glassed hutch on top with a couple of shelves. The desk is made out of solid wood with a pastel coat of blue paint and has a handy set of five drawers on the bottom.
Vintage look for a large secretary desk with a hutch on top, which has three tiers of shelves for storage and display. The desk is made out of solid wood with a light tint and has an additional couple of drawers on the bottom.
Having 4 tiers of drawers and a considerable storage space in the upper hutch, this corner secretary desk not only enchants with its antique charm, but also with functionality and capacity. All finished in nicely sanded, bright wood.
Coming from the IKEA Hemnes collection, this secretary desk with hutch enchants with its functionality and solid, wooden construction. Densely grained, bright wood will add warmth and cosiness to any office space.
An adorable classy secretary desk with low slanted hutch of wooden materials in mid browns. It has low ornate angle legs, fluted corner half-columns, drawers with golden metal pulls. A flip-down top hides pigeonholes, drawers, a small door cabinet.
A cute classy small secretary desk with low hutch (with a slanted front) made of wooden materials finished in nice mid browns. It has tall upright turned collared legs. A rectangular flip-down desktop hides pigeonholes and small drawers with knobs.
An antique-looking secretary desk with a hutch on top and a covered surface, made out of oak wood with a light tint. The desk is fitted with a set of drawers on the bottom and has a spacious cupboard on the top.
Vintage look for an old-fashioned free-standing secretary desk made out of oak wood with a dark tint and a smooth, polished finish. The desk has a set of drawers and shelves on the top as well as a larger drawer on the front.
This modern secretary desk with hutch enchants with its dark espresso appeal. It combines a working station with a smooth storage space, divided between the various doors, drawers and nooks.
Antique secretary desk with hutch delights with its natural wooden appeal. Densely grained, bright wood emphasizes the rustic character of the item. A great proposition for all traditional home offices.
Painted in white, this wooden secretary desk with hutch will be a perfect working station for one's home office. It features a considerable space for your PC and other devices, while having also enough space for documents, papers and office supplies.
Delighting with its beautiful antique appeal, this secretary desk with hutch constitutes a perfect proposition for all traditional interiors. With its plenty of drawers, shelves and nooks, it will be a perfect spot for your papers and utilities.
This gorgeous secretary desk will be a proposition for all, who like industrial or rustic furniture. Densely grained wood and metal chassis provide a sturdy and stylish construction.