How to Style Secretary Desk

Do you want to spruce up the look of your home but don’t know where to start? A great place to begin is right in front of you – the secretary’s desk! Often overlooked, these multitasking desks can be used for everything from storing important paperwork and tax documents, or simply adding an air of sophistication and charm to a room.

How to Style Secretary Desk

Not only are they visually pleasing, but with just a few simple changes trickled throughout, you can easily makeover any classic piece and turn it into something one-of-a-kind. Today we’ll discuss some amazing styling tips on how to style secretary desk in no time at all!

The Charm and Versatility of Secretary Desks

Secretary desks, sometimes referred to as drop-front desks or fall-front desks, have been around since the 1600s and are often associated with traditional furniture. As the name suggests, these desks were initially used in private offices of wealthy homes, typically by secretaries that needed space for writing.

Today, secretary desks are still popular pieces of furniture due to their charm and versatility. They work perfectly as a home office desk, providing an organized workspace with plenty of storage options in the form of drawers, cubbies, and cabinets. Since they are smaller than most other desks, they can also fit nicely into smaller spaces or corners that wouldn’t otherwise accommodate a larger desk.

Not only functional for modern-day use, but secretary desks also make beautiful statement pieces. Their timeless designs blend well with almost any style of decor and are great conversation starters when entertaining guests in your home office. The variety of sizes and materials available make it easy to find one that fits your overall aesthetic while still offering the functionality that you need in your workspace.

Importance of Styling for Functionality and Aesthetics

When it comes to styling a secretary’s desk, functionality and aesthetics are both important. On the one hand, choosing an appropriate style for the desk can significantly improve its use as well as complement the look of your space. On the other hand, certain styles may limit the desk’s practicality or be out of place in an already established decor. When searching for the perfect style for your secretary desk, there are many options from various eras, colors, and materials to consider.

In terms of functionality, you want to make sure that whatever style you choose allows for easy access and storage of items such as documents, pens and other supplies within reach while using it. You also want to ensure that the desktop surface is large enough, with enough legroom to be comfortable. Lastly, make sure that the desk has enough storage drawers and cabinets for your needs.

In terms of aesthetics, you want to ensure that the style of the secretary’s desk complements the look of your room or office. Choose a material and finish that reflect the color palette and existing decor in your space. You also want to consider different details, such as crown molding, turned legs, and hardware that fit with your design aesthetic.

10 Steps How to Style Secretary Desk

Step 1: Determine the Desk Location and Lighting

Select an ideal location for your secretary desk that receives ample natural light and complements the overall decor of the room. Consider positioning the desk near a window or under a well-placed overhead light source. Proper lighting is essential for creating a visually appealing and functional workspace. When selecting a desk location, keep in mind the level of privacy you desire and the potential disruption to everyday activities.

Select an Ideal Location 
For Your Secretary Desk

Step 2: Clear and Declutter the Desk Surface

Start by clearing the desk surface of any unnecessary items or clutter. Remove old paperwork, unused office supplies, and other non-essential objects. This will create a clean canvas for styling and ensure that you have ample space for your work. It is important to only keep items that you need immediate access to on the desk’s surface. This will help create a more productive workspace and make the area look more organized.

Step 3: Choose a Theme or Color Palette

Decide on a theme or color palette that reflects your personal style and harmonizes with the room’s decor. It could be a monochromatic scheme, a bold accent color, or a specific theme such as vintage or minimalist. This cohesive theme will tie the elements of your styled secretary desk together. Consider using a coordinating fabric for the chair, drapery, and decorative pillows. When selecting a finish color, take into account existing colors in the room, as well as wall colors and flooring.

Step 4: Select Desk Accessories and Decorative Items

Choose desk accessories and decorative items that align with your chosen theme or color palette. This can include items such as a stylish desk organizer, decorative pen holders, a statement desk lamp, or a small vase of fresh flowers. Incorporate pieces that inspire you and enhance the overall aesthetics of the desk. If you’re looking to add a vintage touch, consider thrift store finds or antique items. To keep the desk neat and clutter-free, it may also be helpful to invest in bins or baskets for storing items like writing materials and other supplies.

Choose Desk Accessories
And Decorative Items

Step 5: Personalize with Artwork or Inspirational Quotes

Add a personal touch to your secretary’s desk by displaying artwork or inspirational quotes. Frame and hang a small gallery wall above the desk or place a freestanding frame with a motivational quote on the desk surface. These artistic elements will inspire creativity and provide visual interest. If you don’t have art to hang or display, consider making your own.

Step 6: Organize Essential Supplies

Ensure that your essential office supplies are organized and easily accessible. Use desk organizers, trays, or small containers to store pens, paper clips, sticky notes, and other necessary items. A clutter-free and well-organized desk promotes efficiency and productivity. Arrange the supplies in an aesthetically pleasing way that complements your style. For example, you could group items of the same color together or use decorative boxes to store loose supplies. Doing so will add a touch of sophistication to the desk and give it a more uniform look.

Step 7: Incorporate Functional Storage Solutions

Secretary desks often come with built-in storage options such as drawers, cubbies, or shelves. Utilize these spaces to store paperwork, books, or stationery. Consider adding decorative storage boxes or baskets to conceal and organize items that are not frequently used. You can also use the storage areas to display photos, plants, artwork, or other decorative items. Be sure to periodically clear out any clutter that has accumulated to maintain a neat and tidy workspace. With some creative thinking, you can find plenty of functional storage solutions that will both look great and help keep your desk organized.

 Often Come With 
Built-in Storage Options

Step 8: Style the Desk Drawers and Compartments

Don’t overlook the interior of the desk drawers and compartments. Line the drawers with decorative paper or fabric to add a touch of personality. Use dividers or small containers to keep items separated and organized within the drawers. If you have an open shelf in the desk, consider using it to store books or decorative items. Place a vase of flowers on top for added effect. Consider adding a few small drawers to store stationary, staples or other items you use regularly when sitting at the desk.

Decorative Paper or
Fabric to Add a Touch

Step 9: Add a Comfortable Chair or Seat

Choose a comfortable and stylish chair or seat that complements the design of your secretary desk. Opt for an ergonomic chair that provides proper support and promotes good posture during long working hours. Consider upholstering the chair in a fabric that complements your chosen color palette. To complete the look, add a few colorful throw pillows and cushions for extra comfort. Modern secretary desks often feature built-in seating options, such as benches or stools. Choose a cushioned option with good back support for optimal comfort.

Step 10: Maintain and Refresh Regularly

To keep your styled secretary desk looking its best, maintain it regularly. Dust the surfaces, declutter as needed, and refresh the decorative items and accessories periodically. This will ensure that your workspace remains inviting and inspiring for your work. In addition, taking the time to maintain your secretary desk will help extend its lifespan.


Styling your secretary desk is an opportunity to create a personalized and functional workspace that reflects your style and boosts productivity. By following these steps on how to style secretary desk, you can transform your secretary desk into a chic and organized focal point of your work area.

From selecting the right location and lighting to incorporating themed accessories and organizing essentials, these steps will help you curate a workspace that inspires creativity and efficiency. Remember to personalize the desk with artwork, quotes, and decorative items, and maintain it regularly to keep it fresh and inviting. With a well-styled secretary desk, you can enjoy a workspace that combines both aesthetics and functionality for a productive and inspiring work environment.

Photo of author

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of officefixes. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to home and office design. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for Office design and decor,home decorations as well as other efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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