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A guide to buying a chabby chic desk

Choosing a shabby chic desk to purchase will depend on the sub-style of shabby chic you are going with, the purpose the desk will serve, and the room in which it will be placed. You must keep your set price point, antique style, and the physical condition of the desk in mind when browsing.

Price point and considerations

You must create a price point and stick to it. Buying vintage and antique pieces can get a little pricey. To save money, stick to online websites that sell locally, rather than going to antique stores. Since most shabby chic furniture choices are usually antique or vintage, the quality may have dropped over the years. Even if a piece meets physical approval, be sure to check for proper sliding doors, smell, loose knobs and pulls, and scratched or broken wood. If the piece does not meet physical approval, remember that you can easily create a shabby chic piece by sanding down the desk and painting it the colour of your choice. You may distress the corners with sandpaper.


There are numerous styles to choose from, such as gothic, french shabby, country, cottage, and romantic shabby chic. Gothic would contain black, distressed furniture, and similar to romantic, would contain antique inspired pieces, while country would have a cozy, homey feel to it.

Decide where it's going

Choosing what type of vintage desk to purchase will depend much on where the desk will be placed, and for what purpose the desk is being purchased. For example, desks for use should be sturdier than desks for show.

Choosing an office desk

For a shabby chic office or library, choose a desk that has many compartments and enough room to put a mismatched accent chair underneath. Good choices for an office desk would be a writing or typewriter desk. To make the piece the focal point of the room, choose an elaborate secretary's desk. The height of this desk will add grandeur to any room.

Choose a bedroom desk

A bedroom desk should serve a purpose; whether to store clothes, knickknacks, papers, or as a place to set your computer. Pedestal desks are rectangular and usually have two sides with drawers on them. For a showier piece, choose a bedroom vanity and convert it into a desk. Both pieces will contain enough storage space for bedroom needs.

Choosing for focal pieces

For desks that are purchased, not for use, but as a focal or accent piece in a room, choose showy desks such as a Davenport or plantation desk. Plantation desks have a slim bottom with a large square shelf on top, similar to a secretary's desk. The top compartment opens to a set of shelves. Some plantation desks will have glass doors perfect for storing and displaying antique books.

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