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What is a Leaning Desk?

K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning

A leaning desk is a tall structure with a design that looks similar to a ladder. The desks usually have a platform for a desk top and two shelves above it for storage and added stability. It gets half of its support from leaning against a wall rather than from standing on four legs. The other two legs are situated on the side of the desk furthest from the wall.

These kinds of desks come in a variety of materials, including wood, metal, glass, or any number of combinations of the three. They are typically either used as a stand-alone unit, or with one or two leaning bookshelves on either side. Both leaning desks and bookshelves have shelves that are deep near the bottom and shallower near the top.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Many leaning desks have features that help them to compensate for the slanted angle. Most have some form of anti-tipping hardware that enables the desk to be mounted to the wall. Some desks also have a lip at the back of the desk top and each shelf so that items will stay in place despite the fact that the unit is tipped towards the wall.

Depending on the style and quality of the desk and the surface upon which it will sit, a leaning desk may or may not be mounted to the wall. While a leaning desk may hold steady on a carpeted surface, it is usually more likely to slip on uncarpeted surfaces. Leaning desks are usually mounted near the top of the unit with straps that attach to the wall. It is generally not advisable to mount the desk in households with a lot of physical activity, such as large gatherings or small children, no matter what surface it sits upon.

In general, the leaning desk is most likely to appeal to individuals in search of simplicity, flexibility, economy, and furniture that helps save space. Due to its slanted angle, a leaning desk takes up less floor space than a traditional desk. This style of desk also requires fewer materials than a standard desk, which can make it lighter and easier to move to different locations. Most leaning desks are also more economically priced compared to other, more elaborate four-legged styles.

Leaning desks also have some drawbacks, including restricted storage, less stability and occasionally less strength. Most leaning desks only have a small table top and two shelves. They do not tend to have drawers or cabinet space. Even when secured to the wall, leaning desks can also be unstable, as they are usually only held to the wall in two places. The desk and shelves are often not quite as sturdy as with traditional models since they must be somewhat light in order to lean safely and securely against the wall.

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