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What is a Pedestal Desk?

By Misty Amber Brighton
Updated May 16, 2024
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A pedestal desk is a type of executive desk which has a pedestal on either side of it. The pedestals are often small cabinets or sets of drawers. There may be a center drawer in the middle of the piece. This large desk has been traditionally made of wood with leather on the top of it. It is a freestanding unit that can easily be moved from one place to another.

This piece of furniture first became popular in England in the 18th century. It gained popularity in other parts of the world during the 19th century. The pedestal desk is still found throughout the world, and many variations of the traditional design are available.

The pedestal desk gets its name from the fact that it rests on two pedestals, one on either side of the piece. These pedestals may sit on a small platform known as a plinth. The pedestals may be small cabinets or sets of stacked drawers. Each drawer is not always the same size, and there may be a large drawer on the bottom for file folders and smaller drawers on top for holding office supplies.

A writing surface rests between the two ends of the pedestal desk. This surface could be wood or metal, depending on the construction of the unit. Some vintage pieces may have a top that is all leather or trimmed in leather.

The height of a pedestal desk is around 29 inches (73.7 cm). It might be anywhere from 45 to 72 inches (114.3 to 182.88 cm) wide. The writing surface can be between 30 to 36 inches (76.2 to 91.44 cm) deep. Each desk varies in weight according to the material it is constructed from and the overall design.

There may be a wooden panel in the front of the desk to conceal the user's legs. This panel is sometimes called a modesty panel. Some models may include a roll-top, small sections for holding mail, or a center drawer. Other types may include a hutch either attached to the desk or that simply sits on top of it.

A pedestal desk is an attractive piece of furniture that can be purchased to match almost any office decor. It can sometimes be an expensive item to buy, especially if it is being purchased new. This furniture is normally very durable, so the investment can pay off with many years of enjoyment whether it is bought for business or personal use.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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