What is a Slant-Front Desk?

A slant-front desk is a type of writing desk with a hinged writing surface that slopes downwards when opened.


A slant-front desk is a timeless piece of furniture that combines elegance with functionality. It is characterized by a hinged writing surface that opens downward to reveal a spacious interior. Inside, one can often find small drawers, pigeonholes, and sometimes even secret compartments, designed to organize documents, writing materials, and other small items. The slanted front also serves as a sturdy writing or reading surface when opened.

This design of desk has been popular since the 18th century, particularly in the style of Chippendale, Queen Anne, and other colonial period furniture designs. Despite its historical roots, the slant-front desk remains a popular choice for those seeking a classic, stylish workspace solution that doesn't compromise on space. When closed, the desk resembles a regular cabinet or chest, making it a versatile piece for both traditional and contemporary interior designs.

Its popularity is not only due to its aesthetic appeal but also because of its practical design which makes efficient use of space. This makes the slant-front desk particularly appealing for small home offices or living spaces where space is at a premium.


In the world of interior design, the slant-front desk is often utilized in home offices, libraries, or living rooms where a blend of functionality and style is desired. Its historical charm adds character to a room, while its compact design makes it suitable for small spaces. Interior designers might pair this desk with an antique chair to complement a traditional room decor, or with a modern, minimalist chair to create an interesting contrast in a contemporary setting.


  • Is a slant-front desk suitable for computer work?

    Yes, a slant-front desk can be suitable for computer work, especially for those who use laptops. However, it's important to note that the angled surface and interior layout are primarily designed for writing and organizing documents. To accommodate a computer monitor or additional electronic devices, ensure the depth and height of the opened desk surface is sufficient.

  • Can the interior compartments of a slant-front desk be customized?

    While antique or traditionally designed slant-front desks come with a standard set of compartments, many modern versions of these desks offer customizable interior storage solutions. This allows users to tailor the space to their specific needs, adding or removing partitions, shelves, or drawers as required.

  • How do you care for a slant-front desk?

    Caring for a slant-front desk involves dusting regularly with a soft, dry cloth, avoiding the use of harsh chemicals, and keeping the desk away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures to prevent fading and warping. For antique desks, it's advisable to consult with a furniture restoration specialist for specific care instructions.

Practical Application

When incorporating a slant-front desk into your interior design project, consider its placement carefully to highlight its elegance and maximize functionality. Ensure there's adequate space for the desk to be opened fully without obstruction. Pair it with suitable lighting to create a comfortable work environment, and consider accessorizing the space around the desk with complementary decor items like vintage lamps, artwork, or bookshelves to enhance the overall aesthetic. Due to its compact nature when closed, the slant-front desk can also serve as a multi-purpose furniture piece, functioning as a console or decorative cabinet in smaller spaces.