Saturday, June 12, 2010

Real Wood Writing Desks: Choose the Real Thing

Real Wood for Real Writing Desks

There are many opinions out there when it comes to finding a good writing desk, and one question that pops up frequently is whether or not getting an old fashioned wood writing desk made from real timber is the right way to go, or whether wood panel and other substitutes work just as well. While manufacturers of the cheap stuff and big retail stores like Wal Mart and Office Max might want you to believe that reproduction writing desks are just fine, most experts on quality furniture are going to disagree vehemently.

If you want a truly great writing desk that is going to be functional, beautiful, and stand the test of time, then you need one that is built from more materials. Not fiber board, plywood, synthetic plastic or any of that other rubbish. Real wood when treated properly can last for literally centuries. There are many antique desks floating around that are from hundreds of years ago and still look very good - and with an additional regal flair that most modern pieces lack nowadays.

There are many options when it comes to what type of wood writing desks that you want. One of the keys is to know ahead of time what sort of aesthetic appearance you're aiming for. When you're in the store and checking out furniture, remember not to compare desks to each other as far as appearance without first thinking about how it is going to fit with whatever room or office you are going to place that desk in. This is a major key. A mahogany desk might seem perfect in the store, but will it fit into an oak based home office? Probably not. Ditto with going the other way around.

So a few of the common and popular choices:

Oak writing desks. These are kind of the classic, never go out of style dependable models. Oak can be stain treated to look darker than its regular grain, or it can be kept fairly light with a non stain finish. Oak desks are going to be heavier than many other options because oak is a very dense and heavy wood by nature. But they are also strong and sturdy. A good oak desk that is properly taken care of should easily last decades, and if it is very well treated, even a century or more. There are very few timber that can even remotely compare with oak when it comes to durability and reliability.

Rosewood writing desks. Rosewood writing desks are on the other end of the spectrum. This isn't to say they can't last - many of the most popular antique writing desks are made from rosewood of some kind, and they were exquisitely cared for because the beauty and expense of the wood made that an absolute necessity. These desks tend to be among the most expensive because the wood is rare, and traditionally a writing desk made from this material has impressive artistic work to make sure to make the most out of it.

Cherry writing desks. Cherry wood writing desks are made from cherry, which is a very popular choice because of its smooth grain patterns and beautiful darker coloring. Cherry can take stain very well, or it can also be left alone and sealed for a unique but still impressive looking piece. These desks are a little more sensitive to wear and tear, meaning if there is going to be a lot of rough and consistent moving, then a different choice like oak or walnut might be a better over all choice.

This is just scratching the surface. Entire books could be written about the sheer number of different timber and options that are available to people who are looking for a real wood writing desk. This blog post will have to stay a little bit shorter than that, but hopefully with this post you have a really good idea of the many available options that you have when it comes to picking out the perfect and ideal writing desk, whether that is a quality wood model that stands the test of time, or you'll be forgiven even if we can't talk you out of a cheap writing desk, instead.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rosewood Desk: The Rosewood Writing Desks

Redwood Writing Desk Review

There are few types of home furniture that look remotely as good as a vintage rosewood writing desk. While there's no arguing with cedar, cherry, or classic mahogany wood, but even among those it's hard to argue with the aesthetic beauty of an office writing desk made from vintage rosewood. These pieces of furniture can be hard to get a hold of since certain types of this wood are actually very rare now, and in some cases, so much so that they are illegal to harvest. Madagascar rosewood is one example of this. Italian, Brazilian, and Chinese rosewood are probably three of the most popular types still available for wood working. Many of the most beautiful desks you can find anywhere are vintage Victorian rosewood writing desks.

Rosewood writing desks, regardless of what specific species of tree they are made from in this family (or even general term), are beautiful accent pieces of furniture and are known for the gorgeous dark color that creates a striking and stately appearance which then draws the eyes to them as centerpieces of attention. Browsing images of antique carved rosewood writing desks of the Victorian period of England and even modern rosewood desks reveals the beauty of the wood, the polish and the craftsmanship that make each desk a masterpiece. The Victorian models are often extremely popular not just because of the dark coloring that has only been added to over the decades and centuries, but because most of these have intricate designs of carved rosewood that add extra character to these wonderful pieces of office, living room, or bedroom furniture.

Rosewood is a very richly hued timber, brown with darker veining. Even among the popular darker woods, rosewood desks in particular are known for taking on an especially dark polish well. In fact, this isn't just true with rosewood furniture. This type of wood takes on a wonderful polish and because of that fine dark finish, is used in the production of guitars, furniture, luxury flooring, and even custom made turned wood pieces such as pool cues. Beyond its workability rosewood is highly prized for its potent, sweet smelling aroma which lasts for years. Over-exploitation in the making of rosewood bedroom writing desks to other type of rosewood dining room furniture, or other classic Victorian designs.

Rosewood was a wood used by European cabinet makers in a broad range of classical styles from the Regency, Victorian, Georgian, and Sheraton periods of England and in corresponding periods around Europe. That said, there's little question that vintage Victorian rosewood writing desks are the most common antique rosewood desks that you are going to see from Europe, or at the very least they are the most popular due to the fine craftsmanship and decorative carving on the sides that have made these pieces of antique furniture classic.

Rosewood timber was found both in South America and also species from India and Southeast Asia. Consequently many rosewood desks were produced bearing Oriental influences. Regardless, the carvings were detailed and the inlay work exquisite. Inlay materials used for rosewood desks included brass, mother of pearl and abalone shell.

Rosewood was not only a favorite material for writing desks, but it was also a favorite choice throughout the decades for making table top desks or lap desks, as well as tables, beds, coffee tables, chairs, cabinets, and about any type of furniture that could be produced from rosewood timber wood. Lap desks were completely portable versions of their larger cousins. They featured a sloped lid, leather writing surface and several interior compartments for the storage and organization of writing implements and materials. In addition a second set of compartments was designated for dressing, somewhat akin to a modern portable hygiene kit. This provided needed versatility for military officers, teachers and traveling writers. So there were even such things as portable rosewood writing desks, although obviously these would not have the same lasting beauty and effect as a normal antique rosewood desk meant to sit in your study at home.

Whether you are browsing for antiques, shopping for a modern variety of rosewood desk, whatever you choose is going to make a personal statement of style. It is hard to deny the appeal of the richly colored, aromatic and stately rosewood writing desks.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

French Writing Desks

French Writing Desks

French writing desks can add aesthetic distinction to your home office whether they be genuine antiques or recreations of the traditional styles. French desks hold elegance and adornment in high esteem but still leave room for function. One of the most elaborate French writing desks is found in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. From 1685 it was a writing desk for King Louis XIV. It boasts a tortoise shell veneer, engraved brass, ebony and rosewood.

Modern French writing desks still employ the old traditional designs; these include the Bonheur du jour, bureau a gradin, bureau Mazarin, the escritoire and the liseuse. Bonheur du jour translates into happiness of the day. It was a female writing desk of the mid 18th century. It is made of lightweight wood featuring an arched back with small drawers enclosed in a flap. The writing surface is a small platform over a single drawer. The desk was often topped with decorative brass or ormolu, a brass alloy that looks like actual gold.

The bureau a gradin was a flat desk with a bank of drawers resting atop a pullout writing surface. They feature good storage space with an enclosure.

The bureau Mazarin was a knee hole desk mounted on legs and is likely the predecessor to the pedestal desks of Britain and American design.

The escritoire holds a certain romanticized charm in the world of writing desks. It was a secretary desk with either a lockable sloped or hinged top lid. The desk was either portable or free standing. The romantic appeal came from the fact that these were often designed with secret drawers and compartments, requiring a second key to unlock. Beyond the mystique of who’s diary or will was stashed in a forgotten hidden compartment the smaller versions became popular with travelers, teachers and military officers as a portable lap desk.

The liseuse is a medium sized writing table with the unique feature of a small hinged panel that can be propped up at various angles desirable for reading or writing on a slanted surface.

Many other forms of French writing desks can be found either as antiques or reproductions. With the multitude of styles it might be hard to find a French writing desk that doesn’t suit your tastes.