A Pair Of Desks Puts Everything Within Reach

Imagine being surrounded by your own personal command and control center that allowed you to work and play without ever leaving the comfort of your easy chair. This is the concept a client approached me with a year ago. The idea was to create a pair of desks that could be placed on either side of an over-stuffed recliner. Holes would be cut in the tops of the desks and customized containers  placed under these holes to accept everything necessary for my client to do his work or play music.

(Click on any image to enlarge)

Compartments would need to be created for a variety of remotes, an iPhone, several harmonicas, guitar picks, notebooks. briefcase, drink holder, box of tissues, and flat panel display, with additional spaces for multi-line telephone and computer keyboard.

The photo above shows the recessed containers in one of the desk tops. A removable cover with a slot in it accommodates a box of tissues. The photo below shows the other desk top. Flip-up doors hide compartments for briefcase, musician’s notebook, and flat panel monitor.

Here are the desks installed in the clients home, set up and ready to use.

I also made a removable music stand that installs in one of the tops. The stand can hold two pieces of sheet music placed side by side. Doors in the sides of each desk provide for additional storage space. A motorized lift raises a flat panel display up from the inside of one of the desks.


Each desk also has four drawers and some hidden compartments. Below is a photo of one of the drawers while the pieces were still under construction in my shop.

The primary materials used were figured bubinga and wenge. No stains were applied to the woods, just a clear finish, so all colors one sees are the natural hues of the woods themselves. The tops were veneered with bubinga that I sawed on my bandsaw. Everything else is solid wood (with the exception on an interior shelf in each unit). Though these are visually simple pieces, they were a challenge to design and make.

I inlaid a rare earth magnet into the top of each flip-up door before veneering them. I then turned a small wand and installed another magnet in its tip. To open a flip-up door one simply touches the wand to a door and it opens due to magnetic attraction.

If you ever want to know what to get the person who has everything, here it is.

Unfortunately the photos don’t do justice to how nice these pieces really are. You can see more of my work in the Furniture Gallery section of this blog and also on my website.

5 thoughts on “A Pair Of Desks Puts Everything Within Reach

    1. I don’t really have plans for this project other than simple scale drawings that show plan views & elevations. These drawings essentially look like the photos in the blog posting.The desks were very technically challenging to make for more reasons than I could give in a short space. If you would like to call me, I would be happy to answer any questions & tell you in more detail how I created these pieces. 512-423-9915.

  1. Hi
    I am looking at using a similarly design for the monitor, I would like too know whether you made your own mechanism or bought it in, if you did please could you send me a link or number, if not would you make one for, but with room for two monitors. Thank you

    1. I installed a commercial electronic lift to raise the monitor hidden in this desk. An internet search on “TV lift mechanism” will give you links to a variety of lifts in different size and price ranges. If you are looking for a lift that will fit inside a cabinet that is desk height, however, you will need a subcompact lift. My client provided me with the lift I used in my desk, but you can see a similar one at this link: http://www.tvlift.com/subcompact-tv-lift.html

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