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42 Space-Saving Fold-Down Desks Designs & Ideas

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Fold-down desks are perfect for compact spaces. Not only do they maximize square footage by neatly folding away when the room is needed for other tasks, but they also allow even a cozy corner to be turned into an effective home office. Today we feature 42 workspaces where fold-away desks take center stage. From custom-built wonders to DIY solutions you can try at home, keep reading for a collection of eye-catching, practical, and interesting fold-down desks!

Fold-Down Desks With Style

Let’s begin by exploring some popular fold-down desk options. One beloved model is the secretary’s desk. Classic and convenient, this fold-away desk has evolved over time to include clean-lined, contemporary forms, and practical storage. Below we see the Intimo Birch Secretary Desk from CB2:

Secretary desk from CB2

This sleek writing desk serves a dual purpose as a console table. When not in use, the desk folds up, closing off the storage area, which means you can hide away your laptop, books, or other work-related items.

When it’s closed, this desk looks like a stylish contemporary console table and will make an ideal focal point in your living room. Style the top with some art and fresh greenery in an uncomplicated vase to complete the console table look.

This Fold-Down Desk from West Elm is part of the brand’s Mid-Century Office Shelving. Once again, a wall-mounted fold-out desk saves space while providing a handy area for storing items such as office supplies:

Fold-down desk from West Elm

If you’re looking for a small fold-down desk that will significantly impact you, choose one made of natural wood. The natural colors and grains of the wood will stand out beautifully against lighter-colored walls making the desk into a feature in your room.

Some people have their fold-away desks custom-built, as shown in the modern bedroom below. [photo from Churreria Photographers]

Modern bedroom with a fold-down desk

And others purchase fold-down desks with a custom feel, like this handy Yu Yusing Wall Mount Computer Desk available via Amazon:

Fold-out desk from Amazon

A similar desk style can also be purchased and even personalized with an inspirational saying or even your own name. This style of desk is perfect for small bedrooms, tiny dorms for the college student, or even in a large hallway.

white fold down desk with inspirational saying on the front white chair in a room with baby blue wall and wood flooring
Photo Credit: wermemorykeepers via Instagram

These style of fold-down desks provides a large surface area to work on, as well as built-in storage for books, folders, and other accessories you might need to have at hand while working. When you’re finished for the day, the desk can merely be folded up against the wall, storing everything neatly and giving you more space in your room.

This creative soul actually took their fold-down desk and mounted it on top of a trundle bed, where the top has been converted to more floor space. Genius!

trundle bed with wood floor top open with a fold down desk on top white furry stool
Photo Credit: jodi58 via Instagram

This wall-mounted desk from Etsy shop Good Mood Wood is made to order and crafted from solid oak. Plus, the image below shows how easy it is to turn any wall into a home office with the help of a fold-down desk. Why not go for a wall with a view?!

Wall-mounted desk from Good Mood Wood

There are also many DIY versions of the fold-down desk at the ready, like this desk from Bubble Wrapp’d. Would you build your own fold-away desk? Not only can these desks be used for office tasks, but they’re also perfect for craft centers, as shown below. [via Pinterest]

DIY fold-out desk from Bubble Wrapp’d

Let’s not forget about creative space-saving solutions that combine the fold-down desk with other features, such as a bed. In the next image, we see the Poppiboard Ponte Wall Bed Desk. Learn more at Lawrance Contemporary Furniture:

Eye-catching wall bed desk

Combined cupboards will provide storage for your work accessories whilst allowing you to close them at the end of the day when you just want to forget about work.

Bookshelf & Fold-Down Desk Combos

Many fold-down desks are part of larger shelving systems that maximize wall space in the office. The small home office below makes the most of its space by incorporating a fold-down desk into a built-in bookshelf. [from ZMK Group, Inc.]

A built-in bookshelf with a fold-down desk

Here’s another home office area that maximizes space by utilizing a built-in desk. And once again, the fold-away desk is part of the more giant bookshelf. [from Kirkwood McLean Architects]

Contemporary office area with a fold-down desk

Does anyone else notice how white is a popular color for fold-down desks? Perhaps it creates a light and airy feel, especially when a large bookshelf is involved! [photo from Rosangela Photography]

Bookshelf with a fold-down desk

Would you include a fold-down desk as part of a living room or family room? This next example makes a compelling argument for working at a desk into a living area. [photo from Jeff King & Company]

Fold-down desk in a family room

Fold-Down Desks For the Kids!

Next up: fold-down desks for kids! Sometimes all it takes is a simple work surface. This custom-built fold-down desk is the perfect size for a child, and it serves as an art station. Thanks to its convenient location, the parents can keep an eye on their daughter while they cook! [from BKBS via Houzz]

Fold-down desk and art area for a child

Got two kids? Try two desks! When they’re the fold-down variety, you don’t have to sacrifice space. Especially when they’re part of a large bookshelf that provides handy storage. Bonus points if the bookshelf is a vivid color! [photo by Andy Stagg for Paul Archer Design]

Two fold-down desks for two children

This Kids’ Fold-Down Desk built from reclaimed wood can be purchased at Etsy shop Kentucky Kentucky Reclaimed. Plus, it comes with a bench, making it the perfect compact work station:

Kids’ fold-down desk from Etsy shop Kentucky Reclaimed

The Land of Nod offers a Three Tiers Wall Desk that mounts right to the wall. It doesn’t appear to actually fold up, but it still serves as a compact desk option with the look of a fold-down desk. A perfect choice for a child’s room:

Wall desk from The Land of Nod

Clever Configurations

Let’s end with some fold-down desk options that are as practical as they are amazingly clever! How handy is this fold-down desk solution for a tiny house?! When not in use, the desk becomes part of the wall. When in use, it resides over the couch, transforming into an instant work station with the help of a chain. Learn more at The Tiny Project:

Fold-down desk solution for a tiny house

Fold-down desks are perfect for any small-space situation, whether your house is tiny or the home office itself is lacking adequate room. Here’s another model that relies on a chain for added stability. [photo by Stéphane Déroussent for Geraldine Laferte]

Fold-down desks are perfect for small spaces

This wall-mounted desk resides in a contemporary office where clean-lined style is a priority. Plus, it neatly folds into its indented wall spot when not in use. [photo from Paul Clemence Photography for General Assembly]

A fold-down desk that becomes part of the wall

This fold-down desk is part of an unfolding apartment by Michael K. Chen Architecture that includes many built-in features. Check out the details at Houzz:

Unfolding apartment with a fold-down desk

Trendy Cabinets

If you want something really elegant, and when the fold-down desk is tucked away, no one would even know it’s a desk, then opt for something that looks like a cabinet. Chic and trendy cabinets and hutches are available with a fold-down desk inside and are specifically made to be standard living room furniture when not in use as a desk.

A brown leather stool is paired with a black secretary desk adorned with square brass drop pulls topped with sea coral, sea fan and an Aerin Morton Table Lamp lining a wall clad in gray faux bois wallpaper.
Photo Credit: Summer Thornton Design

For this fold-down cabinet desk, this designer opted to pair it with a ghost chair to keep the room light and not weighed down with a lot of heavy, bulky furniture.

Living room office space with a Secretary desk accented with a ghost Chair topped with a blue and taupe accent pillow and sat on a diamond print jute rug also holding a small wood hexagon side table. On top of the desk a framed painting leans against blue walls complimented by a blue vase positioned beside the painting.
Photo Credit: Park and Oak

Fold-down cabinet desks are also a great piece for a small bedroom where you will want somewhere to work but don’t want to take up bedroom space with a clunky or heavy desk.

Master bedroom features an ivory French drop down secretary desk, gray leather desk chair, bed with gray and white bedding and a black nightstand lit by a brass and silver lamp.
Photo Credit: Brown Design Inc

The French Chic look is ever so popular for fold-down desk cabinets, and we think that they look so charming in a pale blue color paired with a stunning lamp and matching French provincial style chair.

French blue secretaire desk positioned against a gray wall and beneath a gold framed art piece complete with matching chair
Photo Credit: Heather Scott Home

For the upper part of the cabinet, glass is always a trendy option that allows you to display some decor items in your cabinet, all while giving yourself somewhere to work, too.

A white and black French desk chair sits in front of a white French secretary desk accented with a blue interior and fitted with a pull down desk top and glass front cabinets.
Photo Credit: J and G Design

Everything in this room was designed with femininity and elegance in mind, from the stunning magnolia wall decals to the monochromatic vases arranged on top of the cabinet and then right down to the lovely chair. Thanks to the concealed drawers on the inside, this desk looks clean and gorgeous, whether opened or closed.

A pink damask chair sits at a gray French drop down desk topped with white and gray vases accenting pink wallpapered walls.
Photo Credit: Dina Bandman Interiors
work space features a pull down secretary desk topped with glass and brass pharmacy canisters.
Photo Credit: Kate Marker Interiors

The natural white color of the wood is ideal for bringing an element of nature into your home. Try placing a couple of potted succulents on the top for a stylish look, even when the desk is folded away.

White and Bright

Clean, white, and crisp cabinetry adds a modern appeal to any room, and they are a great place to tuck away a hidden desk.

A blue velvet French Louis chair sits in front of a white pull down desk fixed under white cabinets with brass knobs and beside styled open built in cabinets in a gorgeous white living room decorated with blue accents.
Photo Credit: Braun Adams

This fold-down desk, when pulled down, nestles closely to a sun-filled window bench allowing the sun to shine in and illuminate the workspace when needed. A bright blue French Louis chair matches the blue books placed ever so nicely on the shelf.

Beside a white built-in bay window bench topped with a natural linen cushion, white built in cabinets donning brass knobs feature a drop desk located in front of a blue velvet French Louis chair.
Photo Credit: Braun Adams

When designing your area for your fold-down desk, don’t be afraid to add a little rustic vintage with the modern and new. We think this rustic chair looks great amongst the modern cabinetry.

Add a rustic vintage wood chair a white built-in drop down desk for a well-balanced office space. Antique brass hardware accent the white inset cabinets and drawers along with brass metal grille doors. A large office window delivers ample light to showcase the sleek built-in finishings warmed by oak wood floors.
Photo Credit: Establish Design

Multiple Use

You don’t always have to use your fold-down desk to work — think happy hour! Fold-down desks are also pull-down bars and vice versa. If a product is advertised as a pull-down bar, chances are you could probably use it as a desk, too! You will, however, want to check the height as sometimes pull-down bars at counter height or bar height making them awkward to sit at.

Beautiful dining room features a dark stained oval dining table lined with beige tufted dining chairs placed in front of a metal and wood industrial bar cabinet with fold down table and mirrored backsplash.
Photo Credit: Jamie Keskin Design

Dark Walnut for a Contrast

Getting back to white cabinetry for a second, how great does the contrast from this dark walnut fold-down desk look next to the clean white cabinetry in these bookcases? It is a stunning focal point for this small office, and we love how it complements the leather chair.

home office styled with walnut pulled down desk with leather chair on wheels rug ornate glass chandelier and white bookcase
Photo Credit: Bria Hammel Interiors

Sleek and Modern

Go for the sleek and modern look with a high gloss wall mounted fold down desk. The stark blue glossy color here brings a cheery bold vibe to this space, and paired with the bright yellow wallpaper, this is a show-stopping look!

White and yellow circle patterned wallpaper frames pocket doors which open to reveal a home office featuring a wall mounted drop down desk with lacquered blue interior lined with a modern white swivel chair below a silver disc pendant hung in front of French doors which lead to the patio.
Photo Credit: Melanie Morris Design

Mid Century Modern

Since fold-down desks became extremely popular in the mid-century, mid-century furniture lovers will have their pick — well, if they are lucky enough to find these pieces at antique markets and second-hand sellers.

A beautiful well cared for mid-century piece can be a little costly, but they look stunning in a home paired with a modern look or even worked in with bohemian decor.

mid century modern fold down desk in black painted room with plant and boho rug
Photo Credit: _collectorsedit via Instagram

This open concept style fold-down desk allows for plenty of decor on display, books, and art, and provides ample working space when being used as a desk.

open concept style shelf with fold down desk wood chair in white room
Photo Credit: oliviaoutred via Instagram

This particular unit has almost the same vibe as the previous one, but it’s a little more closed in, allowing for more storage but still, ample space to decorate and have fun with your style.

There’s a place to rest an open book, which makes it work as a standing desk, too!

mid century modern fold down desk with book chair and rattan basket vases and jugs next to it a gold pot with snake plant
Photo Credit: brickalleyco via Instagram

The smooth lines of this design are in keeping with mid century style, so it will look as stylish when it is in desk mode as it will when it is folded up. Style a mid-century modern desk like this with some simple ornaments on the top to catch the eye.

Small and Discreet

If it’s something small that you’re after, then there are many options. You can get a small wall mounted fold down desks that will take up next to zero space in your room, just a little bit of wall real estate.

This style of desk is practical, fun, and contemporary, making it a great choice for a dorm room, teen room, or even a small home office.

mini white fold down desk attached to wall open with laptop on it camera pencil container and decor
Photo Credit: storewooddesign via Instagram

A little larger model and with more room for decor, this wall mounted fold down desk has a contrasting wood panel that provides the room with a little depth and color.

white fold down desk with cube style open shelves attached to wall with laptop picture frame deco vases
Photo Credit: storewooddesign via Instagram

Farmhouse Style

Farmhouse isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so let’s not forget this style when we are planning out a fold-down desk! The imitation corbel detailing for this small modern farmhouse fold-down desk really gives this tiny desk full life. It takes up hardly any space yet adds a great little piece to the room without going overboard.

farmhouse style corbel fold down desk with books on top and in the background is a blurred bed and pictures on wall
Photo Credit: redskyshepherdshuts via Instagram

You can do something rustic yourself when you makeover an old fold-down desk with a bit of paint and creativity.

This DIYer has no problem leaving her fold-down desk open all the time — it’s so lovely!

rustic painted fold down desk mounted on to the wall with books decor and a chair with fur pillow
Photo Credit: thediyvibe via Instagram

More people are working from home now than ever before, and although you might not be working from an office, it’s still important to give yourself a dedicated desk area when you can fully get into ‘work mode.’ It’s essential to have a space where you can go to get in the frame of mind of working, so if you are short on office space, we hope that one of these ideas has inspired you to create an area of your own to work with a fold-down desk.

We’ll leave you with a DIY option: this Fold-Away Wall Desk from Crafted Fairly! Check out the details in the tutorial post:

DIY fold-up desk from Crafted Fairly

Will you be adding a fold-down desk to your interior?

Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQ

Is a fold-down desk and a Murphy desk the same thing?

A fold-down desk and a Murphy desk are essentially the same things. The name Murphy desk is because of William Lawrence Murphy, who was the inventor of the fold-away bed, and because the idea of a fold-down or fold-away desk is essentially the same idea, it is often referred to as a Murphy desk.

Are fold-down desks less money than a full desk?

Floating desks can be comparatively less expensive than regular work or computer desks. They come in various styles ranging in all sorts of prices, but of course, if you are after a true antique fold-down desk, they may be a lot more money than a typical desk.

When mounting a fold-down desk, should you make sure it's in a stud?

Since you most definitely will be putting substantial weight on the desk when it's in a fold-down position, you will most certainly want to make sure it's anchored into a stud or secured with the proper weight maintenance brackets.

Which style of the fold-down desk will save the most amount of space?

If you really want to save space, the best style of the fold-down desk would be one that is mounted on the wall and has no legs. This is great because when it's not in use, you can fold it away, and it's on the wall, not taking up any floor space.

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Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]