Living in a small space? The Flatmate Secretary desk is less than five inches deep

flatmate desk and chair
© Flatmate

As our computers and monitors get thinner and thinner, so do the desks. And when you are living in small spaces, your desk can't be too thin. But it can be too thin to stand up on its own feet. That's the issue with Michael Hilger's new Flatmate Secretary, a desk that folds up to be only 122 mm, or 4.8 inches- the images on 6SQFT show it floating in space and I wondered, how does it do that?

flatmate desk© Flatmate desk on wall

Well, it doesn't; it has to be fastened to the wall. This an issue I wrestled with while working with Julia West Home, developing what we called the JWHO office system over a decade ago. How thin can you make a unit like this and still have it stand up? We ended up at 18" deep and were still a bit nervous. We had the doors from the storage below swing out and fasten to the drop-down desktop to provide additional support, sort of like gate legs.

desk face on© Flatmate desk

Michael Hilger's design is lovely, but does it make sense to have legs at all when you are fastening to the wall? How useful is that storage underneath, at probably 3" wide? And at 1298€, (US1432) perhaps a desk can be too thin and too rich.

urbancase ledge© Urbancase

Perhaps that's why the Urbancase Ledge, which I first saw at ICFF in 2010, was so attractive to me. Basically when you were done with work you just pushed the shelf inside and your computer was gone. all closed up inside. No having to lean it up on its edge.

desk and model© Andrew Bradley

And then there is the Falling Densu desk designed by Joseph Walsh Studio, with its very clever pivot hinge, which eliminates all that hardware holding up the desk. Just be careful to pick up your laptop before you close it or it will end up on the floor. Really, life is full of compromises.

Tags: Less Is More | LifeEdited | Living With Less | Transformer Furniture


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