vintage desk in the corner of a dimmed room

4 Vintage Writing Desks That Can Add Character to Any Room

If you’re considering buying a new writing desk, the first thought that would cross your mind is probably IKEA. What if you’re into vintage items, though?

If vintage items are your thing, you’re in luck. Vintage writing desks are often a fully functional work of art. You could find a gorgeous vintage piece online with little to no blemishes.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at four of the best vintage writing desks you can own right now. We’ll also be sharing some tips to choose the perfect writing desk for you.

Let’s get started!

The 4 Best Vintage Writing Desks

Here are three writing desks in excellent vintage condition (and one modern writing desk in an authentic vintage style).

1. Antonio Ferretti Milano Vintage Desk

This vintage Italian desk was designed and signed by Antonio Ferretti Milano. It was made in the 1940s and has the unmistakable design elements of Antonio Ferretti.

The writing desk has five drawers on the right side with leg space occupying the left side. The shelf is covered by high-quality eco-leather.

The desk is relatively small, sitting just a few inches shy of 3 feet wide. So, keep that in mind before considering it.

All in all, this desk is in incredible condition. The brass handles and high-quality laminate wood really bring out the beautiful vintage scenography.

If you’re looking for an authentic vintage desk, this is the one for you. All of this, of course, comes at a hefty price tag. This is the most expensive vintage desk on our list and for good reason.


  • Impeccable condition
  • Signed by Antonio Ferretti
  • Top-quality laminate finish
  • Original eco-leather shelf


  • Expensive
  • Might be too small for some
vintage desk with drawers

2. Early 20th Century Mahogany Writing Desk

This is as vintage as writing desks get. Made in the 1910s, this vintage writing desk is in near-perfect condition.

Interestingly, this desk is exactly the same width as the Antonio Ferretti desk; a few inches short of 3 feet.

The top has a beautiful inset green leather that covers most of the writing area. There are five drawers on the right side and one bigger drawer on the left side. The bigger drawer has two brass ring handles while the smaller drawers have one handle.

We especially liked the original mahogany color on this desk. It’s the one trait that gives this desk its vintage feel. The legs are also tapered with ceramic castors that add to the overall appeal.

Finally, there’s a wooden tray at the bottom that obstructs the leg space a little, but it could come in handy for storing some extra documents.

The best thing about this desk is, by far, the price. This desk sits at a quarter the price of our first pick. At this price point, we consider this desk an absolute steal!


  • Extremely affordable
  • Beautiful mahogany finish
  • Stylish inlay detailing
mahogany surface


  • Some surface scratching
  • Some inlays are missing from the leather piece

3. Mid-Century Refinished Steel Desk

This vintage desk has the look and feel of mid-century office desks. Made in the 1960s, this writing desk is exactly 3 feet with a natural steel refinish.

What we love most about this desk is how convenient it is. It has a huge writing space, many drawers, and two trays.

The desk is in perfect vintage condition, only refinished in a shiny steel powdered coat. The first impression you’ll get when you sit at this desk is that it’s built to last.

This heavy-duty desk may seem a little bulky, but the modern design elements give an overall sleek style.

There are four utility drawers on both sides, one locking drawer in the middle, and one filing drawer.

This desk doesn’t come cheap; it’s only a couple hundred dollars less than the Antonio Ferretti desk. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty vintage writing desk, this one won’t disappoint.


  • Numerous drawers
  • Huge writing space
  • Sleek natural steel refinish


  • Expensive

4. Pokojscy Studio Vintage-Style Writing Desk

Here’s the sad reality about true vintage desks: they run out of stock in a matter of seconds.

That’s right. Most vintage writing desks are rare finds that can get snatched at any time. You can find sellers who have more than one desk available, but that’s usually not the case with the rest.

If you can’t find a true vintage writing desk, how about buying a high-quality vintage-style one?

Pokojscy makes perhaps some of the best writing desks we’ve seen so far. They’re so good at creating homemade desks that scream vintage all over.

This desk is around 4.5 feet, has two drawers with beautiful brass fronts and a single shelf in the middle.

The tapered legs add to the overall appeal to the desk, with brass feet that complement the solid walnut wood.

The desk itself is made completely from walnut wood. There’s hard wax oil and a walnut veneer finish that makes this desk look elegant, natural, and authentic.


  • Incredible vintage-style desk
  • Minimalistic design elements
  • High-quality American walnut


  • Pricey
woman sitting on a writing desk using pc

What to Look For in Vintage Writing Desks

If you’re looking for a genuine vintage desk, make sure to know the difference between adjectives like “vintage,” “antique,” “retro,” and “vintage-style.” Words sell, and second-hand sellers will try to persuade you to buy their products using these popular adjectives.

Vintage desks are usually made in the past 100 years. Anything older is an antique, and usually has elements of high quality and rarity.

Even if the desk is marketed as vintage, you need to check the date of production to be sure. Anything later than the early 80s isn’t considered vintage.

Next, make sure to inspect the desk before buying. Your best bet would be a seller who’s near your area. Arrange for a place to meet where you can confirm the desk is genuine before buying.

Finally, wear and tear are often telltale signs that the piece is vintage. If the desk is refinished, try to look for pictures of the original desk online or ask the seller if he has a picture before the desk was refinished.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for the best vintage writing desk money can buy, you can’t go wrong with Antonio Ferretti’s writing desk. It combines stylish design elements with high-quality hardwood and looks just the same as it did half a century ago.

If you’re on a tight budget and looking for an authentic vintage writing desk, check out the Early 20th Century Mahogany Vintage Desk. Aside from a few blemishes here and there, this writing desk is in a near-perfect condition.

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