A Desk and a Chair

April 20, 2018

I need a new desk and a new chair. The desk I’m sitting at is at least 20 years old and the chair - which originally belonged to a child’s school desk - is even older than that.

Can it really be that hard to find a suitable replacement for each of these items? I don’t think so and I’m not even especially picky about it. At a minimum the desk should be:

a) Less than 50” wide. My current desk (a cheap, completely unremarkable Staples thing with a crack running along the underside of its surface) is 48” and in the corner of the room. I don’t have the space for something bigger.

b) Have at least one drawer. Somewhere. I don’t know who designs this kind of office furniture, but at some point in the last 20 years, somebody got it into their head that all people really need or want is just a big, wide area to put stuff on. I have 4 external hard drives, my headphones, and a bunch of other small items spread across a two level cabinet in the current desk. Do they all need to be on top of my desk right this second?

That’s absurd.

Other than that, just about everything else is negotiable. The Wirecutter’s pick of the Jarvis Bamboo is nice, and I’ve never tried a standing desk before, but I don’t know if I want to spend that much. “Writing” desks are awkward and I would like to stay away from that if I possibly can, but they’re cheaper than most other options I’ve seen.

The chair part of the equation is easier (mostly because of cost). Arms, along with reasonable back support, and that’s really all that I think I need. The HON Exposure (another Wirecutter selection - for no particular reason, that’s just where I started my search) would probably do the job, but I wonder about its durability if I’m sitting in it for long stretches of time. Although anything would likely be an improvement over the tiny cushion that is on my current chair. I don’t know the exact price, but I do know it was cheap.

Lumbar pillows exist, and might fix some of the back issues I’ve dealt with from sitting in such an awful chair, but it just feels like a Band-Aid and another excuse to not address the problem in its entirety. I’d rather pay slightly more for a chair that can be adjusted until I feel comfortable in it.