3 Ways: The West Elm Parsons Desk

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY The Havenly Team

Fill 1Created with Sketch.

Published on February 3, 2015

On the subject of writing desks, let’s talk about one of the most versatile around– the Parsons Desk by West Elm.  I swear– this big-box-retailer piece has been featured in more design & lifestyle blogger home tours than any other around.  Even amidst all of this exposure, it retains its freshness and appeal.  Why the staying power?  The clean shape and finish provide a perfect backdrop for whatever you want to showcase (be it a crazy wallpaper, a statement desk chair, or your mad styling skills)!  The West Elm Parsons Desk is incredibly versatile– here, we’ve highlighted 3 WAYS to utilize this classic in your home.


Just roll up to this workspace classic and let the genius happen!  Simple and straightforward, this desk works equally well in both modern and more transitional home office settings.  It’s 30 inches high and works well with most standard office/ dining chairs.  If you’re at a loss as to how to style your desk, refer to the Everygirl’s handy guide (complete with suggestions re color scheme and accessories).

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Image via Lauren Nelson Design


So you had a lovely little office set up and….surprise!  You have to convert it into a nursery.  Don’t let that parsons desk go so quickly– it will look just as fabulous in a hallway or entry.  Add some coffee table books, flowers, a mirror or art — maybe a side chair or bench– and bam!  You’ve got a super versatile console table.  You could even purchase it in a color (West Elm occasionally manufactures a few different shades) or slather it in a beautiful high gloss paint to really make your home’s entrance grand!

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Image via Lonny


How do you feel about the whole “desk-doubling-as-a-nightstand” thing?  If you are in need of a work area but are light on extra room, we think it’s kind of a genius space-saving move.  And while symmetry is calming to the eye (the usual nightstand-bed-nightstand combo), it’s also fun to shake things up a bit to keep things from looking too precious.

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Image via Emily Claire Creates but please share if original source is known!

…and okay, this isn’t the West Elm Parsons Desk, but it’s quite close (and too pretty not to share):

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Image via Elle Decor

We’ve even seen it used as a dressing table….but that’s for another day!

The best part?  Given its ubiquity, your chances of finding a gently-used model on Craigslist are pretty darn good.  I recently snagged a pre-owned parsons desk in a really strange ‘mushroom’ hue.  A couple sheets of sand paper + a can of white enamel gloss later, I have the perfect streamlined parsons desk to serve as a feature-wall desk in our guest bedroom.

At $399, we think the multi-purpose Parsons Desk is a great buy– do you?  If not — and you’re particularly handy– you can try your hand at crafting your own.  Good luck– send us pics!

xx, Alana

**  Havenly, an online interior design service, makes interior decor simple, convenient, and affordable. For one low flat fee per room ($185), you’re matched with a personal interior designer who creates a custom room design unique to your budget and style.  Then, buy what you love in one convenient place through our complimentary ordering service, and a custom-designed Havenly room is delivered to your doorstep. To #getdecorated or learn more about our service, visit havenly.com.