Skip to Content

Parts of a Desk (Diagrams of Computer and Built-In Desks)

Collage photo of built in computer desks.

A desk isn’t a terribly complicated piece of furniture as you can see in the 2 parts of a desk diagram above and below.

Demand for desks in the home has sky-rocketed over the last 15 years along with the growth in home computers. Bill Gates once said he dreamed of a “computer on every desk in every home.” His dream came true. The impact of that dream’s fruition was also a boon for home office manufacturers and retailers who sell desks. Demand for desks is huge.

The evolution of desk design is interesting though. For the last 15 years, a keyboard tray and CPU storage area was important which sparked the rise of the “computer desk“. However, now most people use laptops which doesn’t require nearly as much computer storage. Moreover, more and more people are using tablets and mobile devices for a majority of their computing needs, which is ironically eliminating the need for a desk.

Okay, eliminating the need for a desk is a bit strong. I don’t foresee giving up my home desk. For any serious type of work I like sitting at a desk with a laptop. I can’t exactly type fast on a tablet or mobile device.

And so we bring this odd article which includes two very cool diagrams illustrating the anatomy of a computer desk and built-in l-shaped desk.

Anatomy of a desk

Hutch (above):  While not indicated on the diagram above, it’s the shelf unit sitting on top of the desk. These are a great addition because of the storage they offer.

CPU Storage (below):  Most “computer desks” these days still include a storage area for the CPU. Not all people have abandoned desktop computers and not all people buy Mac’s that don’t have a CPU. One of my desks has this storage area but I don’t need it. I put my briefcase in it.

Keyboard tray/sliding hutch (below): Most computer desks also come with a keyboard tray. I don’t like them one bit. My problem with them is they drop down too low and so I don’t have enough vertical leg space.

I would love them if the worked for me, but they don’t. I think the keyboard tray is still relevant because many people who use a tablet or laptop, connect a separate keyboard to it because it’s easy to use. For example, I have several wireless keyboards I use in both offices regardless of the computer I’m using.

The rest of the parts are self-explanatory going to the structure of the different types of desks.

FYI, many built-in desks with hutches also have CPU storage and a keyboard tray. Depending on where you buy your desk, sometimes you can opt for a modular type of system where you pick and choose the different parts for your desk so you cat the exact type of desk storage you want.

Diagram showing the different parts of a standard computer desk.

While our custom desk illustrations showcase larger desks, there are many small desk options as well that will have much less storage but still serve the key function of providing a place to efficiently and comfortably use a computer or write or do whatever you do at a desk.