There are few types of wood that have the reputation of oak, and it's not hard to see why. Oak is a strong wood that can last not only for decades, but when properly treated it creates strong and powerful furniture that can even last generations. When combined with good wood working skills to produce a fine piece of furniture like a roll top desk, you now have something that not only stands out (in a good way) in any room of the home it's put in but you have a piece of furniture that can stand the test of time. When you're looking at something like an oak roll top desk you are truly seeing the meeting of a great wood with a great piece of furniture design.
Why A Roll Top Desk?
There was a time where a roll top desk, sometimes referred to as a writing desk, wasn't decorative but was actually seen as fairly state of the art. While these have fallen a little bit in popularity with the rise of computers, and the fact that oak rolltop desks are not designed to have holes and easy places for wires to run to a hidden outlet, there's little denying just how much popularity remains for this particular design.
Roll top desks offer the perfect place to sit, organize bills and letters, write letters and birthday cards out to family and friends, and keep loose papers of all types. In the past these were considered top of the line, and gave a person the ability to roll down the cover so no one could peek on what they were working on, whatever sensitiveness information was there, or even the mess from lack of organization.
This is a classic design that was seen as the top of its kind for many decades, and although there are many people going towards a simpler and more functional desk design, or more open top desks, there is no denying that the history of solid oak roll top desks is an interesting one and there are reasons why this type of design is making a comeback, as well.
Brief History Of The Oak Roll Top Desk
In the middle to the late 1800s roll top desks came in a variety of different wood types based on what was available or stylish. Walnut, cherry, teak, mahogany, oak, and more all had their turns, but as the technology changed and certain woods became harder to get a hold of, it became hard to argue with oak. Once quarter sawed oak could be mass produced, this great looking wood proved to be hearty, reliable, and produced a fantastic looking piece of furniture that could be passed on through the generations.
Roll top desks gave off an air of professionalism, of literacy, of sophistication. They have a degree of elegance that was hard to match, and yet functioned as a perfectly useful piece of furniture, as well. That is a rare combination and made this design one of the most popular pieces of furniture for many decades in a row.
Coming Back In Style
There are many good reasons why these desks are coming back in style. The reason why people are going back to oak shouldn't be a mystery at all. Plywood is cheap, doesn't look good, and breaks easily. Ditto with particleboard. No one is fooled by that: they know that it's a cheap imitation. Oak lasts. The wood can remain light or it can be stained to a much darker look, and the grain looks so much better than any of the fake substitutes that other companies may try to pass off as being "just as good."
Add in the fact that tough economic times have people looking for furniture that will last decades, and they can't afford to keep replacing one broken piece of cheap furniture after another. A little extra money up front for a much better piece of furniture, a much higher quality one, that can last long enough to even become an inheritance piece is something that is very appealing to modern consumers.
In addition to this, many of the newest oak rolltop desks actually do have small areas where a hole is drilled into the back so wires (like from a monitor or a laptop) can be led out the back of the desk and to an outlet out of the way while still functioning as a roll top desk that allows you to pull down the blind to cover the monitor and the rest of your work space.
Finding The Right Oak Roll Top Desk For You
There are many different designs being created for the modern household, but the good news is this means variety. If you fully appreciate everything that a oak roll top desk brings to the table then you will be glad to know that you have options. Do you need a modern version of the roll top desk that has a slide out keyboard holder, room for a large computer monitor, and holes in the back for wires?
Do you just want a more traditional writing desk, one that doesn't have any holes in the back for wires but has plenty of small box slots for letters, paper, built in pen and pencil holders, and an open work space for writing?
From the purely aesthetic side of things do you prefer light or darkly stained?
Whatever your specific needs, make a list and go shopping to find the best custom fit for your personal needs.
So Many Great Options Available
While some people tend to think antique when they hear about roll top desks, the truth is that even in the age of computers there is a high demand for the old school writing desk. When made out of truly good materials instead of plywood and fake plasterboard, these oak desks can last for years, decades, or even longer. There's something about a truly great piece of furniture that is special, and there's nothing quite like a traditional roll top desk made of oak to bring that point home!