Executive Desk VS. Roll-Top Desk: What's The Difference?

An office is a space to get work done, relax — and for some — a place where they can get a few minutes of privacy. Whatever it may be, your office needs to feel like a place to efficiently get your business done. When designing an office, there are some things that people need to think about. For example, a desk. In fact, having a desk that works best to meet your needs is also important, according to Zapier. A desk that cannot be properly set up by an individual can result in body pain and weariness.

Two options to look into are the executive desk and the roll-top desk. The roll-top desk does exactly what the name implies, it has a sliding top that you can close and lock to keep your belongings hidden and safe, as Britannica defines it. Executive desks, however, are an open and large desk that is meant for a bigger space (via The Spruce). While going over different factors of both desks, you may be able to take note of what works best for you.

How does the appearance differ?

An executive desk is for anyone who is ready to lay out all their papers and get work done, according to Living Space. A bigger desk than most, the executive is usually available in one of two designs — either L-shaped or pedestal. This desk is meant for anyone who needs ample space, as this desk has a spacious top as well as plenty of drawers. 

The roll-top desk, on the other hand, was made in the 19th century (via DutchCrafters). This desk has drawers smaller than that of an executive desk, but it's also the perfect desk for a writer who needs specific storage for pencils, papers, and more. Not to mention, this desk has a top which can roll down to hide whatever you're working on.

Differences in sizes

The average executive desk is around 60 inches wide, 30 inches deep, and 30 inches high, according to House Plans Helper. Compared to other desks, they typically have the biggest desktop while also offering versatile storage for those who are typically higher ranking in terms of employment. 

The roll-tops slightly differ in size, but Amish Avenue, like other websites, shows that the average width is around 54 inches, the depth is typically 30 inches, and the height is usually 47 inches. When looking at these sizes, it's probably best to choose based on how much space you need on your desk to perform.

What are the differences in cost?

Although larger, the executive desk seems to actually cost less than the roll-top desk. Typically executive desks can be bought for around $900, as seen on Meetco-Furniture. Roll-top desks on the other hand average out to be around $1,750 (via KDVR). 

This means that the averaging price difference is about $850. So depending on your wants, needs, and budget; a price difference like this could be a dealbreaker. However, The Spruce offers a comprehensive list of budget friendly websites, such as Amazon, Ikea, Crate & Barrel, Overstock, and Pottery Barn, where you could potentially find the desk of your dreams.

Pros and Cons of executive and roll-top desks

The executive desk has many pros, one of them being its design. Its suave looks gives off the feeling of importance and success, according to Amish Outlet Store. If your space currently does not have many furniture or art pieces, the executive desk can also play as an impressive focal point. This desk also has ample storage to put away your necessities. However, being large is one of its cons. Since it's so big, designing your room may be difficult as you need a group of people to help you move it. Most likely, if you don't like it on one side of the room, it will be difficult to move it somewhere else.

Now the pros of the roll-top desk definitely differ. Its small size is helpful in moving the desk wherever you'd like it, and is easier to squeeze into a small corner if need be. Another pro that was previously mentioned is the ability to hide your work by rolling down and locking the top. This can especially be nice for those who have kids or pets that could potentially get into your office. However, although easy to move, roll-top desks can only really be placed against a wall, due to their flat back design.

Which interior design elements suit the executive and roll-top desk?

There are multiple factors for designing any space, even your office. Whether you choose the executive desk or the roll-top desk, there are a few design elements that you should be aware of. Executive desks are best suited in modern, bright, and minimally styled rooms, according to Gebesa. Since executive desks give off a professional feel, all furniture in the space must have a designated function. Walls of this space should always remain neutral so as to contrast bolder colors you may want to bring in with area rugs and drapes.

As said before, roll-top desks are from the 19th century, which was the period of eclectic interior design, as Britannica notes. This theme has unique elements of design, such as different styles and paint colors for each room of the house. If you would like to follow the traditional design meant for this desk, then a few steps need to be taken. Quite different from the design of executive desks, eclectic designs require much creativity to achieve this look. Although a specific color should be seen throughout all rooms, different patterns and genres must also be incorporated throughout (via MasterClass).