Glass Topped Desks: Hiding Your Home Office In Plain Sight

Choosing a new desk for your home office can be a bit of a balancing act. You want something that’s both stylish and functional, of course. If your desk will be in a public area of your home, you’ll also want something that’s small enough for the needs of your space, and subtle enough to blend in with the rest of your furniture. The good news is, there’s one easy way to marry style and subtlety. Glass topped desks are fantastically stylish, and will be the star of your decor – either in a standalone office or elsewhere in your home – but are so sleek and slim that they seem to hardly take up any space at all.

Why Glass Topped Desks?

A bold home office done in assertive wood tones. The glass top of the desk is almost invisible, leaving the chrome legs appearing dramatic and sculptural.
A busy background and slim chair can almost completely hide a glass table with chrome legs (by Chateau Group USA)

Tables with clear glass or acrylic elements walk the fine line between standing out and blending in. Any clear element will have a daring, modern feel to it – very different from traditional wood desks, in particular. Add to that unique wood or metal legs, and a glass topped desk can easily be the stylish centerpiece you want for your home office. But on the flip side, the more clear glass or thin framework a desk has, the easier it is to overlook – literally see through and around it. A good glass-topped desk can give you that high-end, designer feel in a way that won’t dominate a small space.

Blend In

An image of a small home office setup in the corner of a large living room. An acrylic desk is set up in front of the patio door, preserving most of the view outside.
A desk with a seamless acrylic design will blend almost perfectly into any backdrop (by Becki Owens)

Glass topped desks are an ideal choice for people looking to add an office setup to a public area of their homes. While there are plenty of other ways to make a desk (or desk-sized table) mesh with your decor, ones with glass elements do the job without any extra fuss. Simply being able to see through the tabletop will decrease the desk’s visual footprint, which will keep the space you put it in from feeling overcrowded. With a few other tricks (like chrome or acrylic legs and a similarly slim or see-through office chair), you can turn even a large desk into a blink-and-you-miss-it addition to any room in your home. Just make sure it’s out of the way of walkways, or you might run right into it!

Stand Out

An image of a brightly lit home office. A gold and glass desk stands prominently in the center of the room, offset by the white walls behind it.
A glass desk with a bold frame will stand out beautifully against a light backdrop (by Lenox House Design)

Want to make the desk the star of your space? Whether it’s in a standalone home office or part of a larger room where you want an accent (or to meet-and-greet clients), you can mitigate the vanishing effect of the glass and play up its dramatic modern flair. First, you want to put the desk against a contrasting backdrop. Forget wood grain or wallpaper (which can make the table blend in) and opt for a single solid color. For the base, the bigger, bolder, and heftier the better. Think wood or distinctive metal finishes, like matte black or brushed gold rather than mirrored chrome.

Storage Space?

An image of a brightly lit home office laid out for meeting with clients. The white and glass desk is so minimal that at a glance the room appears more like a sitting area.
If you want to sneak a little storage into a glass topped desk, choose one with a base that blends in well with the surrounding room (by West Eleven Lane)

One of the big drawbacks of glass topped desks is that they’re less likely to have built-in storage than typical wood desks. Where they do, it can also tend to make the tables bulkier and more office-like, both increasing their visual footprint and slightly lowering their daring sense of style. That said, there are ways to strike a balance, if drawer space is a must-have for you. One easy trick is to look for glass topped desks with white legs and drawers, then set it against a white or light backdrop for a similar blend-in effect.

An image of a private home office closed off by glass walls. The desk in the center of the room has a wood top and acrylic legs.
If you need built-in storage, consider opting for a desk with acrylic legs rather than a glass top for a similarly minimal appearance (by EGG GROUP Limited)

Alternatively, look for desks that have solid tops (with drawers built into the front), but clear acrylic legs or sides. You won’t be able to look down through the top of the table when you’re right next to it, but with a little care, you can “hide” the solid tabletop by putting a matching color or material behind it. This is a particularly good option if you’re placing your desk in a living space, and want to be able to clean up and hide away all your work papers and supplies when you’re off the clock.

What About The Size Of The Desk?

An image of a glass-and-chrome drafting table seen through the posts of a canopy bed. The table is larger than you would expect for a bedroom corner, but nicely offsets the earth tones of the room.
Choosing an elegant desk with a minimal visual footprint means you can have a larger surface without your space feeling overcrowded (by Thom Filicia Inc.)

Glass topped desks come in a similar range of sizes and shapes to typical wood office desks. But if you’re hoping for even more versatility, you’re in luck. Glass or acrylic sofa tables, console tables, entry tables, or even small dining tables can all be used comfortably as the base for your home office (provided you have the right chair to go with it!). That means the style, size, and shape of your room can be a guiding factor moreso than with a conventional desk. Want to stand out? Opt for something big, bold and showy. Want your desk to be as low-impact as possible? Look for a tall, narrow accent table to hide away behind your sofa or in the corner of a room.

It’s hard to take a standard, out-of-the-box wood desk and make it feel like an organic part of your home. Decorative glass-topped desks will give you the stylish, high-end feel your home office is missing, without making your space feel too-full of furniture.