A desk doesn’t have to be a heavy, baronial expanse of wood that dominates a room. Especially at home — and especially at a time when many of us are trying to shoehorn an additional work space into anyplace it will fit — something smaller and more sprightly is often preferable.

“Different types of work require different types of spaces: If it’s just a laptop, you don’t need a large desk,” said Chad Dorsey, a Dallas-based interior designer who sells turnkey home-office furniture packages.

Just how small can a small desk be?

“Thirty-six inches wide would be the minimum,” Mr. Dorsey said. But if you have notebooks, binders and lots of papers, he noted, a desk that’s closer to five feet wide might work better: “Almost anyone could fit within that.”

As for depth, he likes a desktop that is about two feet deep.

Such a nimble piece of furniture doesn’t require a dedicated office. It could be tucked into the corner of a bedroom, living room, dining room, entrance hall — or even a large closet, Mr. Dorsey pointed out: “It could almost go anywhere.”

Wood desk with linoleum top by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

$895 at Hay: 833-849-3025 or us.hay.com

Powder-coated steel desk with oak or walnut top

$500 at Uhuru Design: 718-855-6519 or uhurudesign.com

Wall-based wood desk by Norm Architects

From $595 at Design Within Reach: 800-944-2233 or dwr.com

Metal-and-wood desk with casters and adjustable feet

About $60 at Ikea: 888-888-4532 or ikea.com

Oak or walnut desk with drawers

$559 at Article: 888-746-3455 or article.com

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