Glen Eagle Desk Set

I pretty much live in my home office. It had gotten to the point that I could barely walk in it, there was so much stuff in the room. You can see the Before and After Photos if you want a sense of how crowded the room had become.

I went around to local furniture stores for MONTHS - and spent countless hours on the web - looking for a desk set to get. I had been using really junky furniture my entire life. If I was going to spend 20 hours a day in my office, I wanted to get a set that would last me a lifetime and not have to ever be replaced.

I fell in love with the Glen Ellen set, which reminded me of the English libraries I've always adored. Here's the stock image of it -

Glen Eagle

There is lovely inlay wood work on the door set - and a larger version of that oval on the desk itself. The set is all mix-and-match, so you can get whichever pieces appeal to you most. The tops are separate from the bottoms, so you can get all shelves on top, or all file cabinets on the bottom, or so on. The only piece that you "have" to get is the bottom that the desk fits into. Note that it is NOT the 'desk bottom'. The desk bottom is the one in the picture that has a monitor on it. The one the desk fits into has a drawer on top with two sleves below. Only that bottom will allow the desk to slide into it. Other than that, you can rearrange to your heart's content.

So finally we made the purchase, and had the boxes sent to us. Now, they say this is a hardwood from the east - i.e. that it's not a "traditional" hardwood like oak but another similar tree, a tree related to the rubber tree family. They might claim this is hardwood, but it is just a hair harder than pine. We found it dented REALLY easily with the slightest of pressure. I have put placemats under anything I put on the table - monitor stand, keyboard, etc. - to try to keep the desk from being trashed immediately.

You want to get a *real* wax for this set - not an Old English or Pledge or other pseudo-wax. Look for Johnson's Paste Wax for example. There are better versions of this but you need to mail-order those. Put down at least three coats in order to protect it. Paste wax is a real, hard wax combined with some petroleum products to be able to spread it. Once you put the wax on, the petroleum evaporates and you're left with a good wax coating.

Spray polishes have numerous contaminants in them - to help it remain stable and sprayable - which cause harm to the wood. It's one of those trade-off things - easy to use, therefore not the best product. Linseed oil / walnut oil are drying agents and get bound to the wood and oxidize, which isn't great for it long term.

In any case, the desk's softness causes huge problems for an item shipped from overseas. Out of the 7 pieces we ordered, 3 were so dented that we had to request a replacement. Others had more minor dents we felt we could live with. When the workers slid one into the truck without the box (because we'd inspected it to make sure it was healthy before we took it home) the mere act of sliding it pulled off the backing. We had to re-staple it.

That's not to say it's not heavy. The pieces are very heavy. They're just heavy and soft.

Also, oddly, the pieces don't exactly match. There is a design along the top of the units that involves curves. When you put the pieces side by side, it's obvious that they don't have the "same curve" - they won't align together.

Finally, they deliberately put "tool marks" on the unit to make it look hand made! Here's a picture of them.

Glen Eagle

This one is on the top of the desk, so I showed a corner of the desk rosette for a relative scale. There isn't just one on each piece. There are literally 5-6 of them scattered on each face. I don't think it makes the piece look "nicely hand made" at all. It makes it look like you scratched the heck out of the desk. It's a little disappointing to take a brand new desk home and find scratches all over it - and to have the maker claim this is intentional. I think, given how soft this wood is, that it's going to be scratched up itself in no time flat.

Still, the *design* is one I really adored. I'm going to have to live with their pseudo-scraches and my own real life dents, and just wax it regularly to try to keep it as safe as I possibly can. If you order one for yourself, just make sure you inspect every piece thoroughly when you get it, and take good care of it.

Main Page on Setting Up Your Home Office
Work from Home Main Page