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Creating a dream office space with antique library furniture


We may no longer have libraries in our homes - those special high-ceilinged rooms adorned with imaginative antique library bookcases. But that doesn’t mean you can’t inject this 18th and 19th-century flair into modern office spaces. Think contemporary accent lighting illuminating antique roll top desks, or a raw chipboard table covered with quirky old pieces such as antique inkwells, lamps, globes and telephones. There are multiple reasons library furnishings are having a heyday: they’re solid quality, decorative, unique, eco-friendly and lend instant depth and character to a room. So, if your office space is feeling stale, bringing in some of these pieces can tell a whole new story...

Antique writing desks

Before you dive in and equip your office with a generic workstation, consider a luxurious antique writing desk. Once pieces where the likes of Dickens wrote his famed novels, antique writing desks are now highly coveted for modern homes and work spaces. From Davenports to bonheur-du-jours, Cheverets to antique cylinder desks, the sheer variety can dazzle. Get an idea of what’s out there - and what will fit your budget - by browsing our magnificent antique writing desks for sale.

Antique roll top desks

Popular equivalents to modern workstations, with all their compartments, shelves, drawers and nooks, are antique roll top desks. If you’re pushed for space, these are perfect storage solutions. And they look wonderful - in walnuts, oaks, mahoganys, or other hardwoods. Top tip: when browsing antique roll top desks for sale, measure them. If it’s perfectly symmetrical, the chances are it was made in a factory, rather than by hand. This will give you an indication of value.

Antique inkwells

If, like us, you love the BBC drama Peaky Blinders, you may also have had a good nosey at Thomas Shelby’s writing desk. Globes, telephones, ashtrays, inkwells and whiskey decanters galore. While spirits are perhaps a bit much for the office, antique inkwells make authentic and charming editions to any writing desk. You might even be able to find one with a Birmingham hallmark from 1919, just like Tommy’s, among the range of antique inkwells for sale at Hemswell Antiques Centres. Get scouting!

Antique library tables

Two antique library tables that make big impact in office spaces are drum and rent tables. Drum tables, first made in the 18th-century, are popular with makers of reproduction furniture. Rent tables - big, solid, circular pieces with frieze drawers for storing tenants’ rent records (hence the name) - are less common. Quality antique library tables of this sort go for more than £20,000 at auction, but you might be able to find a copy of an 18th-century rent table for between £3,000 and £5,000. Have a browse online or come visit us yourself to view our range of antique library tables for sale.

Antique library chairs

Every office needs a throne. Drawing the bridge between comfy easy chairs and practical dining chairs are antique library chairs. Unlike dining sets, you don’t need to be a persistent hunter to find a quirky, one-of-a-kind chair. While early examples were simply extensions of dining-room furniture, antique library chairs from the early 18th-century are distinctive in their uses and form. You’ll find them for a few hundred or as much as £20,000 - find an investment, whatever your budget, in our collection of antique library chairs for sale.

Antique library bookcases

They may be some of the most expensive furniture ever made, but antique library bookcases can be bought for as little as £200 and as much as £12,000 - with plenty for in-between budgets. Fakes are common, so keep an eye on any examples with obvious pieces of wood that seem new, or those with glazing bars and new glass. Genuine antique library bookcases usually have thin, uneven glass. You’ll be astonished at the range of antique library bookcases for sale at Hemswell Antiques Centres.

Many people think that furniture such as antique writing desks, chairs, and bookcases will cost them a small fortune. But browse any modern furniture showroom and you’ll be hard-pushed to find any modern equivalent (solid, quality craftsmanship by creative cabinet-makers, with stunning veneers and designs) at the same prices. At Hemswell Antiques Centre, you’ll find pieces for every budget. Browse our collection of period furniture, or admire our pine pieces. You can always visit our Lincoln-based centres yourself to examine each wonderful antique in detail, finishing a joyful day out by taking home a unique slice of history for an office you’ll want to spend time in.

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