The Wanderlust Writing Desk

A custom, solid cherry writing desk built by Shy Dog Designs in Monmouth County, NJ.

Jersey City novelist Mary Kate Pagano recently approached us about a writing desk to fit her specific requirements.  Like a fine suit, custom furniture can be made to fit the end user in both function AND size.

The Wanderlust Desk is crafted for the modern writer.  While traditional writing desks often feature slanted tops, ledger strips and inkwells, such features aren’t really something most people find useful in modern times.  As such, our desk features things like a level top, slide-away key board tray with soft-close drawer slides and a hide-away mouse platform/coffee cup rest covering the utility drawer.


Mary Kate already had a beautiful vantage point picked out for her desk.  Knowing the dimensions of that space made it easy for us to build something that would fill the selected alcove nicely, being neither too small nor too large.  And her being rather “slight of stature” meant we could lower the overall desk height from the standard 30 inches down to a more comfortable 27 3/4 inches, with the keyboard ending up at a very ergonomic 24 inches from the floor.


 267d1-lowssp-1004For a wood selection, we used almost entirely heartwood domestic cherry, locally harvested in Deal, NJ.  Cherry starts its life as a deep pink wood and ages into beautiful reddish tan.  The few lighter sapwood sections add a delightful contrast.

The legs have a quick taper near the feet to lend a structural feel with a top that sports a mid-century influenced bevel edge to give a clean line.  It’s attached using traditional wood buttons in grooves.  These allow the top to expand and contract with seasonal wood movement. This prevents cracking over the years.  The keyboard tray hides behind a faux drawer front that keeps up a traditional look before dropping down to reveal the Wanderlust’s more modern innards.

For a finish, we opted for an boiled linseed base to accentuate the color and grain, followed by two sealing coats of shellac and multiple coats of semi-gloss varnish to provide protection over years of use.

We excited to see how it looks in it’s new home…and even more excited to see what gets written at “The Wanderlust.”