Should a Desk be Placed Under a Window?


Desk be Placed Under a Window

Desks are a great addition to a room. However, it can be kind of hard figuring out where to put it; should you put it in the corner? On a blank wall? What about placing a desk under a window?

While you can place your desk under a window, it might not be the best choice. Putting a desk under a window may cause distractions, glares, and headaches. However, before you make up your mind about putting your desk under a window, there are a few things you should know. 

In this article, you’ll learn more about why putting your desk in front of a window might not be the best choice, but isn’t necessarily the worst one, either. Read on to find out more about the best position for your desk to increase your productivity and brighten your day!

Should I Place my Desk Under a Window?

Desks can take up a lot of space, and if you’re already struggling, you may think placing your desk under the window is the only option.

You should not place your desk in front of a window if you can help it. Desks in front of windows can cause problems with:

  • Glares 
  • Headaches
  • Distractions
  • Temperature

The Problem with Putting a Desk Under a Window

Besides problems for your belongings, having your desk under a window can cause issues for you, too. Light streaming in from right in front of your face can be super bright and create headaches for you that make it impossible to get anything done. In addition, especially if you wear glasses, you might catch a glare that will make it hard to see what you’re doing. 

However, since your desk is under the window and your work is presumably facing away from the wall, you probably won’t have to worry too much about the glare impacting the screen itself. Even still, a glare that gets caught on something else, like a piece of décor or your glasses, you’re not in for a very good time. 

What if I Have to Have my Desk Under a Window?

Sometimes, you just can’t avoid having your desk in front of a window, or maybe you just don’t want to. Lucky for you, having your desk in front of a window can definitely have some benefits, like:

  • Natural lighting
  • Fresh air 
  • A bit of a distraction 
  • Good for plants 

Natural Lighting

Having your desk in front of a window is a good way to get some natural light into your day, especially if you don’t have time to go outside when it’s light out. During the winter months when we don’t get as much natural daylight, moving your desk in front of the window may seem like the perfect solution. 

Natural Lighting and Makeup

Natural lighting will be great if you like to use your desk for things like doing your makeup, since it’ll allow you to see what you’re doing in lights that aren’t so harsh. Doing your makeup will allow you to blend better and create a better look overall. 

However, if you plan to actually store your makeup or skincare on your desk, make sure you do so away from the light. Otherwise, the natural light can actually cause makeup (especially foundations and concealers) and skincare serums to oxidize, change colors, and lose their potency. Other issues with under-window desks, like temperature inconsistencies, can also mess with the formula of your makeup.

If you know you have nowhere else to put your makeup and skincare, placing your desk under a window is a bad idea. 

Desks Under Windows can be Perfect for Plants

Placing your desk under a window is great if you’d like to have plants on it. This way, the plants get as much natural light as possible, especially if your window faces the right way. If you’re still worried about it not being enough light, you can go for a specifically low-light plant, like cacti, spider plants, ZZ plants, or peace lilies. 

One thing to watch out for, like with makeup, is the temperature. When you have your desk in front of the window, the things on it become susceptible to temperature fluctuations, especially at night. Before you decide to put plants there, monitor the temperature nightly for a few weeks with a temp gun to make sure it doesn’t get too cold for your plants. Otherwise, they could die or go dormant. 

Fresh Air 

Fresh air has no downsides. If it’s nice enough out to open the windows, the air might help you clear your head and be a little more productive. In addition, you might even be able to catch a nice breeze!

Fresh air is probably the biggest advantage to having your desk right under a window. You’re right there, so you’ll really feel it, whether you want to open the window when it’s 75 degrees and sunny or when it’s pouring down rain. 

Distraction 

It doesn’t matter which way your window faces when you place your desk under it. You will get distracted by something. However, unlike some people might believe, distraction isn’t always a bad thing. Having your desk in front of the window will give you the opportunity to look up and take a quick break without getting distracted by social media.

Unfortunately, this is a blessing and a curse. If you have your desk under a front facing window, you’ll be able to see every dog, car, and jogger that passes by your home. You’ll be able to see when your neighbors are having an argument, and if you start watching, you won’t be able to stop. If you know you’re nosy, you should avoid a desk under a front facing window.

Can I Place my Desk Under the Window if I Have Electronics?

More often than not, people work on computers at their desks. As such, you may be wondering if having the desk in front of the window could damage it in any way. 

If you have something portable on it, like your phone or a tablet, it will not be subject to any kind of damage from being under the window. However, having a fixed appliance like a TV, Keurig, gaming setup or a PC system on your under-window desk might cause issues. 

Most likely, it won’t, especially if you:

  • Properly close the window every time you open it
  • Don’t allow your appliances to touch the window
  • Watch carefully for any condensation 
  • Move appliances accordingly

Risks Beside Condensation

Condensation shouldn’t be too big of an issue for your electronics; most houses, if properly insulated, never experience this problem. However, a big problem for your electronics and being under a window can come from prolonged sun exposure or the temperature.

If it’s too hot or too cold by your window, your electronics can malfunction. They have fans to combat overheating, but even fans are no match for the heat generated by a stream of direct sunlight shining directly on your electronics. 

Curtains Solve Problems

A lot of the problems you may find yourself having with a desk under of the window can be solved pretty easily with curtains. Curtains block out or at least soften the light coming into the room, so you won’t get as many glares or headaches. Covering the window also blocks out some of the heat, so you won’t have to worry about your electronics overheating.

However, if you have your curtains closed at all times, that kind of defeats the purpose of having your desk in front of the window, right? Your plants won’t get as much sunlight, and neither will you. You also won’t be able to get as much fresh air. If you have to choose between having a desk in front of the window with your curtains closed all the time or moving your desk, you should just move it. 

Floating Desks are Better Instead 

If you would like to have the option of having a place to sit and do work in front of the window, a floating desk may just be for you! You can buy them or make them yourself. They’re just small platforms at the base of the window, and the possibilities are endless. You can store things on them when you’re not using it, which also makes them perfect if you’re in a tight space.

Floating desks can also be placed anywhere, under any window in your home. If you know having a change of scenery every once in a while helps you be more productive, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put one under the window in a different room than your regular desk is in.

Alternatives Places to Put Your Desk

A desk under the window is probably not the best choice for most people, especially if you know you spend a lot of time there. Luckily, there are lots of other places you can put your desk and ways you can recreate the feeling of being in front of the window without actually being there. 

Should I Put my Desk on the Wall Opposite a Window? 

If you aren’t going to put your desk under the window, you might be wondering what wall would be best to put it on. 

You should not put your desk directly opposite a window if you’re going to be using electronics there. With your desk under the window, you aren’t getting a glare on the screen itself because the screens are facing the opposite way. However, if your desk is opposite the window, the screens are directly in the beam of light and you’ll get a glare. It won’t technically hurt the device, but it will hurt your eyes and your feelings. 

How About Next to the Window?

Putting your desk next to the window is perfect. If you choose to do this, you can still open the window and get some natural light, but you can worry less about your devices and getting distracted or your devices being damaged. You can also live out your plant-parent dreams by placing some plants or even a whole shelf of them in front of the window!

Desk next to The Window

Basically, you should put your desk anywhere a stream of light won’t hit your or your devices directly. It’ll save you eye pain and help you get more done.

Why Does Window Position Matter So Much?

Putting your desk under a window isn’t a one-size fits all situation. While most of the things listed in this article, like condensation, temperature inconsistencies, and distraction are true for all under-window desks, there are other factors to consider. 

The sun is in different places at different times, right? So, depending on where your windows are placed, you might not be able to get as much light as you would like to. For instance, if you know you mostly sit at your desk and work in the mornings, you might want to put your desk under an east facing window so you can watch the sun rise. 

Although, if you’re keen on avoiding any possible instances of glare or too much light coming in, you should pick a window that doesn’t get as much light during your preferred working hours. If you work during the afternoon, choose an east facing window instead of a south or west facing one. You’ll avoid the glare of the sun in the afternoon and during sunset. 

What Type of Desks Should I Put Under a Window?

Your primary desk should not be in front of a window. If you spend more than an hour working at it per day, it does not need to be in front of a window. However, if you’re looking for a change of scenery, it can sometimes be nice to be able to sit in front of the window and work. Some types of desks you might want to put in front of a window include:

  • Floating desks
  • Standing/treadmill desks
  • Lap desks

Floating Desks 

If you would like to have the option of having a place to sit and do work in front of the window, a floating desk may just be for you! You can buy them or make them yourself. They’re just small platforms at the base of the window, and the possibilities are endless. You can store things on them when you’re not using it, which also makes them perfect if you’re in a tight space.

Floating desks can also be placed anywhere, under any window in your home. If you know having a change of scenery every once in a while helps you be more productive, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put one under the window in a different room than your regular desk is in. You can also customize a floating desk to fit the aesthetic of any room you’re in, and they’re typically cheaper than a full desk would be.

Standing or Treadmill Desks

These desks are fantastic for when you want to be able to work and feel productive while also feeling productive for yourself. As such, these do great in front of a window. Answering emails from a treadmill desk in front of a window for an hour will give you that exposure to natural light that you crave and the exercise you need without actually having to leave the comfort of your home. 

These can be pricey, and they’re kind of hard to move, so investing in one means you’ll have to really think about where to put it. To get the most natural light during the day, you should place your standing/treadmill desk in front of a south facing window. If you’re a morning-walk kind of person, place it in front of an east facing window to get the most morning light. 

Lap Desks 

Lap desks are the perfect solution for wanting to have a way to work in front of a window. They’re not too expensive and they’re lightweight and easy to carry around. You can grab one of these, find a chair, and work under any window you come across without being committed to a floating or standing desk. You also have the freedom to move the lap desk, so if you notice a glare, you can just pivot. 

The only real downside to lap desks is that you won’t be able to decorate them like you would another kind of desk, but it’s a small price to pay for the kind of freedom lap desks give. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing whether or not to put your desk under a window is obviously a very complex issue that should be taken seriously. Don’t just shove your desk in front of a window because it looks pretty, otherwise you may end up in pain. 

A desk can be an incredible asset to somebody who works from home a lot or just enjoys the structure of sitting at a table rather than lounging in bed all day. Unfortunately, poor placement can ruin the desk and the accessories you put on it. But, if you make the right choice, a desk can be your best friend!

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