Desks - Swag or Swoop
- The San Francisco Chronicle, 11/01/2009

A dilemma arises when you're purchasing a desk: Is it better to go with a small, sleek model and supplement with additional storage or buy something big and bulky, knowing you'll have plenty of built-in drawer space to spare?

If the idea of hulking office furniture offends your minimalist sensibilities (but a few extra filing cabinets do not), we have one word for you: Swag.

No, this doesn't mean we're giving you a free desk. The Swag Leg Desk was designed by George Nelson in 1958. And it's named for "swagging," the pressure technique that he used to give the desk legs their distinctive curve. The desk, which retails for $1,849 at Design Within Reach (dwr.com), has removable dividers in several bright colors, giving it a quirky playfulness. The desk was reissued in 2007 with the addition of a cable-management grommet and a large, central cubby sized to store most laptops.

But if this blows your budget out of the water, here's a more affordable option: The $299 Swoop desk by CB2 (cb2.com) follows the Swag model, especially when seen in silhouette: metal legs, a divider-and-drawer-friendly desktop and a sharp curve on both sides of the desktop that pleasingly contrasts its strong, straight lines. Naturally, the differences between them also stand out: Swoop is made of a walnut-stained veneer and is 10 inches wider (at 49.5 inches) than the Swag, which is made of solid (read: real) walnut. The shape of the legs also is entirely different.

So whether you Swag or Swoop, a sleek work surface is still in the cards.

$1,849 DWR Swag Leg Desk  by George Nelson

$299 CB2 Swoop desk