Add a Gallery to Any Desk
An easy way to increase storage and add charm
Synopsis: There are many creative ways to build storage into a desktop. A gallery, which sits on the top and combines drawers, shelves, doors, and compartments, can turn a flat surface into a personal space great for reading, writing, or other work. This article explains the basics of construction, plus gives tips on how to customize your gallery to fit any desk. Barty’s version goes together using several different joinery techniques—dowels join the top and uprights, while stopped rabbets, dadoes, and splines secure the bottom shelves and other dividers. The gallery is secured to the desktop with screws driven from the underside of the top.
It all started with a guy.
He liked to fly-fish and to tie his own flies, but he left feathers and thread and hooks strewn everywhere. I inadvertently got hooked too many times. My solution was to build a space for him to work and to store all those loose parts: a fly-tying bench with lots of small compartments within arm’s reach.
As so often happens, though, the guy realized there were other fish in the sea. with him out of the picture, and having just started milling the European beech for his bench, I reworked my vision into a desk for myself, with a gallery for my stuff.
We all recognize a gallery—that piece of light casework that sits atop a desk, housing a combination of drawers, shelves, doors, and possibly a secret compartment or two. a gallery provides room for stationery, pens, small electronics, and plenty of other stuff. It can also do something much more profound—turn an ordinary flat desk into a partially enclosed, personal space that is great for reading, writing, and quiet reflection. I’ll show you the basics for building any gallery. The one I built for…