Understanding the Components of an Executive Office Desk

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Understanding the Components of an Executive Office Desk

Selecting the right executive office desk for your private office can be a bit confusing. There are a number of parts that make up an executive desk and you want to make sure you aren’t missing out on anything you wanted because you didn’t understand the terminology. An office desk can consist of parts like: a credenza, return, bridge, hutch and it can also be right or left handed and have a P top, a U-shape or an L-shape. Is your head spinning yet? Let’s break down this terminology and make sure you are getting exactly what you want when you purchase your next executive office desk.


The credenza is an extra form of storage or work surface space. The credenza is typically freestanding and complements the office desk.


The return attaches to the main portion of the desk and helps create the L or U shape. It tends to be a bit narrower than the main portion of the desk, but is ideal for more work surface space.


The bridge is what helps a desk create the U-shape. It connects a credenza to the desk and creates the most amount of work surface space of any desk.


The hutch is typically the portion of the desk behind the main work surface. The hutch contains storage components both above and below the surface and also provides some work surface space. Hutches can be either wall mounted or free standing.

Right or Left Desk?

A desk that is considered left has the return or bridge to the left of the user. The layout of the private office typically dictates whether you purchase a right or left desk.

Which Configuration is Best for Me?

There are several different office desk configurations to choose from: freestanding, double pedestal, U-shape and L-shape. A freestanding desk consists of a table and a hutch. A double pedestal desk has a surface supported by two double pedestal storage units. A U-shape desk is comprised of a hutch, bridge and return, that forms a U. This style of desk tends to be the largest with the most surface space. An L-shape desk has a return that connects to the main portion of the desk to create an L.

Next time you are on the market for an executive office desk be  sure to keep these terms in mind and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

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