A great desk can radiate productive energy and serve as a platform for ideas and imagination. I'm partial to the minimalistic stylings of the Parsons style desk from the luxurious art deco and modern design eras. Don't you worry, a Parsons desk can be affordable. I've scoured the Web to find you well priced knockoffs of so that you too can bring a little design history and versatile style to your workspace. Here's the best of what's available:

West Elm's Parsons Desk with Drawers measures 48"W x 24"D x 30"H and comes in a sleek white lacquered finish with two handleless drawer fronts that close flush. This desk sells for $349 plus a $35 oversized/fragile item surcharge and $34.90 for shipping totaling out at $418.90–way too much for a "plain" desk, by KCL standards.

However, there is almost a perfect dupe of the West Elm desk on Overstock.com: the Artlane Student Desk White which retails for $144.99 plus $2.95 for shipping totaling out at $147.94. This desk comes in a shiny white finish, features two handleless drawer fronts that close flush, and measures 47.25"W x 23.625"D x 29.5"H–dimensions just a mere fractional inch off the pricy West Elm desk.

Total Savings for the Overstock.com Desk:  $270.96, a 65% savings!

Since you don’t want to strain your eyes while working at your new desk, you’re going to need a desk lamp. I love the glamorous modern stylings of Pottery Barn’s Stacked Crystal Table Lamp. It measures 28 inches high, and the shade adds another 9.5 inches.  This glamorous lamp would be a bright point in any room, but at $190.00 plus an additional $39 for the shade, the total price of $229 just isn’t an option.

 Target’s Crystal Table Lamp is the perfect knockoff.  It’s only available at Target.com and retails for $69.99. This price even includes the lamp shade and a CFL bulb!  The Target version of the lamp measures 26 inches high, and the lamp shade measures 9 inches high. Both versions of the lamp feature stacked crystal spheres with a visible metal rod running down the center of the spheres to conceal the lamp’s wiring. While the Pottery Barn lamp features a circular crystal base and the Target lamp features a circular metal base, this is a minor difference that doesn’t materially change the look and feel of the lamp. Don’t be a dim bulb–go for the Target lamp and you’ll save big!

Total Savings for the Target Crystal Table Lamp: $159.01, a 69% savings!


Why not use some of the money you saved on your knockoffs to add a colorful desk accessory such as a turquoise picture frame? It is an easy way to add pizzazz to your workspace.

I adore everything about Jonathan Adler's whimsical Enamel Curves Frame except for its price. The frame sells for $68.00 (free shipping included) at Lumens Light + Living Online. I just cannot rationalize paying that much for a picture frame that doesn't have a lick of silver or gold in it.

Fortunately, there is a reasonably priced knockoff out in the market. Check out Target's Scroll Picture Frame in blue. The Target frame (which is available for purchase in Target stores only) is nearly identical in color, finish, and design to the pricey Jonathan Adler frame but retails for just $11.99. What a steal! The Target frame measures 9.5"L x 7.25  W and holds a 5" x 7" frame, whereas the Jonathan Adler frame measures 8.5" L x 6W and holds a 4 x 6 photo.

Total Savings for the Target frame: $56.01, an 82% savings!