Why Did 72 Inch Desks Become Standardized?
We started Porvata with eyes wide open and limited knowledge of the ins and outs of the traditional commercial and home office furniture space. We took many aspects of the category at face value, taking broader trends, using them on our site, and asking the “why” later. One of those trends that we now have had time to research is the popularity and standardization of the 72 inch desk.
What is a 72 inch desk?
A 72in desk is a desk that is 6ft long (you will frequently see length referred to as width in the furniture space). At Porvata, our typical 72 inch desk is 72 inches wide and 30 inches (2 ½ feet) deep.
Why 72 inches and not 70 inches?
There are a few reasons that the furniture category deems 72 inches a perfect standard width for office desks.
- A 72 inch desk can comfortably fit two people if need be or provide ample workspace for one person. While we would recommend at least 42 inches for each worker, we feel 36 inches each is passable and will work well if space is a limiting factor.
- 72 inches is a standard size in architecture and construction. Many building codes require doorways to be at least 72 inches tall, and ceilings to be at least 96 inches tall. 72 inch desks allow manufacturers and contractors to ensure that products will fit in a variety of different places and floor-plans.
Another common theory for the popularity of 72inch desks is the shift to suburban living in the post-war 1950s. As more people purchased homes and had more space than before, they wanted to fill and outfit that space with larger items. This most likely led to manufacturers producing larger sizes en masse and developing efficient processes around specific sized, popular items.
We once again saw the revitalization of this trend during COVID, as more people left their city dwellings for homes with more space for themselves or family members. As a result, Porvata’s most popular items have skewed heavily toward our long desks and we expect that trend to continue.
Open Concept Living
With the rise in home ownership came the rise in interest in open concept living. Open concept living refers to a home designed with very few walls. Each room blends into the next, making it easier to entertain guests, let in natural light, and communicate between rooms rather than around walls.
72 inch desks and other large pieces of furniture are helpful in defining spaces in open concept living. They can also serve multiple functions in these spaces, making standing desks, in particular, the perfect solution to an open concept office or living room.
Sometimes, you can’t argue with how something looks. 72inch desks create a statement in a room and when well organized, can elevate and enhance the room’s feel. Interior designers and architects love larger desks for this reason, and based on the points above frequently flock to 72 inch desks to get the job done.
All in all, historical housing trends and manufacturing guidelines, the recent shift to open concept living, and the overall aesthetics and versatility of a 72 inch desk have pushed it to become one of the most standard sizes in the furniture industry. So whether you are shopping for your home office, small office, or commercial office, look no further than the 72 inch desk.