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Having moved home just over a year ago I got rid of the old furniture I had had for several years and was starting to gradually fall apart, and opt for a completely different colour scheme. My bedroom won't score any points for feng shui because I often use it for exercise, play, eating and work, hence the office desk is in there too. I bought this when it was on offer and I wanted something practical but not too pricey, and so far I've been very pleased with it.
The Caspian Collection consists of various items of furniture in a few different colour schemes, the office desk being one example. I consider it to be one of the cheaper alternatives but fortunately it doesn't skimp on quality to save on pennies. The version I bought was in walnut with a black gloss finish, though it can also be bought in block black and white, and black gloss and beach for a lighter finish. It depends on what look you want to go for, but this went with the new wardrobe and set of draws I bought, it was just a lot cheaper than the office desk from the same collection!
This is a single-pedestal desk with a cupboard and draw to the left hand side (both non-locking), and a space for seating to the right. The desk itself is predominantly walnut-effect wood, so it's just the front of the draw and cupboard that has the black gloss effect. The handles are silver metal and give a more contemporary, chic feel to the desk.
I ordered this from Argos and had it home delivered, though I believe it can be collected in store. It comes flat packed for self-assembly and recommends that 1 person is required for this. It weighs in at roughly 20kg and measures 72.1cm in height, 100cm width and 44.4cm depth; it's not the largest desk around by any means and makes a good option for smaller rooms and offices or as a younger person's desk perhaps. I'm 5ft 4 and have no problems using this desk, though I wouldn't mind a bit more space to spread things over at times. My boyfriend, at 6ft 4 ish, however, doesn't find it as comfortable to squeeze his legs under, so size should be kept in mind when deciding on what it is you're looking for. It does the job well for me because I don't have the largest bedroom and didn't want to take up more space than necessary.
Putting this together took a little while with 2 people but neither were exactly pros when it comes to self-assembly. I'd say this is relatively 'easy' to put together, but it's a very subjective thing depending on how you tend to find these things. The instructions were adequate, parts were clearly noted, all the relevant bits and bobs were in the box so it wasn't much hassle to get it together. The biggest niggle was probably the drawer (or rather, the runners inside), but once this was overcome it was straightforward from there on.
The desk has a relatively sturdy feel to it and stands well on its own with items in the cupboard and on top (I believe the max screen weight the desk holds is 8kg). I've had no problems with the built quality since getting this about a year ago, and I've noticed no real signs of wear/tear or anything of note to complain about. The only thing I find that could be done better is the draw; it can't be pulled out (ie. to completely remove it to turn it upside down to clean etc) and it's fairly stiff. It has a sturdy feel to it being a very snug fit, but I put some grease on the runners to make it a little easier to pull out/push back in, and then it's much easier to use.
All in all I would recommend this as a space-and-money-saving desk that's still adequate enough for some storage and general at home use. It's good quality, sturdy and looks the part, being quite contemporary without looking at all tacky.
Can also be bought in beech for a lighter look, or black and white for a more contemporary/youthful look.A
Retails for around £49.99 (Argos)
[Also reviewed by me, gothic_moon, on Ciao]