There's a Reason I Have a Roll-Top Desk

rolltopI’m revising for a Monday deadline, so I’ve been a little neglectful of my blog this week. But I thought I’d take a minute to show you my wonderful roll top desk during the throw-everything-anywhere phase of the revision process. I saw this Winners Only desk about ten years ago, when I moved into my own house after a really difficult divorce. It was on the pricey for me, so I passed it by. But the house had this alcove in the family room and when I measured it, it exactly fit the dimensions of the desk. I called the store and asked how long it would take to get it. They said “Would this afternoon work?” So within a few hours, I had this magnificent and incredibly useful desk in my house, worth every penny I paid for it.

The twelve little drawers have labels (I see I’ve lost a few) for each month, so I can keep receipts in them. The lower drawers have big filing cabinets. There are all sorts of drawers and hidden compartments. Beneath the desk, right behind the dog bed, is a cupboard where I keep old manuscripts. And the desk has these two wonderful pull-out shelves (the yellow stack is my work in progress) that I use all the time. Another recognizable item on the desk are the two fat books toward the front with a cover theat resembles the cover on Secrets She Left Behind. It’s actually an Italian edition I just received, in which they packaged The Bay at Midnight together with The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes. That’s one fat book!

Of course the best thing about my roll top desk is that I can roll the top closed when company comes and no one has to know how sloppy I am.rolltopclosed

Right now, I’m grabbing that work-in-progress and heading for the Opium Den. Have a great weekend, everyone. Hope you’re reading something fabulous!


  1. Linda Linares on August 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I love it! What I need is a roll-top HOUSE! I love keeping up with you on FB and I hope someday to meet you.
    Have a great weekend. As for reading something fabulous, does THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO count? I haven’t quite decided if it is fabulous or not as I am just barely into it. Any comments?

  2. Diane Chamberlain on August 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Linda, I tried 2 or 3 times and was BORED TO TEARS and then when the story got good, the rapes began and that was enough for me! However, I’m attending a conference in October and we’re supposed to read TGWTDT for one of the workshops, so I may suck it up and try again!

  3. brenda on August 14, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Love it-had one of these when the kids were growing up…antique…so handy…still in the family…I could not read that book sorry…boring…

  4. Ashley on August 14, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Unfortunately the first 80-ish pages of TGWTDT were REALLY slow going.. but it got a lot better. The 2nd one “The Girl who Played With Fire” is probably the best out of all 3. I’m making my way through the 3rd one now
    … Have to read something while waiting for the next Diane novel.

  5. brenda on August 15, 2010 at 10:45 am

    thinking of you today as you try to get MIDWIFE ready-birthing those books is not easy. (HA HA)

  6. Margo on August 15, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Beautiful desk Diane!…my grandpa had one which now belongs to my sister…I AM reading something fabulous…it’s the new Elin Hilderbrand book THE ISLAND.
    Elin lives on Nantucket so all her books take place there…this one is actually on Tuckernuck Island which is a ferry ride from Nantucket.
    Diane, thinking of you as you wrap up MIDWIFE today.
    Brenda, welcome home from the Beach!!…so glad you had a wonderful and relaxing time. (=O:

  7. brenda on August 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I am home from all my trips…was quite a summer. Thanks Margo…read the Hilderbrand-it’s obvious Margo and I read and like the same books…esp. about the beach or Nantucket. We have ordered SOS by B. Arnsten…a book that takes place at Myrtle with a murder about Fat Harold’s, a Shag place in North Myrtle…I also ordered Beachcombers by thayer since Margo liked it so so much. Am still raving about Charles Martin-glad you got those books Margo.

  8. Diane Chamberlain on August 15, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Remember when Word messed up my manuscript, making all the characters have the name Sam? It just did it again with Noelle’s name. Great timing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Grrrr.

  9. Margo on August 15, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Not again Diane!…oh no…this is terrible…)-O:
    Brenda, I’m saving my Martin books for the Fall…right now, I love reading my beach books such as Elin Hilderbrands THE ISLAND…makes me feel like I’m at Tuckernuck Island for the summer. (-O:
    Diane, I am sending positive vibes your way that your computer mess clears itself up tonite…you don’t need this right now!!

  10. brenda on August 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Oh good grief no…We love our computers but when those darned things mess up-like losing all the grades our students have for a semester-and I have hundreds for each student-or something like this. Good grief. How on earth can that happen? Oh no…that is aggravating…to say the least.

  11. brenda on August 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    The book laying on top another one-looks like one I have read (you can tell I pay attention to details).

  12. Gloria Bernal on May 1, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I have one just like it (with an iMac right in front) Have to admit it looks a bit neater than yours, hah! They are wonderful. I love all the nooks and crannies.

  13. Terri on June 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Hello Diane,
    I was wondering how much you purchased you desk for and when? I have the opportunity to get the very same desk for $500 and I wanted to know if it is a good deal?

  14. Diane Chamberlain on June 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    If it is indeed the same desk (I don’t think they make the exact same style and size any longer) and it’s new, that would be a VERY good deal. This desk cost nearly 4 times as much about twenty years ago.

  15. cody thompson on August 31, 2011 at 5:05 am

    If anyone is interested I have the same desk in storage and no room for it any longer since the flood here in ND took my home. My number is 701-202-4017. thanks cody.

  16. Rebecca on November 16, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I have this exact desk… and i need to find where to put this secret drawer… can someone please help me!!!!

  17. Bettylbuchanan on December 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    I have a winners only inc.desk, it is larger and in better condition than what you have, I would love to find out more information about it and possibly how much it could be worth, my phone number is 7042247948 I live in north carolina too, thank you

    • Diane Chamberlain on August 11, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      I’m not sure if I ever replied to this comment. I bought this desk 25 years ago so I don’t have much information. If I were you, I’d look for your desk on eBay and see what people are getting for it. Good luck.

  18. Dallas on April 11, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Found your blog through a google search. Currently trying to sell a Winner’s only desk from my mom’s estate. I remember her showing me a secret compartment behind the small drawers on the top, but cannot remember how to get into it. It is about 25 years old and probably not the same model but I thought you might be able to lead me in the right direction. i’d like to check it and make sure it’s empty prior to selling.

    • Diane Chamberlain on April 11, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      There are many different Winners Only models. I’m not aware of any secret drawers on mine. There are compartments down by the foot space, but they aren’t hidden. Hope you can figure it out. Maybe write to the company?

  19. Jon on March 8, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    I paid about 1700 for my first one in 1990 or so, and then $30 for the second, from a thrift store. It needed some serious work! But just about there. Minus the lower bar on the rolltop. Replacement cut and about ready to be put on.

    • Terisa on March 26, 2022 at 2:09 am

      I came across your blog when I found the picture of your desk, which looks to be the EXACT same one I have, except the layout is mirrored. I’ve ben trying to find more info about it and it’s been wonderful reading the comments of others doing the same. I acquired it from the estate of the original owner, who I was told had it custom made. I absolutely love this desk, but as you know, it’s very large and it’s no longer a “functional” desk for me. I’ve made a career change during Covid and am torn between keeping it or parting with it. Thanks for sharing!!

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