Ps it will look kinda like this
Most Helpful Guy
I made mine out of plywood. That's the cheap route. A clean plywood, with more plies will be better than the cheap stuff. It takes a stain, but you might want to use some kind of trim for the edges where the plies show. (something like a quarter round or half round)
The next step up would be pine, with a clean knot-free pine being more expensive than a standard grade pine. Pine will hold a variety of stains, so you have a choice of finish colors.
For a hardwood, probably something like Beech. It's probably the cheapest hardwood available, and should take a stain well.
Getting more expensive really depends on your taste and budget. Cherry, walnut, oak (white or red), maple, other fruit woods besides cherry (apple, pear, etc). They will all take a stain, but some stains will work better than others depending on the wood.
If you are going to paint it, then just get the cheap wood. No use getting expensive hardwood if you are going to paint over it.
If you are going to have handles and locks like in the picture, then plywood might not be the best. It could still be used for all the desk, but use something else for the fronts.0
Most Helpful Girl
It depends on your budget. Oak would be among the sturdiest but also among the most expensive, and also hard to work with (or so I've heard, being that I tend to stick with soft woods). Just doing some preliminary checking it seems that some types of hardwood need a lot of finishing to get a flat surface.
Soft woods tend to be cheaper (as long as you stick with the stuff produced in your own country as imports are often more expensive) but if you're looking for something to write on you'll need a blotter between the paper and the wood to avoid etching.
For a design like that I would probably recommend ash. Full disclosure, it's the only wood I have experience with but I don't make furniture so take my advice with a grain or two of salt.0