Home office furniture needn’t be homely

The services of a cabinetmaker may be needed in order to furnish a home office that succeeds visually as well as functionally. A desk styled like those in a corporate office will probably meet all practical needs, but it may well look out of place in a residential setting.

Q: I recently downsized into an apartment and must now decide how to make the best use of limited space. The bedroom, for example, is doubling as my home office. I store files in a closet and work on an L-shaped desk with a side return where I keep my computer.

Can you suggest where to find an attractive desk with more storage space and a convenient surface for my laptop? Would it have to be custom-made?

The bedroom has contemporary black-lacquered furniture.

A: A store-bought desk could never meet all the specifications you’d be likely to present to a cabinetmaker. But there are plenty of good-looking pieces on the market that would satisfy your need for greater storage space while complementing your existing furniture.

For example, consider the desk shown in the photo. It’s part of the Riverside Furniture Co.’s Locus collection and was designed specifically for the home office.

Modestly priced for its style, this desk doesn’t take up a lot of space, yet it still allows for sufficient legroom and work surfaces. It’s also tech-friendly, with a “power pod” drawer equipped with a charging port for a cell phone and other communication or entertainment devices.

The matching chair permits easy mobility and offers ergonomic comfort. If it’s too large for your space, a smaller and more residentially styled chair could be substituted.

A portable file cabinet could easily be tucked under the desk. That would significantly detract, however, from the light and slender look that makes this piece so suitable for a home office. Keeping drawers elevated will give a desk of this kind a more contemporary appearance, which would in turn make it more compatible with your bedroom furniture.

Rita St. Clair is a syndicated columnist with Tribune Media Services Inc. E-mail general interior design questions to her at rsca@ritastclair.com.

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