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Clever Office: Unused Space

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2008


A dead-end hallway, an under-the-eaves nook, or another such charming corner can have surprising office potential. With the right furniture, an organizing strategy, and a few pretty touches, any area can become as functional as it is attractive.

1. A Secretaire takes center stage, providing sufficient work and storage space for routine filing and paperwork without feeling too much like an office. Even when not in use, the desk provides a much-needed focal point at the end of a hallway. A chair kept close by is at the ready.

2.The overhead fixture and nearby window provide plenty of light. (Darker corners may require a tabletop or floor lamp.)

3.The cubby is separated into compartments with brass tension rods, which introduce order but not holes or scratches. Positioned vertically, the rods anchor folders. Used horizontally, they display reminders and notes clipped to drapery clamp rings. Diminutive boxes are a tidy, fashionable alternative to leaving stamps, stationery, and other small items loose. China and vintage glassware and bowls make decorative holders for pens and other objects.

4. The fold-down desktop is easily opened for business and closed to conceal the office. To prevent the wood finish on the writing surface from being marred, protect it with a blotter -- whether store bought or made from mat board.

5. Lower shelves provide ample storage for everyday documents. A two-tier in-box holds unopened mail and papers that need to be sorted. Upright file boxes take the place of a file cabinet. There's also enough room to stow a trash can, a recycling bin, or a shredder.


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