One Outstanding Office

If your home office is all work and no play, then sign up for these ideas that promise minimum clutter and maximum style.
Todd Childs / Photography Laurey W. Glenn / Styling Leigh Anne Montgomery

We've all seen those desk spaces tucked into kitchens. Ultimately, they each turn into just another messy surface. Designer Donna Outlaw has ditched the debris by creating a wonderful little workspace in the mudroom of her Louisville, Kentucky, home, two steps from the side door.

"Desks in kitchens catch cell phones, mail, notes, keys, and other things that just don't belong in the kitchen," she says. "It's distracting and stressful." By putting her office in the mudroom, which links her garage and kitchen, daily-use items such as keys and cell phones are conveniently stored right next to the point of entry and exit. Bills and paperwork find their way safely to the desk to be kept out of sight and out of mind until it's time to deal with them.

Stylish Stock
The commodious wraparound desk is topped off with copper flashing typically used on roofs. The cabinets and shelving are standard grade. The doors were left off the upper units to create bookshelves. In context with the hardworking sensibilities of the room, the walls are covered in grass cloth, while the floors are terra-cotta tile. The armchair, upholstered in a leopard print, sits atop a soothing gold wool rug for a bit of wild warmth. All work and no play--well, you know the saying.

"One Outstanding Office" is from the February 2008 issue of Southern Living.