Friday, May 28, 2010

The Dining Room Office

When I was growing up, I would frequently find my mother and father working at the dining room table: sorting bills, doing their taxes, writing letters, checks and invitations, filing, wrapping and occasionally drawing. Because of this model, I have always felt that dining rooms are the perfect spaces in which to confront household paperwork. Let's face it: most of us don't use our dining rooms on a daily basis and to relegate such prime real estate to only the occasional dalliance seems like a waste of beautiful space.

Thankfully, the editors of Martha Stewart Living magazine think along the same lines. In the April, 2008, issue of the magazine, they came up with this ingenious solution for an infrequently-used dining room.

They converted one of the built-in hutches into office storage, allowing the other to store dinnerware, silverware and glassware. Also hidden under the cushions on the window seat are lift-up lids that reveal a carefully planned filing system.
Inside the hutch, silverware caddies were painted to match the interior colour. They help organize pens, scissors, stationery, hole punches and glue sticks. They can be carried to the table when needed. Labeled boxes store computer discs as well as photo and plain printer paper. A pull-out shelf made with drawer-glide hardware ensures hassle-free access to the laptop and printer. Cords are kept out of sight by a concealed surge protector situated behind the computer. The drawers of the hutch also hold office supplies, such as staplers, rulers, a box of stamps, tags, ribbons, paper clips, a p-touch, additional envelopes and notepads.

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