In earlier times, correspondence and tending to household bills required a special writing table. These were often ornamental in style with slenderized legs and no storage space. It was usually the women of the household who took care of these chores, so furniture designs tended to be feminine in their detailing.
Writing tables, buffets, consoles, and sofa tables are similar in size with designs that fit even the smallest spaces. Today, it only makes sense to let them earn their keep. Open framing allows room for seating, whether it’s a stationary chair or a mobile task chair. Before company arrives, simply move chairs and equipment to another room. Many tables also feature drawer space, although it’s limited to pens, notepads and other smallish items.
Styles include formal wood tables with turned legs and shaped front aprons. They can even be found at garage sales or flea markets for a nice price. Contemporary pieces generally feature glass tops and metal framing. Just be sure to avoid frame styles that incorporate central stretchers at the bottom; those will get in the way of your feet.
Combo consoles and desks can go anywhere, too. Add them as a server in dining rooms; create desk space behind the sofa, or place them in the foyer. With a few decorative items added, there’s still room to whip out the laptop and get to work.
Illustration (Sheraton Sofa Table) public domain