Cherry Secretary Desk
What’s not to love about the Scandinavian stylings of a secretary that recalls a certain show about men who are mad? Calling Don Draper! A midcentury take on this typically traditional piece plays well with mod accents, of course, but it would also look amazing next to a fancy upholstered chair—think velvet, floral, or leather. Stick a secretary in your bedroom (shorter styles won’t overwhelm small spaces) and it’ll function as a one-stop shop: Clothes in the bottom drawers, knickknacks and jewelry up top, and a shelf that doubles as a writing desk.
Low-slung antique secretaries have always reminded us a little of old-school captains’ desks. To score a maritime or beach-house feel, accessorize yours with items like seashells, old buoys, and nautical paintings (one of the benefits of these shorties is that there’s plenty of wall space above them for art). You’ll be smelling that salt air in no time even if you live nowhere near the beach.
Photo by Fernando Bengoechea/Beateworks/Corbis
In a glam bedroom, a rich wood design riffs beautifully off touches of gold (think lamp bases and picture frames if your place doesn’t come with gilded molding) and a bed dressed in crisp white linens. Flip open the desk when your pen pal or diary is calling, then shut it tight to cleanly corral your clutter.
Photo by Peter Margonelli/ Photoshot/ Red Cover
When done in clean lines with a chic monochromatic finish, secretaries look as slick as can be. Glass-fronted versions store your favorite items and show them off at the same time. To keep the bookshelf portion from feeling too one-note, flank your volumes with a few beloved objects. Using a mix of shapes and sizes will create an artistic tableau.
Photo by Simon Upton/The Interior Archive
Tuck a secretary into a little-used corner of your home, add a comfy chair, and voilà, you’ve got yourself a mini home office or a reading nook—or both. Though the tall boys take up relatively little space thanks to their small footprints, they can hold items galore, from linens to barware to your stationery collection.