February 18 2011
Mark C O’Flaherty
One of the few drawbacks of freelancing is that at some point you’ll have to create some kind of office for yourself at home. And the worlds of functional office furniture and chic home interiors are not located in the same universe. For close on a decade, the desk I worked on – and which has been visible to visitors – was basic, utilitarian in appearance, but undeniably practical. And the reason it survived numerous attempts at replacement is that, unfortunately, most desks simply aren’t practical: too big, too small, no storage… Most of the design classics were made for mid-20th-century corporate headquarters, and conceived for a sprawl of ornaments and stationery, rather than the paperless working environments of today, requiring holes for USB cables, and large Mac screens.
But now I’ve overhauled my home office by buying the Treviso Desk (£950), designed by superstar designer Matthew Hilton for the great British furniture company Ercol. I have Matthew Hilton furniture in my house, and I have Ercol furniture in my house, and the Treviso looks – as you might expect – like the blessed lovechild of both.
It was a natural choice and I now love it as much as anything else at home. It’s a gorgeous American oak piece of furniture (sourced from sustainable forests) and has a distinctly midcentury modern look with delicate, tapered, splayed legs. While it has an enchanting subtlety, and looks at ease in any room, it’s also highly functional, giving me nearly double the surface area than before, with three good sized drawers in the place of messy under-desk file boxes, and a perfectly placed gap in the rear for a monitor cable. Working from home has never looked so attractive.