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  • Words by Mr Nick Compton

No domestic area is victim to as much design negligence as the home office, or study if you want to get all la di da about it. Cheaply made faux Victoriana with drawers that won't open, green leather swivel chairs, MDF on trestles and loaded with printers the size of small cars, desiccated discolouring paper work, cold tea, fading and flaccid cacti and cables that go nowhere: it's as if the association with toil and trouble encourages us to create a correspondingly hellish environment. It doesn't have to be that way. It shouldn't be that way.

Given how many of us take our work home with us, or indeed stay at home all day with it, an elegant, functional workspace should be a priority. And you start with a more than decent desk. We have eight suggestions here: from the small, discreet and practical to the grand statement piece, in materials from tubular steel to piano-black pearwood, and by designers from Carlo Mollino to Ilse Crawford. If you're going to spend half your life tapping at a MacBook, at least do it in civilised surroundings and at a desk that brings beauty and order.