Ask Alice: About desks, wardrobes and storage areas

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The Independent Online

Q. Can you help? I want a new desk for my office/study. At present I have a 1930s ordinary office desk which is too small. A corner desk would be good as I'm looking for more desk space. All I seem to be able to find are repro desks or modern office desks which just won't look the part in a room that is more of a study than an office. "Designer desks" seem to be more like tables. Do you have any idea of where I can get a corner desk which will not look out of place in a book-lined study?
Chris Smith, by e-mail

A. Corner desks are hard to find, but I have found some other options which might appeal to you. Twentytwentyone ( have a beautiful, small desk, called Home Desk, £2,652, only 99cm wide, designed by George Nelson, with tubular steel legs and a body of laminate and walnut veneer with coloured drawer fronts.

Nelson also designed the Action Office roll-top desk, £2,600, a really stunning piece of furniture which would make a great centrepiece for your study. More traditional in style, but still sleek and modern, is the cherry wood Library writing desk from Heal's (, £1,695.

Another great design from Marcel Wanders is the Two Tops desk, £1,850, available from Places and Spaces (, with turned legs and a fold-down top. And if money is tight, Ikea ( will sort you out with their Sonne corner desk, £54, standing on three metal legs with a separate drawer unit.

Q. I was wondering if you knew of anywhere to get a wardrobe to fit in a bedroom up in the eaves. It has a sloping ceiling and it would be nice to make use of the space.
Ruth Lainton, by e-mail

A. It is unlikely that you will find a wardrobe that fits the unique dimensions of your sloping eaves but do not despair. It need not be as expensive as you might imagine to have one built to fit by a cabinet-maker, such as Barnaby Stone (07768 395 203), who can produce a beautifully made bespoke wardrobe that will fit perfectly into all your angles, from about £700.

Q. I want to create a storage area at the end of my kitchen which can house cookery books, crockery and ornaments, but I'm looking for something which doesn't look too finished or immaculate. Do you have any suggestions?
Paula Rees, Glasgow

A. The latest Bailey's Home and Garden catalogue has a very nice picture of some old apple crates turned sideways and stacked up on each other, which look appealingly shabby and quite different from your normal fitted kitchen cupboards. The crates (; 01989 561931) themselves cost £16 each, so they're not terribly cheap, but they won't bust the budget either. I've used some old wine boxes in the same way in my downstairs cloakroom as a kind of shoe rack - and I was given them by a local wine shop, so that's one avenue worth trying.