There was a time when my espresso desk was my most prized piece of furnishings. Before the times of “shelfies,” it served because the focal place of my lounge, a curated show of my 20-something aspirations. On high of the oblong sheet of glass perched on legs made of commercial copper pipes sat a pair modern books—Design*Sponge at Home to showcase my trendy aesthetic and Edible Selby as a result of I cherished the thought of occurring culinary adventures world wide—together with an assortment of problems with The New Yorker that I’d inform myself I’d sit down and skim very quickly. Next to all of the studying materials was a reasonably candle that had by no means been lit, together with ornamental trinkets that might rotate seasonally. (A household of glittered reindeers appeared each December, which made my husband groan.) “Oooh, good desk,” new friends would say as they entered the room, and I’d smile.
And then—and right here’s the web page when so many tales take a pointy flip—we had a child. As this child grew and have become more and more cell, the espresso desk remodeled into one thing else: a hazard lure. “Why is that this factor right here?” I’d ask, scowling. “And why does it have so many corners?” There was now not any magnificence in it—as a substitute, at any time when I checked out it, I’d have a flash-forward imaginative and prescient of a gash in my valuable daughter’s brow, which might result in a everlasting scar, which might result in a narrative that might begin with, “So my mother had this silly desk.” It was clear that the espresso desk needed to go.
But what would substitute it? My in-laws had a large tufted ottoman they now not needed, so we determined to attempt that out. It was gentle and undoubtedly kid-friendly, however other than being a enjoyable factor for my daughter to climb on and bang like a drum, I discovered it to be extra clunky than helpful. It wasn’t precisely snug to relaxation our ft on except we pushed it subsequent to the couch (and it was cumbersome), and whereas I do know some individuals stability drinks on it utilizing a tray, that simply appeared like a foul thought. So the ottoman went, too.
Then, for an extended whereas, we had nothing. Just a large open house. It felt a little bit off, like a obvious abyss. But quickly, one thing sort of magical occurred. We began really utilizing that space. It turned the place the place my daughter would do kids’ yoga, the place the place we’d all unfold out on the rug and play board video games, the place the place I’d wrap Christmas presents whereas watching Netflix, the place the place we’d dwell.
It appears that others like me are seeing the espresso desk as a furnishings relic. I’m in a Facebook group known as KonMari with Kids, impressed by Marie Kondo’s decluttering information The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and there are tons of of feedback celebrating a coffee-table-free existence. “It does NOT spark pleasure,” one member writes. “We chucked ours and it was the most effective choices we ever made,” declares one other. “Just wasted house and an additional factor to scrub!”
People share all types of espresso desk workarounds, as you typically do want a small flat floor to put issues like a drink, distant, e-book or studying glasses. There’s the choice of small nesting tables, like these, which may be unfold out when you’ve individuals over. Others have an extended, slim console desk or shelf behind the couch. Or some do a desk that matches over a settee arm, like this, or an finish desk, like this. I’ve a light-weight accent desk that I can pull near me once I’m binge-watching Black Mirror, or shove in opposition to the wall when my daughter needs to follow her somersaults. It works.
As fairly as my espresso desk was, I by no means realized how uncomfortable it made the room—each time we needed to get to the couch, we’d need to maneuver round protruding corners and attempt to to not get jabbed within the shin. Now the house feels extra open and welcoming. I’m unsure if I’ll ever return to having a espresso desk, even as soon as my child will get older. There’s simply a lot freedom that comes with eliminating it.