Who decided clunky metal desks and polyester chairs on wheels were stylish? These unaesthetic furnishings have been office staples for decades, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Nowadays, designers are updating desks and chairs with stylish storage compartments, bursts of color and softer shapes.
Of course, big bucks can earn you big style (check out Design Within Reach's Liege desk), but budget brands such as Ikea, Wal-Mart and CB2 are offering affordable and good-looking versions.
Here are some of our faves. Just add some acrylic organizers, a bright ceramic lamp and a cute little laptop, and you're in business.
Curvy and cute
The George Nelson Swag-Leg Armchair is $399 at Design Within Reach, www.dwr.com.
Can't beat the price of this adjustable Snille swivel chair, which is $24.99 at Ikea stores, www.Ikea.com.
An oldie-but-goodie available in tomato, nova blue and clear, the Polo desk chair is $199 at all Container Store locations and www.containerstore.com.
Substantial, yet still female-friendly: the Madison trestle desk is $199.99 at www.target.com.
A midcentury-mod dweller's dream: the Stockholm desk is $149.97 at www.walmart.com.
Can't go wrong with this tried-and-true staple. Parsons desk with two drawers (also available in chocolate; silver, bronze and copper available Aug. 1) is $299 at West Elm, www.westelm.com.
Sweet but still storage-savvy. The Kylie student desk (in red, blue and green) is $179.99 at overstock.com.