Situate a desk extension at the end of a long countertop—close to the action but not too close. "Clients can do homework or pay bills here," says Connie Edwards, design director for Shenandoah Cabinetry
, "but they can also use it as a staging area for a buffet or to roll out a pie crust." When the cooking threatens to spill over, office supplies can be stowed in the drawer.
To retrofit the desk, remove a seldom-used base cabinet. Then install a new drawer and end panels on either side of the knee hole to support the counter and give the desk a finished look. The countertop here is 36 inches high, to fit a stool pulled over from the island. A pendant lamp overhead lights the area.