There is something about a roll top desk that harks back to the 19th century and I've seen them used for everything from showcases for antique collectibles to storage for home office supplies. One enterprising home-based entrepreneur however, had the best use I have ever seen for a roll top desk.
He was a bit of a handyman and built the desk himself. It had a classic look constructed in oak with drawers down the side and a lovely old-fashioned looking roll top. The modifications he made included having the drawer under the desktop replaced by a pull-out key board tray that locked in place. The desk was also slightly shorter in height to make it ergonomic for keyboarding and slightly wider to accommodate room for a printer and monitor on the desktop.
The most interesting change was the drawer and storage space under the desk. To the right he had three small drawers and to the left, he had a door that opened onto a place where the computer's CPU rested. However, since a CPU cannot be shut in a closed in space because it could easily overheat, he had lattice cleverly designed for the back of the CPU space. There was also an opening in the back of the desk top where the cabling could run out and down through the lattice to the CPU. If he needed to insert a CD or DVD or plug something into a USB port, all he had to do was open the door to the CPU.
The best feature, in my opinion, was that when he quit work for the day, all he had to do was shut down the computer and pull down the top of the desk. Suddenly, his living room was a living room again. The roll top desk was an attractive piece of furniture and he didn't have to be reminded of unfinished work every time he glanced at it. For anyone who has every worked at home, the home office can be a harsh taskmaster, always beckoning to finish just one more task.
If you are a home business person, this might be the solution to the ever present work reminder that interferes with your personal life. You don't have to be a carpenter either. It is possible to have a similar desk constructed by a local cabinet maker or buy one already built. It is a lot cheaper than reconstructing a room in your house for a home office.