When I was a kid, everyone either had a phone table, also known as a gossip bench, or a built-in shelf in the hall where the telephone was installed. Both had a special cubby for the phone book, and there was almost always a pencil holder and a pad handy.
I've had a teak gossip bench that's needed some attention for a while, but I couldn't find fabric I liked. I happened upon a 50% off sale at Jo-Ann's today, and there was a bolt of upholstery fabric just the right shade of orange.
The project was simple but a little messy. All I really had to do was a little wipe-down on the finish and a quick seat recover job, but the foam had completely disintegrated into a fine powder, which invariably spills everywhere, no matter how careful you try to be.
The gossip bench is now in my entry hall, sans telephone, even though it has a drawer for pens and a cute little pull-out shelf for phone numbers.