We've admired tree-stump stools with painted tops before (see DIY: Garden Stools); we also like these side tables made from felled logs, with exteriors painted glossy white. Designer Marie-Laure Helmkampf came up with the idea for a project in Provence.
this would actually be a really fun idea to bring light into the space. a ladder could go against the wall where the metal desk is now with string lights. it would be nice to see walking into the room from the hallway