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The keys to designing a modern home office

Blackout curtains work in a home office as they are both stylish and functional.

Blackout curtains work in a home office as they are both stylish and functional.

As the world becomes more connected by smart phones, tablets and wireless internet hot spots, the traditional office that once was characterized by file cabinets and large work stations is fast becoming a thing of the past. In fact, many individuals can complete a given task adequately without ever having to leave the comfort of home, making home offices a more popular choice than ever before.

When you think home office, you may imagine a secluded section of the house that essentially mirrors the look and feel of a corporate work space. However, the modern professional doesn't need to separate their career so drastically from their domestic existence, especially if they don't have the room to create an entirely new work area. That isn't to say, however, that you shouldn't have some distinction between personal and professional, so use furnishings in your work space that can be repurposed when you've "clocked out" from a hard day's work.

In a story from the Charlotte Observer, interior designer Candice Olson describes a studio loft apartment that she revamped for a friend who has started a small business from her living room. She incorporated furniture items that have plenty of storage options, so that clutter from her job doesn't overwhelm the space, and only used larger furniture if it could serve a dual function. For example, Olson installed a counter that doubles as a desk and as a table for drinks during one of her client's famous Martini parties.

Velvet blackout drapes are another great design element that are perfect for a home office, as they can block out distractions during hours on the job and be pulled back to let the sun shine in when you want to enjoy your space. These are just a few of the versatile features that can make a home office a success.