Back in the day before notebook computers could compete with desktops for price or power, a home office looked pretty ugly, particularly when dealing with big CRT monitors. Now it is so much easier, and the furniture is being designed to accommodate home office setups that really do go away when you finish your work.
With more people living and working in smaller spaces, the market has grown as well, so that where a few years ago, designs like this were produced in small quantities and cost thousands, now you can pick them up at Crate and Barrel for five hundred bucks.
Of course, for that price it isn't necessarily going to be made of FSC certified wood by local craftspeople.
But when such designs become mainstream and the public accepts them, they become part of a downsizing trend, where people are living in smaller, more efficient spaces with less stuff cluttering them up. I hope. ::Crate and Barrel via ::Unpluggd
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