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Tips for creating the perfect home office

Furniture options suit today's lifestyles

Fueled largely by trends in technology and telecommuting, the home office has become an important part of American culture. It's popularity and prevalence are only expected to increase.

According to a recent study by the American Furniture Manufacturers Association (AFMA), nearly one-third of U.S. households have a furnished home office.

"Creating a home office that's perfect for you is easier than ever," said Jackie Hirschhaut, AFMA vice president. "The variety of home office furniture and accessories available today can reflect your lifestyle and personality, and even complement other rooms in your home."

According to the AFMA survey, of those with home offices, nearly 40 percent use their office primarily for entertainment, to surf the Internet, to send e-mail or to shop; 30 percent use it for work; and 22 percent use it to organize their home and pay bills.

Considering the many uses of today's home offices, it's difficult to understand why some consumers deny themselves a home office.

"There are so many furniture options in all price ranges that anyone can-and should-enjoy an office set up in their home," says Hirschhaut.

In fact, nearly half of today's home offices currently share space with another room.

The master bedroom pulls double duty most often, followed closely by the family room.

"People can work in the family room if that's the most convenient place for them," Hirschhaut said. "They just don't have to use the coffee table as a workstation anymore."

To see if you're ready for a home office, take the following quiz:

Does your home computer make its home on your kitchen table?

Do your dresser drawers double as your filing cabinet?

Would you or your kids benefit from an organized, well-lit workspace?

Do you have unused space in your home that could serve a more functional purpose?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be ready for a home office.

- North American Precis Syndicate

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