For all the three-dimensional displays and voice controlled smart houses that Hollywood has promised us over the years, what we really look for is ways to improve our lives while still making our homes feel human. Computers give many of us the luxury of working at home, but who wants to live with a cubicle in your living room? Dutch designer Thijmen van der Steen has designed a desk that allows us to subtly change the living room from work mode to relax mode.

Fading desk is an elegant workspace with a screen that surrounds the desktop. The screen can be folded open to give access to the desk, and then closed again to hide files and computers from sight. When in work mode, the screen forms blinkers to help keep distractions to a minimum. As befitting a piece of furniture for the living room, the screen is beautifully made. A slight wooden frame holds voile panels that are semi transparent, cutting down on the feeling of claustrophobia while still giving privacy to the user. The voile has been dyed in and ombre that goes from blue to white. Any light source placed on the desk changes the screen into a lantern that delicately diffuses the light from inside.

Getting a good mix between work and home life is essential for staying sane. Fading desk marries the two through its sensitive design and practical applications. It’s ethereal quality and almost Victorian details make it the perfect spot to get things done.