Office Furniture Blog
|Posted on July 25, 2012 at 10:45 AM||comments (0)|
Has this ever happened to you? You're out garage sale-ing one day, and you stumble upon a piece of furniture that you love.
Perhaps something like this dresser:
You love the piece. It's got lines that you love. It speaks to you on some level and it's a price you're willing to pay. However, it may have some issues.
Take a closer look:
The veneer is warped and stained and cracked. See the upper right corner of the front green panel?
This is what it really looked like:
See how it's warped away from the "nails" (?!) that held it in place? The warping made the rest of the front panel look like this:
Despite her issues, this lovely piece CAN be saved. Repairing warped veneer is not a difficult process. You'll have to decide if it's worth the effort. You can see in the above pictures, that my veneer has some heft to it. This made it easier to repair. Some veneers are paper thin, though, and if that's the case, it's easier to scrape it off and apply new veneer if you plan to keep a wood look to your piece.
If you are going to be painting the piece, it may be easier to simply remove the old veneer and cut a new top then to try to fix the old veneer, but that's another post for another day.
I knew I'd be painting this dresser, but I wanted to keep the original veneer because there is some beautiful crackling in the paint on the top of this dresser that no amount of crackling medium can replicate. I wanted to keep that if I could.My entire dresser top had issues. I didn't have enough clamps to do the whole piece at once, so I did the gluing in sections.
Here are the basic steps:
Inject With Glue
I purchased a syringe and needle from the local farm supply store.
I found mine by the super strong rubberbands they use to castrate the cows. I am not even joking.
If you have large areas to be glued, be sure to get a long needle to extend your reach.
See those dents in the wood to the left of the red circle, under the words? You can also see one on the bottom right of the picture, inside the circle. I was using some spring clamps to hold the veneer down and got these "teeth" marks. A piece of wood or thick cardboard between the clamp and the furniture can protect your surface, hence the board you see in the collage picture above.
Start in the middle of the piece of furniture and work your way out towards the edges.
It gives you more options for reaching the part you want to glue down.
How are you going to reach the middle if you glue down all your edges first?
You may need to lift up a section that is currently glued down to reach a section that's not. Since you're already gluing things, you might as well get in and get it down good and tight while you can.
When you are gluing along the edges, gently lift the veneer and inject the glue.
You don't need a ton of glue or you'll spend a lot of time wiping up what is oozing out. Look above to see what I mean. A damp cloth takes care of the drips.
You do need the top to be weighted as the piece dries. I used some weights and some food storage cans to hold down the veneer in the middle of the dresser where my clamps couldn't reach.
Once the glue is dry, the veneer will lay flat again.
This dresser was kept in a house that had too much humidity in it. It caused the pieces to warp and because the front panel was only held on by nails, the wood panel warped away from the drawer front and pulled off the nails that was "holding" the panel on.
Here's what happened when I started to "fix" the front panel.
I seriously thought about leaving it off at this point. I was a month or two into the repairs and I spent a couple of days deciding, in fact. The fact that the top of the dresser bumps out to line up over this panel had me trying to fix it, though. It would have bugged me if I'd given up and left it off.
Besides, I have plans for this panel that I'll show you in an upcoming post.
I glued the board and then used my clamps to pull the board back into place. I put in a lot of screws through the back to hold it on. I made sure to turn the screws very slowly, as I didn't want to break it as it moved back into place.
The panel on both drawers (the part on the right of the cracks) broke off, so I had to do this twice. It's nice and tight now and ready for my next step.
Fill with Wood Putty
Once you have the veneer glued down, you need to fill any gaps with wood putty. Originally, I wanted to keep all the cracks in this piece and have a highly distressed dresser. However, after all my effort to fix the veneer, I decided that I didn't want the more obvious cracks to show.
When I fill with wood putty, I prefer to use my finger. I know there are more sophisticated tools out there. I own them all and I've tried them all. I just always go back to using my finger. Smoosh (technical term) the wood putty into the crack. For large cracks, like on the front panel, I had to put a lot of putty in them.
For the top of the dresser, where I didn't want to do a lot of sanding and destroy the patina in the old paint, I used a wet rag to wipe off the excess putty on the edges of the crack. This takes some of the putty out of the crack. If you want a slight depression and a hint of the crack, you could leave this as is. You'll need to keep repeating this step, if you are going for smoother results. Just repeat the process a couple of times to get the crack filled and to minimize sanding.
Be sure to let the putty dry in between layers.
Anyone who has ever spackled a wall and then painted over the spackle, knows that the patched area takes the paint differently than the rest of the wall. The same is true with wood putty. To avoid the differences, you need to minimize the amount of putty to start with. Wiping off the excess will help keep the differences to a minimum.
Sand Until Smooth
If you wiped off the extra putty before it dried, you'll have minimal sanding to do.
On the drawer fronts, I had to sand because there was a little lip where the panel wouldn't pull back in place tight enough against the drawer. A palm sander worked well for the front, but I used a sponge sand pad for the top.
Again, I was trying to preserve some of the natural characteristics of the dresser.
The sanding sponges are cheap and I like how they work. You can buy them in different grits. I rinse mine out and let them dry between uses. I usually buy mine at Lowes or Home Depot that come a couple to a pack for a few bucks.
After I've sanded, I paint just the repaired areas with a few coats of primer before painting the whole piece. This allows the putty to soak up the primer, which is why you see the difference in the puttied area. It needs to soak in some paint/primer before you start painting. It will also let you see if you've been successful in covering the cracks. If not, add more putty and repeat the process until you get the desired results.
To recap, with some patience, a syringe, some wood glue, a few clamps or weights and you can restore the veneer on your furniture.
You can go from this:
|Posted on July 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM||comments (0)|
Tips and Secrets for How to Paint Laminate Furniture
Laminate furniture is inexpensive which makes it a great choice for shelves, office furniture, cabinets and other furniture. It is produced by attaching a sheet of plastic to particleboard or other inexpensive, lightweight wood product. Laminate furniture comes is many difference colors and shades; however, they may come a time when you will want to paint laminate furniture. Painting laminate furniture is actually quite easy and is an excellent way to change the décor of an entire room quickly and inexpensively. I love to keep things simple so here are clear-cut, short and sweet tips for how to paint laminate furniture. 1. Use a mild soap such as Dawn dishwashing detergent and a rag to wipe down the laminate furniture to remove any dust, dirt and buildup from the furniture. Dawn is a good choice because it cuts and removes grease. If the furniture has any grease or grunge, the primer and paint will not adhere causing problems with the finish. Do not soak the furniture with water and all to dry thoroughly before applying the primer.
2. Although most instructions for painting laminate furniture advise you need to sand the furniture, I prefer to use a primer specifically for hard to paint surfaces. This prevents gauging or scratching the furniture by sanding, does not create the mess that sanding does and also serves the dual purpose of priming and sealing without sanding. Bulls Eye Oil-Base is a good one to try because it dries fast, sticks to all surfaces and is a great primer for both oil and latex topcoats.
3. I prefer to use a form roller if possible for a smoother finish; however, depending on the type of furniture you may want to try a textured roller or soft-bristle brush for a textured finish. I also prefer oil-based paints because it gives better coverage and adheres better than a latex or water-based paint. Of course, the color choice is completely up to your taste and décor!
4. Apply the first coat of paint and allow to dry completely before applying a second coat. It is better to apply two thin, even coats of paint rather than one thick coat of paint.
If you are a little timid about using a primer that does not require sanding, choose a small inconspicuous spot, try a little bit of the primer and paint before doing the entire piece. You can then see if this works well or if you should lightly sand the entire piece of furniture prior to priming and painting.
|Posted on July 25, 2012 at 10:25 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on July 25, 2012 at 10:05 AM||comments (0)|
Wood Furniture generally comes in two types--natural or laminated. A laminated piece of furniture uses a very thin covering of a different type of wood or particle board that is stained or finished to look like a more expensive or exotic type of wood. While these coverings are very durable and can last a lifetime, when they become damaged in any way--and because they are just a covering--they cannot be repaired like ordinary wood and need to be taken care of differently.
Things You'll Need:
1. Stain or furniture polish
2. Old rag
3. Clothes iron
1. Shake up a small can of stain or furniture polish.
2. Dip your old rag into the stain or polish. A little goes a long way.
3. Rub the covered rag over the scratches, coating them with stain.
4. Wipe them off with the dry part of the rag, and the laminate scratches will have disappeared.
5. Plug your iron in and turn it on to medium heat.
6. Place a few drops of water onto the dent, then cover it with an old rag.
7. Carefully place the iron onto the dent and let it sit for about 15 seconds. The dent will pop up from the laminate.
8. Remove the iron and rag and let the area cool.
Chips & Gouges
9. Remove the cap from the wood filler stick.
10. Press the stick tip into the crack or gouge. The composition of the stick will adhere inside the blemish.
11. Completely fill in the damaged area with the wood filler stick.
12. Wipe away any excess with your old rag and allow to dry overnight.
Tips & Warnings
Replacing the stain on a rag with coffee grounds also works. You can dip an old rag into grounds and rub them into the scratches to make them disappear--but always use fresh grounds if you do this.
By Dale Yalanovsky, eHow Contributor
|Posted on July 25, 2012 at 9:10 AM||comments (0)|
Because veneer is only a thin layer of wood attached with glue to a solid base, it is very vulnerable to damage on wooden furniture. On old furniture, the glue that holds the veneer is often not water-resistant. Prolonged humidity or exposure to water can soften the glue, letting the veneer blister, crack, or peel. Veneer is also easily damaged from the surface, and old veneers are often cracked, buckled, or broken, with chips or entire pieces missing. In this article, we'll discuss basic techniques to repair veneer on your wooden furniture for any at-home furniture refinishing or restoration project.
© To repair a large blister in veneer, slit it and insert a little glue under the edges; then flatten it with heat.
In most cases, as long as the veneer layer is basically in good shape, the thinness that makes it damage-prone also makes it easy to repair. Undamaged veneer can be reglued; chips and bare spots can be filled with matching veneer. If you're careful to match the grain the repairs will hardly show. Let's get started with the repair techniques by reviewing some common problems, blisters and cracks in veneer.
Small blisters in veneer can usually be flattened with heat.
To protect the surface, set a sheet of wax paper and then a sheet of smooth cardboard on the surface, and cover the cardboard with a clean cloth. Press the blistered area firmly with a medium-hot iron. If there are several blisters, move the iron slowly and evenly back and forth. Be careful not to touch the exposed surface with the iron.
Check the surface every few minutes or so as you work, and stop pressing as soon as the blisters have flattened. Leaving the cardboard in place, weight the repair area solidly for 24 hours. Then wax and polish the surface.
Large blisters must usually be slit, because the veneer has swelled. With a sharp craft knife or single-edge razor blade, carefully cut the blister open down the middle, along the grain of the wood. Be careful not to cut into the base wood. Then cover the surface and apply heat as above, checking every few seconds as the glue softens; if the glue has deteriorated and does not soften, carefully scrape it out and insert a little carpenters' glue under the slit edges of the bubble with the tip of the knife.
Be careful not to use too much glue. If necessary, wipe off any excess as the blister flattens. As soon as one edge of the slit bubble overlaps the other, carefully shave off the overlapping edge with a craft knife or razor blade. Heat the blister again; if the edges overlap further, shave the overlapping edge again. When the blister is completely flattened, weight the repair area solidly for 24 hours. Then wax and polish the entire surface.
© Loose veneer can be reglued. Apply glue to the base wood, press the veneer into place, and clamp it firmly.
Lifted veneer occurs most often at the corners of tabletops, on cabinet and dresser edges, legs, and drawer fronts. If the loose veneer is undamaged, it can be reglued.
First, remove the residue of old glue left on the back of the veneer and on the base wood. With a sharp craft knife or razor blade, carefully scrape out as much of the old glue as possible. Don't lift the veneer any further; if you bend it up, you'll damage it.
After scraping out as much old glue as you can, clean the bonding surfaces with benzene or naphtha to remove any residue; glue left under the loose area will interfere with the new adhesive. If any glue still remains, sand the bonding surfaces lightly with fine-grit sandpaper, and then wipe them clean with a soft cloth moistened with mineral spirits. If more than one veneer layer is loose, clean each layer the same way.
The veneer can be reattached with contact cement, but you may prefer to use carpenters' glue because it sets more slowly and allows repositioning. To reglue the veneer, apply contact cement to both bonding surfaces and let it set, as directed by the manufacturer. If necessary, set a small tack or two between the layers to keep them from touching. If you'd prefer to use carpenters' glue, use a small brush to spread it along the grain. Then, starting at the solidly attached veneer and working out toward the loose edge, smooth the loose veneer carefully into place.
Contact cement bonds immediately, so make sure the veneer is exactly matched; if you're using carpenters' glue, press from the center out to force out any excess, and wipe the excess off immediately. If more than one veneer layer is loose, work from the bottom up to reglue each layer.
Reglued veneer, whatever adhesive is used, should be clamped or weighted. To protect the surface, cover it with a sheet of wax paper; make sure all excess glue is removed. Set a buffer block of scrap wood over the newly glued area, and use another block or a soft cloth to protect the opposite edge or side of the surface. Clamp the glued and protected surface firmly with C-clamps or hand screws, for one to two days. Then remove the clamps and the buffers, and wax and polish the entire surface.
Cracks, chips, and missing veneer are more extensive damages that require more time and work to repair. Learn some techniques to mend these problems in previous blogs.
by the Editors of Consumer Guide
|Posted on July 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
Cracked, broken, or chipped veneer requires some additional effort, such as finding a patch to match the surrounding surface. Follow the steps below to handle these complicated damages on wooden furniture.
© To mend veneer, cut a patch in an irregular shape; any of these shapes will be less visible than a square.
Cracked or Broken Veneer
If the veneer is lifted and cracked, but not broken completely through, it can be reglued. Large areas may be easier to repair if you break the veneer off along the cracks. Broken veneer can be reglued, but you must be very careful not to damage the edges of the break. Do not trim ragged edges; an irregular mend line will not be as visible as a perfectly straight line.
Before applying glue to the veneer, clean the bonding surfaces carefully, as above. Fit the broken edges carefully together to make sure they match perfectly. Then apply contact cement to both surfaces, or spread carpenters' glue on the base wood. Set the broken veneer carefully into place, matching the edges exactly, and press firmly to knit the broken edges together. Clamp the mended area. Refinishing may be necessary when the mend is complete; if so, use a non-wash-away paint and varnish remover, and treat the veneered surface very gently.
Chipped or Missing Veneer
Replacing veneer is easy, but finding a new piece to replace it may not be. If the piece of furniture is not valuable, you may be able to take the patch from a part of it that won't show. The patch area must be along an edge, so that you can lift the veneer with a craft knife or a stiff-bladed putty knife.
In most cases, patch veneer should not be taken from the same piece of furniture; you'll have to buy matching veneer to make the repair. If only a small piece is missing, you may be able to fill in the hole with veneer edging tape, sold at many home centers and lumberyards. Or, if you have access to junk furniture, you may be able to salvage a similar veneer from another piece of furniture. For larger patches, or if you can't find a scrap piece of matching veneer, buy a sheet of matching veneer from a specialized wood supplier. National veneer suppliers can be found by searching the Internet.
To fit a chip or very small patch, set a sheet of bond paper over the damaged veneer. Rub a very soft, dull lead pencil gently over the paper; the edges of the damaged area will be exactly marked on the paper. Use this pattern as a template to cut the veneer patch. Tape the pattern to the patching wood, matching the grain of the new veneer to the grain of the damaged area. Cut the path firmly and carefully with a sharp craft knife; it's better to make it too big than too small.
© Before gluing the patch in, test it for fit; it should fit exactly, flush with the surrounding surface, with no gaps.
To make a larger patch, tape the patching veneer firmly over the damaged area with masking tape, with the grain and pattern of the patch matching the grain and pattern of the damaged veneer. Make sure the patch is flat against the surface, and securely held in place.
Cut the patch in an irregular shape, as illustrated, or in a boat or shield shape; these shapes will be less visible than a square or rectangular Patch Would be. Cut the patch carefully with a craft knife, scoring through the patching veneer and through the damaged veneer layer below it.
Untape the patching sheet and pop out the patch. With the
tip of the craft knife, remove the cut-out patch of damaged veneer; if necessary, score it and remove it in pieces.
Be very careful not to damage the edges of the patch. Be very careful not to damage the edges of the patch area. Remove only the top veneer laver; do not cut into the base wood. Remove any old glue and clean the base wood as above.
Test the fit of the patch in the hole. It should fit exactly, flush with the surrounding surface, with no gaps or overlaps. If the patch is too big or too thick, do not force it in. Carefully sand the edges or the back with fine-girt sandpaper to fit it to the hole.
Glue the fitted patch into place with contact cement or carpenters' glue, as above, and clamp or weight it solidly. Let the repair dry for one to two days; then very lightly sand the patch and the surrounding veneer. Re-finish the damaged area or, if necessary, the entire surface or piece of furniture.
The basic repair techniques mentioned in this article will help you keep the veneer on your wooden furniture looking like new.
©Publications International, Ltd.
by the Editors of Consumer Guide
|Posted on March 8, 2012 at 12:15 AM||comments (0)|
Economic and Environmental Solutions forToday’s Office
Office Furniture Outlet, York Pa, is leading a campaign of green initiatives in the office furniture marketplace. As recycling paper, aluminum, and glass isnow standard practice in American homes and businesses – recycling officefurniture and supplies illustrates the ideals of an eco-conscience businessmarket. If the consumer is looking tofurnish a new office, or simply give their current office a “maker-over,” Office Furniture Outlet has sustainable solutions to meet their needs.
Offering high quality recycled, remanufactured, and refurbished office furniture, we are able to divert significant solid-waste from the landfills while returning product to consumer markets. Purchasing used and remanufactured office products saves customers approximately 50-80% of comparable new retail items. Remanufactured furniture products also incorporate design benefits allowing nearly unlimited choices of custom fabrics, paint schemes, laminations etc… This provides great aesthetic flexibility. Employing a master carpenter with a full service paint and restoration shop, we refer to this as“going green with style.”
Office Furniture Outlet also incorporates green initiatives in new furniture sales through a variety of environmentally friendly product lines. The HON “Initiate Panel System”and ABCO “Greenguard” series exemplify current production products leading the green office agenda. These products use low-emitting materials, composite woods,annually renewable agrifibers containing no urea-formaldehyde resins, and 100% eco-friendly polyesters that can be recycled almost indefinitely. We are pleased and proud to promote these products to our clientele.
The reasons for implementing an eco-friendly work environment are numerous: core values, lower operating costs, and positive public policy come to mind. At Office Furniture Outlet, we believe people are responsible for their actions and the effects those actions play on the environment; this is precisely why we offer remanufactured, recycled, and sustainable office solutions making as small of an impact on the planet as possible, while still providing first class furniture to our clients. As Central Pennsylvania’s foremost office furniture dealer employing green and environmentally friendly goals – we implore you, the consumer, to consider used and remanufactured furniture resources for your next office purchase. Used furniture recycling will not only save you money, it will preserve precious natural resources for future generations.
A Very Gracious Thank You,
Office FurnitureOutlet Family and Staff
519 N. Franklin St
York, Pa 17403
|Posted on June 24, 2011 at 10:00 AM||comments (2)|
Office panel systems are a great way to provide efficient workspace to your office. They are versatile and easy to customize with proper planning and a good supplier. Use guides to learn more about using panels to create a unique work environment for your staff.
The main advantage of office panel system, are that they are sturdy enough to provide you with fixed walls that give you all the benefits of traditional construction in terms of the solidity that they offer without any of the problems that are associated with conventional walls. With a modular panel system created by office walls that can be moved and reorganized, you will find it much easier to develop your business along the path that the market defines.
Another nice thing about using panel systems in your office is that they can be highly modular. If you purchase the right panel systems, you can customize the look of each workstation based on the architecture of the office and any existing furniture or fixtures you already have. This makes them a great choice for a business that is regularly expanding its own office, or upgrading to bigger offices. They’re also designed to be easy to set up and break down, making moving around much easier.
Unlike traditional office walls, which once they have been built are fixed forever, office panel systems can be set up and moved with relatively little trouble at a later date, and thanks to the high quality materials that are now used in the design and manufacture of these products, you can now enjoy the same quality of environment that you would have had in the past with conventional walls.
Panel systems are designed to provide an employee as much privacy as possible without giving them a full office. As such, the panels are composed of thick panels that are designed to block sound effectively, even from sources that are very close by. While it won’t be like complete isolation, it should provide enough quiet that people can get their work done in peace.
Panel solutions may also have other features designed to streamline an office. Some panel systems have built in cable holders to help keep the mess of wires that computers often create in check.
The look of an office is very important to a business, both for its employees and for clients. Employees have to work in the same conditions from day to day, so they need an environment that keeps them motivated and energized. Clients visiting the office will also judge a lot about your business by the way that your office is designed. If your business is just a field of featureless gray cubes then no one is going to want to work or do business there. Panel systems give you a ton of flexibility in the colors and styles that you use.
|Posted on June 22, 2011 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
Your office furniture can affect your business in ways that can never be imagined. When people walk into your office, what is their first impression of your office is important. Studies have shown that your office can actually send messages to others about the way you conduct business. What does your current office furniture say about you?
Custom office furniture, including movable walls, can make your company culture say whatever you want it to say. Bright colors suggest a vibrant, creative work environment. Glass walls, windows and doors bring about feelings of inclusion and teamwork. Tall, solid panels imply privacy and focus.
Filing cabinets and office file storage help to keep things in order. Whether you’re filing confidential employee records, tax information, monthly invoices or prospective client files, you need to have a place to keep them safe and organized so that when you need them, you can find them quickly and easily.
Quality office lighting is a necessity. Studies have shown that light can impact people in many ways. Poor lighting can negatively affect overall performance in the workplace. Office lighting can create the ideal working conditions for yourself and your employees. By creating a high-definition lighting workplace, you can transform your home or company office to an incredibly designed workspace with personality. Office lighting should accomplish more than just the task of providing light. It should be controllable at all times, energy efficient, maintainable, well-integrated, cost efficient and accommodating to any project.
Office flooring products need to be correctly prepared, fitted and installed. There are many different office flooring solutions for any commercial setting including corporate offices, retail locations, health care, hospitality, education and more. Office flooring has to be sustainable because it needs to last your company for years to come.
Decorating your office with warm, personable accessories will create an inviting setting for employees, guests and potential clients. You’ll be surprised at the impression your office can make with the addition of simple, classic decor.
Office furniture is quite possibly the most crucial aspect of your business. The first step in getting the best office furniture is working with the right designer. A good designer will assess your entire office and make recommendations about what types of furniture fit your space, your budget and your office culture.
Shop with Office Furniture Outlet and you will know why customers there become customers for life.
|Posted on March 23, 2011 at 11:30 AM||comments (2)|
This guide is intended to provide practical advice on what to consider when selecting and ordering office furniture. It walks you through a process of assessing the needs of your business, and then translating those needs into furniture that works for you.
Table of Contents
Step 1 » Basic Considerations
Step 2 » Desktop Design
Step 3 » Pick Out Your Seat
Step 4 » On File
Step 5 » Divide and Conquer
Step 1: Basic Considerations Research says that office furniture purchases for most small and mid-sized businesses are handled “part time” by someone who has many other responsibilities. This means that most purchases are made by a person who is not an expert at ordering office furniture. However, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines, the products you buy will keep your employees productive and will last for years to come. Some basic questions to get started are listed below, along with some guidance on what to consider for each question. A checklist at the end of this guide provides a place for you to convert these answers into the furniture you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
1 » What space or spaces am I trying to furnish? What type of furniture will best meet the needs for each of these spaces? These spaces generally fall into one of several common categories, and there is furniture designed to meet the needs of each.
* Reception area or lobby
* Conference room
* Private office
* Break room or cafeteria
* Records area (for keeping files)
* Group work or attached work area environment (office space cubes)
* Specialty/Other – lab area, call center, etc.
2 » How many employees will be using the furniture and how much space am I trying to fill? This will obviously affect how much furniture you have to purchase. Be sure to provide adequate working space for each employee – they are most efficient and productive when they have room to get their jobs done.
3 » Are there any special needs for the employee user groups or their environment? For example, some user groups may spend several hours a day at the workplace, making chair comfort a key consideration. There may be shared workspace, making the adjustability of seating necessary to accommodate multiple employees. Consider how much time employees spend working together on projects. This means buying furniture that promotes easy communication and collaboration. Finally, are there any work place regulatory or compliance considerations such as privacy (HIPAA), cleanliness (LEED), or environmental (“green”;)?
4 » What furniture do I have today? Do I need to match what I have in the office now, or does the space I’m trying to furnish let me create a new look? The variety of choices today makes it easier to buy new products that match your existing furniture, or at least coordinate with it. When looking at new purchases, however, you should ask what future upgrade or coordinating products exist.
5 What image do I need to portray? Often, this question has two components.
a. What image does my company need to convey? For example, a law office may wish to convey professionalism and success. A physician’s office space may need to show a clean yet comforting atmosphere. Your atmosphere can be influenced by the design of the furniture you choose, but also by the colors, fabrics and finishes you select.
b. What image does the user of the furniture need to convey? Am I furnishing executive space that perhaps requires richer textures and fabrics, or am I furnishing engineering space which needs to emphasize comfort and functionality?
6 What is the budget? Often, this can be computed by employee or employee space.
7 What are the growth prospects for the business? Do I need to select products that can be easily expanded?
8 What resources do I feel most comfortable using during the purchase process? Do I feel confident in using online sources for information and purchase, or would I rather use the services of a dealer who can help me with space design and product selection? Research shows that 84% of office furniture buyers research manufacturers and products online before purchasing.
1 » Look for versatility
Buy furniture that can be moved and reconfigured easily, and that you can adjust as new needs arise. This will give you the flexibility to change your floor plan, plus integrate new pieces into existing furniture arrangements.
2 » Always buy quality
When buying office furniture, you should ask if products have been tested for durability and meet office furniture performance standards, commonly referred to as ANSI-BIFMA.
3 » Ergonomics
Good ergonomics make employees feel better, they’re more productive and more energetic as well. Ergonomically friendly work environments pay off.
4 » Feel confident about your choice
Research and compare warranty options before purchasing.
Step 2: Desktop design
A desk is more than a place to put papers – it also can signal rank or prestige in the office. However, it is important to consider both the functionality and appearance when selecting desks for your office space.
1. Executive offices typically have a desk and matching credenza, and often a small conference table with side chairs. Most manufacturers offer office furniture suites in a wide range of price points.
2. Mid-level managers often have an L-shaped or U-shaped desk configuration.
3. Steel desks are also popular because they are light and durable. They can be “dressed-up” with a laminate top.
4. Mobile desks or work surfaces are suitable for both private offices and open office situations. In a private office, they offer the user the flexibility to customize the office configuration. In an open environment, desks with casters allow the user to easily change work configurations.
A. Upgrade options: For many situations, laminates in wood grain patterns look just as professional as wood and are more durable. You can enhance the prestige value of laminate furniture by adding real wood accents on the edges.
B. “Clutter” management: To keep everything neat and efficient, make sure desks come with a range of options for wire management and paper management systems.
1 » Desk Your primary work surface
2 » Return Extra work surface placed at right angles to a desk
3 » Credenza Secondary work surface used in conjunction with a desk
4 » Peninsula Work surface with generous leg space for meetings
5 » Bridge Work surface used to link two other work surfaces
6 » Corner unit Work surface that links returns and bridges at right angles tocreate an ideal computer corner
Step 3: Pick out your seat
Chairs are the most personal piece of furniture – and the most complex – because they must adapt to all kinds of people and many types of work. Although style and materials are important, the first thing you should consider is how long the person will be sitting in the chair and what functions they will perform.
1. Employees who sit six to eight hours a day performing multiple tasks should have high-performance chairs with ergonomic controls that let the user adjust the chair to suit his or her body size and work style. Many chairs now use passive ergonomic adjustments that maintain a comfortable configuration as the user moves.
2. People who use computers should have adjustable armrests to maintain a comfortable position at the keyboard. The chair’s tilt feature should allow users to look at the computer screen at a comfortable angle no matter how much they lean forward or back.
3. Executives may not need all the performance features as they spend less time sitting down, but may require leather, wood or more high-tech materials to project a strong, professional image.
A. Warranty: A quality chair should have a lifetime warranty on the frame and mechanical parts and a 5-10 year warranty on fabric.
B. Conference room chairs usually are not good for general office tasks. They are intended to be used by many different people for relatively short periods of time.
1 » Executive Office/Conference Present a professional image with sophisticated executive/conference seating selections. Modern design and exceptional comfort combine to create stylish, durable chairs that enhance any office setting.
2 » Personal Work Area Work chairs look, feel and function in unique ways to suit a variety of work tasks. Computer chairs should be stable and easily adjustable from a seated position. It should provide good support for your body, especially your lower back.
3 » Specialty Intensive Use Generous proportions and user-friendly controls ensure around-the clock comfort. Specifically designed with exceptional durability.
4 » Guest – Reception - Public Space Designed with welcoming comfort and style in mind, guest chairs and tandem seating should make a good impression and offer an inviting spot for visitors in offices and reception areas.
5 » Stacking - Nesting Consider attractive alternatives to plain folding chairs. Stacking or Nesting chairs are offered in a variety of visually appealing designs molded to fit the body for maximum comfort.
Step 4: Filing & Storage
Proper storage helps keep employees organized and work flowing more efficiently. There are four main types of storage: vertical files, lateral files, pedestals and towers. Towers and pedestals are especially popular where space is a problem because they are flexible and combine multiple functions. Towers combine a closet, file drawers and open shelves. Pedestals may be used under a work surface or free standing with a cushioned top for occasional seating.
1. The trend today is toward filing solutions that use space more efficiently.
2. If filing cabinets will be used frequently, choose a commercial-grade cabinet that has been tested for durability. It will be a better value in the long run.
3. If your office doesn’t allow for rows of storage, use mobile storage solutions that can slide under work surfaces or use overhead shelving.
4. Make sure two- and three-drawer lateral files have counterweights to resist tipping.
5. Leveling: File cabinets that are not level will not work properly. Ensure bottoms of vertical and lateral files are reinforced and should have leveling glides so you can accommodate an irregular floor.
6. Warranty: All quality file solutions should have limited lifetime warranties.
1 Pedestals/File Centers Durable pedestals provide a place to get organized and store important files and supplies - keeping all the things you need close at hand.
2 Lateral Files Flexible combinations of lateral files and storage cabinets hold books, binders, reference materials and personal items, and tolerate heavy use.
3 Vertical Files Think “up”, not “out” when you need to store a lot of files and paperwork. Vertical files provide the most efficient approach to maximum storage capacity with a minimal footprint.
4 Steel Bookcases/Cabinets Eminently practical and useful, steel bookcases are also a great value, with their long-life, heavy-duty construction.
5 Document Protection We know it’s smart to protect the things we value. To keep legal documents, financials or personnel records safe consider fireproof or waterproof cabinets.
6 Shelf File - Track FilingThis innovative filing system increases your filing capacity while reducing the amount of floor and wall space you currently use.
Step 5: Divide and conquer
Panel systems today are more sophisticated than they have ever been, delivering affordable, flexible office solutions that save space with a wide variety of stylish and functional features. Many panel systems have sliding or swinging doors for additional privacy and offer a variety of different work surfaces for an alternative configuration to the stereotypical “cube.”
1. Paneled environments don’t have to be square. A 120-degree work surface grouped into workstations can actually increase workspace density and efficiency, while avoiding a “box-like” look and feel.
2. Look for panels that are easy to order and install. Some systems have connectors that add “panel creep,” making your measurements come out wrong.
3. While panel systems have long accommodated computers, printers and phones, in the past few years, panel systems manufacturers have added power and wire management solutions to support wireless and mobile communications products like Blackberrys, cell phones and laptop computers.
A. Wire management: If you plan to run wires through the panels, make sure the wiring raceways meet local building codes and can handle the quantity and type of equipment you plan to install.
1 Panel Systems Varying panel heights create private as well as collaborative areas. Panel-mounted work surfaces attach to systems easily.
2 Hinged or Sliding Doors Moveable panels allow for privacy when needed.
3 Storage Panel-mounted overheads keep books and binders within easy reach or choose pedestal storage.
4 Wired Power in the panel base is a streamlined economical choice for power and data access. Power poles enable power routing from the ceiling to stations. Check options with pull-up electrical outlets.
5 Accessories Paper management tool bar keeps active files organized and within arm’s reach. Keyboard platforms help employees work in a supported and comfortable position. Under and overhead task lights and freestanding desk lamps give users control over their work environment. I'd like to thank our friends at HON for providing this useful information.