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Boost Productivity with the Right Home Office Setup 0

There are many good reasons to have a home office. The most obvious one, of course, is that you are self-employed and work from home, but that’s not the case with everyone. Many people set up a home office or work area so that they can take work home with them, while some are studying part-time and need a dedicated work space. Others just like to have an area where household admin can be done, rather than the dining room table.

 Whatever your reasons for setting up a home office, it pays to keep it as efficient as possible, especially if you don’t have a lot of extra space for it.  At the same time, you want it to be a space where you can enjoy working, with as few distractions as possible, without feeling trapped in just another work environment. To help you set up the perfect home office, we’ve put together a few ideas that will maximize efficiency while creating a beautiful, comfortable space where you can get things done. 

The space

The first thing to do is to choose a room to set up in. Of course, if you live in a studio apartment, there is really only the one room, in which case you need to get creative. The area where you set up your office should be away from obvious distractions, like the TV or high-traffic areas such as living and dining rooms. If this is unavoidable, try portioning off a section of the room with a divider of some kind. Make sure, however, you have enough space to fit your desk and chair and are able to move around somewhat comfortably.

 

If you have a whole room to dedicate to your office, that’s great. Make sure it is centrally located, so you can get to the bathroom, kitchen and other areas easily enough for necessities. If, however, you are easily distracted, go for the quietest possible corner of the house.

 

Top tip: try for a space with as much natural daylight as possible. Especially for people who work from home, natural light helps cut down on the lighting bill, plus natural light is proven to help boost your mood.

 

The desk

One of the two most important pieces of furniture in a home office is the desk. To keep things as efficient as possible, you need to take some time and evaluate your desk needs. Some offices need just enough desk space for a laptop computer and a glass of water, while others need enough space to roll out full-sized blueprints. Your desk surface area really depends on your profession.

 Perfect for small spaces, the Desk Chest fits anywhere 

If you’re fortunate enough to have a nice, large area for a desk, then go ahead and get one that feels spacious enough for you. If, on the other hand, you have limited space, judge the desk on what it can offer you in terms of multitasking. For example, if you only need space for your laptop, choose a simple, small desk at which you can sit comfortably. However, if you need to maximize storage space, consider something like a rolltop desk, a desk that incorporates drawers or, if you’re really pressed for space, something like this desk chest

The chair

Nothing kills your productivity like feeling uncomfortable while you’re working. The wrong chair can cause backache, headaches and other health problems, all of which affect your ability to do your work properly. Choose your office chair carefully, as it’s the other of the two most important pieces of office furniture you’ll buy. 

The three most important things to remember about your office chair are comfort, support and quality. Your office chair needs to be sturdy enough to support your back throughout a full eight-hour workday, and it needs to be comfortable enough to make you forget it’s even there. You also want a chair that’s going to last a long time and not suddenly start hanging skew after a couple of months. There are thousands of cheap, poor quality chairs that seem great at first, but start giving out on you in short order. Don’t get fooled by their price tag! Look for a chair that is going to do its job – and do it well – for a long time. 

The storage

Stylish and functional, this barrister bookcase is a great space saver 

Every home office has different storage needs. Some people need space for plenty of files, while others need little more than somewhere to keep a couple of thumb drives. Here again, evaluate your needs and the space you have available. Like I mentioned earlier, a desk with enough drawer space might do the trick for you. If you need more storage, though, look at what’s going to be the most space efficient. For shelving or filing cabinets, taller is usually better than wider for space-saving. Again, think about your specific needs though. Those blueprints? Having a good, wide set of drawers or shelves to store them can be great, especially if the top doubles as a space to roll them out. 

The layout

For maximum productivity, you should be able to reach everything quickly and easily. Look at the items you use most often and place them closest at hand – a writer, for instance, should keep their dictionary and thesaurus close by. Those things you only use on occasion can be neatly stored so that they’re easy to get to when you need them, but are out of the way when you don’t.

 

Before setting up your office, take the time to plan it, taking into consideration your unique needs. You’ll find that just by planning it properly, you will have instantly increased your productivity and made things easier for yourself. 

The last bit of advice is to make it a space that inspires you. Personalize it, decorate it and make it somewhere you are happy to return to each day. Especially if you are self-employed, you’ll be spending a lot of time here, so put in as much effort into it as you would any other room in your home.

  • Amanda Griman

15 Essentials You Must Have in Your Kitchen 0

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, what your social status is or what you do for a living, we all have one thing in common – we all have to eat. It’s fundamental to survival, but it’s more than that. Meal times are the perfect opportunity for families to catch up with each other, friends to spend time together and even colleagues to get to know each other better. Since time immemorial, mealtimes have formed a focal point in human civilization.

Most American homes have two spaces dedicated to food – the dining room and the kitchen. But even if you live in a small space and don’t have a dining room, there’s still the kitchen and it needs a few essentials to make the difference between a place where you microwave your ready-made meals, and the heart of the home, where delicious food originates and good memories are created. To make sure you have the perfect kitchen at any size, here are 15 essentials that any and every kitchen needs. 

Food

A kitchen without food is pointless. If you’re lucky enough to have good pantry space, you can stock up on all the fundamentals and have room to spare for the extras. Even if you don’t have a pantry, though, these basics are essential. 

1 – A varied spice rack

The exact spices that will appear vary according to your cooking styles and tastes, but at a minimum you should have salt and pepper, rosemary, cinnamon and at least one spice blend that you enjoy. It keeps your cooking vibrant and interesting. 

2 – Good coffee or tea

Even if you use instant coffee or basic tea daily, have at least one pack of the good stuff in your kitchen. You should always have something special to give your guests or even just on hand for when you feel like a treat. 

3 – Quality dry goods

No matter how low your supplies are running, you can always whip up a tasty meal if you have a couple of varieties of rice, beans and pasta on hand. Even if dinner is literally rice and beans, seasoned with some of those tasty spices, when seated around your dining table, you’ll have full bellies and good conversation. 

4 – Three oils

It may seem redundant to have three different oils in your kitchen, but there’s a good reason. Plain cooking oil will be fine for most of the dishes you want to cook, but some call for something a little more flavorful – plus cooking oil does not make a good vinaigrette for salads. Have at least olive oil and sesame oil on hand – that way you can enjoy Mediterranean and Asian cooking as well. 

5 – Good mustard

Yellow mustard is great for ninety percent of applications, like sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers and so on. If, however, you decide to serve something special, like a rare roast beef, it’s good to have a quality mustard around as a flavor enhancer. 

Utensils

We’re not going to discuss appliances here, because frankly, almost none of them are critical for cooking. Of course a food processor is great, but almost anything it can do, you can do with a good knife, a wooden spoon and some elbow grease. There are some utensils, however, that no kitchen should be without. 

6 – Quality knives and block

If you’ve ever worked with a good quality knife, you will know why it’s so much better than a cheap one. Good knives hold their edges better and for longer, are properly balanced to make cutting easier and are usually designed for comfort in your hand. Get a quality set along with a block to store them and your food prep will be much easier. And while you’re getting these, get a sharpener too! 

7 – Two cutting boards

Your kitchen should have one wooden cutting board and one plastic one. The wooden one is perfect for chopping vegetables, slicing bread, cutting cheese – most of your cutting needs. The plastic one is for meat, because it’s a lot easier to clean thoroughly. Look for boards that have a groove along the edges – this helps prevent vegetable, fruit or meat juices from spilling onto your counter. Glass, metal and marble cutting boards are, in our opinion, useless, as they damage knives.

 

8 – Mixing bowls

So many dishes start in a mixing bowl, from meatballs to cake, that they are absolutely essential. Have a ceramic, or plastic one for cakes, pastas, veggies, eggs and more. Get a stainless steel or glass one for any meat-based dishes, where you can marinate chicken, mix your hamburger or toss strips of meat in oil and spices. 

9 – Whisk and spatula

One to mix and one to flip. These two utensils will be used every day in your kitchen, so get a well-made pair. The best whisks are made from wire, not plastic, while hard plastic spatulas are best if you have Teflon-coated pots. 

10 – Apron, cloths and oven gloves

Protecting your clothes and skin from spills and burns is necessary, because both can happen in the blink of an eye. Get a full apron, rather than a half apron, as well as a couple of cloths that are purely there to keep your hands clean. Oven gloves will keep your hands from being burned on hot pots and casserole dishes. 

11 – Spoons

A kitchen needs all kinds of spoons, but there are four that you have to have: A wooden spoon for mixing sweet dishes and batters, a metal or plastic mixing spoon for savory dishes, serving spoons for serving up all these goodies, and a complete set of measuring spoons. 

12 – Colander and grater

The kitchen’s holey pair. The grater should have a sturdy design and in this case, larger is definitely better. Look for a grater that has a minimum of three grades and preferably has a slicing end too. The colander should be large enough to hold a full pot of pasta, vegetables or anything else you’re straining. Look for one with smaller, but more numerous holes. 

Furniture

We realize that some kitchens really are tiny and don’t have enough space for furniture, but most American homes have either an eat-in kitchen or a kitchen and dining room. These furniture items are a must-have. 

13 – A dining table and chairs

Even if you’re in a tiny apartment and only have space for a two-seater table, invest in a good one. Meals eaten around a table are psychologically more relaxing and help bring couples and families closer together. You’re also more likely to prepare meals if you eat around a table, rather than go for take-out or ready-made convenience meals, so a dining table is better for your health. If you have a suitable corner, consider a dining nook, which takes up a minimum of space, while providing a maximum of seating. 

Our traditional dining nook is perfect for in-kitchen dining and entertaining 

14 – Storage

Unless you have more than enough built-in cupboards and a pantry, there’s always a chance you’ll need extra storage space. A good buffet, hutch, pie safe or other storage item can take the burden of the stuff with nowhere to go. This piece of furniture also goes well in a dining room. If you have a really small kitchen, consider an island instead, as this provides a combination of food preparation space, dining space and storage space, all in one.

 

Storage and a wine rack in one – the Brunswick Wine Cabinet

15 – A wine rack or cabinet

Now not everybody drinks wine, we know, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a wine rack or cabinet. This little item stores any bottle of a certain size range, and that includes bottled water, sodas, and olive and other oils. Bottles are real space thieves in cupboards and a wine rack gets them out of the way and neatly stored.

  • Amanda Griman

10 Surprising Budget Tips to Make Your Home Look Luxurious 0

As corny as it may sound, your home really is your castle. It’s your place of rest and relaxation at the end of a long, difficult work day; it’s your safe space when the world is getting to be a bit much; it’s where you nurture your dreams, your hopes and aspirations, your family. It should be a place that you enjoy coming back to every day after work, school and all the daily tasks that make up our crazy, hectic lives. 

Your castle should be comfortable, luxurious, beautiful – a sanctuary to find refuge in, a place of pride to show your family and friends. Unfortunately, not all of us have an endless budget to buy whatever décor and furniture we like, so it helps if we can do it on a tight budget. These tips will show you a few tricks to turning your house into a palace, fit for your dreams. 

The Look

Creating a sophisticated look will make your home feel special and luxurious, while making it look like you’ve spent a good deal of money on it. There are ways around going super-expensive though. 

1 – A neutral palette

White paint provides a great base to start from and immediately looks more sophisticated than brightly colored wall and trims. A neutral base palette also leaves you a lot of room to change your décor or develop the space. Painting your walls and ceilings white is not only inexpensive, it has the added benefit of giving the room an illusion of spaciousness and of brightening it up. When you add color, keep it to pops or splashes, or look for classic patterns. 

Top tip: Paint your doors and their trims black – it gives a sleek and expensive look without costing too much. 

Build around a neutral base palette for true sophistication 

2 – Classic patterns

Speaking of which, there are several patterns that instantly provide luxury and sophistication to a room, and there are hundreds of ways of including them. Whether you have a damask-covered sofa with solid-color cushions, or use pin-stripe wallpaper to cover one wall, investigate classic pattern designs and get creative incorporating them. You don’t even need to overdo it, as just one or two highlights will instantly give your room a more luxurious feel. 

Top tip: Ask your local fabric store if they have any off-cuts of classic pattern fabric and use it to cover a cheap footstool or throw cushion as an accent piece. 

3 – Keep to a theme

If you prefer the sleek look of white, black and chrome, try to stay in the theme, highlighting it with glass or clear plastic accessories and so on. If you prefer a softer, more country-cottage look, seek out things that suit that theme. If you stick to a theme, you’re less likely to waste money on an expensive item that may be attractive on its own, but doesn’t fit the scheme. Continuity with less expensive items always looks more sophisticated and luxurious than a mismatched bunch of expensive items. 

Top tip: Build the theme around an affordable piece of furniture that you love, like your dining table, rather than choosing a theme first and trying to find affordable furniture that matches. 

This comfortable, beautiful room is designed using neutral colors, classic patterns and a clear theme 

The Feel

The way a room feels is as important to a luxurious home as visual appeal. A sofa that looks beautiful but is uncomfortable to sit on, or unrelenting solid color with no pattern texturing can ruin the effect. 

4 – Comfort reigns

Nobody wants to be uncomfortable on their sofa, at their dining table or at a friend’s home while visiting. When shopping for furniture, try out every single piece you’re considering before you buy it and make sure it’s good to sit or lie down on. 

Top tip: Overstuffed cushions can soften up just about anything and add luxury. Use a smaller cushion cover than the cushion itself to really create that overstuffed feel. 

5 – Texture highlights

The right textures can add instant luxury and glamor to a room. Add molding and box trim to the ceilings, doorframes and fireplace edges for sophistication, or find a soft and luxurious rug that you can sink your bare feet into. Make the room a feast for all the senses. 

Top tip: If you have any wooden fittings, strip them of paint, polish them up and varnish them to bring out the grain and beauty. Find furniture that complements that wood. 

Neutral, but rich, coloring coupled with various textures brings this room to luxurious life 

6 – Sensory pampering

Even the most beautiful room can have its effect spoiled if it smells bad, or even just odd. Make sure there are no sources of unpleasant odors inside the room, and look for external sources, like a nearby restaurant, as well. Add pleasant scent sources, like scented candles, a little incense or essential oils. 

Top tip: a bowl filled with dried lavender, occasionally topped up with lavender oil (or other dried flowers and their oils) add not only texture, but a delightful scent. 

7 – Light it up

Lighting is a wonderful way to accentuate and create luxury. Dimmable lights give you mood lighting, while a well-placed chandelier can make a statement of luxury in even the smallest room. Candles or small LED candle equivalents can turn almost any room into a calm, relaxed space. 

Top tip: Want a chandelier but can’t find an affordable one? Make your own! It could be something as simple as repainting an old one, or as complex as making an intricate beadwork chandelier. There’s no shortage of ideas for them online. 

Clever lighting combinations, pattern highlights and textured objects turn this room from plain to luxurious 

8 – Get creative

Stretch your crafting muscles by turning cheap items into glamorous pieces. Get creative with paint, string, fabric, beading, collage – there are hundreds of crafting techniques that can turn plain, everyday items into luxury pieces. 

Top tip: Keep your theme going with crafting items. Paint an old vase silver for a sleek room, wrap it in twine for a cottage feel, or cover it in the same fabric as your throw pillow. 

A simple covered stool, a repurposed vase and creative use of found objects make for a unique and luxurious home 

The Furniture

Even without all the extras, the right piece of furniture can make your room luxurious. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more cash on the focal piece of the room – but also don’t get ripped off. Take your time choosing, for example, your dining table and choose a piece that’s going to last for years – don’t be forced to replace it in just a few years! 

9 – Plan your furniture budget

Work out what your workable budget is for your room and allocate between two-thirds and three-quarters of the money to the focal furniture. Remember that accessories, paintings, rugs and all the other little extras can be added in over time. If you try to get a complete look in one go, you may skimp on the furniture and get poor quality, uncomfortable pieces. 

Top tip: At Amish Tables, we pride ourselves on offering incredible, long-lasting, quality furniture at affordable prices. Take some time looking through our catalogue – we are always happy to provide help. 

This single-extension Chancellor Single Pedestal table forms a perfect focal point in this design, while being affordable at $1,065 

10 – Research

This may seem like the most obvious tip, but you’d be amazed how few people do it, even with the internet at their fingertips. Before buying anything, take your time to research what your options are, learn about the different types and styles of furniture and find out who can provide you with the best deals. Read reviews to make sure the supplier does what they promise to do, in terms of quality, delivery and after-sales service 

Top tip: Look for end-of season sales and ask about discontinued lines. You could find plenty of attractive items that the manufacturer or retailer is willing to offer at discount.

 

  • Amanda Griman

Choosing wood for your furniture 0

Buying a custom-made piece of large furniture for your home is a unique experience. Gone are the rows and shelves of identical, mass-produced plywood and veneer tables, thin, flat nylon cushion and plastic trim. In their place are rich, solid woods with unique grains and enriched with custom finishes; sturdy, well-built furniture that will last a lifetime and be worth every extra penny you spent on it.

 

But how do you go about choosing the right wood for your piece of furniture? Which ones will work for your dining room and how well will they last? 

The hard and the soft 

It’s tempting to say, only use hardwoods for furniture, but the term hardwood can be slightly misleading. Softwood all comes from coniferous trees and anyone who’s ever had furniture made out of pine, for example, will know that the wood is perfectly adequate to the job. At the same time, balsa is technically a hardwood, going by this definition, but you wouldn’t make your dining table out of it!

 

When you’re talking furniture manufacture, however, hardwoods are literally hard wood – denser, more difficult to work, but much longer-lasting. They’re also more resistant to damage, like scratches and dents which, again, anyone with that pine piece of furniture can tell you, it’s not that hard to make a noticeable mark in it. 

They’re also more heat resistant, which means – although we strongly recommend you don’t do this – if a hot cooking pot sits on it briefly, it won’t get quite as badly or noticeably burned. This will, however damage the stain or varnish and the wood, so don’t do it! 

At Amish Tables, all the woods we use are hardwoods, both by the technical definition and by the furniture manufacture definition, so the one thing you can be assured of is that the quality of the wood is going to be excellent. So which one should you choose? 

The look 

Because all the woods are strong and long-lasting, selecting a wood for quality is really difficult. You’re getting quality whichever one you choose. Therefore, a good place to start is the way the wood looks. Each wood has its own, recognizable grain and coloring, which you can see in example here

Do you prefer a tight, linear, highly visible grain? Maybe Red Oak is the one for you. Prefer a lighter color? What about White Oak? 

Maybe you prefer a swirling, looser grain with a few visible knots. Then you could choose Cherry with its deeper, more golden color, or Hard maple with its pale beauty. 

How it ages

 

All wood matures over time and knowing what your table will look like in ten, twenty or fifty years may make a difference in what you choose. Cherry, for example, darkens as it is exposed to light, and that darkening happens quite fast. By the time your Cherry wood table is three or four years old, it’s going to be a medium brown color, which can be enhanced by the type of stain or finish you choose. 

Oak, on the other hand, retains its color very well. It will become slightly more golden over the years, whether you choose red or white oak. Traditionally, Oak is given a clear varnish finish, to allow its natural beauty to glow through. 

The location

 One of the most important factors to consider when buying a dining table is the room this table will live in. The table needs to suit, complement and enhance its surroundings, encouraging a pleasant, familial atmosphere. 

For example, if your dining room doesn’t get a lot of natural light, or the walks are a darker color, you could brighten the room with a lighter wood like White Oak or Maple. By contrast, if the room is already filled with light, a darker, richer color will stand out, showing off its grain and heart. 

Take your time when choosing the wood for your Amish Table, because this piece of furniture is going to be with you a long time. Research the woods and find out which ones will darken and which will stay much as they are. And remember, if you love a particular grain, but the color doesn’t quite work, they can be stained.

  • Amanda Griman

How to arrange bedroom furniture ? 0

What's in a bedroom? Who needs tips on arranging the furniture, anyway? After all, it's there in the name – bedroom. Just stick a bed in there and be done with it. It's not like you're going to be doing much in there, anyway.

Except, that's not really true, is it? Bedrooms serve more than just the function of being a place to sleep and engage in other bed-related activities. Your bedroom could be a sanctuary, somewhere you go to escape the bustle of family life for a short while. 

Perhaps you have a TV in your bedroom and spend a few hours a night in there catching up on your favorite shows. Maybe you have a family and each person has their own space that needs to be tailored for their needs. 

Whatever the case, it isn't just a matter of shoving a bed in there and being done with it. Getting the flow of your bedroom right will not only make it a place to sleep well, but a comfortable retreat, somewhere that quiet time and relaxation can happen. 

1 – Light it up

One of the first things to look at when working out the bedroom furniture arrangement is the lighting. Do you have natural light coming in, and where from? Are there sconces, or just an overhead light? Where would you plug in bedside or standing lamps?

 

The available lighting and the potential for adding lighting will have an effect on bedroom furniture placement. For example, if your child's bedroom needs a desk for study, you want to place it where it can firstly take most advantage of natural light and secondly where it's easy to add a desk lamp without stretching all kinds of cords. 

2 – Make your bed 

Of course, the most important piece of furniture in a bedroom is the bed. All other considerations for how to organize your bedroom have to take second place to the bed. So what should you bear in mind? 

The classic layout, as seen on every movie or TV show since time immemorial, is center stage, with plenty of room on either side. This arrangement makes a lot of sense when two people are sharing a bed, but where in the room should you put it?

Especially in a small bedroom, make sure that you can open your closet doors properly when the bed is in place. Also, try to place the bed where overhead lights or sconces aren't going to shine directly into your eyes if you are in bed.

The best tip is always to measure the bed and the room thoroughly before placing it.

3 – Room to move 

Bedroom layout, especially when arranging furniture in a small bedroom, is all about maximizing the space you have. There's a fine line between cramped and cozy, and you want to stay on the cozy side. Measuring really well and getting creative with placement can make life a lot easier.

 

Maybe you're someone who enjoys reading and want a little reading nook. What about a small couch for your bedroom? Will this make it cozy or cramped? The trick here is to measure everything thoroughly – then measure it again! Be sure you won't have to climb over the couch to get into bed. 

Let's look at the teenager who needs a desk again. Does your measuring show the room will be too crowded? A small bedroom layout for this kid could involve raising the bed to make space below it for a desk.

4 – Size it up 

As far as bedroom furniture arrangement goes, size is everything. The size of the room, the size of the furniture... even the size of your budget.

We can't stress this enough – measure, then measure again. If your room can accommodate an extra-long King-size bed and a couple of armchairs with room to move around, great. However, if you try to squash this be into a room that can barely handle a double bed, you're going to have major space issues – if you even get the bed in at all!

 

Make a list of all the furniture you have or are planning to buy and their sizes, measure the bedroom, making note of where the door, closets and windows are, then draw it out. Make a few scale diagrams of the room and try out different arrangements on paper before placing the furniture. 

By taking your time and planning the room, you will find you have a whole lot more space and comfort to enjoy your inner sanctum.

 

10 Questions to Ask When Buying Office Furniture 0

How often do you get home after work with a sore back, stiff neck and shoulders, and a headache from your PC screen? What health problems are your old, slightly broken but still functional – and therefore not yet ready for replacing – office chairs and desks causing you and your employees? 

As technology leaps forward, more and more of us find ourselves behind a desk, sitting on some kind of office chair, staring at a computer screen all day. Whether you're a cog in the company wheel, or the owner, whether you work for yourself from home or sit in a large open-plan office, you're going to spend a good third of every day at your job – if not more. 

So if we spend so much time at it, why are we buying so much bad furniture? 

Making sure your company culture is right is important, but making sure you and your staff are physically taken care of is just as important – if not more so. Good quality, sturdy office furniture can help promote physical wellbeing, reducing sick days and increasing productivity.

 

Here are ten questions you should be asking the supplier when you buy office furniture – whether it's an office for 200 people or just you in your home office.

 

1 – What furniture do I really need?

 

You may think you need a desk and chair per employee and have done with it. But consider different working styles. Some people may prefer the type of desk that lets them work standing as well as sitting, while someone may prefer sitting on a Pilates ball for part of the day.

 

You may have a pool of freelancers who don't use the office daily and could share one desk space. Work out what you really need before buying too much or too little furniture.

 

 

2 – How long is it going to last?

 

The manufacturing quality of furniture is very important. One person sitting in a chair for eight hours each day, five days a week, puts a lot of strain on it, and if it's poorly made, it's going to break sooner than later.

 

A desk that can barely hold the weight of a laptop isn't much good, especially if that desk belongs to the office's bric-a-brac enthusiast and her collection of china puppies.

 

3 – What is it made of?

 

Knowing what your furniture is made of is useful for a number of reasons, including knowing how easily you'll be able to get a replacement if, for example, one of the desk supports buckles.

 

It also helps to know the materials if you are trying to Green your office – far better to buy sustainably farmed local pine or recycled metal than mass-produced hard new plastic.

 

4 – What kind of returns policy and warranty does it come with?

 

Even great quality furniture could come with a flaw, or simply not work in your office due to space constraints. Knowing you have the option to return it within a few days if it doesn't work, or that it will be replaced if it breaks, makes a big difference.

 

5 – What does it really cost?

 

Does the price tag include sales tax? What about delivery fees? If you're buying wooden furniture, does it include finishes, or is that the raw wood price? Is that fully installed, or flat-packed?

 

Make sure you get the full quote before you commit, so that you don't get any nasty surprises on the invoice.

 

 

6 – How much space and privacy does each person need and have?

 

A copywriter needs a different amount of space to a bookkeeper, and an architect needs different space to a customer service representative. Someone who spends a lot of time on the phone needs a quieter, more private space to people working on a collaborative team all day.

 

Know what each person or group of people needs before mass-buying identical desks and chairs for people with vastly different requirements.

 

7 – What style works for the company?

 

Are you a young, modern company, or an older, more traditional company? Is your company personality better reflected in solid oak desks with leather tops, or trestles and worktops? Overstuffed armchairs or light and portable collapsible stools? What kind of impression do you hope to give customers who visit your office?

 

8 – What kind of company culture is it going to encourage?

 

The furniture you choose and the way you lay it out is going to have a significant effect on the company culture. You need to consider whether you want to encourage teamwork or individuality, a fun and innovative atmosphere or a serious and dedicated one, a company where people want to gain experience and grow fast, or one where they want to settle into a long, stable career.

 

 

9 – Do I need flexibility or stability?

 

Some companies need people to be able to move around quickly and easily, change workstations within minutes rather than days, and be able to join a new team at a moment's notice. Others need long-term planning, teams that grow and work together for years and a sense of place.

 

The furniture you choose needs to fit into the kind of flexibility or stability you want.

 

10 – References

 

Finally, get references from the company making or providing your furniture. Ask for local references, whose offices you can visit to see for yourself if it works, of they know what they're doing, and what quality their furniture really is.

 

Bonus question: Can I buy furniture online?

 

Remember that most retailers, including amishtables.com, have online purchasing options, meaning that you can buy office furniture online from sellers who you can't visit under other circumstances. It pays to shop around and do cost comparisons, read testimonials and find the best place to buy furniture rather than getting in your car to go shopping.