The task of helping your clients to make office furniture selections for their new or updated office space can seem daunting. With endless product choices available, new materials and products entering the market continually, and more suppliers than you can easily keep abreast of, it's easy to get overwhelmed or out of touch when it comes to material and product choices.
We have put together a handy materials guide that outlines the key materials manufacturers use in office furniture design. Whether it's uniquely shaped desking, state of the art lockers, a bespoke table or reception desk, the materials that you choose can impact on the budget, lead times, and aesthetics. First, lets look at the factors you need to consider when choosing office furniture.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Office Furniture
- Is your client aware of what can be achieved in furniture manufacture?
- Have they been inspired, or are they aware of market trends?
- Is the budget set, and if so, which items does the client anticipate will take up the bulk of the budget?
- Most manufacturers work to a 4 to 6 week lead time. Depending on the project, some items can be manufactured in shorter lead times.
- Some manufacturing processes take longer than others, as do the supply of certain materials.
- Are your clients choices suitable for the space that they occupy?
- Consider the layout, surroundings and how the space will be used once installed.
- How will the furniture be used on a day to day basis?
- Is the furniture going to be used by many users, for long periods of time, or for particularly heavy duty work?
- Has the client got a clear idea of the look and feel they would like to acheive?
- Encourage them to think about;
- Descriptive words
- Will the furniture need to be moved at any point in the future?
- Will there be issues getting the furniture into or out of the building?
- There are literally thousands of options for furniture finishes, with clients able to choose from materials, colours, finishes and effects that they may not even be aware of.
- Sometimes they will request something so out of the ordinary, that you will be unable to source it.
- Clean furniture leads to a healthy working environment. Consider how easy furniture items will be to keep clean.
- Employers have the responsibility of providing their employees with a healthy and safe working environment.
- Check to ensure that unusual materials do not pose a fire risk?
How To Make Decisions About Materials
Once you have ascertained the requirements for the project, choosing materials will largely be based on their functionality, choice of colours, and cost. Our handy infographic aims to help you make informed decisions by outlining the key materials used in manufacturing office furniture, indicating where each sits on the key selection criteria.