Choosing Office Furniture UK – Making the Process Easier

Posted ago by biztech

How hard can choosing office furniture UK be? After all, shouldn’t the process of going to furniture stores or office furniture suppliers be as easy as selecting food from the grocery?

If you’re not too worried about wasting money, that approach may work, but if you want a more practical look at buying office furniture, you need to ask yourself some serious questions. Being an informed buyer can go a long way in saving you a lot of money.

For many people, the process of choosing office furniture can be daunting, as there are many categories to choose from. You have executive office furniture, modern office furniture, and a host of other choices. You also have a variety of used office furniture that look just as good as their brand new counterparts do.


First things first—what kind of space do you have? How large is it? How will its shape affect your furniture’s layout? You need to take the appropriate measurements of your office space before making any final purchases. Far too many office owners recklessly select furniture, only to find out that it doesn’t properly fit in their office. Remember, you also need to take into account the person using the furniture and accessories/items used in tandem with it, such as office chairs and side tables.

Fitted furniture, also known as bespoke office furniture, are a good solution for saving space, but they can be very costly as well.


London contemporary office furniture comes in just about any colour and finish you can think of. To make the decision easier, think of the finish you want beforehand and make sure it matches your office’s colour scheme. The last thing you want is a neon-coloured table in a rustic office.


You also need to consider the preferred use of your office furniture as well as the desired working space of your employees. More storage spaces and options are usually better, particularly for offices with limited room, but remember that they will often cost more.

Brand New or Used?

When it comes to saving money, secondhand office furniture often wins. However, your choices will often be limited towhat’s available at stores that sell brand new pieces. Going the secondhand route means being willing to make compromises in exchange for savings. Be sure to weigh your options carefully when encountering this dilemma.

Used office furniture hunting — count the costs

Posted ago by biztech

Used office furniture are the way to go if you’re just starting with a business that requires an office and you don’t want to have your start up costs getting too high. In the UK (as is elsewhere), there are two ways to ask around for used office furniture suppliers: Online or traditional (asking friends, Yellow Pages, walking around).

Hunting for used office furniture is faster online — ‘Google is your friend’. If you’re in London, just Google ‘used office furniture suppliers London’ and page one of the results will give you the most popular used office furniture suppliers in that city. On the upper right side will be a map pointing the location of the top ones who already listed their businesses with Google Places so you’ll know where to go. You can also check out their websites one-by-one — probably just use the first 3 pages or so, and call or email those you like. You can then set up appointments.

If you don’t like searching online, of course there’s the Yellow Pages (there’s also an online version). If you have friends in the city who modestly furnished their home office, you can ask them for tips. Or you can roam around, looking for notices or billboards about used office furniture. Another idea is asking moving and packing services. They usually come across customers willing to sell their used furniture. But these last tips are not as efficient as doing an online search as they are more of a hit-or-miss approach — but they sometimes give you the best deals.

In any case, narrow the choice down to those nearest your office — the price of used office furniture usually does not include transport and installation. If your chosen used office furniture supplier is willing to include these costs in the price while still being affordable, well and good.

If the supplier is located far from your home or office, the added costs of transport and installation might make the total cost of your used office furniture comparable to new ones offered by an office furniture supplier near you. Weigh these costs carefully.

Don’t forget to go personally to their warehouse and inspect the furniture. Used office furniture may sometimes require repair and re-upholstery before they become presentable for use at your office. Add the cost of possible repair to the total cost. If the total cost of used office furniture does not differ much from new ones, it might be a better choice to get the new ones.

Modern office furniture should be comfortable

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They say sex sells. But what sort of sensuous modern office furniture is appropriate for an office? Come to think of it, why would one be in an office? For one thing, it’s probably more expensive than ordinary office furniture — nope, the cheapest 3-seater sofa at the Best Buy section of Harveys UK is £399 while a comparable model that can seat 3 at Liberator’s is £216 if you convert the dollars (their most expensive model is around £305).

Kidding aside, the question is valid. What does modern office furniture and sex have in common? Comfort is the answer. Comfortable modern office furniture is a premium for people so they can be more productive at their work. When looking for comfortable furniture design, one might as well find inspiration from ‘pleasurable furniture’ makers — it’s their job to see to it that the sitter is comfortable indeed.

We don’t need to copy. The most specialised ‘special’ furniture would make a lousy desk chair — although it would make a very very cozy waiting room piece indeed. Just the touches that would spell the difference between the ordinary and the remarkable could be put to use in modern office furniture. What are those?

One is the generous use of curves and softness that complement the human body. Many ergonomic office desk chairs are already curvy but most of their armrests are hard. Cushioned armrests are a nice touch. Another useful touch is the upholstery. Many office desk chairs are upholstered in fiber mesh, fake leather, metal and plastic. How about covering the seats, armrests, and table parts with soft microfibre? Many office desks can also use the added comfort.

Another is modularity and versatility. To be cost-effective, modern office furniture should not be too specialised they can only be used in a single context. Office furniture should be able to fit in the boardroom as well as in the ordinary cubicle. They should be easy enough to lift (when it comes to moving offices), stackable if possible, and, if they are chairs, can be placed next to each other to make a larger seating.

These are just a few of the ideas we can apply to furniture design to make ordinary furniture stand out, and make the users feel their needs are cared for. At Rio Designs, we not only bear the modern office furniture users’ health in mind, we also prioritise their comfort too. That’s why we comb other fields for good, comfortable ideas.

Recession furniture

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In January this year, a writer on furniture trends wrote “With the Great Recession behind us and better times ahead, homeowners are beginning to think once again about renovating and updating their homes,”—going on to say that people will now bring more colour to their choice of home or office furniture and furnishings and that London contemporary office furniture will feature simplicity and sturdiness along with the colour splash.

It turns out this hopeful relief was short-lived. Now, recessions seem unavoidable— ‘double-dip’ in the USA and another in Europe—some say these recessions could be shortlived, if the nations can avoid another financial meltdown (by surviving the European sovereign debt crisis).

Still, recession or not, people need to lift up their spirits. And cheerful colours will play a role in it. Yes, belt-tightening Brits will be offered simpler furniture designs, but these designs are also aimed to evoke comfort and stability, even recall the past—an anchor in these trying times.

Eco-friendly furniture will also continue to be in—either made from recycled wood or furniture, timber from responsibly managed forests, or made from highly renewable materials like bamboo; and, preferably made locally. These will either be left natural or finished with no formaldehyde or low volatile organic compounds, and upholstered with natural fabrics. However, most eco-friendly furniture are still on the steep price range—although they may be worth the price if they can keep one from developing respiratory problems and cancers in the long run.

More and more people will also consider second hand furniture and bulk discount furniture for their offices. As the recession forces companies to close many of their offices, there will be a bigger choice of used office furniture and equipment offered on the market. Their prices will depend on the quality—some might need reconditioning and reassembly, one thing to consider in computing costs.

Still, another continuing trend will be with bespoke office furniture. Like before, bespoke furniture suppliers will still get orders for furniture fully optimised for the space these will be used in and the people who will be using them. This time, however, more and more emphasis will be on ‘more for less’ — more simple, versatile, and healthy furniture for less money spent. This is going to be a challenge for designers and suppliers like Rio Designs.

But this direction London contemporary office furniture will take can only be for the better. Extravagance—if aimed for survival—has its place. In these times, in order to survive, businesses need to tighten their furniture spending belts.