Recession furniture


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.

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