If you’re in the process of buying a conference table, it may be the only time you get to evaluate all of the different options out there. Conference tables are big-ticket items and companies don’t replace them very often, so it’s important to find one with lasting quality and style that can grow with your company over the years.
After you’ve determined the space requirements for your table and have a rough idea about the shape, it’s time to look at materials. A quality conference table will likely be built of solid wood, though it’s becoming more common to see other materials in the mix. Depending on the nature of your company, a good quality hardwood may be the best solution for your conference space.
Consider these material options.
- Oak, cherry, walnut, and mahogany are all quality hardwoods that will last a lifetime. Make sure the construction is solid hardwood. Some companies may try to pass off a hardwood top with weaker wood in parts of the frame. You will pay more for hardwoods than for some other materials like composites and laminates.
If you do find a hardwood conference table that meets your needs, ask about scratch resistance and finishes. You’ll want to make sure that the table doesn’t become etched with peoples’ writing over time. Some may come with an optional glass top to protect the surface of the wood and prevent damage.
- Plastics, laminates, glass, and metal. These may also be used as materials in your conference table. Depending on the brand you will find a range of qualities in these materials. Some laminates look just like wood and are tough, durable, and lightweight. Others will peel and rip over time, making your conference table look worn out and old.
- Wood veneers. Wood veneers may be placed over other materials to mimic the nature of a hardwood table. Veneers, when properly applied, can be just as classy and durable as solid wood constructions and have the added benefit of being far more affordable.
Look for structures that don’t inhibit feet when a person is sitting at the table. A conference table with a bulky frame may prevent tall people from sitting comfortably or from crossing their legs. The support should be sturdy and stable to provide for any future transportation or room reconfiguration.
Always ask your sales representative about the way in which the table was constructed. Look for words like dowels, nails, and screws, not glue and staples. These indicate strength and structural integrity. Inspect the construction by looking the table over from top to bottom. Is it too heavy or light for your space? Try lifting up on one corner of the table. Tables that feel too lightweight may indicate the use of lesser quality materials. With materials like glass and plastics, you’ll want to ask about the reinforcement.
Get details about the weight the table can hold, and always ask about the warranty. With such a large purchase, you’ll want to protect your investment for as long as possible.
If your company meets with or entertains guests in your office space, a conference table is both a necessity and a statement piece. Many times, the conference room is the first impression a client or visitor has of your company. Making a statement that reflects your company’s culture can enhance the meeting experience and create a favorable environment for negotiations, meetings, and other activities. Consider the following aspects.
The placement of the conference table is the first consideration. Conference tables are always the centerpiece of a room. Your table should fit within the room in a complementary and easy way. It should not look forced or out of place. With that in mind, try to match your table to the shape of the room. Use round or squared off tables in square rooms and rectangular, boat shaped or oval tables in rectangular-shaped rooms.
To make a statement with your table, you will want to carefully consider the placement and number of chairs that you intend for the conference table to accommodate. A table that does not adequately suit your needs will leave people feeling confined and uncomfortable or too spread out. Make sure that the chairs are sized so that the setting is comfortable even with the maximum number of people you expect to entertain.
Determining the specific shape of the table is largely discretionary. Aside from choosing the relative size and shape that will fit the room, you’ll need to try to imaging your typical meetings taking place in each different shape. If clearly defining leadership is important for your company, you’ll likely want a table that has a clear head where the main representative of your company will sit during meetings. In an effort to make meetings more comfortable, many business models have done away with hierarchical seating systems, making square and circular tables more appealing.
Do keep in mind that a boat or oval shaped table will taper toward the ends and may confine space to a certain degree. Make sure that your shortest employee will be able to comfortably reach the center of the table. It can be uncomfortable to have your pen roll away from you and be unable to easily retrieve it.
For businesses that need to regularly host interactive presentations, a U-shaped table is well suited to your needs. The presenter will be able to easily hand out information from the front of both sides of the table, while still maintaining traditional face-to-face meeting requirements for a large group. This form of table will also work well in training settings. If your company is operating in a confined space, having your conference room and training room rolled into one area with a U-shaped table may be more efficient for your needs.
Remember that your conference table is where you will need to wear a variety of different hats as a company. From internal meetings to difficult negotiations, you want to choose a table that is effective in communicating your company’s stature without being imposing or threatening.
Whether you are working at the office or at home, having a quality desk is crucial for productivity. Take the time to make this investment wisely by picking the best option for your situation. The Kathy Ireland Furniture collection has several different types of desks that will help you find the perfect fit for your job.
Small spaces require creativity when it comes to picking out furniture. You want to have enough space to work at your desk without sacrificing space in the room. If you don’t need a lot of room for storage and you primarily work on a laptop, a table or writing desk may fit your needs well. More upscale than a multi-use table and featuring classic hardwood designs, you can imagine you’re writing by candlelight in the 1700s or comfortably house your laptop, desk supplies and picture frames. As an added benefit, you can move these tables around and use the extra space when you are entertaining guests.
For a stationary desk in a medium-sized space, you will find a multitude of options that include storage and rolling keyboard platforms directly under the desk’s surface. The computer credenza and loft desk will fit into your space seamlessly and provide style and function in your office. These straight desks are great for placement in the center of your office facing the doorway. With front panels, everything behind the desk will be hidden from view, while your desktop may serve as a workspace and display for photographs and other trinkets. The loft desk features a front window display for additional viewing.
An L-shaped desk provides the most surface area and storage in a singular desk. The executive desk in the Kathy Ireland Furniture line includes plenty of surface area for your work needs. With two rows of drawers, your filing and work will remain centrally located and easy to find in this all-in-one desk solution. Use one side of the desk for computer activity while the other side is left for paper folding, hobbies, and organizational needs. Perfect against one wall or in the corner of a room, L-shaped desks are designed for making the most of a space and providing easy access to the user.
Depending on your space, you may find that a hutch will complement your desk well. The Kathy Ireland Furniture hutches maximize your space by providing vertical storage and leaving you with an added area for decorations, book or file storage, or to display awards and travel souvenirs. Some hutches also include glass cases to securely store and highlight items that are meaningful or beautiful.
Whatever design you prefer from the Katy Ireland Furniture Loft collection, you’ll be pleased with your choice. Quality materials and beautiful finishes make these office desks and accessories a classic and quintessential collection. With so much time dedicated to working and making the most of every day, we all deserve a desk that is as beautiful as it is functional.
A home office should be a sanctuary away from the noise of the corporate office. It should be a place where you can work efficiently to finish extra projects and enjoy the peace of your own space. However, it can be easy to forget about decorating your home office and turning it into the oasis you truly need. The addition of Kathy Ireland furniture can help you reimagine your home office in a positive and reenergizing light.
If you haven’t thought about how your desk affects your mood when you work, you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you feel at a desk that reflects your sense of style. A desk that speaks to you on an aesthetic level will likely make you feel more productive when you sit down to work. Choose colors, materials, and styles that suit your needs. Keep it simplistic or make your desk an all in one station for your work.
Kathy Ireland Furniture proudly offers a line of writing desks, computer desks, and hutches that are uniquely suited to a home office environment. Whether you just need a place to put your laptop while you pull up the day’s news or you want to write your first novel, your home office can be as stylish as it is functional.
Organizing your home office reference materials, favorite books, and arts and crafts supplies can often present a challenge. Instead of having stacks of books or plastic boxes full of crafts lying around, consider adding a Kathy Ireland Furniture bookshelf with open and closed-off storage solutions. If you have a hard time maintaining order on a shelf, try using decorative shelf boxes to store your materials in an easy-to-clean and eye-catching way to organize.
The days of storing a bulky metal file cabinet in your home office are long gone. Many people keep their personal, paper files to a minimum, preferring to keep many of their files in an electronic format. For the paper files you do need to store, the furniture line includes a rolling file cabinet that is classic and unassuming.
If you have the additional space in the room, a table or a small seating area with a couch and coffee table is perfect for at home meetings or snuggling up with a good book. Choose window treatments that are cheerful and warm and keep your windows open while you work during the day. The natural light can be invigorating and improve your mood. Remember that little touches go a long way, and a personalized home office can help you stay productive and on task.
Skimping on the furniture in your home office may leave you feeling stressed out and uninterested in completing routine tasks. Take the time to dress up your home office and make going to work a rewarding experience. Retreat into your office during the day or work those long nights in the comfort of your home with these solutions from the Kathy Ireland Furniture Loft line.
During the course of evaluating conference tables, you’ve determined that a traditional table will best suit your company’s needs. Now, you have the important task of choosing between a round table and rectangular one. While the shape of your space may make the choice for you, it’s important to look at a couple of other reasons why one may be better than the other.
Did you know that your conference table will send visitors a message about your company? While it may seem trivial, first impressions that clients make in board and conference rooms can impact business interactions in a meaningful way. You want your conference tables to reflect your business as a professional and authoritative brand.
Consider the pros and cons of these options.
Square and Rectangular Tables
Square and rectangular conference tables are more traditional choices. They generally provide clear lines that mark the two most influential people in the room sitting at either end. While this model is changing in many conference settings, and a CEO will happily sit anywhere at a table, when visitors arrive, it can be confusing to try to understand the company’s hierarchy without visual signals.
A rectangular table provides enough space for everyone seated, unlike an oval table that tapers off on the sides. If you anticipate ever needing to combine tables, a rectangular table will seamlessly integrate with another rectangular or square table, even if the designs are not exactly the same. Perfect for a training setting, a rectangular table provides a clear view of the presenter at one end.
A round table, on the other hand, symbolically places individuals on the same level. Without designating a clear head, round conference tables bring equality to a meeting space. In a rectangular room, however, a perfectly round table may not fit very well. Round tables also generally only allow for a certain, small capacity. Trying to fit more people than recommended around a round table can make the space crowded and difficult to work in.
As a compromise, oval tables and rectangular tapered tables provide a sense of openness in a room. The softer lines of the tables are inviting, while allowing a larger number of people to gather in the room at one time. For larger rooms in which a round table is not large enough and a square table is too traditional, a marriage of the two in a boat shaped, tapered table, may be the best solution.
Depending on the needs of your company, either solution is a great choice. If your company is large enough to house multiple conference spaces, having different shapes in different rooms can accommodate the widest range of needs for your employees. Technology can be integrated seamlessly into almost every table configuration, so the look and feel of the table in your space will always trump other considerations. Choose conference tables that will accurately reflect your company’s culture and fulfill the needs of those who will use the room on a regular basis.
Think about how you feel when you go into a meeting in a conference room and the conference room table is scratched or made of an outdated composite material. Now think about what it’s like to enter a room that features a sleek modern conference table that is heavy and matches the other aspects of the room.
The first impression people get when entering a conference room is a brand reflection of your company. Even if your budget is tight, your conference room should be a place that is inviting and is a powerful reflection of your company. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing conference tables.
- Measure. Before you begin your research or start brainstorming about the type of table you might like, measure your room. If you currently have conference tables that you will be replacing, measure them too. Take note of whether you do or do not like the size of those tables in the space. It will give you a starting point for dimensions for your new table.
- Keep your brand in mind. Unless you are completely redecorating your conference space, you’ll want to make sure the new table matches the preexisting colors and design features. A traditional conference table might look out of place in a room that is brightly colored and features several modern design elements. Make sure that the conference room is a space that people recognize as part of your company, not just a generic room.
- Account for capacity. How many people will your conference room need to accommodate? For smaller spaces, you might find a conference table that is adjustable. You may also find a table that can sit up to 12 but works just as well for a meeting of six.
- Replacing chairs. If you’re planning on replacing chairs in the room, as well, you can wait until you’ve selected the conference table. If you’re using the same chairs, however, you’ll want to take note of the adjustability and how the style of the chair will factor into your conference table choices.
- Decide on a shape. There are countless shape choices for conference tables. You’ll find traditional shapes such as round, rectangular, square, and oval. Depending on your needs, a multi-functional table that can be reconfigured might serve your needs well. Evaluate your measurements, the shape of the room, and the number of people you expect to accommodate to come up with an accurate depiction of the best shape for the space.
- Materials. Your price range will affect the material options that are available to you. If you’re willing to do some refinishing work, you might be able to find an older, solid-wood conference table. Other possible materials may include steel, glass, plastic composite, or laminate.
Purchasing conference tables can be a large investment for your company. To make the right decision, make sure to do thorough preliminary research before writing the check. You’ll be glad you did, because a conference table is an investment in your company’s future.
A home office is an important extension of many people’s careers. In addition to working from home, people also use a home office to manage finances, work on home projects, and pursue hobbies. With so much time spent in a home office, the space should be arranged so that you can be efficient and productive during your time there.
Spruce up your home office and turn it into a sanctuary from the daily grind with these tips from National Furniture:
- Choose your desk wisely. The desk will likely be the main feature of your home office. Choose a desk that meets your needs for work by providing you easy access to any materials you might need during the course of your work. If you need a place to spread out, an L-shaped desk might be the best solution for you. On the other hand, if your space is small and you need to maximize its use, a corner computer desk will suit your technological needs.
- Organize intuitively. You’ll want to find solutions that are easy to keep up with and visually appealing. Coming into a cluttered home office can make you want to avoid finishing important projects. Open shelving with baskets is a great way to store any number of items from office supplies that you don’t use regularly to arts and crafts. The baskets also look nice on the shelf, and make it easy to access the items you need and store them again when you’re done.
- Make your lighting count. Choose lighting solutions that are natural and help you become more efficient. Fluorescent lights can cause headaches and remind you of being at the office. Instead, find bright white or daylight bulbs to mimic natural light from outside. If you’re working in your home office during the day, keep your window treatments open to let natural light in.
- Install vertical storage. From bookshelves to cabinets and credenzas, overhead storage keeps items that you don’t regularly use out of the way. Using vertical space can help a small room stay open for other activities.
- Eliminate cords and wires. If you can go wireless with most of your gadgets, you’ll be able to work from any area in the room instead of being confined to your desk. It will also make storage and cleaning easier. Dusting cords behind desks is a pain and anything that is out in the open will certainly become a dust magnet.
- Build a routine filing system. Instead of letting papers pile up on your home desk, keep wire filing baskets nearby or use a folder system. Make sure you have a designated space for urgent action items, filing, and shredding. Dealing with paper as soon as it comes in the mail or home with you from work is the best way to keep up the routine and prevent stacks of paper from piling up in your home office.
For more information about home office solutions, contact National Furniture, a quality and value driven furniture provider.
There are a number of reasons a company may decide to work out of a smaller office space. Maybe your company is just starting out or you’ve had to downsize because of a slowdown in your industry. You could be trying to reduce overhead costs or decrease your company’s carbon footprint. Luckily, a small space doesn’t have to be cramped.
Consider these tips for using every inch of your space effectively.
- Consider a modular design. Walls, desks, and storage spaces that can be reconfigured as needed can be a great asset for companies working in restricted spaces. Keep your space fluid by adding to or taking away from the overall concept as needed.
- Encourage collaboration. Collaborative spaces with comfortable chairs that also support laptop usage ensure that your employees can work efficiently while putting their heads together to come up with the next great idea. A small office space can make it easier for team members to work together toward a goal.
- Do double with your training space. Configure your training area so that it can also serve as a conference room. You will likely need similar technological capabilities and combining the two into a multi-function room will save money in the long run.
- Create privacy specific areas. Instead of trying to cram cubicles of offices into a small office space, consider having a few shared office spaces that can be used by anyone who needs to make a private phone call or engage in a conference call that may be disturbing for others.
- Flexible spaces. Rather than assigning individuals to certain areas or desks in an office, allow your employees to move and work freely, wherever they are comfortable. This is easier with technology that allows you to sign in from anywhere and continue your work at any computer station. Keep filing centers for personal use and company documents so that paper sources can be accessible without the need for individually assigned spaces.
- Encourage remote work. If you can build a policy of flexibility, it will entice prospective employees and keep current employees loyal. Many people will take a pay cut to have some extent of flexibility in the workplace. Especially if your company is working with tight spaces, a remote working option can keep your space free and easy to work in.
- Use sound muffling materials. Instead of using all hard plastics, woods, and composites, add some noise cancelling materials into your design. It will keep the noise levels manageable throughout the space and allow individuals to work without distraction.
- Utilize vertical space. Hutches, credenzas, and shelving can all help you create a positive work environment for your employees and save space.
Just because an office space is small, doesn’t mean it has to be uninviting or cramped. Keep your employees happy while saving space with solutions that are innovative and better for your company than even a large space could provide. There is a solution for your small space at National Furniture.
Today, people are more inclined to choose a modern style desk over bigger, bulkier computer desks. Modernism was born in the mid-20th century and we now know the style era as midcentury modern. Think of the curved and simplistic designs of the 60s and the focus on intuitive spaces that break away from traditional stuffiness.
For many people, a modern desk choice is both a nostalgic memory and a cutting edge sense of style and sophistication. It is making a comeback as the perfect solution for many peoples’ needs in both style and function. Here are some of the hallmarks of modern furniture to look for when choosing the perfect modern desk for your midcentury modern design theme.
Clean lines. Straight, unadorned lines are very common in modern designs. With only a slight bevel to remove harshness, the lines mark off spaces clearly and elegantly. Desks that feature clean lines usually feature them on the desktop rather than as part of an allover design. Strict line design can create a boxy and clumsy feel, opposing the intended effect.
Curved lines. Lines that are not clean and straight are almost always curved. You will find table legs and chair backs that feature geometric curvature. Breaking into the clean lines in other spaces, the effect is breathtaking and bold. Look for simple curves that are not too thick or thin.
Coloring. There are no hard and fast rules on color approach in the modern desk design. If anything, contrast is the key. Look for a brightly colored top and muted and dark legs, or vice versa. Transparent designs are also quite popular allowing for other design features to shine through. Furniture and table legs will most often be unadorned with a matte (for a more contemporary look) or high gloss (for a retro throwback) finish.
Materials. Fabrics may feature bright patterned designs, while desk and other furniture materials may range from painted wood to clear or frosted glass. Clear or colored plastic composites are also featured as a durable construction type that is stylish and bold. You may see any of these materials mixed to some extent with steel or other metal work.
Computer desks sold today that catch the eyes of those interested in midcentury modern and contemporary styles will feature any number of the aforementioned design considerations. A desk may feature a plastic composite top with steel legs. It may also include more traditional wood that is made to appear modern with clean lines, in conjunction with another material such as a metal.
Create a fully modern experience in your office with a number of items that match a modern vibe or choose modern accents as highlights among a mix of other styles. In comparison to an older stuffy feeling desk, a modern desk encourages a feeling of lightness and airiness in a space. This type of peaceful environment encourages a positive attitude and reduces stress. You might even find that modern desks improve the overall atmosphere of your workplace.
It can be difficult to optimize a small office space to meet your workplace needs. For any office, an L-shaped computer desk can maximize space and make you feel more equipped to get work done efficiently.
Benefits of L-shaped Desks
An L-shaped computer desk is similar to a corner desk in that they both feature a corner space for the computer monitor and keyboard. L-shaped desks also feature extended desk space on either side of the corner computer area, providing space that can be used to store your PC, printer, or other large technological devices.
Due to the corner computer construction, the L-shaped computer desk also provides a clear line of demarcation that is helpful for organization. You can do more physical tasks and projects on one side while keeping your filing and to do lists neat and tidy on the other side.
With a straight desk that has the same amount of surface area, you might have to physically get up and move from side to side to reach certain items. With an L-shaped computer desk, however, you can swivel to reach anything in the same amount of space without strain.
Many L-shaped computer desks have built-in storage on either one or both sides of the desk. In small spaces, this feature might make additional filing cabinets and bookshelves unnecessary. Depending on the model of desk you choose, you may also find a removable hutch that covers one or both sides of the table. The increased vertical storage space that a hutch provides can also help you decrease clutter and eliminate the need for additional storage solutions.
Configuring Your Space
L-shaped computer desk designs differ, so you’ll need to decide where you want your primary desk space to face. This will determine whether you choose a leg that extends out on the right or the left. Look at your space carefully when visualizing your needs in a computer desk. If the ability to reconfigure your space is important, look for an L-shaped desk that is modular and allows for you to change the perspective.
There are a number of ways you can place an L-shaped computer desk in your space. You can leave one side against a wall with the other horizontal and parallel with doorway. Alternatively, you can create a cubicle-like space for your work using the wall and two sides of the desk to enclose a space on three sides. This solution will not lend itself well to the addition of a hutch or credenza, but may work well in open spaces or if you need to separate the room for different uses.
Finally, you can slide an L-shaped desk into the corner of a room. Particularly useful if more than one person needs to share a space, a corner configuration leaves the majority of the room or space open and accessible.
Whichever configuration you choose, you can be certain that an L-shaped computer desk is the perfect fit for your needs in terms of space, organization, and style.