Blog archive

Let the light shine through!


One of the latest trends in furniture is for transparent seating. Designers are always looking for new ways to inject colour into their designs. 

Chairs and stools in 'jelly-like' colours add a lightness to a dining room, works canteen, cafe, bistro or a trendy bar. If you are trying to attract diners or drinkers to spend their money into a an area which is cramped and dark, these chairs make it seem lighter and brighter. If you have a neutral colour on the walls, our CITY transparent chairs and CITY stools can add a dash of colour, without being over-powering.  As they are made of a clear cut technopolymer (a type of plastic!), they are easy to care for and very robust. They also stack as well. 

Another way to add lightness is with mesh. We've all seen the big mesh back on Sky News chairs that the newsreaders sit on which cost approximately 800!!!. Well now the mesh effect can be obtained for a lot less on task chairs and meeting chairs. It looks smart and is ideal for the office environment, being comfortable and cool. It has a little bit of 'give' to aid comfort. Our FOCUS meeting chairs and MESH task chairs are fine examples at nowhere near the 800 price tag. A splash of colour can be added by your choice of seat fabric. 


Proud of what we sell


I went on a sales appointment to a council office recently. The client wanted us to design and price up an office furniture layout for one of their offices. While I was waiting for the client to see me, I was shown to another office. We had previously quoted for the furniture for this particular office but had missed out due to price. While I was in there I noticed that a couple of the sets of pedestal drawers had ripped up beermats under them to keep them level! Can you imagine how great that looked! 

I would have been horrified if I had to sell a product that needed propping up with beermats. You've spent all that money on new, shiny desks and storage and.... "hold on a minute, let me just put a beermat here to hold it up." Embarrassing

Quite simply, we don't sell any furniture that we aren't proud of.  Our furniture is made to high standards and won't fall apart at the slightest knock. This means that your workplace runs more efficiently because you and your staff have the tools for the job. Sturdy, robust, hard wearing furniture, enabling you to get on with what is important to you and not worrying about desks wobbling and drawers not working. 

Now think about an item of office furniture in your work environment that lets you down and then give me a call.

Back to the future? The colour of chairs to come.


Jonathan Thompson of Camira Fabrics came in to the office to see us yesterday. Camira Fabrics are one of the worlds largest seating fabric manufacturers. Jonathan pops in occasionally to keep us abreast of what is happening in the seating fabric world. What he told us really surprised me. The up and coming fabric of the future to upholster your chairs with is........WOOL!!!

Yes, that itchy, scratchy fabric is back. Apparently this has been brought about by us all desiring more natural products with less synthetic materials. Here is what Camira say about their Craggan fabric....

Influenced by the powers of nature, Craggan emanates a rugged landscape weathered by the elements and accented by touches of bright flora among barren moorland. This rich woollen fabric is enhanced by a delicate highlight shade that sits quietly in the background of this simple chunky weave creating a raw, yet inviting upholstery fabric.

Wow!! While we've been selling chairs in bright colours like hot cakes, it seems like we are going to have to convince our clients that wool is where the future lies. Prince Charles has also been leading a campaign to boost the popularity of wool. 

The advantages; renewable, compostable, hides dirt better, easier to clean. 

The disadvantages; lack of colour choice, dull colours. 

Time will tell if Craggan catches on. If the well known designers like it and specify it, then it may catch on. Camira and Prince Charles backing it may help and the current craze for 'retro' may just stike a chord with some people. We will see.

Work smarter not harder


Recently we got a call from a local museum who wanted to know if we could help them out with some new tables. Their problem was that their existing tables were heavy and cumbersome, taking two people to move each one. The tables were being dropped on the edges, damaging them and people were hurting backs lifting them and trapping fingers in the folding leg mechanism. They wanted something lighter in weight and more manageable. 

Over the phone, I suggested tilt-top tables might be the answer. I could tell they weren't convinced at first, worrying that there might be problems in fitting them into the space they had to use for storage. So I took a chance and put one in the back of my car to show them at the meeting. 

This is when our personal touch comes into its own. As soon as they saw the tilt-top tables in action, they could immediately see the advantages. Not least, these tables are easy to move around by just one person - one of their problems solved in an instant when people are busy or off work. No lifting required - simply wheeled around on their castors. And no trapped fingers - just pull a bar and the table tilts over. They complained about re-configuring the meeting room up to 5 times a day. Our tilt-top tables make it so easy. 

In situation like this, buying furniture is about more than purchasing a product. It helps you make better use of your space and work more efficiently. So if your furniture is causing problems that it shouldn't, give us a call on 0116 251 7741 and see how we can help.

Green issues


I've just finished reading the Business Supplement from last Tuesday's Leicester Mercury. It is full of companies telling us how 'green' they are and what they are doing to protect the environment. We all like to think that we are doing our bit by turning the lights and monitors off at night and keeping the heating low but what more could we do? Well, what about a chair that could help. 

Our 'IS' chair is a 100% recyclable task chair which is made from 65% recycled material. It is a design collaboration between a team of engineers, designers and environmentalists. It can also be refurbished therefore extending the life of the chair up to 10 years! 

It just goes to show that you don't have to go through large expensive environmental programmes to prove that you and your company cares about the world. Just purchasing a simple chair means we can all do our bit. And as the Leicester Mercury shows, it is something you can talk about to give your company a bit of good PR about how you are saving the environment. 

And yes, it is available in Green!!! 

Office interior trends


Your office, whether at home or in an office, should be a pleasant place to work. Poorly lit, badly planned offices are inefficient and in some cases dangerous. They can lead to staff sickness and in some cases, staff leaving to go to more pleasant surroundings, costing you time and money in re-training. 

Office design has moved away from the past. Back then, people sat in rows with dividing screens in between to encourage head-down working, with no interaction with fellow employees. Nowadays, interaction is encouraged with low level divider screens and open plan offices. We allow 800-900mm space all round for staff to move about safely. 

Office furniture colours are now copying home interior design. Desks are light wood colours, Beech, Oak and Maple being the most popular. White is also gaining in popularity, possibly down to Apple who have made White a very cool an contemporary colour. Executive desking casts a darker air with Walnut being our most popular executive furniture colour. 

Seating can be in fun colours if desired. Lime Green is our most popular seat fabric this year with smart looking black a close second. Fabric has moved away from the hot, scratchy wool type fabrics of the 80's and 90's to fabrics with crepe in them in modern, funky colours. 
White leather has come in with a bang with the designers alongside the all-time classic of black leather. 

Whether you work in an office of 1 or 1000's it's important to make the office as safe and as comfortable as possible. Why on eart would you not?

Choosing a new office task chair


A few facts about back pain first: 
Back pain is a major cause of discomfort and absence from work
40% of the population are affected by back pain
50 million working days are lost each year
It costs 5 billion (or 200 per employee) in sickness absence each year.

Frightening statistics. So when you choose a chair for yourself or your staff, it makes perfect sense to pick the correct one with lots of different adjustments. 

These days, chair don't just go up and down. That is a very basic requirement. Now there are all sorts of adjustments to add to your comfort: 
Height adjustment: Chairs can go up and down. The correct height should be so that with your feet flat on the floor, your legs are at a 90 degree angle. 
Back height adjustment: On most chairs the back rest may go up and down. If the back cushion has a curve for the lumbar, make sure this sits in the small of your back just where your back curves. 
Inflatable lumbar: An inflatable cushion that fits in the small of your back to give you extra, adjustable added support. 
Seat slide: Not a lot of people know this one. This enable the seat cushion to go forwards and backwards to give better targeted support under your thighs.
Height adjustable arms. Great for supporting your forearms on while you type. Make sure there is plenty of height adjustment so they don't bang into your desk. 

Make sure you choose the correct chair. As the statistics show, it can be a costly mistake. 
 Locally sourced?


People often look at where their vegetables and fruit come from in the supermarket because they are concerned about the air miles and the effect on the environment. But do people care about how far their office furniture has travelled? 

A lot of the cheaper office furniture has made its way from the Far East in huge containers on board ships, clocking up thousands of miles. It can also arrived damaged and then you can wait as long again for a replacement. 

Our desks and office chairs are made in Britain. This keeps the mileage down. It also allows us to have more control over the furniture we supply. We can handle special requests. If it is urgently needed we can help because we don't have to fill a container with furniture before it can leave the Far East. If necessary we can collect the furniture direct from the manufacturer. 

All this has an effect on you because we can offer a high level of service. We can help with the one off purchases and we can also help over the long term because we have continuity on our furniture ranges over years through local suppliers. This means we avoid the 'mix and match' effect that you so often see in offices, when they have purchased from different suppliers over the years. 

If you know where your groceries are from shouldn't you know where your office furniture is from???

Don't just look at the price.


I am always quite surprised when people make the price their first priority when buying their new office furniture. 

They wish to spend as little money as possible on their office chair or desk which they may get to spend over 8 hours sat on/working at. They then go home and use their dining table, which may have cost thousands, for 15 minutes to eat their evening meal and then their sofa for 3-4 hours to watch tv. 

Take me for example. Today I have had a 2 hour meeting at my meeting table, 6 hours of work sat on my office chair at my desk. Later, I will go home, gym, back home, eat my tea on my lap on the sofa (it is Friday after all) and go to bed at 11pm. Perhaps 3 hours on my sofa. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to have a comfortable, adjustable, well chosen office chair and a sturdy desk with plenty of leg room. 

You don't have to spend thousands just make sure it is right for you and not just your wallet and your office will be something to be proud of and a pleasure to be in.