Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Pulp-Residential Furniture in a Commercial Space

Many offices, especially small offices, tend to use furniture from their local furniture store. They want a “homey” feel in their waiting rooms. They are doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc... not Interior Designers. Can we blame them for these bad waiting rooms? Yes and No. Yes, because they should know to hire an expert considering they are experts themselves and No, because they just don't know any better. Having a "living room like" waiting room isn’t a bad thing, however, your clients may have a different of idea of what home feels like. Would they be put off by what your idea of “homey” looks like? Maybe you should consider making your waiting room/reception areas look more professional. You can still have comfort without it looking like your living room.

Bad Examples of Waiting Rooms:

fake plants are always a bad idea
try not to line up furniture in a waiting room, make smaller seating groups


There are fire code restrictions on fabrics and furniture in a commercial space. They have to prevent fire from spreading so they have to be flame retardant. It is possible to get sued if an accident should happen and you as the owner didn’t follow the rules.

Another bonus to using commercial grade furniture is that it is much more durable. The cushions can hold up to heavy use and weight. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a sofa that you sink down into and can’t get out of. The cushions are flat and the springs sprung. Obesity is much more prevalent nowadays, so chances are you will have an obese client and your furniture needs to stand up to that kind of weight. Most commercial furniture can hold 300 lbs and there is specialized seating that can hold more.

These cushions have seen better days!

This is a great example of a special bariatric chair. It's more of a bench or chair and half. This is a great chair for a Mom and child too!

The drawbacks to commercial furniture is that it is more expensive, but the life of the chair will pay off in the end. You will have to replace residential furniture more often. Hear lies the problem, many people don't replace it and it looks and feels terrible.

If you can say "YES" to 4 of the 5 questions then it's time for you to update your waiting/reception space:

1. Has it been more than 10 years since you updated your waiting/reception space?

2. Are you cushions smashed, deformed and uncomfortable?

3. Does your waiting/reception space look like your living room in your home?

4. Did you buy your furniture from your local furniture store? or worse bring it from home?

5. Are your chairs lined up against the wall?

Here are some great examples of waiting/reception spaces: (notice that several of these examples still have the furniture arranged the way you would at home in your own living room)

Modern yet still warm
Neutral and Simple

Try Chairs instead of a sofa





Great example of a small waiting room


Great idea for a display

~Brandy

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