Eliminating the Guesswork: a Guide to Office Furniture Shopping

By | 2016-12-01T19:13:55+00:00 February 26th, 2015|Workplace Design|

In an ideal world, furniture shopping would allow us the ability to take our office with us when we shopped. Since that’s not the case, we often end up with a desk that takes up ¾ of the space and doesn’t even leave room for a chair. Obviously, there should be a better solution than guesswork. Fortunately, I’ve figured out some furniture shopping tricks that avoid the giant-furniture-tiny-room dilemma. It’s the next best thing to a detachable office.

Know what furniture you want to buy before you leave the house.

 You don’t have to make an exhaustive list, but note all the large pieces you’re planning to get, and be realistic. If you’d like to get a desk, a coffee table, a bookshelf, and a sofa, but know that your office falls on the smaller side, plan accordingly. Measure the space you have and the space you’ll have after you buy the piece. Buy only the necessary furniture your office can hold, and if you have any leftover room – bonus!

Take photos of every corner.

It sounds a bit silly since you obviously know what your office looks like, but you’d be surprised how distorted our spatial reasoning gets once we’re staring at a piece of furniture in a store and then suddenly can’t remember how much wall space is actually next to the window. Having the quick reference on your phone is more helpful than you’d imagine.

Bring a tape measure and a list of measurements.

If you have a general idea of where you’d like to place your necessary furniture, measure the general area in which each piece will go and write it down. Your measurement shouldn’t be the exact length and width of your ideal piece, but more so the spot the furniture will take up and the space around it. For example, measure wall to wall where your desk will go, and find a piece with smaller dimensions so you can estimate the walking room. And if all this seems too overwhelming, there is help out there; turnstone’s complimentary space planning services are just a click away.

Be a bit modest.

Filling up empty space is very rarely an issue – but trying to squeeze a large piece of furniture into too small a space is an almost unsolvable problem. If you estimate your dream piece being a tight fit, err on the side of caution and find something a bit smaller that suits your needs – you don’t want to crawl under your desk to reach your chair!

What are your biggest issues when furniture shopping for your office? Let me know on Twitter @myturnstone or @officestylist.