New Orleans Office Furniture – Decor or Functionality?

Executive credenzaIf you run your business from a New Orlean’s office, furniture has been on your shopping list more than once. But how do you decide which pieces to purchase? Is having all matching decor more important to you, as a way to impress clients on first glance? Or are you more focused on functionality?

If you have a snazzy new office for a few employees and yourself in a nice area, and depend on appearances to make a good impression on potential clients who walk in the door, having all mahogany furnishing, plush carpets, wallpaper and signed prints from major artists on the walls might be your top priority. If you tend to spend more time brokering deals on the golf course and minimal time behind your desktop, How your desk and chair fit you may be less of a concern than how they fit the space and style of the decor.

However, if you and your employees work 40 hours typing furiously and having to run back and forth between your desk and the printer station, functionality suddenly becomes more important. Your office furniture needs to be comfortable to sit in, easy to move around, and make sense from a workstation point of view instead of a purely aesthetic one.

If you shop carefully, however, you may find New Orlean’s office furniture that is both stylish and sensible, allowing you to work with ease as long as you need to but still greet walk-ins with an air of luxurious professionalism that engenders confidence and respect.

Whether you opt for a huge executive desk with a high backed leather chair or a corner desk with a rolling chair and comfortable lumbar support, you can find options that suit both your visual and physical needs with just a little extra attention to detail. What is important to you when you go shopping for office furniture, and what do you wish you had done differently when decorating and furnishing your office?

 

New Orleans Office Furniture – Oldie But Goodie?

used office furniture new orleansWhat kind of vibe do you want your office to give off? If you have a New Orleans office, furniture that fits with the glory days of the town might be in order. Executive office desks made of heavy wood and stained rich colors still have a place amidst modern styles that favor lightweight wood board, plenty of metal, and black or chrome highlights.

The credenza pictured opposite is another type of furniture that could give your office a warm and luxurious fee. While many office spaces resort to cookie cutter pieces when looking for supplemental furniture, The Office Planning Group seeks to bring inspiration to every corner of the office with fine pieces that feature character.

Using this credenza as a kind of reception concierge space allows you to offer guests refreshment as well as a place to make a call or take a note as needed. For an even fancier feel, real glassware and mugs could be provided instead of plastic and foam cups. A mini-fridge with custom labeled bottles of water is also a nice touch.

You should also pay attention to how each piece fits in with existing decor. This credenza is placed in an office in which the existing desks and chairs have the same style and wood stain, providing a balanced and even look to clients. Executive desks can be placed against walls or in an L or U arrangement or even back to back  if space is tight, allowing room for multiple people to use the same workspace – thanks to the opulence of days gone past, a large wooden desk is likely to be large enough that there will be plenty of room for everyone.

Think outside the box when it comes to decorating your New Orleans office. Don’t jump in with the slickest (or the cheapest) option you ca find with bland, boring pieces that would be interchangeable with a dozen other offices in the vicinity, Your office furniture is a major part of your first impression, so think about investing in real, old style wood pieces that will stand the test of time and changing fashion.

 

 

 

New Orleans Office Furniture Options – Mobile Workspaces

Mobile computer desks could be the perfect solution for your New Orleans office. Furniture that is readily movable is ideal for today’s flexible workplace environment, allowing workers to configure and reconfigure the space they are working in as teams are formed and dissolved and projects expand and contract.

The benefits of using mobile computer desks include:

  • Mobility. Movable computer desks mean that changing the layout of your office space only takes a few minutes. High quality wheel casters permit movable computer desks to be shifted as needed, allowing the workplace to evolve over time without too much heavy lifting.
  • Flexibility. A mobile computer desk for each employee can be a great way to manage the need for temporary teams – simple shift desk into a “pod” for the time period during which the team needs to collaborate, and then allow desks to be separated again when the need for close quarters is over.
  • Space-efficiency. Moveable desks allow work spaces not in use to be literally shoved into a closet, freeing up extra square footage for other uses, such as project display boards or a larger table for laying out papers or blueprints on.

Mobile desks also have the advantage of not being as personal, permitting several people to use the same workstation without such a sense of propitiatory ownership. For offices with flex schedules when people work different shifts or telecommuters who only need to pop in once and a while and grab some workspace while they are there, the mobile work station can simplify things.

Movable desks don’t have to have wheels. Many desk components can be purchased in pieces which can be put together in a variety of configurations, and the individual components are not too heavy to move easily. A pair of corner desks can be turned into a large U or T, while four can create a square “round” table or a large I. These configurations can be helpful in offices where people need to work together and space is at a premium. As needed, components can be split off and removed to far corners of the room, creating private spaces where phone calls and other business can be carried out in relative privacy.

Look into New Orleans Office Furniture that allows flexibility and discover who a transient layout could improve your efficiency.

New Orleans Office Furniture Choices: Advantages of Corner Desks

Is a corner desk the right choice for New Orleans office furniture? It depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the available space, the use to which it will be put, the personality and working style of the people using it, and so on. To help you decide if corner desks could be a good option for your own office in New Orleans, furniture advantages are as follows:

Corner Desk Advantages

  • Fit in small office. The corner desk is compact and as the name indicates can be it neatly into a corner if needed.   The design is focused on maximum efficiency, and “compact”  in this case does NOT mean “small”.
  • Use space wisely. The corner desk may be a fave of telecommuters, but small business offices are starting to use them more and more as a viable option. They utilize floor space in a way that leaves plenty of room for other furniture and items, and can be embellished with high cabinets on each facing wall to offer even more room for files.
  • Multi purpose. The integrated storage that most corner desks offer is in the form of shelves or counters under and / or over the desk. Being able to keep extra reams of paper, an in and out box, ink cartridges for the fax / printer and so on at your fingertips is a great reason to invest in a heavy duty corner desk.
  • Distraction free. If a corner desk is situated in a corner, it naturally puts the user’s back to the room, providing a veritable cone of privacy. Most workers find they are more productive when facing a wall or corner since this allows them to shut out the comings, goings, and conversations of those behind them.
  • Versatile. Corner desks can be used in a variety of configurations. They can be put together to form a large U shape to create a decent arrangement for a conference room, or can be butted against each other to form a T and used by four or more team members.

If you are looking for a New Orleans office furniture item that is practical, affordable and flexible, the corner desk might be your best option.

 

 

New Orleans Office Cubicles don’t have to be Cookie Cutter

cubicles-overheadIf you lease or purchase office space in New Orleans, revamping your square footage with office partitions or dividers may be the best way to utilize space previously designed for any number of other purposes. The goal is to always give employees the work environment they need to operate at maximum productivity. While building new walls is one answer, office partitions can be a little more flexible, letting you create a variety of office spaces based on your needs instead of a cookie cutter approach.

Room Dividers

The first step to breaking up a monotonous large space is to invest in office partitions, which can be prefabricated then delivered/installed as needed. While some partitions go floor to ceiling,  a similar product can be used that only reaches to average head height – with the remaining height filled with glass to let in light.

Office Cubicle Partitions

Smaller office partitions can installed at individual workstations; these include both freestanding cubicle panels and desk mounted privacy panels. The nice thing about removable modules is that you can choose from a variety of heights and change the cubicle dimensions at will, allowing for a more open feeling or a more private cubicle as needed.

Perks

By offering a more senior employee the option of a larger workspace you can attract better talent to work in your New Orleans office. Furniture options can be upgraded to suit a more prestigious space, and additional perks may be offered as well – like exclusive use of a station in a situation where many must share with others.

Potential

Using partitions to offer specialized areas of the office can also work to your advantage when it comes to maintaining employee satisfaction and morale – consider a sound protected area for important or sensitive phone calls, and designate one area as a break room if needed.

If you really want to make an impact and be known as a terrific small or large business to work for, you can even have a secluded room for private matters such as pumping breast milk or administering insulin shots for employees who might feel uncomfortable or cramped doing it in the less sanitary conditions of the lavatory.

Use your space wisely and watch office space planning for your Louisiana business pay off!

New Orleans Office Furniture – Making it all Fit

If you have an brick and mortar business based in New Orleans, office furniture that fits your available space is a must. However, many offices in older buildings are smaller than those commonly structured today, and the sprawling desk plans that are more palatable to many preferences simply don’t always fit.

How do you shrink your office needs to fit the space available? Here are three ways to create more space for your office furniture even in cramped quarters.

1. Forget the File Cabinets 

In the digital age, not every desk needs a filing cabinet. Everything each employee needs is on their desktop. Office desks with filing cabinets attached are unnecessary. Consider putting a unit in one corner and assigning each employee a drawer, or if you can centralize further, use the filing system office-wide for all and have one drawer devoted to individual employee needs separated by folders.

2. Cut Down on Paper, Period

Encourage employee to use digital options whenever possible. Scan in any documents possible, including invoices, receipts, and other small papers – use a back-up drive or cloud storage to avoid loss in case of power outage. If papers absolutely must be kept, file them and store every 3-6 months in a box clearly marked with beginning and end dates. Use email instead of fax when possible, and encourage tablet use for meetings to avoid having to print out multiple hard copies of presentations or files.  This also cuts down on clutter and eliminates the need for cases of paper.

3. Consider Using Smaller Pieces

It’s worth having the professionals come in and take a look at your available space and offer insight. The Office Planning Group helps new Orleans businesses efficiently fit their office furniture into their office space with room to spare, a clear flow for foot traffic, accessibility for items such as printers and copiers, and enough elbow room for everyone in the building. Smaller pieces of office furniture can be slid back to back, tucked into corners, or even arranged in a square with a common area in the center for easy access.

A well laid out office can make all the difference. Choose your puzzle pieces wisely, and your office will not only be efficient, it will be comfortable to work in and present a professional appearance to clients.

 

Used Office Chairs New Orleans Workers Will Think Are New

Are you thinking about investing in some used office chairs? New Orleans certainly has its share of second-hand furniture stores where you can pick up old task chairs for pennies on the dollar. But these aren’t going to make your workers feel like they are sitting on a fluffy cloud. The fact is that a cheap office chair only gets less comfortable with time. On the other hand, high quality office seating can still be serviceable after many years of use. Here are some tips on what to look for in a “like-new” task chair.

Cylinder

The height adjustment cylinder is usually the most mechanically complex component on an office chair. That means it is also the most likely to give out. If the chair is an Aeron, Leap or other brand-name piece, buying new parts and fixing it could be well worth the time and money. Of course, these pricey, ergonomic chairs are also the least likely to have a mechanical failure in the first place.

Casters

This is another component that can get worn out from being used on the wrong surface or because debris got lodged inside the housing. Test the casters on both carpet and a hard surface to be sure they work well without rattling, scraping, or jamming. This is another part that can typically be replaced if it’s worn out.

Upholstery

This is the part of the chair that goes out of warranty first – and for good reason. All it takes is one can of soda or a particularly sweaty office worker to make the fabric sticky or stinky. That’s one reason to look for plastic mesh-back office chairs if you are buying used. As an alternative, you might buy an attractive slip cover designed for a task chair. These are hard to find, so having the chair professionally refurbished with new fabric may be your best bet.

Padding

The foam padding on the seat of a chair is prone to going flat over time. This is one of the most common reasons people get rid of their old office chair and buy a new one. If you find a chair that is in like-new condition otherwise, you might add:

  • A lumbar support cushion
  • An orthopedic seat cushion
  • Gel arm covers

Cushions can cover up some upholstery wear. This way, it looks like you upgraded a new chair to be more employee-friendly.

Is this all starting to sound like a lot of work? It really is difficult to find excellent used office chairs. New Orleans Office Planning Group finds a few from time to time, but most of our pre-owned inventory is office furniture that doesn’t show wear and tear so easily. That being said, we can certainly find you a great deal on good-quality ergonomic office chairs so you can afford to buy new.

Executive Office Furniture New Orleans Students Can Feel Good About

wood veneer deskDo you know who needs to get used to working surrounded by really gorgeous executive office furniture? New Orleans law students do! These young women and men may go on to be some of the brightest attorneys of the 21st century. They deserve the best. If you’ve ever read Ray Bradbury’s short story, “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit”, you know that the clothes make the man. In the same way, office furniture might make the lawyer.

Office Furniture to Inspire a Generation

Law school shouldn’t be where dreams of money, prestige and the pursuit of justice go to die. It should be where these dreams are born. That’s the perspective of Loyola University Law School, one of our showcase clients. It’s easier for students to take themselves seriously while working in an opulent space that makes them feel important. Hopefully, they end up with a corner office and their very own luxurious furniture one day. For now, they can train with an emulation of the real thing.

The law school decided that they wanted student workers to feel like they were employed in a successful law office. But, like most educational institutions, they didn’t actually have a huge budget to spend just to make an impression. Solid wood furniture and a build out of the space weren’t on the table. It would have cost too much and caused too much downtime.

Furniture That Looks This Good Should Be Illegal!

executive office furniture New OrleansThe Office Planning Group used wood veneered systems furniture with decorative details to look like the real deal. These modular pieces included worksurfaces, storage furniture, and even architectural walls to create meeting rooms. In the end, it all looked very posh and respectable. Of course, it came in within the client’s budget and accomplished their goals with minimal disruption. We’re always careful to keep our commitments to our clients. But when you’re dealing with a bunch of attorneys, that contract has an extra degree of gravitas.

Does your business need affordable executive office furniture? New Orleans Office Planning Group can make your office space look like a million bucks for less!

Five Flavors of Cherry for New Orleans Office Furniture

cherry flavorsNew Orleans office furniture should be as rich and interesting as the history of this region in Louisiana. That’s why we offer a remarkable selection of commercial grade office desks and casegoods in a wide variety of finishes. Each design features solid construction with the finest veneers to make wooden office furniture the highlight of your office décor. You can order matching desks, reception terminals, conference tables, storage and even custom-made items in your favorite grain and stain. Here’s just a peek at some of our most popular “flavors” of cherry finish along with ideas for how to pick the best one for your office.

Traditional Cherry

The warm reddish brown of this cherry stain is gorgeous, but it never drowns out the details of your furniture. Use it for even the most ornate, antique inspired desks to draw attention to particularly stunning design and craftsmanship.

Cordovan Cherry

This is a deep stain that marries the warmth of cherry with the depth of mahogany. Its burgundy sheen will remind you of an expensive pair of leather dress shoes with a mirror-like polish. Use this finish to set a serious and imposing tone in an executive office. Or, use it to add surprisingly delicate details for reception area occasional tables.

Light Cherry

Do you really like a cherry stain but still want to see the grain of your wood veneer? A lighter version lets the natural beauty of this classic wood shine through. Opt for this finish in open plan offices where desks are all in plain view (you wouldn’t want to conceal this gorgeous wood with cubicle panels).

Golden Cherry

This warm honey finish provides a modern twist on traditional cherry. It looks almost as sweet as maple and can be used in any area where you want the aesthetic of wood without dark overtones. Refresh and update your office environment by pairing this wood finish with laminates, glass, and textiles.

Empire Cherry

This luscious red cherry makes a bold statement. It doesn’t need fancy detailing to make it pop, the wood speaks for itself. Mix empire with unusual materials like marble, slate or copper to create an opulent office ambience.

Would you like more advice on how to pick really “cherry” New Orleans office furniture? Give us a call anytime.

Conference Tables New Orleans

If you’ve seen photos of some of our work, you may be wondering where we get those gorgeous conference tables. New Orleans is home to many great designers and craftsmen – but there’s one artist in particular we turn to over and over for custom office furniture. Liam O’Brien is an integral part of The Office Planning Group team. We love to show off his pieces whenever we get the chance. Besides our decades of experience in office furniture planning and provisioning, it is connections in the design world like this that give our firm an edge over the competition.

Who Is Liam O’Brien?

O’Brien is a native of Ireland (born in Dublin). But he’s been living in New Orleans for so long that he just seems like he belongs here. Since 1985, Liam has been involved in the furniture and construction trades in one form or another. From refinishing and refurbishing the works of furniture designers from bygone eras, O’Brien moved on to creating his own pieces. Galleries, private collectors and design industry connoisseurs all agree that the furniture Liam creates elevates the practical to the level of fine art.

The Irish Goes Way Back

Of course, O’Brien is careful to give credit for inspiration where it is due. He turns to a source far older than the antique furniture he used to refinish to uncover ideas for his designs. It’s the ancient illuminated text called the “Book of Kells” that sparks this award winning designer’s imagination. Just a brief look at some of the illustrations from that manuscript will help you understand how it can provide enough artistic inspiration for several lifetimes. You’ll definitely recognize the Celtic influence on O’Brien’s masterpieces – including some exquisite conference tables. New Orleans area businesses are lucky to have access to office furniture made by a master craftsman, and we’re lucky to have Liam on our team. Be sure to contact The Office Planning Group for your next custom project!