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Office Furniture Up To Date

Feb 27, 2008
Office furniture has come a long way in the last one hundred years.

Looking back to Victorian offices, solid pine desks and drawers would have been stained to look like oak or mahogany. This was because the harder woods were very expensive but the Victorians held a lot of store by first impressions.

So, hefty great bits of furniture were brought into offices and set off with sumptuous looking buttoned leather chairs. Elaborate Oriental style rugs and tasselled curtains were also present to aid with warmth but more for the said impression.

Huge book cases took up large amounts of space, as did wooden filing cabinets. Knee hole desks were the norm and often fashioned from pine with the intricate detailing of marquetry by master craftsmen.

The widespread use of electric was a God send for Victorian offices, bringing in desk lamps as a favourite form of illumination and probably contributing to our longer working day. Elaborate time pieces were kept on display with the hours loudly ticking by and marked off by chimes.

Times have moved on since then and so has the trend in office furniture. However, many old offices still hold some of their original furniture, albeit stashed in a store room somewhere, but there is now a market for selling these items as people seek links to the past.

Through the passage of time office furniture, along with household furniture, has moved with the fashions working through from the ornate detailing of the Victorian era, through to the fanciful times of Art Deco. This was brought into the office with angles, decorative glass and mirrored surfaces.

Formica came into its own during the fifties and sixties with office furniture made of chipboard and veneered surfaces, all contributing towards saving the tree population but nowhere near as much of this exists as the sturdy wooden furniture of days gone by. Styles were softer than during the Art Deco era with rounded corners instead of angular and colours were vivid with replica wood varieties provided for cost effectiveness.

The seventies and eighties proved to be a simplifying time for office furniture with G-Plan becoming the buzz word for interior designers with commercial projects under way. Square furniture was key, interspersed with large indoor plants to assist with the ever publicised need for fresh air in the office.

Bringing the subject of office furniture bang up to date, we have stylish open plan offices with comfortable seating. This has gone back to the timeless quality of leather but with a modern, luxurious feel. Spacious desks have made a come-back but still largely made from chipboard, which has proved to be more environmentally friendly.

Colours in the office are now muted, once again fitting in with fashion, but soft furnishings are kept to a minimum in keeping with health advise to keep dust to a minimum.

It is no longer necessary for those just setting up office to have the expensive outlay of fitting out with furniture. There are now many business's around that are set up just to hire out office furniture. This is very useful when it comes to business's hosting the occasional conference, where they can hire furniture instead of having the expense of buying in and the problem of storage when not in use.

To fit in with the female psyche, it also pampers to those who often change their minds!
About the Author
Trends expert Catherine Harvey looks at the advancements in office furniture through the years. To find out more please visit http://www.planscapeuk.com/
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