View Full Version : The Perfect Office Furniture
11-21-2004, 07:54 PM
I have done a pretty good job of implementing GTD in my office and now want to move the processes home. I live in a large Manhattan loft, so I am looking for some modern, though very functional home office furniture.
My favorite by far is by USM (http://www.usm.com/). Their stuff is like Legos, and you can build desk and cabinets/files exactly like you want - though it is SO PRICEY. I spec'd out a desk, cabinets and wall unit for about $10,000!
They are Swiss and sell a lot in Germany, and just are getting into the US. Hugo Boss and PWC are big first customers, and they have a showcase store in SOHO, where they sell to individuals.
If anyone knows od USM and get make recommendations, or after seeing it has alternatives, let me know.
The key isnt just the look (though I am willing to spend a lot for furniture that is also beautiful), however first priority is highly functional.
*** Don't flame me if you have a problem with spending a lot on furniture.
11-22-2004, 08:34 AM
I am still working out of bnakers boxes... I first set my total furniture budget at 1500.00, did not find what I wanted. Uped it to 2000, then to 4000. Still can't find anything that will really work for me that is a nice looking system of shelves, files, and computer desk and a writing desk/art table. From my friends and associates I have learned that most people hate their home-office furniture, and the more they paid for it, the more they hate it, especially when somethings break (book shelves, computer desks and hutches) or if they had to assemble it and it took hours and then it breaks, they are ready to burn it. Hon file cabinets do seem to get satisfaction. The only thing I have that I really love are two sets of 6 small steel drawers for supplies (each set is 12 x 18 x 9.5") (I got these in a garage sale but I have seen them in art supply catalogues), a large exercise ball that I sit on ($30). Everything else is stuff from around the house. It has been suggested to me that I draw my room to scale and write my wish list and then send it to various brokers of used office furniture, so you might try that. Finally Computer Furniture Direct has a nice web site and the furniture is all wood but to get everything I want, way too much $$.Taunton Press has a book by Zimmerman on homework spaces, very pricey cusotom carpentry but a few good ideas.
My plan-first the broker. If that fails to please me, I am doing an adjustable computer work station from Target, Hon cabinets with a formica or cork flooring top, shleves on standards attached to the walls. Now, don't get me started on trash cans!
11-22-2004, 02:37 PM
I love the Levenger wooden bookcases I have, and would happily create an entire office from their modular desk stuff if I had the budget. Check them out: http://www.levenger.com/
11-22-2004, 02:56 PM
You all obviously have too much time on your hands.
Either that or GTD is working.
Solution - get a proper job so that you don't have time to focus on the trivia.
11-23-2004, 12:47 AM
I caved and bought a desk w/return and a matching lateral filing cabinet at Staples last week. I'd dithered for 3 years about rebuilding my home office and finally decided I wasn't going to do it myself as I had in the past, nor would I pay a carpenter the $$$ they want for a custom job. I sat at a lot of desks at Staples and other office supply places, and this one felt like home. I bought the chair I tested it in, too, since the one I have is getting tired. I mapped out my study on graph paper, which helped me see that I didn't have room for the five short filing cabinets that are in there now, which are making a counter for the printer, copier, TV, etc. but are otherwise not being used. I decided to empty the room of anything I can't clearly justify, and add things in only as I need them. I have a tendency to turn my office into a storeroom, which is an energy killer if anything is.
I have no problem with the concept of spending a lot on enhancing a productivity environment, but it's not in the cards for me at the moment. Love to hear more about cutting-edge and high-end systems....
11-23-2004, 08:27 AM
1 computer desk from Costco,
1 2-drawer HON file cabinet from Sam's Club,
and 1 large flat table from IKEA.
IKEA white bookcase kept in small closet, books hidden from view when not in use.
The key for me is having enough clear flat 'desk space' to work in, in a dedicated office room (converted the smallest bedroom to an office for this purpose). Having more expensive furniture is nice from a 'eye candy' standpoint, but the gist of GTD is having a place for everything, and a place to keep it when you aren't using it.
11-23-2004, 08:50 AM
I recently got a desk set by Bush Furniture from Office Depot
they have easy to assemble desks that have large flat surfaces.
For a computer desk though, I've been eyeing http://www.anthro.com/ but they're a tad pricey for me right now.
11-24-2004, 09:43 AM
Did you say "large manhattan loft?" Then you probably have the budget for this guy: Apartment Therapy (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/). You could hire him, or just ask your question to him via email (he somtimes posts them under the "good question" category. He's really great about making apartment living really functional, livable, and comfortable, not like many folks just obsessed with making it look good. (no affiliation; I just read his blog)
11-24-2004, 09:48 PM
They have great & indestructable stuff. Very customizable. Look for when they put things on sale.
I bought a printer cart on sale and have a fax/copier on the top shelf, a paper shelf just below that and a laser printer just a few inches off the floor. The whole thing is on caster.
Don't remember what it all costs but was less then catalog due to the sale.
11-28-2004, 07:05 PM
I have dreamed for several years of a simple, unbroken work surface, 24 or 26 inches deep stretching along a ten-foot wall unbroken by windows or doors. I would have space to spread out my computer and project files I'm currently working on, plus space to reserve for organizing files, etc. Recently I walked into a new client's office and they have the very thing--a sheet of birch plywood, wall to wall, resting on brackets, with a couple of stock legs from Home Depot spaced so as to provide support. They even have the holes for cords, etc, with the plastic grommets(?) you can get from Office Depot to cover and neaten them up. The computers are on there, telephones, etc--everything within reach, lots of workspace. They even have a little peninsula halfway along to provide more workspace (just as I had envisioned).
My problem is that my bedroom-converted-to-office is very nicely wall papered, and my husband and I don't do wall paper ourselves, and we don't want to ruin the wall paper already there. So I'm thinking about buying two or three inexpensive desks to place along the wall, perhaps with one desk turned with the short end to the wall to provide a peninsula. I just need to find a desk with a perfect 90-degree edge so the desks would all butt up against each other smoothly without any little cracks for stuff like eraser crud and paper clips to fall into. I've found some desks at Staples that look reasonable, for about $100 each--maybe in the next month or so I'll spring for it.
I keep my office supplies, like paper, envelopes, pens, etc, in the bedroom closet, along with my client files, on the Target wire shelves (like Intermetro, but not expensive). I have more shelves in the room for printer, fax, reference books, etc.
Well, when I finished laughing and turning green with envy at the more expensive possibilities, I thought I'd post this just in case anyone has tips about less expensive arrangements.
11-29-2004, 03:53 PM
Why not fill in any small gaps with Silastic or something similar? You want the desks to behave as a single unit, so there's no reason not to join them together, and silicon sealant can be reasonably easily removed if necessary at a later date.
And to smooth the whole thing out get some self-adhesive plastic sheeting (you can get it in rolls) and cover the whole surface and trim to the edges. You can even get it in interesting patterns - I got some in black marble. Made the bookshelves look fantastic :-)
11-29-2004, 04:01 PM
If there is one near you, check out Ikea. I recently outfitted my den with a desk (really more of a counter - no drawers, didn't need them) wrapping two walls and a corner. It holds my big monitor (facing out of the corner, to save space), two printers, light table and misc photography junk, containers for pencils and pens and other stuff like that, with tons of extra room to work.
The desk ended up about $400 total at Ikea, including the stand for two printeres, and is very strong and actually quite nice looking and strong.
Office furniture is so expensive, I was very happy to find this less expensive alternative, which let me go a little hog wild on desk space (I figure I have about 10-12 feet long of desk, all told) without breaking the bank.
11-29-2004, 04:03 PM
You could also use a flush door from home depot ans a couple of 2 drawer file cabinets to set up a desk. The flush doors come in 78" lengths and 30" wide. The 2 drawer file cabinets are 29" high. this would make the total height about 30 1/4".
11-30-2004, 01:02 PM
If I could afford it, I'd take the http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/BionicOffice.html Joel on Software approach plus an Aeron chair.
11-30-2004, 01:53 PM
Regarding computer desks, I recommend the L-shaped ones because you get to rest your arms on the desk while you type.
(on that note, I also recommend a split keyboard and LCD monitors. After switching to those I have never felt more ergonomically comfortable!)