Furniture advice

Expert Furniture Advice – admin@furniture-advice.co.uk

Dec
11

Office Chair Ergonomics

Posted under , Office Furniture

Humans have 2 natural positions, laying down and standing up. Sitting down is actually not natural at all, however, people who work in an office could spend more than 280,000 hours in this position – that equates to around half their lifetime! An incorrect posture can significantly increase the pressure on the intervertebral discs. Too much pressure may cause a negative influence on your back’s health. This article looks at the office chair and ergonomics.

Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with designing according to human needs, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. The field is also called human engineering, and human factors. When it comes to the office chair, the following ergonomic facts exist:

• Back injuries, such as lower back pain or a slipped disc are the principal cause of absenteeism from the work place.
• Approximately 18% of all absenteeism due to illness relates to back problems (the no.1 cause in Western Europe).
• The total cost of this is estimated to add up to several billion pounds.

To avoid back problems in the office and to reduce absenteeism, office furniture manufacturers have designed the ergonomic chair. An ergonomic chair is a chair that will respond to the basic rules of ergonomics.

In order to take care of your back, the following ergonomic rules should be followed:

1. You should be able to move on your chair in order to have a dynamic sitting posture.
2. Regularly tilt backwards to minimise the pressure on the intervertebral discs.
3. Maintain a good posture and use a chair that will provide good support to the body
4. Use a chair with ergonomic movement that is easy to adjust.

Movement on your chair allows contraction and relaxation of the muscles and stimulation of blood circulation which distributes nutrition and oxygen. Chairs that allow tilting backwards are best because they offer the following benefits:

• Decreases the pressure on the intervertebral discs. These discs provide the flexibility in your vertebral column and act like a shock absorber
• Opens the angle between the back and seat to avoid compression of the breathing and digestive functions and to stimulate blood circulation
• Enables the back to relax

The health of the intervertebral discs depends on the supply of rachidian liquid that contains nutritive elements necessary to the regeneration of the cellswithin the disc. The supply of these discs is related to the pressure placed on them. High pressure is bad and gives no supply. Lower is good as there is higher supply. The pressure is dependant on the posture of the person.

It is recommended to always purchase office chairs that are manufactured to ISO quality specifications that comply with European standards EN 1335-1,2,3 for size and component materials. In addition to this, look for chairs that carry the GS label, which provides further recognition of safety and high quality of a chair.

Nov
19

Biggest Teak Garden Furniture Exposé – Coming soon

Posted under , Commercial Furniture, Garden Furniture

If you have any comment, good or bad regarding any dealings with a teak garden furniture company, please email us, preferably with pictures. We have had over 12 complaints over the last week or so from readers who have had major problems with garden furniture online retailers. To be completely honest, I did not even realise there were so many of them. I am convinced that two years ago there were far fewer. For now, my main tip is that you get what you pay for when it comes to Teak. Stick with the well known brands for quality such as Barlow Tyrie, Indian Ocean and Faraway Furniture. More to come soon.

Nov
13

A gem in a sea of cheap chinese imprts

Posted under , Indoor Furniture, Interior Design

My wife and I have been looking for nice dining room furniture set for a while now. We are not asking for the world. All we wanted is to find a set that is a bit different from the sea of cheap Chinese imports that seem to have flooded the market recently. We wanted a solid wood, preferably Oak or Teak and of good quality. We found one or two, but most were well above the £3000 mark. Until we found these Solid Oak Dining Sets. Now, I have heard of Faraway Furniture’s excellent reputation for quality at a decent price point, but, as I have never bought from them before, we decided to take the 45 minute trip to their warehouse to see the set for ourselves. We were not disappointed. We saw their flagship Faraway Dining Set and fell for it immidiatly. It took 4 guys to get it out for us due to the extreme weight! More about this at a later date, but feel free to let me know what you think and if you have any other good looking, different sets that you have found on your travels.

Here are a couple of pics from their website.
solid oak dining set
solid wood dining set.

Nov
04

Choosing Office Furniture

Posted under Office Furniture

Choosing office furniture can be one of the most difficult tasks for an office administrator; it is an expensive investment that needs to be flexible enough to last for many years. The first task is to work out the workspace requirements for the workers in question, taking into account the need for computers, telephones, power and data access points etc. Many office furniture dealers will offer space planning as a free service if you intend to purchase the office furniture from them, or at least if you give them an opportunity to quote. Many office furniture dealers have sophisticated space planning software which can give you a full 3-D image of your proposed office, including walk-through videos. The next stage is to select the range of furniture; there are many office furniture catalogues which include a full range of desks, office storage cupboards, meeting room furniture and reception furniture which can give a coordinated look to your office environment. There are many styles of office furniture, from classic desks to contemporary modular office furniture. If you are in a business which moves fast, it is important to consider the longevity of the selected manufacturer and range – if you need to add desks at a later date you need to be able to rely on your supplier to get matching furniture, otherwise you can spoil the whole look of the office. Many people think that real wood office furniture is better; however you need to carefully consider your options. Solid wood office furniture is almost unobtainable; the cost is prohibitive and the modern air conditioned office environment is not kind to solid wood, which can dry out and warp. Modern office furniture is usually made from MDF or similar boards, covered with a coating. The coating can be melamine, HPC or wood veneer. Melamine coated MDF is one of the most robust finishes and will withstand hot coffee cups, scratching and exposure to direct sunlight. It can be obtained in all the natural wood finishes, eg oak, beech, cherry, maple etc as well as solid colours, eg light grey or white. Real wood veneer finishes can be used in executive office furniture and boardroom furniture, but these tend to be more expensive and less robust than melamine finishes and also require careful cleaning and maintenance.
Other things to consider when you are choosing office furniture include the following:
- Height Adjustable Desks: many office desk ranges now have height adjustable options, which can be useful if you need to accommodate people with reduced mobility or other special needs.
- Cable Management: Many office furniture ranges include built-in cable management in the legs and supporting beams, which can significantly reduce the wiring clutter found in many offices.
- Office desks became much deeper (up to 80cm deep) in the 80’s and 90’s simply to accommodate large CRT monitors. Now with flat screen monitors available you may find that you can reduce the depth of a desk to 60cm.
- Bench Desk Systems: There are now quite a few contemporary bench desk systems on the market today. They use a shared-leg system which can reduce costs as well as increasing comfort by giving the operator much more leg room. Combined with acoustic screens and cable management, they provide a much more efficient and user-friendly call centre furniture solution than traditional systems.

Oct
20

This is the only robust floor covering that becomes more beautiful over time!

Posted under , Interior Design

Admin Note- Before I post the below guest blog, I thought it would be good if I fill you in with the history behind this. To cut a long story short, the writer of the blog could not have been any more helpful when we were looking for advice on laying down our new Acacia wooden floor. Now, “fair enough” I hear you say “you did buy the floor from them, so it’s only right they should advise you!” Well, you will be wrong. I bought the floor from someone else who was not only unhelpful but also sounded like they did not know what they were talking about. It’s only later that I met WoodYouLike on the DIYnot forum and to say she was extremely helpful would be an understatement. It is really rare to find companies who are so helpful and willing to not only give their time to customers, but to the non paying public also. So thank you for all of your help, and you will be happy to know that using your advice, the floor is almost fully down.One of the (many) benefits of real wooden flooring is its natural diversity. Every block, strip or board has its own unique character. This gives every floor a truly unique “one off its kind” appearance.
No two natural wooden floors are alike.

Every wooden floor ‘matures’ over time, Oak will get its characteristic honey colour, tropical species will become darker. All in a natural gradual way, ‘growing’ into its ultimate beautiful appearance.

A wooden floor only loses this lustre when it is neglected, even those with a gloss varnish finish. If neglected long enough its protecting layer against dirt and drips will also be lost.

And it is so easy to make sure your beautiful wooden floor stays ‘fit’ and healthy.

Easy maintenance is another benefit of wooden flooring, especially now with the modern high quality liquid polishes. The days of waxing on hand and knees are long, long gone!
All it takes really is to apply the most suited polish for your floor once every 5 to 6 months! That’s all. If you like you can buff it in deeper with one of Wood You Like’s cast-iron buffing blocks – 100% guaranteed to work better and eco-friendlier than any of the electric domestic buffing machines we know of.

What will happen with your wooden floor when you take care of it in this simple way? In fact your wooden floor will reward you time after time, with every maintenance care you give it.

It will keep its dirt repellent character and will become even more beautiful, showing off all its natural allure for you and your family, friends to enjoy and admire.

In our Charing showroom we only stock the highest quality maintenance products – for every type of finish. And if you really want to pamper yourself and your floor you should ask for our ‘fixed-price’ maintenance service and let us do the work.

Select the wood you like and the maintenance products you need at www.naturalwoodenflooring.co.uk. Start enjoying this robust (hardwood), easy to clean, anti-allergic and eco-friendly floor-covering immediately and for many years to come.

Natural wooden flooring: a true asset in any home, never losing its value!

With the warmest regards
Wood You Like Ltd
Showroom on School Road, Charing (nr Ashford) just off the A20
Tel: 01233 713725
email: info@woodyoulike.co.uk

Oct
20

A TV should not be the focal point of your room!

Posted under Indoor Furniture, Interior Design

The rapidly falling prices of flat screen televisions has resulted in bigger screens for many households. The most common location for these to be placed, estimated at 75%, is above the fireplace in the main room of the household. Because of the increase in size both designers and woman have been having serious issues with a 50-70″ black glass object as the centrepiece and focal point of the living room.

Although it is simply a visual or mechanical change when the TV is hidden, to many it changes the entire atmosphere of the room. Even when the display has been turned off, attention is either consciously or unconsciously drawn towards the blank screen. This is not a figment of peoples imaginations, it is real, and it has a direct effect on both the décor and atmosphere of the room.

Concealment systems are essentially custom made furniture. Due to both television sizes and room measurements there is no single solution that will work for everyone, hence why such systems often cost more than the TV itself. The justification lies in that the time, money and creative effort spent in making the room look good is not destroyed by trying to make a 50″ piece of black glass blend seamlessly into the room décor.

If you were to do some extensive market research you would see there are a number of ways to get around this problem. All with certain pros and cons. However the widely used option is usually a plasma television lift.

A TV lift effectively combines both an item of home furniture and a TV stand. It gives the user the power to switch between viewing a piece of everyday furniture or viewing the plasma television. This is done using a remote controlled lifting mechanism which is fitted inside the furniture. When activated this mechanism will trigger a lift which will cause the TV to gently rise from the furniture and effectively turn it into a television stand.

This solution effectively solves all the problems faced by a home designer. The room decor does not have to be compromised, rather modified in a way which cannot be seen. And the television no longer has to be in full view unless you require it to be. As well as this there are security benefits which mean your television is a lot less likely to be taken or broken in the every day hussle throughout your household.

Conclusion

No matter what efforts TV manufacturers put into their aesthetic design, they do not solve the problem of having a large blank screen dominate a room when the TV if off. It comes as no surprise then, that demand for concealment solutions has been doubling each year.

The first question a designer or system integrator should pose to the client concerning the TV, should therefore be ‘How will it be installed without compromising the décor of the room? By educating themselves about concealment products, professionals such as TDK Joinery (www.tdkjoinery.co.uk) can offer the home owner a solution allows a large TV to be hidden within the décor using TV lifts, while maintaining the visual design of the room. It is a win-win situation for both parties.

Oct
15

Choosing the right furniture for your office

Posted under Commercial Furniture, Office Furniture

1. Consider how many hours you spend at the office. If you work long hours then you should ensure your office is comfortable, functional and practical. Your desk should have built in cable holes to allow the wiring to neatly fit in and enough shelving or drawers for storing files and paperwork. Check the dimensions and make sure the desk will fit through the door. Consider the material of the desk, wood, glass etc and what is best suited for you.

2. Also think about ergonomics; a desk should be around 29 to 30 inches high and 3 1/2 feet from the desk to the chair.

3. Choose the correct office chair. A chair needs to be adjustable to allow for the height of the person, provide adequate support for the lower back and comfortable seat padding. The armrests should be adjustable and arms and shoulders should be relaxed at the correct position.
4. Ensure you have adequate lighting. Too much bright light in your field of vision can cause visual discomfort, and reflections on your computer screen can make it difficult to see what is displayed. If possible position your desk at right angles to the window for the best use of light and to minimise reflections. Use a free standing desk lamp for extra lighting on paperwork.
5. Finally consider the temperature and humidity in the room. A comfortable temperature for sedentary work is between 20 and 24 degrees C. If the room is too warm or cold and draughty then this will cause discomfort. Place a water loving pot plant in your office to help keep the humidity to a comfortable level.

Sep
09

The history of Teak wood

Posted under Commercial Furniture, Garden Furniture, Indoor Furniture, Interior Design

The wood used to build the early Chinese sailing ships was Teak. The wood used needed to be durable, weatherproof and minimum maintenance required. It is said that the Chinese shipbuilders would bury the wood logs in moist soil for many years prior to building their ships. This made the wood far stronger and impervious to the elements that could be encountered on the water, including enemies.

The strength of the ship building materials were vital because approximately 600 years ago the Chinese commissioned by the Ming dynasty to sail to the edge of the world. Year later the British naval ships were made from Oak whish is also a very hard and durable wood. The British encountered two problems with oak: Wood Worms and a shortage of Oak trees. Woodworms were destroying the ships in the British Naval Fleet and were the scourge of wooden ships throughout history. It could take 850 oak logs to repair one ship. It took a little over 2000 oak logs just to build one ship. The British needed ships as they continued for some time to have maritime issues with the French and to be able to go on to conquer and take control of British colonies. The British naval fleet was their primary means to accomplish this.

The British knew about the Teak wood used on the Chinese ships and how strong and rugged they were after having run into them, literally in the shipping lanes. The British had learned how impervious these ships were to all of the elements at sea: Saltwater, ocean wind, and the blistering sun. It was also found that Teak was difficult to splinter when hit by gunfire or artillery fire. This was a very important issue as splintering wood was the major cause of casualties among naval warfare in the eighteenth century.

Britain was very interested to grow and produce this wood. The British quickly realized they did not need to grow Teak Wood as they could occupy those countries where the Teak wood was grown and have a plentiful supply. India, Thailand and Burma were quickly annexed into the British Empire. This of course is not the main reason why the British took over these areas, but it certainly helped to give reason. Myanmar (formerly Burma), which is just south of India, and Yangoon became the first places where Teak was being cultivated for British ships. Calcutta was set up as another British shipbuilding site. All of the British merchant ships built in Calcutta were built with Myanmar Teak logs which were said to be the best. Once the wood was depleted from India, logs were harvested from Thailand and Burma.

Teak forests were quickly being depleted and forests dwindling. Teak was now the preferred wood used for building ships, Yachts, Ocean liners and furniture. Under ocean conditions, the wood had minimal warping, cracking or shrinkage. This meant little maintenance. The wood was also impervious to wood rot and insects, like the mighty woodworm. The famous Ocean liner “Queen Mary” used no less than 1000 tons of teak when built. The British understood the depletion that was taking place and developed a re-forestation plan. They appointed a leader to head a new department and began replanting Teak trees on what are now called

Teak “plantations”. A set of very strict laws were enacted regarding who can cut Teak Wood and who can purchase it. Once these laws were set in place, one needed to have permission from the British Government to be able to cut a Teak Tree down and or export it.
Teak was also being used by the locals for huts, fence posts, and furniture. Today India is the third largest importer of Teak , followed by China and Japan. As much as 80% of India’s timber consumption is Teak. The wood is used in India today for local consumption; building homes, furniture, fencing, etc. It is the one wood that can withstand the monsoons, the scorching heat and the humidity.

Teak Wood contains natural oils and Silica (sand) which makes it impervious to insects, and wood rot. These natural substances also help it to maintain its appearance for many years.
When many of the English ships of WWII were taken apart for salvage, the Teak Wood decks were re-manufactured into outdoor furniture such as park benches. Even today they can be seen in many parts of Europe still preserved and functioning.

Sep
09

Tips on choosing a dining table

Posted under Indoor Furniture, Interior Design

Size of room:

A large dining area gives you a wide range of choices. If you have the space you can choose a large, substantial, solid wooden rectangle table which can accommodate 8 to 10 seats. Tables with thick table tops and chunky legs can look spectacular in a large room. If you have the space, then why not use it to its full capacity?

If you entertain large groups frequently however have limited space then an extendable dining table style offers the most flexibility as the size can be extended to accommodate your party size. There are huge choices of both wooden and glass
dining tables which offer this function.

For smaller dining spaces a more delicate design with thin but sturdy materials give an illusion of space. Glass and wood with aluminium supports offer the best versatility.

Before you purchase your dining set take measurements of the dining area and consider the width of the table which ideally should be a minimum of 90cm. As a general guide you should aim to have a minimum distance of 120cm between the edge of the table and the wall to allow for enough seating room.

Material:

Should you buy solid wood, glass, veneer wood or a wood aluminium mix; the choice is endless. If on a low budget there are some excellent value wooden veneer tables or a solid pine table. As pine is a softer wood it may mark and scratch easily so this is best avoided if you have children. A wooden table with a veneer layer is the best option if money is tight and you have a large family with children. Veneer wood is tough, hardwearing and can be bought fairly cheaply.
At the high end of the scale a solid, chunky wooden oak table is recommended as it is practical, looks good and will last a lifetime.

Lifestyle:

Again as with the tables there is a choice of veneer, solid wood and upholstery, real or faux leather. Once again veneer chairs are at the lower end of the budget and the price increases if you have real leather seat pads. The top end the budget and the best looking is solid oak chairs with real leather seat pads. The style of the chairs, modern, contemporary and classic is all down to personal taste and the room decoration. There is an abundance of choice so shop around and choose careful before you buy as often the chars are the most expensive part of a dining set.

A family with young children needs a table which is easy to care for and has softer rounded edges. Speaking from personal experience I would advise that if you have young children, avoid upholstery which is easy to stain and choose wipe clean dark coloured leather or faux leather chairs.

Jul
23

How to clean you indoor teak furniture?

Posted under Commercial Furniture, Garden Furniture, Indoor Furniture, Interior Design, Office Furniture

How do you look after your indoor teak furniture to ensure it will look its best?
A proper cleaning and oiling plan will help.
Many people who have teak furniture in their homes believe they can have beautiful furniture without the need of a lot of attention and care. Unlike other wooden furniture that needs regular cleaning, oiling and care, you can actually leave your indoor teak furniture for many months, or even years, and it will remain as durable and strong as it was when you first purchased it.
Even though your teak furniture will last a lifetime, some attention is required. Indoor teak furniture left untouched will darken over time to a dark brown colour. To avoid this happening an annual cleaning and oiling procedure is recommended
Cleaning: Use warm soapy water and to thoroughly remove all dust, dirt and debris. Once this is done the furniture must be left to dry thoroughly.
Oiling: Teak has high levels of natural oils and to maintain these oils the furniture can be re-oiled after cleaning. This will help maintain the colour and appearance of your furniture.

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