Furniture advice Expert Furniture Advice - Sun, 09 Mar 2014 20:40:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Things to Consider When Buying New Office Furniture Thu, 03 Nov 2011 20:14:15 +0000 It might be hard to imagine that a simple thing as a chair for example could affect your business success rate but the chair you or your employees are sitting on at least 40 hours a week makes a huge difference. After all, it is extremely difficult to sit on an uncomfortable chair eight hours a day or even longer and even more difficult to concentrate on work if you have a back pain for instance. Furthermore, old worn out furniture from the early 1990s does not make a particularly good impression on your clients, while the employees may get the impression that you are saving on their expense which can make them demotivated and less productive. The same effect can have a beautiful but non-functional office furniture. Purchase of new office furniture therefore will not automatically achieve the desired effect either.

Comfort is the very most important thing to consider when buying new office furniture. As already mentioned earlier, it is not easy to concentrate on work if you are uncomfortable in any way. For that reason it is crucial to make sure that the new office furniture provides a high level of comfort no matter if you are buying it for yourself or for your employees.

Style is another thing that should be payed attention to in the selection of office furniture. All of us spend most of the time working and visual appeal of the working environment matters. A lot. If you are working in a comfortable and stylish office, you are looking forward to come to the office and feel more motivated for work. In addition, clients who visit your office feel more comfortable making business with someone who is serious because that is exactly the message you send them with visually appealing office furniture. After all, just think with whom would you do business first – someone who gives an impression that he remained in the 1990s or someone who appears to be in step with the time? The answer is quite obvious, is not it?

Functionality is just as important as comfort and style when it comes to office furniture. No matter how beautiful office furniture you choose, all positive effects on your work productivity or/and your employees will quickly fade if the chosen office furniture is not practical, does not provide enough storage space or/and does not enable you or your employees to keep all the necessary tools at hand and easily available. Finding a comfortable, stylish and functional office furniture may seem a daunting task, however, the office furniture industry progressed tremendously in the recent years. Thus it is no longer impossible to find visually pleasing and comfortable pieces of furniture which at the same time provide enough storage space and an effective organizing system to keep the office stuff organized without a hassle.

The price, unfortunately, is not something that could be ignored especially in today’s difficult times. It is possible to find furniture that offers everything including a high level of comfort, style and functionality without getting into serious debts, however, beware of too-good-to-be -true prices because quality always has its price, even on sale.

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Garden Furniture – What You Need To Know Before You Buy One Sat, 29 Oct 2011 17:03:56 +0000 Garden furniture selection is a particularly difficult task because unlike indoor furniture, garden furniture is exposed to harsh outdoor conditions ranging from rapid temperature changes, rain, intense UV light, rain, insects, etc. And to remain beautiful and provide you with a comfortable place to sit, your garden furniture needs to withstand the mentioned unfavourable outdoor elements.

How good your garden furniture will withstand the harsh outdoor conditions primarily depends on the material from which it is made. Many people make a crucial mistake by not paying more attention to the material when buying garden furniture, wrongfully assuming that just because it is called “garden furniture“ it can withstand the effects of the weather and other outdoor elements. Technically, it does but the way and the amount of time your new garden furniture will remain in good shape varies greatly from one material to another and of course, on the level of care you provide it.

Some materials such as stainless steel, natural stone and teak are naturally resistant to rain, direct sunlight exposure, mould, termites, rust, etc., while the others need additional protection against the outdoor elements, most often in the form of water sealants and anti-corrosion coating. If cared for properly, some of these materials such as metal for instance will provide you an aesthetically appealing and comfortable place to sit a number of years but some will need to be replaced relatively soon even if you care for them in the best possible way. But what about plastic which is also supposed to be resistant to outdoor conditions? It is but it usually is not particularly durable which is also one of the main reasons why it is so cheap in compare to other materials. Furthermore, there is a major difference if you sit on a plastic chair or on a chair made from wood for instance. Although plastic garden furniture is no longer as unappealing as it used to be, it simply cannot compare with other available materials when it comes to style and character.

The amount of care required is another thing which should be considered before buying a garden furniture. Obviously, materials which are naturally resistant to the outdoor elements will need significantly less care and maintenance than the ones that need to be protected from moisture, rust or termites.

In the end, there is the price. Furniture which is made from materials that do not need any special care and protection against outdoor conditions are usually slightly pricier, however, they are more cost efficient in the long run. This is due to the fact that stainless steel, teak and natural stone are extremely durable even if they are left out in the rain, sun, wind, etc. All they need is regular dusting and cleaning and they will retain their beauty for decades, while stone garden furniture virtually lasts forever. As a result, the initially higher investment returns over the years because if you choose quality materials you will not have to buy a new garden furniture for a very long time.

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Buying Furniture Online – Getting More For Less Sat, 29 Oct 2011 12:56:41 +0000 Online shopping has become very popular in the recent years and the number of people who buy from online rather than the physical stores is rapidly rising. This is partly related to convenience that online shopping is offering. You can shop any time you feel like it and easily compare the offers and prices between different vendors. But the main reason for increasing popularity of online shopping are without a doubt major savings it provides as the vast majority of things are significantly cheaper if bought online. This is due to reduced costs of running an online store allowing the owners to offer their products at lower prices than the physical stores which have to buy or rent a suitable place on a suitable location and employ more salespeople to deal with the customers. In addition, they cannot attract as many customers because people are not willing to drive miles just to save a few tens of pounds.

Buying furniture online literally enables you to get more for less. It is often possible to find the exact same piece you were checking out in your local store at an online store at a way lower price. This does not mean that the piece of furniture you are seeing online is fake or that there is something wrong with it. On the contrary, if it is the same brand and if it has the same specifications, then it is the exact same piece of furniture which is offered at a lower price due to the above mentioned reasons. There is no risk involved if you have actually seen and tested the furniture before ordering it online. Be sure, however, to check the shipping costs. Many vendors do not charge you for shipping if you order things like furniture but always check this first because if they do, the overall costs may exceed the price of the furniture in your local store.

Shopping for furniture online on the basis of description and photos provided by the vendor is a little bit more challenging than ordering a piece of furniture that you know exactly how it looks and feels like. It is very difficult to evaluate whether furniture that looks perfect on the photos looks really as great in reality because it is not impossible to be disappointed when seeing it with your own eyes. It happens even to the most experienced online shoppers but at least you can return it if you do not like it although you are highly recommended to read return policy of the store before ordering anything to make sure that you will be refunded for the price of the furniture. However, do not expect that the store will cover the shipping costs if you decide to return the ordered piece of furniture just because you do not like it. And considering that shipping costs for furniture are not exactly low, you should inform yourself very well about the piece of furniture and its manufacturer before you buy it. Generally, you are “safe“ with reputable brands and furniture which has good reviews by other people who have bought it but at the end if you are not sure about it, you should contact the vendor or manufacturer for additional information and photos.

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Reclaimed Wood Furniture – Enjoy the Unique Appeal of Wooden Furniture Without Guilt Fri, 28 Oct 2011 22:42:12 +0000 The world has reached a point at which it can no longer afford reckless behaviour towards the environment. Climate change is a fact and there is virtually no doubt that people are responsible for the rising global temperatures which if not reversed, can threaten the very existence of the humanity. But carbon dioxide emissions, tonnes of waste and severely toxic chemicals polluting the soil and groundwater are not the only problem.

Increasing rate of deforestation is just as problematic because the rising demand for wood due to rapid population growth is decimating the world’s forests. And with each three that is cut down, the carbon dioxide emissions increase as the trees absorb this harmful gas and release pure oxygen. Other terrestrial plants help lower carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere as well, however, their effect cannot compare to that of the trees. The key to cleaner and friendlier environment lies in the return to nature and the use of all natural materials, however, wood is not a sustainable material if a tree that has been cut down is not replanted. Things have started to improve and the percentage of wood that is harvested in sustainable forests slowly increases but the problem with deforestation is far from over. But does this mean that you actually contribute to deforestation and climate change if you choose wooden furniture? Not necessarily because there is a way to enjoy the unique appeal of wooden furniture without a single tree being cut down – reclaimed wood furniture.

Wood is not used by furniture industry alone. It is also used by paper and construction industries. It used to be and in many part of the world still is the principal building material. Wooden houses and structures can be found all over the world as wood is an excellent insulator and does not decompose as easily as erroneously thought. However, in most parts of Europe it was gradually replaced by other building materials and all those old wooden houses, barns, mills and even industrial buildings are slowly disappearing. But before they are demolished, the wooden parts are dismantled because the wood is still useful despite being hundred years old or even older. And believe it or not, furniture that is made from reclaimed wood is just as durable and sturdy as the one that is made from newly cut wood.

Reclaimed wood furniture is not only becoming increasingly popular as an environmentally friendly option but also due to the fact that each piece has a history which gives it a unique character. It is sometimes intentionally left in its original condition as a piece of furniture that used to be a part of a barn for example further enhances rustic style which has gained in popularity in the recent years. However, reclaimed wood furniture does not have to reveal that it is made from an old barn because reclaimed wood can be turned into just about anything. It truly enables you to continue to enjoy the unmatched appeal and comfort of wooden furniture without giving up style nor harming the environment.

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How To Care For Antique Furniture Fri, 28 Oct 2011 12:04:29 +0000 Antique furniture is much more than just an old piece of furniture. It often has a major historic, artistic and monetary value which, however, can be affected by improper care. Antique furniture can be used just like any other piece of furniture and is not only appreciated for its historic and artistic value but its functionality too. But since practical use poses a high risk of damage, antique furniture requires special care and additional protection.

The number one rule in antique furniture care is strict avoidance of conventional furniture polishers, cleaners and abrasive agents. They can either accelerate degradation of wood or/and damage its finish which is the very worst thing that can happen to you because when the finish is lost, it cannot be restored. You are also highly recommended to stay away from oils to “feed“ the wood and beautify the finish. It is not loss of oil that can affect durability of your antique furniture but loss of moisture. Furthermore, the use of oil promotes dust build up which in turn can accelerate the loss of the finish. To keep your antique furniture good looking and avoid causing damage to it, use a quality wax paste to seal in moisture and dust it on a regular basis with a soft, damp cloth. And whenever you have any doubts, do not hesitate to consult with an expert.

The second most important thing in antique furniture care is to keep it away from factors that can cause a substantial damage to it such as exposure to direct sunlight, excessively dry air, humidity, heat and insects. An antique furniture should never be placed directly in front of the window or any other area that receives direct sunlight because the UV light can cause fading. Keeping it on a safe distance from fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat is just as important because the heat triggers shrinking of the wood which in turn can loosen the joints and affect stability and functionality of your furniture.

Too dry air has similar effect as heat, while excessive humidity can result in development of mould and mildew. Keep track of relative humidity in the room you keep antique furniture and consult with an expert if having problems with either too dry air or humidity. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help you control relative humidity but they work only of you need slight improvements. Signs of mould in the corners of the room for example often signal a serious problem which needs a professional advice and help. You are also highly recommended to call an expert immediately if you think that your furniture could be infested by insects (if you notice small holes in your furniture, fine sawdust under the furniture or/and strange noises appearing to come from furniture).

Antique furniture should be frequently inspected for signs of damage, loose joints and insect infestation to both reduce the cost of repair works as well as extend its durability. In the end, it is important to handle your antique furniture gently. It may be true that it can be used just like any other furniture but it is a good idea to avoid heavy use and protect it against potential damage such as placing a tablecloth on the table when eating a dinner for example.

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Getting Your Garden Furniture Ready For Spring Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:47:26 +0000 Observing the awakening nature while sitting in the garden, patio, balcony or gazebo is most people’s favourite way to spend their leisure time in early spring. However, to be able to truly enjoy the sight of the nature in early spring, you have to get your garden furniture ready because a dusty, dirty or rusty garden furniture ruins the whole experience. How to get your outdoor furniture ready for the new season depends on several factors, primarily on the material from which it is made and its condition.

Obviously, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to garden furniture care and winter storage. There are a few materials which successfully withstand snow, frost and other unfavourable winter conditions, however, it is a lot easier to get your garden furniture ready for spring if you store it indoors during the winter. In this case, it only needs to be cleaned with warm soapy water regardless from which material it is made. But there are some differences in preparation of garden furniture for spring which are greatly influenced by the materials.

Most people prefer wooden garden furniture due to its unique appeal and character which simply blends with the natural environment. However, it is usually also the most challenging to care for because most types of wood with a few exceptions such as teak do not withstand harsh outdoor conditions particularly well. But if you store it indoors before each winter and protect it against water and termites with proper coatings, it will provide you visually appealing and comfortable place to sit and enjoy the nature for many years. It should periodically be re-treated but if you choose quality products, there is no need to apply the protective coatings before each spring. If it seems to be in good condition, simply clean it with warm soapy water and it is ready to be moved outdoors.

If you own plastic garden furniture, you can have it ready without much effort because it just needs to be cleaned with warm soapy water. But if you have stains, you will have a hard time removing them. Plastic is very cheap and convenient but it is nearly impossible to remove the stains you do not notice (or refuse to notice) until the beginning of the next garden furniture season. If you by chance have white plastic garden furniture, you can leave it on direct sunlight and hope that the stains will fade. If they do not, you cannot do much about them other than cover them with tablecloth or cushions if possible. You can also spray your garden furniture set, however, it is more convenient and probably also more economic to replace it considering that plastic garden furniture is not particularly durable.

Getting metal garden furniture ready for spring depends greatly on the type of metal it is made from. Stainless steel garden furniture for example needs only cleaning with warm soapy water because it is naturally resistant to corrosion, whereas cast iron furniture should be carefully inspected for signs of rust and paint damage which should be taken care of before bringing it outdoors.

To make preparation of your garden furniture for spring an easier job, it is a good idea to clean it thoroughly before winter and cover it with a protective cloth to protect it from dust regardless if you bring it indoors or leave it outdoors.

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Teak Garden Furniture Buying Advice – Exposé Wed, 23 Mar 2011 17:33:09 +0000 I have had a busy summer/Autumn in 2012. After so many emails and requests from readers, I decided that it’s time to go out there and have a good look at what is going on in the Teak garden furniture market. To compile the below report I visited 8 warehouses/shops/showrooms, 12 garden centres, one private house and one garage…. in a private house that one company was being run from (I saw the furniture in their living room!), made over 30 phone calls, sent over 50 emails and viewed over 100 pieces of furniture from different retailers or e-tailers. We have also, in some extreme cases where we have had special requests from disgruntled customers, bought some smaller items of furniture on their behalf to confirm their belief of unsuitable quality furniture. These we kept out of our report due to on going legal action.

So here it is. Let’s start with what you should be looking out for and avoid.

1. Semi-machine made furniture - Best to avoid. Usually made very quickly and with very low skill level. This type of furniture is made in small huts in Java normally from un dried wood and normally using very cheap supporting materials such as:

a. Steel screws (rusts inside the furniture and disintegrates within very short period of time. Should always be stainless steel for strength and durability)
b. Cheap Glue.
c. Wet Teak. Will crack and warp in no time at all
d. Grade B or C teak. Will rot within 3 years if left untreated. Also, have characteristics of soft wood such as pine.

2. Treated Teak – By far the common way of deception by many importers in the UK. This is grade C teak which is treated in a hazardous chemical Sulphuric Acid to literally burn the teak into an even colour which enables the retailer to claim it is Grade A. Trading standards have done nothing to battle this phenomena and there retailers are now everywhere claiming their teak is grade A where, in-fact, its grade C treated with this horrid chemical. Normally, the chemical turns the teak into a very darkish colour which, to the trained eye, is immediately apparent but they count on the fact that the average person will not know the difference. See some pictures of Treated Grade C teak furniture which is claimed to be Grade A below.

3. Kiln Drying – Touchy subject for many retailers that we asked. Let’s put the record straight here and now. The UK Equilibrium Moisture Content is ~14%. This means that any furniture approaching this figure is perfect for the UK climate. Anything over and you are looking at some serious warping and cracking. Retailers might try to convince you otherwise as they did us when we anonymously called them, but don’t listen to them. MC is king for garden furniture and anything over 14% should be avoided like the plague. How can you tell? Well, you can’t unless you buy a MC meter and that will only give you a rough idea. Other way of spotting wet furniture is:

a. White mould on the furniture when it arrives. Dead giveaway of very high MC. Expect the furniture to crack and warp in a very short period of time. We recommend you return the furniture and not accept it.
b. Put your hand on the furniture. Does it feel very cold to the touch or clammy? Same advice as above.
c. Look at fittings. Any sign of rust? As above
d. Look at dowels. If there is any sign of dark/black stains near them then it means the dowels are just cups covering a cheap steel screw which is rusting from the inside. Expect the furniture joints to fall apart and become very wobbly in a very short period of time. As above, return furniture.

4. Grade C teak – This is very common these days and some retailers such as should be commended for their honesty when describing some of their furniture as made from lower grade timbre. In their description, Green fingers describe one particular set as “Taken from the sapwood, which is the outer section of the tree, there tends to be colour variation within the product” has some of their non-premium range described as grade B teak. We could not confirm this, but again, it is very rare for retailers to be this honest about the grade of teak they use. Most just claim to be grade A where the pictures clearly show grade C or even worst, chemically treated grade C teak. Most retailers that we called, and some got a bit hot under the collar when asked about this, said either that theirs is Grade A, or that Grade A does not exist. We obviously disagree on both counts. We then said that will it be ok for us to reject the furniture if we found sapwood or chemically treated teak and the pause that caused was very uncomfortable to say the least. It was then obvious to them that we knew about teak and they made their excuses and some were even very rude in saying that they would not sell to ‘people like us anyway’ (you know who you are). And to set the record straight, there is Grade A teak furniture out there. Not much we have to admit, but some companies still sell it here in the UK. Companies that were confirmed as Grade A teak will be listed later. Now, you may say that Grade A is not that important and that has some truth. For most people, Grade B is enough and the wood itself will last long enough. However, the problem is that we never came across lower grades of teak furniture that was well made or that had no-other shortcuts taken in construction. It is very true to say that the line of separation between the grades goes much further than the actual grade of the teak. You can, with almost 100% certainty, guarantee that a grade C teak furniture manufacturer is working to a very small target price and therefore take every cost saving short cut available such as the ones talked about in point 1 above. You can also say that due to the high price of real grade A teak raw material, it is extremely unlikely that the manufacturer will marry it with cheap components. Therefore, a certain threshold of quality is created which is easily distinguishable when viewed side by side. A final note to consider is that we have not yet seen one manufacturer that offers real grade A while using hand or semi machine manufacturing process so this is another reason to stick to real Grade A teak.

So, questions you should ask in order of importance:

1. Is the furniture semi machine made or fully machine made? – Check corner pieces on chairs and gaps in the tenon and mortise joints filled with glue to confirm semi or fully machine made. This and Kiln drying are the most important aspects of long lasting furniture.
2. Is the furniture Kiln Dried to at least 14%? - Check signs of wet timber upon delivery (See point 3 above) and reject if wet. (see for EMC Guide)
3. Grade of Teak used? Is it chemically or otherwise treated? - (Chemical treatments or any other treatments are used to hide lower grade Teak. (Teak DOES NOT NEED TO BE TREATED!)
4. What Guarantee do you offer? - This has to be in the T&Cs of the site or on the invoice otherwise, a verbal assurance is not acceptable. Anything under 6 years and be suspicious. Also, make sure the company has been going for some time otherwise, the guarantee can be worthless. I.e. a company that has been only going for 1 – 3 years is much more likely to go bankrupt and therefore reduce your warranty to nothing more than worthless.

Is price a good indication of quality? Well, sometimes. We have seen two retailers selling what is obviously Treated grade C teak as grade A and actually charging near Grade A prices. A complete rip off. Others sell grade C teak (taking the ambiguity approach by not mentioning grade used) for Grade C prices. We have not seen anyone selling what looks like to be Grade A teak for cheap prices. This is more of an indication of the raw material prices.

So there you have it. It’s a complete mine field out there. Most companies we spoke to gave us the impression that they were nothing but importers…. box shifters who cared about nothing but selling. These sort of retailers not only care less about customer satisfaction, but we can’t imagine for a minute that they would care about small things like say the environment. Some were very rude, or dismissive in their attitude when faced with our questioning. However, some gems have really shone through so there is some hope yet.
For legal reasons, we are unable to name and shame these companies. We just don’t have the time and budget for lengthy court appearances. Also, some of these companies had such mannerisms that would leave us… well… scared if we are completely honest to expose. However, we are more than happy to list the below companies as people who we spoke to, or anonymously visited and can confirm some amazingly well made furniture: (please note the below is just my personal opinion)

1. Faraway Furniture ( ) – One of our favourites. They not only knew what they were talking about, they seemed passionate about it. Their furniture was one of the best we have seen. It was on par with Barlow Tyrie and in some cases better but at a fraction of their price. Fully machine made, real grade A teak and 10 year guarantee.

Quality: 5/5
Production: Fully Machine Made
Grade: A
MC: ~ 12%
Value: 5/5

2. Alexander Rose – One of the best known garden furniture companies and one of the largest, we viewed their teak furniture in 3 different Garden centres. Very well made, all grade A teak and excellent warranty. However, quite pricey. We have seen very similar quality and in some cases better for less than half the price.

Quality: 4/5
Production: Fully Machine Made
Grade: A
MC: ~16%
Value: 3/5

3. Garden Furniture Direct ( – These guys sell furniture from different manufacturers so it’s quite hard to judge as they may have furniture from other manufacturers at other times. When we visited their warehouse they had some Alexander Rose furniture and some generic semi machine made furniture. Worth checking with them as to what stock they managed to get their hands on at the time of purchasing. Some bargains can be found here.

Quality: range from 3/5 to 4/5
Production: Semi machine made on day of visit.
Grade: B
MC: ~12%
Value: 5/5

Barlow Tyrie ( – Without a doubt, one of the best known garden furniture manufucturers but also one of the most expensive. Although the attention to detail is faultless, i cant help but think that it has passed the threshold of the rule of diminishing returns. Fully machine made, 5 year guarantee and grade A teak.

Quality: 5/5
Production: Fully Machine Made
Grade: A
MC: ~14%
Value: 3/5

In short, do not believe anything you read. I will say that at least 80% of the sites we checked have blatantly lied in their descriptions and their website text. The vast majority of the companies we talked to are just importers even though they claim in their website text to manufacture or design or even quality control their own furniture. The fact that we could only recommend the above 4 manufacturers out of the 30 odd that we vetted shows the importance of actually seeing the furniture in the flesh before buying. In this particular case, unless you are buying from one of the above companies, we would highly recommend you DO NOT BUY blindly from the internet. If you do decide to go and visit the retailer, please do not be shy to ask all the questions you need. You will soon get a feel for the company and its products and whether you should spend your hard earned cash on them.
This is it for now. If you think I missed you or the company you represent out, feel free to send me an email with full details for our consideration.

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Kitchen Stools Sun, 13 Mar 2011 19:44:04 +0000 Kitchen stools are designed to be used in a kitchen environment, with a counter height of around 90cm to the underside. These stools therefore have to have a seat height of around 65 – 70cm in order to leave enough space for your legs to sit comfortably underneath. This makes gas lifts very desirable, as you can adjust the seat height to suit your particular location.
The bar stool is being seen as an ever more fashionable addition to the home, and with the deletion of the domestic dining table, kitchen islands are quickly becoming a much sought after commodity. This has been helped in recent time by interior designers, who have turned the humdrum kitchen of the past into the vibrant hub of the home. Open plan living has seen this once utilitarian part of the house become the centre of action; many people now choose to socialise in the kitchen area, having a few drinks in the evening or watching the television from a bar. It has also become a popular place to complete the daily homework, under the supervision of Mum.
Due to its pivotal role in the modern family, it is common that each family member has their own stool, much like a traditional table and chairs. This makes width the all-important factor, as a 15cm gap between each seat is required as a minimum to allow for movement and easy access. This stops them from hitting each other and makes for a more comfortable seating arrangement.
But even if space under your worktop is lacking, or there is no island unit in your kitchen, there is no need to worry. Bar tables make an ideal accompaniment to any stool and provide an effective and cheap way of getting the most from your bar stools. The upside to bar tables as opposed to an island counter is that they can be moved, giving you a more flexible arrangement, as well as coming in a variety of designs to suit differing tastes.
Also becoming more popular is the brushed finish. This can be attributed to the rise in the number of appliances available in a brushed finish, not to mention all the trimmings and fittings like lights and door handles. People see brushed steel as more contemporary than chrome and it has become the must-have for modern installations. And thus brushed steel stools have had a surge in popularity, due to their ability to seamlessly blend into such environments and create a sleek, uniform look.
But if metal is not your thing, never fear! As the modernist movement gains momentum, so does the traditionalist. Many people are still after the rustic look in their kitchen, and this is where wooden stools come in. These beautifully made items are usually left in a natural finish, showing the grain of the wood and the craftsmanship involved. They give any kitchen a traditional look and feel, adding character and style to the atmosphere.

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Optimising ergonomics in the workplace Wed, 25 Aug 2010 11:52:49 +0000 A desk job may not be physically demanding, but sitting at a desk for extended periods of time can result in stiff and sore muscles and joints. This is the body’s way of indicating strain or muscle damage.
There are a number of exercises office workers can do to avoid the effects of static posture and the pressure that it puts on the body. While suggestions such as standing up once an hour and taking a stroll around the office may not be viable due to work loads, adjusting office furniture can help to ensure good posture and minimise the risk of injury.
A desk surface doesn’t necessarily have to be flat. By adjusting the height and level of reference material and strategically grouping items that are used together, eye and neck strain can be reduced. This includes the level of office keyboards, which should always be placed correctly on desks in order to avoid repetitive strain injuries.
Making use of a headset instead of cradling the telephone between the head and shoulder not only improves posture, but also allows for hands free phone calls and enables more effective multitasking.
With regards to ergonomic seating, desk chairs should be replaced if they are old and don’t have a ‘shock absorber’ feature. Certain items such as a balance cushion, can be used to promote good posture and improve core strength while sitting in front of the computer.
Ensure correct workspace ergonomics, both at work as well as at home, for increased comfort. Great Universal offers a number of healthy solutions within their office furniture range can help you maintain good posture. Visit for more information and products that can help optimise your workplace’s ergonomics today.

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