Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Making it Easy to Select the Right Home Office Desk for Your Needs

The right home office desk can make the difference between a busy, productive day and a disorganized, harried one. If you are considering replacing your old desk, or buy a new one, consider these important points in choosing the right work desk for your needs.
Will the desk that you are considering buying suit your working style and meet your job needs? Will its size fit well in the constraints and parameters of your work space? Can the desk’s surface withstand the daily-use demands of your job and work environment? These are just a few of the things you need to consider when choosing a work desk. This is because the right desk can aid in accomplishing your tasks in a comfortable and productive and ergonomic manner.
Determine the Use
  • Mostly computer work: Choose a desk or workstation specifically made for computer use. If you are using a PC, be sure that the desk offers space or a compartment to hold the CPU underneath. Look for built-in wiring holes or channels for electrical connects to ensure safety.
  • Paperwork-generating: Choose a workstation that will have the roomiest surface possible to accommodate bulky books, spreadsheets or piles of papers. You might also want to consider a desk with overhead cabinet space or shelving.
  • Combination of paper work, paperwork and meetings: Consider an L-shaped desk setup to allow for both work and meeting space. If space or finances allow, a U-shaped model will give even more space and make for an impressive presentation for guests or clients.
  • For a home work desk: Get a computer armoire if you want to hide work clutter in your home. L-shaped desks are usually a good solution and fit when your work desk requires to share space in another room like a family room or bedroom.
  • Tight on space: Consider getting a compact computer desk, like the Aurora Computer Desk with Powdercoated Black Accents by Office Star, or mobile computer cart.

Consider Ergonomics and Space
  • Your desk should give clearance for your legs. Standard desk heights of 29 to 30 inches from the floor are sufficient for most users.
  • When you stand behind the desk, there should be at least 3 ½ feet of space. A minimum of 3 feet of space should also be available in between the desk and another piece of office furniture, and in front of the desk if you use a guest chair.
  • For computer-users, keyboards should be placed at a comfortable height. Keyboards placed on traditional desks might be too high and result in significant discomfort or muscle strain on the user. Computer desk should either have a keyboard platform or adjustable legs. Make sure that any keyboard platform is large enough to hold a mouse.
  • Desktop equipment and materials should be within easy and comfortable reach, and should have enough space to not overload the desktop.
  • If the desk has a sharp edge, consider putting a wrist pad along the edge to prevent unnecessary pressure and pinching on the inner surface of your wrists.
Choose the Best Desk Surface
  • Laminate (most popular choice). A plastic finish applied to a wood core, laminate is durable, affordable and withstands more than pure wood or veneer. It also comes in a wide range of colors and wood grain patterns. For quality laminate that can withstand daily use and abuse, look for a desk made with thick, high pressure laminate.
  • Metal or steel (most durable choice). It might not have the most professional appearance, but metal or steel desks are reasonably priced and are great for desks subject to long term heavy use and high traffic areas. Better quality desks of this type can be assessed by feeling and checking the desk’s overall weight.
  • Wood or veneer (most elegant choice). Veneer is a thin surface layer of wood glued to a more inferior base. Generally, wood and veneer desks look more attractive than other types of desks, but they are usually more expensive and considerably more delicate; they nick easily so they are not suited for heavy or rough use.
Look into Quality and Durability
  • The quality of a desk is mostly evident in the construction of its drawers. Metal suspension rollers often show a sturdy suspension. Drawers should open and close easily while bearing weight. You would want the drawers to slide out their full length for easy and full use of space.
  • High quality wood drawer are assembled with an interlocking construction; this is stronger than drawers put together with just glue or staples. With a metal or steel desk, look at the drawers when they are closed. If you see a gap where the drawer meets the desk, the desk is not set right.
  • Examine the edges and corners of a desk. You would not want to see any fraying. Also, it would be best that you opt for one that has rounded corners as an added safety measure, especially if you have children at home.
  • The desk warranty itself will give you an idea of the quality and durability of a particular desk. Warranties often range anywhere from one-year limited to lifetime warranty.
Give Your Back a Break
As you might already know, sitting for hours at a time can be harmful to your back, especially among those already with existing back problems. Consider giving your back a break with a stand-up desk where you literally stand up while working. Many users claim this work method makes them more alert and productive on the job. The Veneer Laptop Table - Cherry by Office Star is one example. Desk tools are also available to be used along with these desks.

Today’s office desk has come far from the simple table with drawers years back. Take advantage of the huge range of choices out there; many of which have reasonable price tags and widely available at office supply stores. Take note of the considerations above when choosing your work desk for an ergonomic, comfortable and productive workspace.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

What You Should Know About Buying Dining Room Chairs

You know you need to buy Dining Room Chairs that are  both comfortable and stylish. They should be comfortable because this is where people gather around to eat, work and conversely. And they should be stylish because you want them  to look good and reflect your style. Now consider that you will choose from a dizzying range of styles, materials, colors and brands.
But when it actually comes to choosing and then buying a dining room chair, it comes down to only a few factors. Once you have determined these, it is relatively easy to pick out the one that is best for you.
Determine the Size
The size often gets neglected because it is the least glamorous part of the furniture buying process. However, this cannot be stressed enough: before you go out looking for dining chairs, determine the size you will need. For this, you have to consider the size of the room, and the clearance  around your table.
You also have to figure out where you will put any extra chairs, if your table is not fully extended all the time. Measure your room and table to see the size and number of chairs you can accommodate in your dining room and around your dining table. Remember to calculate the space between chairs as well as the actual space a dining chair will occupy before you pick a size.
Selecting a Material
Contemporary dining chair designs use not only traditional softwoods and hardwoods, but a wide range of other materials. Various types of plastic, acrylic glass, fabrics, metals and more are used on a regular basis as frame and accenting materials.
  • Wood (locally available hardwoods like oak and birch; softwoods like spruce and pine; exotic hardwoods like teak and ebony)
  • Metal (wrought iron; brushed steel; aluminum; brass and copper accents; ornamentation can be added with gold or silver leaf)
  • Plastics (recyclable polypropylene; technopolymer; polycarbonate; nylon polymer; polymer)
  • Upholstery fabric (canvas; heavy cotton twill; velvet, silk; manmade fiber blends woven into specialized upholstery fabrics.
Other materials used to manufacture modern chairs include wicker, glass, rubber, reclaimed wood, recycled paper, recycled metal and a limitless number of other innovative and resourceful elements.
Choosing a Style
While many contemporary designs are completely new and original, some shapes or production processes are based on other, older chair types. Take a look at the various chair styles and will reveal the particular properties unique to each one.
  • Windsor. Its backrest spindles are planted into thick seat with thin, turned legs. Variations include sack back, bow back, comb back, continuous arm, low back, hoop back and fan back. It often contains two or three species of wood.
  • Queen Anne. This is based on 10th century dining chair style. This horseshoe shaped seat has cabriole style front legs. The center of back support is shaped like a Grecian urn. This delicate, small scale chair usually has inlaid marquetry decoration.
  • Empire or Regency. Otherwise known as Duncan Phyfe chair, it features saber style legs, scroll back, squared top, upholstered seat, sloping arms and harp or lute design in open back. It usually has simple, elegant scrolling.
  • Shaker. Also called ladder back chair, its slat backs give the impression of a ladder. It comes in three-back, four-back and five-back variations, and has a wider backrest at top than at the bottom. It has woven or solid seat with legs splaying outward.
  • Chippendale. Named after Thomas Chippendale, a mid-18th century English furniture maker, this is also known as rococo style. It has a Chinese influence and usually has ball and claw feet with acanthus leaves in featured in its designs.
  • Contemporary. Made from various framing materials, it has three-legged designs, and may use a pedestal design instead of legs like the Tulip Dining Chair by Mobili Modern. It features innovative design that is variable, unpredictable and artistic.

Make sure that the chair you pick is comfortable for you. Because everyone has different comfort priorities, actually sit on the chair and see how it feels. If the seat is upholstered, there should be enough padding so you do not feel the frame through it.
Arms or Armless?
It is completely up to you to determine if your dining chairs have arms or not. It has been customary to have armchairs at the head of the table like the Marco Dining Armchair by Whiteline Modern Living, and armless chairs on the sides. But depending on your space and decorating style, you can choose to have armchairs all around.

Depending on your space and style, you may also want to go armless all around. Armless dining chairs take up less space than armchairs, visually as well as in the actual space you have. Also, armchairs can be more comfortable than armless ones. For older people, or those with knee problems. Arms on a chair help in getting in and out of the seat. Choose according to who usually dines at your dining table.
Judge for Quality
Before you buy your dining chair, make sure that you judge for quality. Of course, you would want to spend money for a chair that will actually last for as long as you like it.
  • Check if it is structurally sound by moving it around and jiggling it gently. The legs, arms or back should not move or sway.
  • Check to see if it is comfortable. A wood seat should be all in one piece, not made of pieces glued together.
  • Run your hand over the surface. It should feel smooth to the touch, and not have any splintering or snags.
  • If you are buying an antique or vintage chair, check to see if it is strong enough to be used. See if it can be tilted on the back legs, or if it can support the weight of an adult.

Dining chairs are one of the most important features of an established home. Aside from adding presence and character to your dining room; they also give you a comfortable seating area for meals.