It's time to show your workspace a little love. You'll wonder how you ever lived without these super-stylish office accessories and furnishings.
By Ettie Berneking
Put down those push pins and pack up those desk calendars. There are far better ways to personalize and upgrade your office in 2019. To get the inside scoop about what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to office decor and accessories, we turned to the pros at Grooms Office Environments. Grooms has revamped offices, schools and hospitals all across our corner of the state, and there are seven office must-haves that have caught the team’s attention this new year.
Price Range: $700–$1,500
Best Used In: The beauty of these desks is they work in any office setting, plus, everyone can benefit from having a flexible work station.
Why We Love It: If you thought the stand-up-desk was going the way of medicine ball chairs and Thighmasters, think again. “We still hear requests all the time for these desks,” says Victoria Gorham, an account executive with Grooms Office Environments. Yes, these desks are great at getting you off your bum as often as you wish, but they offer more perks than simply an improved posture. The real perk is being able to adjust your entire workstation to your physical needs. “It’s about creating the most ergonomic space to work in,” Gorham says. “One chair height doesn’t fit all, so why should a desk?” Wearing heels one day and need a little extra leg room? No problem. Need to ditch your daily desk and work from another spot in the office? Great. A sit-to-stand desk allows you to replicate your original work station. As Gorham says, it’s time to think beyond the exercise benefits these desks offer. “It’s not about standing and timing yourself. It’s about being able to adjust your station to your physical needs.”
Price Range: $700–$2,500
Best Used In: While glass boards are a great replacement for worn out dry erase boards in any office, these hot new accessories are especially popular in heavy duty settings including schools and hospitals where their functionality and durability are particularly useful.
Why We Love It: If you’ve ever had to take notes or give a presentation using a dry erase board, you know there’s one annoying problem: Dry erase boards don’t totally erase. That’s because dry erase boards are porous, so eventually, all that colorful ink from the dry erase markers starts to seep into the board and leaves the faintest outline of whatever it was you were trying to erase. It’s distracting and also totally avoidable thanks to the new glass boards. “They’re made of glass, so they’re non-porous,” Gorham says. Goodbye, marker residue! Even better, these non-absorbent boards allow you to draw or write a message of your choosing and leave it up for as long as you want. The image won’t fade until you decide to wipe it off. That handy little feature is part of why these new-age boards have become so popular in hospitals and schools.
Tessera Conference Table by National Office Furniture
Price Range: $2,800
Best Used In: Impromptu meeting spaces where you might crave a professional setting one moment and an employee bonding experience the next.
Why We Love It: How can you not love something that’s elegant, functional and also a little wild? That’s exactly what these new conference tables are. This design takes everything we love about the start-up lifestyle and wraps it in a more professional and functional package. “It has a timeless look with childish fun,” Gorham says. Plus, it works a lot better than the actual ping pong table being used as a desk in the startup three doors down. One minute, you’re sitting at a spacious and sturdy conference table, and the next, you’re setting up the net and grabbing the paddles for a friendly game. “This is a great addition for any office setting that needs to maintain a polished and professional image but also wants to incorporate some fun into the mix,” Gorham says.
Cosm Chair by Herman Miller
Price Range: $550–$1,000
Best Used In: Any office. Don’t spend 2019 in an uncomfortable chair. Your spine and your productivity levels will thank you for the upgrade.
Why We Love It: When Gorham demonstrates how to adjust some of the popular Herman Miller chairs, she sometimes has as many as eight buttons to push, swivel and yank. That can sometimes be a bit too much labor when all you want to do is lower your seat height. Enter the new Cosm chair by Herman Miller. “There are no adjustments,” Gorham says. “It adjusts to your body automatically, so each person could sit in it and it would adjust on its own.” It’s basically magic—the kind of magic that comes in an array of colors and three chair back heights including low, medium and high.
Overlay Solutions by Herman Miller
Price Range: $3,000–30,000
Best Used In: New or temporary work spaces you’re leasing and don’t have the budget or wiggle room to make physical changes to the building’s layout.
Why We Love It: Flexibility is king, which is exactly why these moveable and adjustable rooms have caught the attention of the business world. Overlay solutions create a room within a room. Have an open floor space but need to create a few breakout meeting spaces? No problem! You can assemble a meeting space without having to actually build hard walls and make changes to your building’s physical structure. “This gives an open space a sense of privacy and allows for more settings,” Gorham says. “You can do anything! You can create small telephone rooms or large conference rooms with sliding glass doors.” Your choices of materials vary depending on how much privacy you’re craving, so you can take your pick of wood slats, marker boards, tackable acoustic panels or glass. While these room setups aren’t simple enough to rearrange every week, they are a great option for new or growing businesses still figuring out what they need from their office.
Eames Hang-It-All Coat Rack
Price Range: $195
Best Used In: Office entryways and corridors
Why We Love It: It’s fun, eye catching and a little whimsical. But more importantly, the Eames Hang-It-All Coat Rack is practical. “It looks like an architectural feature or piece of decor instead of just a coat rack,” Gorham says. But at the end of the day, this decorative device is nothing more than a coat rack. The Grooms team has a colorful version of the coat rack in the breakroom, and six months out of the year when coats are nowhere to be found, the bright knobs look like a piece of art, which is the goal. It’s probably why New York’s Museum of Modern Art has the coat racks for sale in the gift shop. “These are definitely design pieces,” Gorham says. “They’re a fun space saver that also look great.”
Mobile Charging Stations
Price Range: $250–$1,100
Used In: Working or public spaces i.e. businesses, libraries, schools, etc.
Why We Love It: Everyone needs to plug something in. Between our cell phones, laptops, headphones, tablets and eReaders, we can’t last long without an outlet nearby. Not surprisingly, businesses—even airports and restaurants—have noticed and have found a helpful way to reduce the suffering that comes with a low battery: mobile charging stations. These portable power towers come in a variety of heights and sizes—not to mention corded or wireless. “These give you the flexibility and power to choose your space to work,” Gorham says. “You’re no longer confined to walls or structural columns where you can spot an outlet.” These handy new tools are especially helpful for offices housed in older buildings where outlets are rare and tend to only run along the perimeter of the space.