Why I sell office furniture
Jan 2nd, 2015 by I-SV Host

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Why I am in the commercial interiors business.

The start of a new year caused me to reflect on previous years and re-examine why I am in the commercial furniture business.

Logo Wall - Art Drawing Concept

Logo Wall – Concept

The reflection helped me realize it is not the office furniture itself that’s important. It is the sense of accomplishment I get from my clients when solving a puzzle. The puzzle is open ended, comprised of the organization’s function, culture, people, space available and budget.

The sense of accomplishment comes from discovering and understanding these components of the puzzle, communicating a solution concept and management of the process that ensures timely completion.

That’s why, on our home websites ( and we do not sell individual furniture products – we instead show you different office furniture designs to illustrate the breadth of our possible solutions.

Logo Wall - Finished Picture

Logo Wall – Finished

I am a fan of …

I am a fan of television shows such as Project Runway, Design-on-a-Dime, and Flip-or-Flop. I watch these shows to see how others are presented with a situation and how they create or transform and idea into a solution that works.

Contestants or hosts on these shows create valuable results that are worth much more the individual parts because they use their creativity combined with experience, expertise and drive.

People feel uplifted when wearing attractive, well designed clothes. People feel happy when moving into a new home transformed from a dated or run-down building. And home owners feel more comfortable when an interior is changed to match their desires and lifestyle.

I also read trade and design publications such as Interior Design, Architectural Digest and Coastal Living for inspiration.

And I personally visit our manufacturers or study their office furnishing products to be well informed of possibilities – both for the styles they provide as well as the quality and durability of their offerings.

When you use Indoff …

When you use Indoff as your interiors solution provider, you get the same feeling of satisfaction from both the process and the result you’ll achieve.

The steps are easy and you are freed to the work you normally do, relying on Indoff to be your expert right-hand guide and supplier. Our expertise and creativity lead to a result that fits your organization and contributes to its’ success. The “I Wish I Worked There” can be your results as your office furnishings, organizational layout and functions are achieved through expertise and creativity matched by attention to detail from Indoff.

You save TIME: …

You save time because you simply provide your circumstances to our staff. Tell us about your organization, your goals and generally what styles appeal to you.

We will prepare basic layouts and concepts for your review. Then we will zero in on reliable, quality sources we know and trust who can meet your needs. Then we will communicate clearly with virtual or physical concept boards what your new or updated office will look. Then we will coordinate orders and project details and manage the project timing and installation.

Concept Board - Hyundai Showroom Remodel -  Layout, Photos & Finishes

Concept Board – Hyundai Showroom Remodel –
Layout, Photos & Finishes

You save MONEY: …

You will save money as a result of our $120 million+ dealership because we get excellent volume pricing from our manufacturers when the savings are passed on to you.

And unlike small dealerships with limited product lines or “house brand” firms, we don’t force-fit you into a limited selection just because that is all that we have.

Within your budget, you get the style you want, a layout that works toward the goals you have for your staff, your organization, and your clients/customers.

Call us today at 408-656-1709 …

Call us today to chat about your needs to see if we can imagine a solution just for you.



The Value of Reconfigurable Desk Furnishings
Nov 24th, 2014 by Peter Harnack

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I am with an installation crew here in Newport Beach, California.  Once again, our client benefited from reconfigurable office furniture.

Original Layout

Original Layout

What to do when a re-configuration is wanted.

A manager, when reviewing his layout, at the last minute decided he wanted to change the configuration.  This meant that the pedestals on the desk and credenza were on the wrong side.  If we had used a different type of desk with fixed pedestals, we would have needed to install the desk’s configuration as originally planned.

Revised Layout

Revised Layout


Office Outfitting in Newport Beach, CA - Click here to view video

Office Outfitting in Newport Beach, CA – Click here to view video

However, in this install, we supplied furnishings that can be reconfigured – with the ability to move a pedestal from one side of a desk to the other.

Preconfigured desks are “ glued” together giving you a very solid feeling.  Reconfigurable desks used pins and cams to lock panels into place and have some flexibility compared to solid, glued furnishings.

If you expect to move and take the furnishings with you, reconfigurable units give you more flexibility at your new location.

Or if you discover at the last minute that you want to change all layout, the installation crew can do a reconfiguration on the job.

An example of how this really helped an accounting firm comes to mind.  When I do client layouts for private offices, I often leaned toward Feng Shui principles (a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment).  I tried to configure the office so that the user faces the door; not with their back to the door.  This way, no surprises when people walk in.

Last minute change that affects layout

At the accounting office, the client switched two rooms.  One had been designated as an office.  The other was a conference room.  The doors to these two rooms on different sides.  While this reconfiguration didn’t impact the conference room, it was a different story for the office.  In order for the desk to properly face the door, the pedestal drawers in the office had to be switched.  Since we provided reconfigurable furnishings, our installation team was quickly able to make this change on the fly.

So if your plans include expected future moves or remodels and you have desks with pedestals on one side with credenza pedestals on the other, consider reconfigurable furniture as your office furnishings of choice.

Modernizing Your Reception, Lounge and Waiting Areas.
Nov 19th, 2014 by Peter Harnack

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  • Power outlets
  • Tablet arms
  • Data ports
  • Self-playing monitors
  • Magazine and literature racks
Lounge Chair with Power Outlet and Tablet Arm

Lounge Chair with Power Outlet and Tablet Arm

Upgrade Your First Impression Organizational Image

Your organization is often perceived by your lounge and waiting areas.  How you outfit these areas project an image about how you care about your clients, customers, patients, guests, and potential employees.

These spaces, furnished just a few years ago, don’t meet the needs of current visitors.

Today, with virtually all guests using Electronic Devices, a well designed waiting lounge area accommodates those guest’s needs.

Keys to Modernizing Your Waiting Areas

Key items to consider adding to these areas include easily accessed power outlets (both three prong and USB), wireless recharger pads and convenient tablet arms.

People Sitting on Floor to Get Access to Power Outlet.

People Sitting on Floor to Get Access to Power Outlet.

Have you noticed that old fashioned airports have travelers clustered around a column or sit on the floor, bunched by a wall with an outlet sitting on the floor?

Lounge Chair with Data Port

Lounge Chair with Data Port

That is because people are desperately trying to charge their mobile phone, tablets, or laptops.

Lounge Chairs with Power Outlets

And waiting areas today, people will be searching for outlets, pulling chairs away from the wall, trying to get to the outlets as they want to use their waiting time with Electronic Devices that need charging.  You can both keep your waiting area organized and provide client convenience with outlets built into the waiting area chairs.  Modern manufacturers of commercial quality lounge chairs now provide power outlets as an option.  Sometimes these units are simply a attached to the chair frame and sometimes the outlets are imbedded into the upholstered arms or side panels.  These chairs and sofas include built-in extension cords.  These configured chairs with built-in power are super convenient and appreciated by guests.

Lounge Chairs with Built-in Tablet Arms & Data Ports

Lounge Chairs with Built-in Tablet Arms

Lounge Chairs with Built-in Tablet Arms

Of similar value, chairs with built-in tablet arms are equally valued.  When people use tablets, laptops, or larger display smart phones, it is easier for them when there is a convenient tablet arm ready to support the device.

While drop-down tablet arms are available, we recommend fixed tables (perhaps with an ability to rotate slightly in or out depending upon whether or not the user wants to start the support over their legs or to the side).

And when lounge areas are used for collaborative work spaces, access to power and small tablet holders make these meetings more productive.

Here are more examples of modern lounge and guest chairs with power and tablet options.  A wide range of products and styles to fit any décor and budget are available.


Other Waiting Room Accessories – Self-Playing Monitors and Literature/Magazine Racks

Lounge Area Literature - Magazine Rack

Lounge Area Literature – Magazine Rack

Self Playing Monitor in Lounge Area

Self Playing Monitor in Lounge Area

Use Arm-less Lounge Seating in Tight Quarters to Increase Visitors
Nov 18th, 2014 by Peter Harnack

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Return to Office Furniture San Jose – Indoff – Silicon Valley Branch


Many lounge chairs today with arms take significant space width-wise.

Armless Guest Chairs

Armless Guest Chairs

How to get more lounge chairs in a limited space

When you are trying to get more seats in a tight space, consider using armless or one-armed seating.  Armless lounge chairs have the same seat width as armed chairs but without the extra space associated with arms.  In most situations, armless lounge chairs worked just as well as armed chairs, but save space.

In the space that would be available for three chairs with arms, you could fit four chairs without arms.  Some lounge chair manufacturers offer lounge chairs with only one arm (right or left).  This way you can have a group of chairs in a row but only have arms on the last chair in the row to finish the end-most chair.  Armless lounge chairs can include tablet holders that attach directly to the chairs frame without the bulk of an arm.  Many modern reception and waiting areas today include built-in tablets surfaces for patient, client, or customer use that show your awareness and sensitivity to electronic device used by your visitors.

Armless Guest Chair with Side Tablet

Armless Guest Chair with Side Tablet

Armless Guest Chairs with table/upholstered arm rest

Armless Guest Chairs with table/upholstered arm rest



Add Power Outlets to Waiting Area for Better Customer Service
Nov 12th, 2014 by Peter Harnack

Visit Indoff - Silicon Valley  Return  to Office Furniture San Jose


I’m sitting in a waiting area at a tire store.  The store is busy today; my wait time will be about an hour and ½ to fix a slow leak.  Good thing I brought my notepad.  At least I can stay somewhat productive.

Waiting Area 1 - with Counter Space And Stools

Waiting Area 1 – with Counter Space and Stools

2 Convenient Waiting Areas – Good attention to customer needs

Conveniently, this store has two waiting areas, one with stools, counters & tables and the other with the ever present TV with typical upholstered guest chairs.  At least you can chose a spot based on your personal preference and what you plan to do with your time.

The bar stools are tough metal and the upholstery is in good shape.  Comfortable enough (but not sure how 1 ½ hours later will feel.

They do offer a phone charging station but currently two people are seated on both sides of the recharger so even though one of my phones needs recharging, it is not convenient or accessible to me.

Recommended Improvements to these Spaces

What changes or additions would I suggest to make these areas more comfortable and convenient for the store’s waiting customers and potentially increase sales?

Waiting Area 2 with TV and Reading Material

Waiting Area 2 – TV and magazines

Table top Power Outlets and Magazine Racks

Access to convenient power outlets, a magazine/newspaper rack to encourage tidiness, and QR codes on posters to encourage mobile web access come to mind.

The waiting area away from the TV, with two bar height counters and standing height café tables has only one 4-plug power outlet – centered between the two counters and an outlet on the left-most side of the left counter.  If you are seated on the right side or at the café tables, you are out of luck power wise.  Only waiting customers seated toward the middle of the two counters or on the left most counter have access to power.

(Good news – just saw my car being driven into the service bay – yea!).

And the customers waiting next to the cell phone charger has moved so I can now recharge my exhausted phone.  BTW, the recharge cable is too short to plug in the phone and use the phone at the same time (so partially convenient but not totally).

An easy fix to this situation would be to add a few counter height outlets.  Easy-to-install table top outlets, available for about $ 145.00 would remedy this situation quickly.

Table-top Power Supply

Table-top Power Supply

Magazine Rack

Magazine Rack

Keeping the waiting area tidy is easy when you have a distinct place for magazines and newspapers.  Otherwise table tops and chairs become reading material clutter sites.  A simple rack such as a vertical wire mesh holder would help tidy up this space.

And although this retail space has convenient free wi-fi, the posters and displays don’t include web-engaging QR codes or web site addresses that would encourage customer’s to peruse online.  While not furniture related, I’d suggest the vendor add QR codes to posters and sales flyers to provide smart phone and table users with engaging sales feature/benefit videos and capture permission-based email addresses for future promotions.

Best new yet – tires on done.  Actually less than an hour – Good job.

Sitting all day is not good for you. Really not good. Here’s why.
Jul 7th, 2014 by I-SV Host

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Emerging science has data that suggests it is dangerous to sit all day.  Health benefits increase the more time you spend standing or walking daily.

Forty three different studies published last week, indicate for the more time you sit, there is an increase in chances of colon, endometrial, and lung cancers.  The study suggest each hour you sit reduces your life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

How sitting affects the human body:

Sitting burns 50 fewer calories per hour compared to standing or walking.  Leg muscles need to work more to keep you upright and balanced and that burns an extra 50 calories per hour.  Instead of sitting for 8 hours, if you stand for 4 and sit for 4, you burn an extra 1,000 calories per week without changing your diet or exercise.  If you do this for a year, it is the equivalent of 50,000 extra calories, roughly the same as expended in running 15 marathons.

Other ill effects of sitting:

Sitting based idle muscle cells release much lower amounts of lipase, an enzyme that helps eliminate fats from the bloodstream and helps maintain higher levels of HC (higher “good” cholesterol.

Your body also becomes more resistant to insulin when sitting.  And genes that normally suppress inflammation are also altered when you sit, possibly contributing to increased cancer rates observed.

Of course, work is not the only place you sit.  Time watching TV at home impacts health too.  Research shows that watching 4 or more hours of TV a day (while sitting) increase heart attacks, chest pain, or other cardiovascular disease even when controlling for diet and exercise.  And more time sitting also increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 112%.

So what should you do?

Step 1:  Get up from sitting.

Find time to systematically get up from your desk.  Stand and walk while on the phone.  Stand during meeting.  Install your printer farther from your desk to make you get up every so often.

Step 2:  Opt for a standing desk or sit/stand desk.

Adjustable Height Desk - YouTube 1 Minute Video

Adjustable Height Desk – YouTube 20 Second Video

If you work at in a cubicle, have one work surface set for standing (works with desk surfaces that are supported by cantilevered supports) and one for sitting (experts recommend taking sitting breaks rather than stand all day to reduce strain on your heels and knees).  Or convert your work surface to sit/stand by replacing the desk legs with mechanical or electrically adjustable legs.  Most manufacturers offer just the legs to help keep your investment lower.

Step 3:  Try to cut down on your TV hours.

If you have a dog(s), take them out a little more often (good for them and you).  Or simply take a few short walking breaks every few minutes during otherwise sedentary periods.  With new TV technology that allows you to “save” programs for later viewing, use it.  You will not miss anything and be able to speed through stuff you’d rather not watch anyway.

Reception Desk – Custom – Modern – Creative – Affordable
Jun 19th, 2014 by I-SV Host

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You need a new, modern, reception desk – but it needs to be affordable.

Photo that inspired a new Reception Desk

Photo that inspired a new Reception Desk

When moving to a new location, AltiGen Communications in San Jose, California, wanted to create a more welcoming Lobby at their new facility.  Having viewed some of the different Reception Desk Styles on Indoff – Silicon Valley Branch’s website (, AltiGen contacted Indoff as a possible provider for a new reception desk.  They wanted something different that reflects their business success but wanted to get this look affordably.

We want it to look like this >>.

Key personnel at AltiGen forwarded photos of reception desks that appealed to their design desires.  Indoff – Silicon Valley Branch researched options and rough budgets and one design in particular stood out as very attractive and doable with a Bay Area Manufacturer, Action Laminates in Hayward.

Concept Development for a new Reception Desk

AltiGen Communication's, San Jose, CA, Reception Desk

AltiGen Communication’s, San Jose, CA, Reception Desk

To manage costs, the reception desk was built with premium laminate surfaces.  The desk work surface and part of the front is a dark, textured finish.  The built-in white insert is gloss white high pressure laminate with color-core edging to make the block appear as one piece (no black line typically associated with laminate surfaces).  This is the same high quality High Pressure Laminate that is used in wall mounted and mobile white boards.

A custom built, standoff L-shaped clear glass transaction counter that floats beyond the white block onto part of the work surface finishes the off the reception desk.

The receptionist has convenient storage under the white block area and a 2-drawer, 1 file pedestal for additional storage.  Grommets have been added under the white block unit and on the side to allow convenient cable and power access to the work surface.

Now that the reception desk is in place, AltiGen is considering adding a companion storage cabinet next to the desk, by the wall, to cover power and data cables, add storage to the area, and add more work surface area for equipment.

If you are considering a upgraded or remodeled reception desk, rather than settling for “off-the-shelf” solutions, consider sending Indoff – Silicon Valley your ideas and inspirations and see how affordable and impressive a solution can be for you.

One-Hour, Do-it-yourself, professional “cubicles”
Jun 18th, 2014 by I-SV Host

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For start-ups, fast growing organizations, cost conscience businesses, and anyone who wants quality work stations with “move-it-around” flexibility – finally a work station designed with you in mind.

Workspace Cubicles can be complicated and typically need to be laid out by a brand-expert space planner and assembled by professional installers. Plus some system can take weeks to months to be delivered.

Cube-in-a-Box® Configuration Options

Cube-in-a-Box® Configuration Options

Growing?  Need Affordable Work Stations?  Need to get lots of “collaboration” staff in modest spaces?

Start-ups, fast moving, growing companies or organizations may be adding people faster than relatively stationary cubicle systems can accommodate.  And prices may take a bite out of business working capital.  If you are this type of organization, you need workstations that are professional but affordable, flexible and readily available as your work force changes and grows.

Cure for the Common Cubicle:

Cube in-a-Box® is one “cure for the common cubicle”. These systems provide value, quality and flexibility to “push” around as your office layout needs change, grow and reorganize.

Cube in-a-Box®  is the right solution for those that want high quality and professional looking cubicles FAST and at an AFFORDABLE price.

For convenient ordering and packaging, everything for one “cube” is included in a SINGLE box and delivered directly to your office or home. How much easier can it get? You can be at your new work station in under an hour with Cube-in-a-Box®!

Indoff – Silicon Valley Branch is a local Cube-in-a-Box® provider.  To learn more <click here>.

Cube in-a-Box®  is a registered trademark of

How to Select Commercial Grade Fabric that Provides Lasting Value
Jun 17th, 2014 by I-SV Host

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If you want your office’s seating to keep its’ good looks for many years, key factors in the fabric are durability, light-fastness, and cleanability.  Durability means how much normal wear a fabric can resist before it begins to show wear.  Light-fastness is the ability of the fabric to endure light without fading.  And Cleanability is associated with water or solvent cleaners or bleach in healthcare facilities.

How to get durability information.

Sample Fabric Performance Information

Sample Fabric Specifications and Performance Information

Standardized “Rub” Tests on fabric give you a number that shows the fabric’s resistance to wear.  This is sometime know as “Performance”. The higher the number, the longer the fabric will last.  For example, on a Textiles web site, when looking a fabric’s pattern, you can also click on “specifications” and see the double rub (D.R.) rub count for each product.

In everyday terms, this is essentially the wear that happens every time you sit on the furniture.

High rub count fabric is used in high traffic areas like waiting room in hospitals and dentists offices.  Fabric counts in these areas can be as high as 250,000 double rubs.  Police departments with duty belts of nylon or leather and metal equipment might have double rub counts of 500,000 to 1,000,000.

While residential furniture might have 15,000 double rubs, you should select 25,000 or more for frequently used pieces in your home especially around kid and pets.

And most experts agree that HD or Heavy Duty fabric, with a minimum of 30,000 to 40,000 or more double rub counts, are important for commercial furniture.

Table of Suggested Rub Counts for Commercial and Residential Applications

Suggested Double Rub Count*

Very Heavy Duty Commercial, High Traffic Areas

Heavy Duty Commercial, High Traffic Home Areas (Family Room/Den)

Medium Duty, Home Living Rooms, moderate home traffic areas
15,000 to 30,000

Light Duty, occasional use areas, not upholstery
9,000 to 15,000

Delicate Duty, toss cushions, draperies
under 9,000

Avoid fabric fading with higher lightfastness numbers.

Fabric is often graded on how permanent a color is on the fabric after exposure to light.  Both natural and synthetic fabrics are subject to fading or discoloration under sunlight and fluorescent light.

Grade 5 means there is no fading.  Grade 4 means there is slight fading.  Upholstery fabrics should have a minimum rating of 4 regardless of end use.  Sometimes you will see lightfastness in terms like 40+ hours.

Match the fabric’s cleanability to your environment.

Fabrics have recommended cleaning methods.  Some allow water based cleaning agents (Code W).  Some with Code “S” should be cleaned only with mild water-free cleaning solvent or dry cleaning products.

Code W-S can be cleaned with either water or solvent based products.

Code X should be vacuumed or gently brushed only.

If you are in a healthcare environment, look for “high performance” fabrics that can be bleach cleaned or coated with Teflon for thorough cleaning.

Seating pricing varies significantly with the price of the fabric.  Better, more durable fabrics are typically more expensive but on flip side, these fabrics retain their good looks for years.  Indoff – Silicon Valley Branch can provide advice on fabrics to use for your unique circumstances that both look great and will serve the needs of visitors and staff for years.

To learn more about fabric testing standards <click here>

*  Using Wyzenbeek Method <click here for more info>

Implementing Flexible, Adjustable-Height Workstations
Dec 19th, 2013 by I-SV Host

SUNING selects Indoff-Silicon Valley as their commercial interiors supplier.

Height Adjustable Desk - Initial Delivery 3 Days after Order

Height Adjustable Desk – Initial Delivery 3 Days after Order

SUNING, the largest privately held Chinese firm recently opened their first USA based operations, a Research and Development Center in Palo Alto California.  Their first office is a starter facility, designed to establish a base of operations for planned growth.  So their furniture had to provide for the needs of the startup staff, accommodate the host of visiting guests and potential employees, and be flexible for relocation as staff grew and their new, larger facility is prepared.

Indoff-Silicon Valley was retained by SUNING to transform SUNING’s initial business furniture layout plan into US products that could be acquired quickly given the tight “time-to-open” schedule and quality requirements.  Plus, SUNING needed a supplier that felt completely comfortable translating back and forth between Chinese and English – both for language and measurements.

Height-Adjustable Workstations – the first priority

Adjustable Height Desk - Installed with ceiling fed Power/Data Grid

Adjustable Height Desk – Installed with ceiling fed Power/Data Grid

When SUNING’s space became available for move in, the first priority was new employee work stations, planned to be adjustable height tables served by a power/data grid spine-divider.  Indoff-Silicon Valley was able to provide the adjustable height workstations, in SUNING’s color scheme, 3 days after receipt of order.  So SUNING’s initial staff had places to work fast.

Indoff-Silicon Valley provided electrically adjustable work stations with C-Legs, (white work surface and silver legs) to accommodate different staff needs, help avoid the risks of prolonged sitting, and promote standing staff interaction/collaboration.

Each table has four user defined pre-set heights so that height changes between low & high are consistent for different staff (plus a display shows work surface inches from the floor as a guide for placement).  Throughout the day, as workers change heights, they reduce fatigue and have an overall increase in work performance (validated by a 2004 Intel Corporation Study).



Adjustable Height Desk - YouTube 1 Minute Video

Adjustable Height Desk – YouTube 20 Second Video

To see the table in action, visit our YouTube video <click here>

For more information on Height-Adjustable workstations and how to convert existing cubicle work surfaces and desks to sit/stand, contact Indoff-Silicon Valley today <click here>

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