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

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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.

Rollok Door gives easy, full opening access for 12’ wide closet at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Jul 24th, 2013 by Peter Harnack

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The Rollok Door recently delivered to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Saratoga California is now providing easy access to choir robes for the Church’s Choir.

Rollok Door used to provide easy access to 12' opening choir robe closet

Easy Access, Rollok Door for Prince of Peace Lutheran Church Choir Room

The robe cabinet in the choir room had a 12 foot opening.  There were two pull out doors that stuck 3 feet into the choir room.  During warm ups and before and after services, these doors hampered the choir from getting the robes and returning them at the end of services.  And they block and limited access to the closet when the practice piano was in use. Since the choir had previously acquired a Russ Bassett Slim Case cabinet with a tambour door for music storage (space was tight), as they looked for solutions to the doors-getting-in-the-way problem, a roll up door seemed that it might work.

An aluminum, foam cored Rollok Door from “Rollok Doors” turned out to be the solution.  This 12 foot opening could be covered by one, 12 foot Rollok Door to give the choir the access they needed, getting rid of the obtrusive swing open doors, and provide security if needed.

While most applications of the Rollok Door are for security, in this case convenience was the key factor to use the Rollok Door.  Because the church had volunteers with good handyman capability, the Rollok Door was delivered direct and the volunteers did the install.  Prince of Peace’s pastor noted that the install when up very easily, commenting “Is it really this easy?”

Now the choir has the easy access they need and security if needed (for example, if there are visiting accompanists who need to secure instruments or equipment).   To see the inspiration, packaging, before and after video, click here.

For more information about how a Rollok Door can work for you, contact Pete at 408-614-1720 or visit

See the YouTube Video Now – <CLICK HERE>

Glass Marker Boards -Yesterday’s Presentations Will Never Be Today’s Distraction
Apr 19th, 2013 by Peter Harnack


Modern glass marker boards overcome the traditional staining and ghosting of cheap, painted white boards-while simultaneously giving you a great look.

Glass Marker Board with Stand-off Mounting

Glass Marker Board with Stand-off Mounting

Old style painted white boards have problems when previous images “ghost” on the board.  They are hard to keep clean.  And an accidental the use of a permanent marker almost makes the board impossible to use.  Porcelain boards help with their superior surface but the best look and feel option is glass.

The moment your pen that touches the surface, you will appreciate the silky – smooth writing.  Ghosting is eliminated and the glass marker board will give you years of trouble free service.

Design Options

Glass marker boards give many upgraded design options.  Their look is sophisticated, unique, and you get a virtual cornucopia of color, finish, and size options.

Mounting can be standoff, concealed, or architecturally applied.  Virtually any color can be provided on the optically clear glass.  Finish can be semi transparent etched so the underlying wall color becomes the glass marker boards hue.  Pure white and magnetic white are also available.

For added value, glass marker boards can include back printing for lines, text, Logos-even semi permanent removal graphics are possible when design changes are needed.

While typically used in whiteboard sizes, architectural glass marker boards can stretch from floor to ceiling and even installed as dividers, signage, or mounted on mobile bases.

Clear glass is inconspicuous when not in use.

Healthcare facilities staff love glass marker boards because they are naturally anti bacterial and easy to clean.

Plus you get the great look in an eco – friendly, recycled material form.

Planning and Designing Collaborative Work Spaces – Personal Storage Space
Apr 16th, 2013 by Peter Harnack


Hive Personal Storage Lockers

Hive (Wood) Personal Storage Unit with changeable Graphics, Personal Storage Area, Mail Slot and Personal Laptop/File Storage Box Option

When researching their work and how it might apply to other organizations, I noted with interest a comment from a Cisco IT manager regarding needs of employees articulated during brainstorming sessions. One frequently mentioned need was for quiet areas to be used for short period of times during the day. Another mentioned personal lockers for belongings like purses and lunches and larger filing cabinets for employees whose job required them to store forms or records.

Today we are review new products that would be very helpful in meeting the personal locker storage needs of mobile/hotelling personnel.

The “Hive” Personal Storage Locker System

In an agile and dynamic workspace, one of the challenges to success can be the loss or lack of a defined personal space for employees. “Hive” seeks to solve this vital need in a unique way.

Made from wood, the “Hive” system was developed keeping in mind how people would work in the new agile office. They wanted to be able to locate these units in corridors rather than in locker rooms. Therefore they had to be made fun and flexible. You can interchange doors easily and change graphics quickly.

Each worker gets one level as their permanent office base. This unit is their address. This is where physical messages or messages are left. They get about 39 inches of personal storage space to put their hotbox (more on that later) and other important belongings.

When you combine the small, movable Hive (see April 15, 2013 blog) and the personal storage of Hotbox, clutter is removed from the work space. You no longer need a pedestal for each person. And each desk can now have many users.

Shared desks becomes more viable since one Hive replaces the need for up to 3 personal pedestals for each desk.

For more information, contact us. < Click Here >

Coming next – space saving large filing storage systems.


Planning and Designing Collaborative Work Spaces – Cisco Systems® Case Study and Design Considerations
Apr 15th, 2013 by Peter Harnack

Wow Pod Movable Private, Quite, Work Space for up to 4 People

Wow Pod, A Mobile Pod for up to 4 People


In 2004, Cisco Systems® set out to design work spaces to promote collaboration, improve productivity and cut costs. The result of their planning, work and findings can be reviewed in detail by downloading the Cisco Case Study (click here).

When researching their work and how it might apply to other organizations, I noted with interest a comment from a Cisco IT manager regarding needs of employees articulated during brainstorming sessions. One frequently mentioned need was for quiet areas to be used for short period of times during the day. Another mentioned personal lockers for belongings like purses and lunches and larger filing cabinets for employees whose job required them to store forms or records.

I researched the latest offerings of office furniture products available in San Jose and Silicon Valley, and found a couple of new products that would be very helpful in meeting the above needs for small quiet places, personal lockers and filing cabinets (both big and small).

The Wow Pod Movable Private Work Station

The first is the “Wow Pod – A mobile pod for up to 4 people”. It is essentially a circular tube with excellent sound proofing, lighting and ventilation. You can custom design the look to match in with your decor. And with built-in locking wheels, they are easily repositioned as needs change. Great for the short times when employees need that private space for individual work or small groups without taking a formal conference room. And as office conference rooms become harder to find available, this is a great solution.

For more information, contact us < click here >

Coming next – info on personal/portable locker space.


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