With furniture used in commercial spaces, it’s important to have variety, be flexible and cost-effective. Now the latest watchword added to the mix is sustainability. Whether it is in outdoor or indoor furniture, commercial spaces need furniture that is timeless and will last for years to come.
However, Antony Guss, VP, Casualife said it is hard for customers to be certain what they are buying is good value for money when there seems to be not many standards in the industry. “Case in point: a leading restaurant opened for less than one year already is requesting tenders for re-supply of its wicker furniture.
Why? Because the synthetic wicker used was of insufficient quality, for the local Gulf market that has a very harsh climate. In this case the client failed its purchasing due diligence. A one-year life is well below what can be purchased; clients of that business also made claims against the proprietor for damage to their clothing which was caught by the broken strands of wicker,” said Guss.
Value for money, the design aesthetics and maintenance considerations are some of the things people need to consider before furnishing their commercial space.In addition to this, trends in the furniture industry also need to be taken into account.
Green furniture is also a factor, but how sustainable is furniture used in the Middle East? “As far as furniture goes, there is obviously an inherent conflict with sustainability given the materials used. As a manufacturer, we implement the designer’s concepts and directions and we are seeing greater awareness and actual specification of more sustainable products.
Whenever possible, we will try to take this further with recommendations that enhance this without compromising the furniture’s design, functionality or budget (for example by using different materials or production techniques),” said John McLennan, managing director, Indigo Living.He added, furniture design is taking on a fresher approach with more contemporary, modern and exciting designs being incorporated.
There is a move towards lighter materials, fabrics and colours; sleeker designs – less ostentatious at first sight but, in McLennan’s opinion, better designed and more on-trend.Another trend which seems to be gaining popularity is using retro and French-influenced designs.
Apart from distressing or creating vintage-looking furniture, French motifs such as fleur-de-lys and quatrefoils seem to be seen in many designs.Colours and designs of furniture almost always seem to follow the fashion runway’s styles.
Interior designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard said he is often very inspired by fashion in his designs.“Whether a current colour palette combination, a shape that maybe inspires me for a furniture detail or some embroidery on a shirt that I can use to border a chair or the leading edge of drapery; I think that fashion and interiors go hand in hand and as such are inspirational to both industries,” he said.
As furniture is one of the important elements of interiors, Commercial Interior Design speaks to furniture suppliers you definitely should know.