Residential Furniture in Commercial Applications

Are you looking to transition your workplace from a traditional business space to a more casual environment? Are you trying to capture the comfort of home to create a more relaxed yet productive office? As you stroll through the big box furniture store are you thinking of furnishing your workplace with their trendy, Euro home couches, office desks or storage units? You’re not alone.

The use of residential furniture in commercial spaces, also known as “resimmercial”, is rapidly growing as businesses are looking to create comfortable workplaces that reflect their homes. While thinking outside the box and making the office less like a box and more like a house, it’s important to remember that residential furniture may not meet the demands of commercial applications.

Arcadia Contract Uptown Collection

Commercial Wear and Tear

In the past, the home office got very little use beyond writing checks to pay bills and balancing your checkbook. Many residential home office furnishings were meant for light use and not designed to meet the demand of constant applications. As we move into an age of more telecommuting and time spent working from that home office, the wear and tear of heavier use is taking it’s toll on residential products especially when used in a work space.

While you might save money with your initial purchase, the costs down the road of replacing the furniture will add up quickly. Think of residential furniture as being disposable since it’s usually cheaper to replace than repair. But that way of thinking doesn’t conform to making an office greener and environmentally friendly as we create more waste with cheaply made furniture. Whereas commercial furniture was meant to withstand the constant use and heavy traffic that will hold up over time, prolonging your investment and creating less landfill.

Residential office furniture
JSI Indie Collection

Why Use a Contract Furniture Dealer?

Many commercial or contract furniture brands and dealers feature multi-year warranties and 24/7 customer service. Customer service is extremely important from early design stages and expanded custom options to down the road when you need to match a piece furniture to your existing set up or obtain warranty coverage. Using a contract furniture dealer provides a layer of localized customer service from start to finish. 

Does the brand of furniture you have your eyes set on have Registered Certification Marks that ensure the materials have been quality tested? These tests may include the traditional Wyzenbeek Test (measuring fabric wear resistance) or the more recent ACT Voluntary Performance Guidelines that uses a broader set of testing standards. 

Other standard include ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard that address environmental and social impacts throughout the supply chain. The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) recently announced that it will officially launch BIFMA Compliant, a branded conformance program in October 2020. 

Another thing to take into account when choosing furniture for your workspace, does the furniture comply with local/state regulations like CA Prop 65 or San Francisco’s 2018 Flame Retardant Ordinance (see our blog for more details). When you work with a contract furniture dealer, we will help to ensure your furniture meets these standards that many residential products may not. 

SurfaceWorks Izzy+

Looks Like Residential, Made for Commercial

The good news is that many commercial furniture brands are creating products that look modern and residential while retaining commercial quality. At MB Contract Furniture we work with a number of these manufacturers that allow us to bring you the best of both worlds. 

Below is an example of some the brands we recommend for your next “resimmercial” project.

The Indie collection from JSI offers contemporary, freestanding lounge chairs with a style towards residential aesthetics but made for commercial applications. Looking for a classic Danish, with echoes of art-deco style funishings? Check out JSI’s Bourne collection of seating, storage and tables.

Add the comfort of your living room to your office lounge with modular seating, benches and tables from Arcadia’s Uptown Social collection. Available in a variety of colors and wood finishes, this collection offers clean minimalist lines with comforting semi-circle designs. 

Are you searching for modern, unique furnishings that provide functional comfort? BuzziSpace offers products that look just as fun and exciting as their name. Their BuzziMe lounge chairs feature dense high-performance, sound-absorbing materials with a rotating base that allows for different levels of privacy in an instant while remaining in the same place.

When it comes to storage, residential products just don’t stack up to commercial in terms of durability. Surfaceworks Audrey Storage collection offers flexibility and easy reconfiguration with their modular cabinet styles and sizes that can be customized to fit your needs as they change.

These are just a sampling of the many contract furniture manufacturers we work with on a daily basis to ensure that your office offers a comforting, residential appeal while maintaining commercial quality. Let MB Contract Furniture help create your next “resimmercial” workplace.

Residential office furniture
JSI Indie Collection