May 28, 2024
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Tri Furniture Design Emphasizes Form and Function When Choosing Office Furniture

When starting a new building project, many business people think from the inside out. They plan the architectural design, and once construction is moving along, they start to consider furnishing options. That is a mistake, said Mordechai Ort, owner of Tri Furniture Design, an expert furniture dealer representing over 300 contract-grade manufacturers for office interiors, healthcare and nursing homes, educational facilities, businesses, synagogues, playgrounds and more. Furniture and technology specialists should be the first ones in when you are creating interior space or any space, not the last.

“We can come in and foresee a lot of issues,” said Ort, who has been furnishing offices, nursing homes and schools in New Jersey and nationwide for two decades. “We can review the interior specs and if there’s an issue, we’ll tell the owner.

“I went into a very large three-floor office building that was going to house the new headquarters of a healthcare company and incorporate two of their existing buildings and told the owner, ‘It’s not going to work; the manager rooms are too small.’ After his initial approval and build out, he had to gut the floor and do it all over with a different architect and new approvals.

“In another office, when we went in to measure, we discovered the furniture was planned for the wrong side of the room, not where the outlets and ports were. You don’t want to drag wires across a room.” Ort often goes with clients when they are thinking about leasing in a building to assess the space and access. “Reviewing the current workspace and then projecting the new workspace including future growth is paramount in properly assessing one’s investment in a new location,” he advised.

Whether you are an entrepreneur setting up a home office, a new startup or a manager responsible for furnishing a new floor or entire building, remember these keywords: form and function must be compatible. The form, the aesthetics, may please your eye or your budget, but the furniture must function properly to do its job.

Ort has seen the consequences when form and function don’t match. He worked with a business owner whose project designer specified gorgeous task chairs from a high-end foreign manufacturer. Since it was a large volume, he suggested that first a sample be tried out. Ort had the chair overnighted. “The business owner sat down and said it was the most uncomfortable chair in the world—he could feel the screws underneath. We then went and found a beautiful alternate chair that, while very modern looking, was also ergonomic and comfortable. You have to make sure people are comfortable or they won’t produce,” Ort cautioned. He further worked with the business owner who upgraded 20 additional chairs to ones with taller backs so certain staff would be more comfortable.

Style and comfort are not the only criteria. Longevity counts for furniture in public settings. Designers may select fabric that may not be up to code or strong enough to stand up to wear and tear. Ort says contract furniture doesn’t have to be super-expensive, but it should be better quality than you’d find at a big box store.

The type of facility matters as well. “I could put furniture in one environment where it would be perfect but in another it won’t last a year,” Ort said. He was brought into a nursing home in which eight-month-old, low-pressure laminate countertops (the standard specified for budget costs) were cracking. He found the cause. “I tracked down what housekeeping was using daily to disinfect and the proper 10-minute wet time, which is required. The bottle label had a clear warning not to use on porous surfaces, which is low-pressure laminate. What should have been specified is Corian surfaces, which is a sealed surface, yet three to four times the cost.

“Getting proper specified materials for all surfaces is vital to longevity,” Ort emphasized. “This was all before the Corona issue. Today, disinfection is more of an issue than ever, concerning proper disinfection with the correct chemicals on all surfaces in all settings, including furniture in schools and offices, and not just healthcare.”

Ort uses his experience to solve problems while recognizing that every job is unique. In September he was called into a public school system where he had to design plexiglass polycarbonate fire-rated shields for approximately 6,500 student desks and over 1,000 tables for offices, the computer lab, science labs, the cafeteria, the art room and library. He got the job done in three and a half weeks.

Tri Furniture Design is an authorized dealer for more than 300 contract-grade furniture manufacturers offering standard as well as custom designed furniture. Most furniture today is made to order, but Ort has also completed jobs with stock on hand in a little over a week. Three to four months’ planning is preferable, noted Ort, especially if you want to bring him in early in the process to consult on architectural drawings, space planning and design.

For more information, visit www.trifurniture.com. Contact Mordechai (Marc) Ort at 609-408-7061 or email [email protected].

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