Office Interior Design Tips

More Creative Ways to Produce Privacy In An Open Office Space Environment

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As much as the open office space is a preferred design with most of today’s companies, certain office activities still require a bit of privacy… or the opportunity to get loud without causing too much distraction for fellow employees. As a result, both furniture and office space design companies have come up with a variety of creative solutions to create “privacy” without compromising the open-concept design. We’ve covered a few of them in previous blogs — office pods, partial living walls, Everblock®and Tetris® furniture and walls, use and placement of storage cabinets…but here are a couple more options an organization can take into consideration:

viswall-rotating-screens

  1. The Rotating Office Screens – A similar concept to vertical blinds, the rotating office screen is actually a series of double-panel slats, each of which rotates on its own pointed base plate. Each slat and base unit can easily be oriented into specific formations in relation to the other slat-base units to create an interesting decor within the open office space design while in “open” position. Once a private meeting is required, the same slats can be turned to the “closed” position, instantly creating a semi or fully private meeting area.

  1. Acoustic Office Screens – Not entirely new to the office space design world, acoustic office screen panels are now available in a variety of sizes, colours and shapes to offer flexibility and interesting decor to an ever-changing open office space environment. Each panel is designed to either stand on casters or on its own unique base, so they can be easily positioned to either add a design to a main wannabe-tree-screenwall or create a semi-private space for individual or collaborative activities. In some cases, the panel shapes are irregular but can interlink to make a visually stimulating wall design or collaboration area. In other cases, the walls are stackable or can easily “nest” into one another, allowing for easy storage. What is even more advantageous is the acoustic office screens are made with soft materials designed to absorb sound, so they help lessen sound disturbances in an open office space environment.

The best part about these solutions is that they not only provide a “privacy” option to the open-concept office space design, but they also enhance flexibility within an open office space design.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

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References:

Urban Office, “Viswall Rotating Screen”, https://www.urban-office.com/office/office-screens/viswall-screen.html

Urban Office, “Wannabetree Screen”, https://www.urban-office.com/office/office-screens/wannabetree.html

Urban Office, “Alp Screen”, https://www.urban-office.com/office/office-screens/alp-screen.html

Office Space Ideas That Take Flexibility to a Whole New Level

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everblock-office-deskOK. Do you remember one of my previous blogs stating that flexibility would be key in office space design? Well, there are actually some office space ideas, concepts and materials that take “flexibility” to a whole new level.

Take, for example, the Everblock®. If you were ever a Lego® fanatic or ever dreamed of living or working in a room built of Lego® blocks, your dream could easily become a reality. Inspired by Lego®, Everblocks® are sturdy modular plastic life-sized interlocking blocks that can easily be used to build a wall divider or room whenever needed– but that’s not all. These same blocks can be used to build chairs, desks, sofas, shelving, cabinets….pretty much any furniture your office would need… and your team can be the creative “Masterbuilders” of it all. Talk about flexibility!

How about the sliding inflatable wall that doubles as a lounge bed? That’s right. A glossy transparent inflatable screen resembling a giant form of bubble-wrap is set within a frame on castors to create a great sliding office partition that can easily be moved around to define certain office areas without compromising too much on the open office space concept. This same inflatable screen can slide out of its frame and be laid on the floor to create a lounging area or bed. That’s flexibility.

tetris-chair-sofa-bed-sdesignunitIf you are more of a Tetris® fan, then here is an idea for your office– Tetris® inspired furniture pieces which when fitted together can either be a table with chairs (suitable for a lunchroom setting), a lounge sofa, a full length display table, shelving, a storage unit…the possibilities are seemingly endless.

What is great about these ideas is that they not only facilitate flexibility in an office space, but they also encourage active creativity while taking into account the well-being of staff. Now that is thinking outside of the box.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

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References:

Everblock Systems, http://www.everblocksystems.com/

Trendir, Sliding Office Partition, Inflatable Free-Standing Screen From Sacea, http://www.trendir.com/sliding-office-partition-bablo/

Ackerman, E, Oh Gizmo, Space Efficient Furniture from Tetris, Http://www.ohgizmo.co/2007/09/10/space-efficent-furniture-from-Tetris

Tags: office, office space, flexibility, office furniture

The Evolution of Meeting Space Designs

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Beehive shaped meeting spaces

It is amazing to see how vastly different meeting spaces are these days compared to what they were years ago. There was a time when business meetings took place in an enclosed rectangular-shaped room with one rectangular-shaped window to the outside world, a long solid rectangular-shaped table and several hi-backed rectangular-shaped office chairs. Now, with emphasis on encouraging collaboration, innovation, and creativity in an open-spaced environment, and incorporating the cafe or home decor themes into office spaces, meeting spaces have gone through several phases to take on entirely new forms. A few of those phases are listed below:

Phase 1: No Longer Rectangular

Enclosed meeting spaces designed to maintain an element of confidentiality are no longer restricted to the four walls of a rectangular-shaped room. With the introduction of office pods, meeting spaces have taken on dome, beehive, cylinder, egg and other interesting geometric shapes. Add in the home-decor theme and you’ve got the greenhouse, living room and large kitchen-inspired meeting spaces within the office space.

BBC North at Salford Quays. Photo credit Craig Holmes.
BBC North at Salford Quays. Photo credit Craig Holmes.

Phase 2: No longer Enclosed 

Then there are meeting spaces that are relatively open or semi-private spaces. Designed more for encouraging collaboration, these meeting spaces typically have partial walls or partitions, and are open at least on two sides. Some of these collaborative meeting spaces take on the form of a booth, similar to what you would see at a restaurant. Others adopt more of a picture-framed look. More recent designs combine the booth with the framed looked by extending the back rest of the booth to form a roof frame over its potential users.

Phase 3: No more walls

Finally, there are those meeting spaces that are just out in the open. Identified by the furniture placement and possibly an area rug, these types of meeting spaces aim to promote collaboration without tainting the open space office design in any way.

The most unique meeting space gaining popularity is the amphitheatre-designed meeting space. Unlike any other meeting space design, the amphitheatre meeting space is literally the large and wide staircase found in the prominent area of an office space. Why is this design gaining popularity? Because it is familiar for the younger workforce and recent graduates entering the workforce. (By the way, designers are now looking to schools to see how those designs and layouts could be incorporated into the office space design).

The future phases of meeting spaces may incorporate more geometric shapes or adopt nature’s most common meeting spaces. Regardless, meeting spaces will always play an integral role in facilitating the future success of businesses.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

Top 6 Ways Designers Create Nature-like Environments in an Office Space

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Central-circular-vertical-gardenIn my last blog, I listed five elements designers use to bring nature into an office space. In this blog, I want to review the top six ways office space designers combine those elements to create a nature-like environment in the office.

  1. Spot the Plants – Small office? Low budget? Then adding a few potted plants in and around the office space, including work areas and meeting areas, is just one of the easiest most economical ways to establish a nature-like environment in an office space. How few or how many would depend on the size of your office, the size of your budget and the “stage” you want set for your employees.
  2. Nature Theme in Non-Nature Items – In addition to adding potted plants, some office space designers would recommend adding nature-themed artwork along with furniture, floor, wall or window treatments with floral, leaf or wood designs in their respective materials as a way of incorporating nature into the office space.
  3. Central Indoor Office Garden – With office spaces adopting more of the warehouse or open concept, some office space designers would recommend having a garden with a variety of live plants, stones or even a fountain or pond somewhere in the centre of that space so that it is visible to a majority of the office staff sitting at their desks or meeting areas as a great way to incorporate nature into the office space.
  4. Indoor Botanical Garden/Sanctuary – Even with the push for collaboration in many offices, smart businesses and office space designers recognize the need for staff to take a break and have time on their own in order to rejuvenate. Having a live garden within the office space that is separated from the rest of the work area either by glass walls or taller shrubs and climbing plants is one way to incorporate nature in the office space and still provide a “get-away” for staff. This application can include small wildlife such as birds or fish along with the flowing water as an added touch to this garden sanctuary.
  5. Indoor Garden Walkway – Nature does not have to be limited to one select area in the office area. With the use of wooden and/or “golf green” pathways spotted with plants along the way, getting from one area of the office to the other could seem like a “walk in the park” for your staff.
  6. Living Walls – The latest and most unique and innovative way of incorporating nature into the office space is by applying vertical gardens or “living walls” into the office space design. These walls are made up of a variety of plants whose roots lie in and are fed and watered by a vertical structural support which can be fastened to a traditional wall. It is a great application that takes up minimal space and poses as living artwork depending on the layout of the plants.

Nature adds many benefits to an office space. It improves air quality, can improve acoustics, and encourages well-being among people, just to name a few. It is for these benefits that office space designers will continually strive to find new and innovative ways to incorporate nature into the office space design.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

Reference:

Green Over Grey Living Walls and Designs, http://www.greenovergrey.com/living-walls/what-are-living-walls.php

Office Pods– A New Solution to Privacy in an Open Office Space Design

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Among the many office space design trends that currently exist, the open office space design has been the one popular design choice spanning several industries to encourage collaboration amongst staff and put all employees on an equal playing…or I should say, working field. But no matter how attractive the open office space design is to today’s organizations, there is always that looming need to create quiet areas or areas of privacy to handle regular business operation tasks such as making client phone calls meetings. Traditional offices closures and conference rooms have been the solutions to date, but a new solution is coming over the office space design horizon that more closely fits with the open office design concept.

Office Pod in Whittington Hospital, lLondon
Office Pod in Whittington Hospital, lLondon

Introducing office pods.

 

Office pods are self-contained portable sound proof enclosures created for the sole purpose of providing a quiet space or place of privacy in the midst of an open office space design.

Office pods offer several benefits:

  1. They offer flexibility to an office space design. Office pods are not enclosures that are fixed to a building. They are in fact portable or mobile, so like furniture, they can be placed anywhere inside or outside the office area—wherever best compliments the open office space design.
  2. Office pods are modular by nature, therefore can be dismantled, moved and reassembled from one office location to the next. They can even be easily extended to grow as your company grows.
  3. Office pods come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, therefore can be creatively designed to complement the office space design theme of your organization.
  4. Office pods offer full and partial enclosure options. The full enclosure office pods, similar to an enclosed office or conference room, are ideal for business meetings, conference calls, and other operational tasks that require one’s full and uninterrupted attention. The partial enclosure office pods–sometimes referred to as office booths–offer opportunity for staff to still collaborate or find a quiet space work or relax in an open setting but with less noise interruption from surrounding office activities.
  5. Office pods can have a combination of clear, glazed and/or solid coloured walls to further compliment or enhance the office space design theme while still maintaining a balance between open office space design and the need to respect confidentiality.

So, if your current or future office space design is one of an open concept but you still want to allow for areas of quietness or privacy for your staff’s and overall business’ well-being, or your landlord forbids fixed reconstruction of an office space, adding office pods to your office space design could be the best solution.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of Choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If a renovation or relocation of your 2,000 – 25,000 sq.ft. office space is in your plans, contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

References:

Urban office Interiors, Office Pods, https://www.urban-office.com/podscreens.html

OfficePod, OfficePod Lift the Lid on Dead Space, http://www.officepod.co.uk/about-officepod/

5 Cost Effective Tips on How to Bring Spring Into Your Office Space

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Spring is finally here! But if your office space only allows you or your employees to enjoy spring when outside the office, then there needs to be a change.   Here are a few tips on how your office space can be transformed into a spring paradise:

DJ McGauley and Associates Decorating Ideas
Office building lobby with spring coloured accents, plants, and indoor garden centre in the background

Tip #1:   Take a cue from nature and accent your office space with spring colours. The spring colour trend for 2015 leans towards more subtle pastels, understated bright colours and nature-like neutrals. Changing your office accents such vases, pen/pencil holders, accent pillows in a seating area, or even an area rug with these current spring colours could be an easy cost-efficient way of bringing spring into your office space. Of course you should make sure that the colours you choose compliment your main office colour theme.

Tip #2: Change your wall hangings or photos to reflect the spring theme. Whether it is a painting or digital photo wall hanging, an abstract or actual scene, a picture that shows a spring scene or spring colours will help bring a visual sense of spring being in the air.

Tip #3: Change things around. Not sure if you have the right pictures to act on Tip #2? Then take the wall hangings you have and change where they placed. Similarly, you may want to change where your office furniture is place in certain areas of the office. Such simple changes can provide a fresh view of the office and send a message to your staff that there is a change in the season.

Tip #4: Add plants and/or trees. Spring is all about nature coming to life. So, adding nature to your office space in the form of living plants and trees is a great way to bring spring into your office space. They not only bring the look of spring, but they also help to maintain a healthy air quality. Of course, if allergies are a problem, then artificial plants and trees can be effective in at least bringing the look of spring into your office space.

Tip #5: Turn one of your employee common areas into a spring sanctuary.   This idea culminates the above tips and more. If your office space allows, select one area or room within the space that can have the spring colours, a garden of natural plants, and a bench or seating area that your employees can feel free to go to when they need a few minutes of respite from their regular work routine to unwind, and rejuvenate before going back to their desks. If the area is in an open space, you can create the look and feel of it being a closed in space by surrounding it with many trees and plants. If the area is within a closed-in space, you may want to consider adding soft music or a nature-sound track to the room so that those entering can hear the sounds of spring as well see it when they walk in.

Of course there are other ways to bring spring into your office space but those I would only recommend if your office is being fully renovated and you want the spring theme to be a more permanent year-round theme in the office.

For now, take the more cost effective, time effective approach to bringing spring into your office space. In time, it could prove to be productivity effective because as you take care of your employees’ well-being, they will take care of your company’s well-being.

Office Space Design – Your Secret Weapon to Attracting Ideal Candidates

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It is no secret – the interview process between companies and candidates is actually a two-way process. Not only is the interviewing company aiming to hire “good fits” to join their team, but the potentially “good fits” are also deciding if the interviewing company is right them. What does this have to do with office space design? A lot, considering companies can increase the probability of hooking their ideal candidates through their office space design.

It is happening in Europe and in different parts of the United States – -Companies are revamping their office space design to fit the mentality (and thus attract the top talents) of the young and up and coming workforce, namely the Generation Y and Z populations.

What exactly does that mean?

It means companies looking to attract the top talents of the Generation Y and generation Z populations (i.e. those born after 1979) are creating office environments that encourage creativity, collaboration and meet tech savvy needs. For some companies, that means trading traditional high-walled cubicles for lower-walled ergonomic workstations clustered in small groups. For other companies, it means trading the traditional boardroom table and chairs of a meeting room for either soft leather couches and coffee tables to create a relaxed “living room” styled social area, or with high cafe tables and bar stools to create a “café” styled office space design–all to encourage collaboration and teamwork. Open ceilings and bright bold primary colours accent the new office space design to encourage the concept of “no limits” on creativity.

Besides being collaborative and creative, both Gen Y’ers and Gen Z’ers are very comfortable with technology. In fact, most are tech savvy. So, if companies want to hook their ideal candidates from these generations, they will need to consider adding additional usb and other connection ports throughout their office space design or add a tech –heavy social networking meeting areas so that people can connect their laptops, IPads/tablets or other technical devices while meeting with their colleagues or clients in person or online. This will become more and more of a need once the younger Generation Z population enters the work force.

So what about clear-walled offices and meeting areas? Will they become a thing of the past? I would suggest no because they will help meet one more need of the Gen Z’ers—the need to on occasion work alone and only collaborate with others through online methods.

References:
About.Com Legal Careers, Generation Y, http://legalcareers.about.com/od/practicetips/a/GenerationY.htm
Blogger, JuJu Blog Site, Characteristics of Generation Z, http://characteristicsofgenerationz-juju.blogspot.ca/

Extend Your Brand Into Your Interior Design

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OK. I’m about the make a statement that may have some of you in shock.

Ready? Here it is:

Interior design and branding should go hand in hand when designing or redesigning your office space.

Surprised? You really shouldn’t be. Consider this: “branding” by definition is the act of imprinting some sort of mark or unique identity to something in order to make it stand out or be memorable. Companies in general aim to brand their products and/or services with colours, artsy images, logos, a slogan or any combination of these so that the outside world will remember them…but what about when the outside world or even your staff comes into your office space? Consistency both inside and outside of the office can only further enhance your branding efforts.

So how can a company incorporate elements of its brand into the interior design of an office space?

First, consider your walls. Walls are the main canvas of interior design. Any or all components of your brand can be displayed on your walls. So if colour, for example, is a key component to your brand, you can either paint all the walls your brand colour, create an accent wall with your brand colour, or paint portions of your wall the brand colour.   A logo can be painted or mounted on one of the walls in a reception area or boardroom.   Artsy images such as waves, stripes or bubbles that may be related to your brand can be painted or stenciled as accents to your wall design.   Even a slogan or mission statement can be stencilled or mounted on a wall of your office space in order to reinforce your branding efforts.

Now, consider your floors. Similar to walls, colour, logos, slogans or artsy images can be incorporated right into your floor or carpet design, budget permitting. Most companies that incorporate aspects of their branding into their floor design would primarily have this in their main reception area. (Of course, the floors would need a special coating to ensure such images remain intact in high traffic areas.) A smaller budget option would be to have welcome mats in your brand colour either with or without your logo or artsy image intact.

Finally, consider your non-fixed items such as desks, furniture, and accent items such as table mats, coasters, pillows, flower pots or other accent décor items. A simple application would be to purchase such items in your brand colours and have them placed in key areas of your office space. Some companies may take this step further and add their mission statement, logo or branding image on some of these items.

Branding is not just for outside the office. Whether you own or lease your office space, there is always a way to extend your brand into the interior design of your office.

Changing Office Furniture? Go Modular.

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Choosing the right furniture for your office space is not only important but essential for the success of your company.  Why?  Because the right office furniture ensures the comfort of your staff and encourages their productivity. But when you have to balance the different needs and preferences of your staff with your organization’s goals and image, what type of office furniture should you choose? We suggest modular office furniture.  Here are a few reasons why:

By definition, modular office furniture is actually pre-made furniture units, including desks, chairs, storage cabinets, workstation units and wall partitions that can be combined and arranged in different configurations to furnish an office or establish a workspace.  Much like the pieces of a puzzle, the modular office furniture units may vary in shape and size, however they are made in such a way that any combination of the pieces can be put together to create a unique and private work space for each individual employee, establish a collaborative team environment, or both (i.e. a collaborative team environment while respecting the individual workspace needed for your people to work optimally )—whatever is needed to get the most out of your employees and meet your organizational goals. In addition, some units can be designed to be ergonomically friendly.  Talk about getting the best of both worlds!

Another reason why we recommend modular office furniture is because of its flexibility and adaptability to the actual office space and, of course, mobility if that office space changes.  In other words, a set of modular office furniture units, particularly workstations, can be arranged one way for closed-in office space, and re-arranged another way in an open area — each arrangement optimizing the use of the workspace at hand.

A third reason for recommending modular office furniture is that it can be budget friendly.  Modular units range from inexpensive cubicle units to more expensive executive furniture units.  The furniture pieces purchased can be limited to the pieces needed to create an optimal workspace for your employees in order to stay within any budget constraints.  Additional pieces can be added at a later date if your budget permits and the need arises.

A fourth reason for recommending modular office furniture is that it is environmentally friendly.  Many modular office furniture units are made out of recycled materials.  You would know by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification stamp found on each unit.

Finally, in general, they are made to last! There are very few cases where a modular unit would need to be replaced or repaired due to damage.

Flexibility, adaptability, cost-effectiveness, environment friendliness and durability, plus no compromise on professional looks—all good reasons why modular office furniture should be your organization’s first choice for furnishing an office space.

The Lowdown on Modern Office Design on a Limited Budget

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interior office design torontoAs many companies try to balance the costs of their corporate relocation, office design often takes a back seat to other priorities and a strict budget. At D.J. McGauley & Associates, we understand that the expenses of a corporate relocation can easily balloon up to disproportionate heights, so we make it a point to give fair prices and helpful budget breakdowns without sacrificing the quality and efficiency of your move or your newly designed office space.

In our years of experience, we have nailed down the best and ways to make your office space design both modern and practical. Here are just a few tips and tricks:

Go for bold accents. Offices with neutral colors are a thing of the past. Choose office furniture and even office supplies in bold colors, with the psychology of color in mind. Purple means success, green represents renewal, yellow signifies warmth, and so on. Why settle for drab and boring when you can go for exciting color accents that make your office stand out?

Go clean and professional. If bold colors do not suit your corporate image, you will likely choose to stick to monochrome. This can be accomplished without inducing a sterile or boring “feel” simply by choosing paint and purchasing office furniture from gradients within the same color block—from walls to computers to chairs. For example, a neutral grey selection – from charcoal to a light grey with a slight tinge of blue. Then add accent pieces in black or white. This scheme will make your office look clean and high-profile without any dullness.

Decorate the office. It doesn’t have to be all work, now does it? Skip the overdone inspirational posters and instead display some great art work in the office, and you’d get some heads nodding in approval. Keep in mind that fewer large pieces almost always make a bigger visual impact than many smaller pieces placed on every available wall surface.

Is most of your business local? Make sure to do some research to find a new and upcoming local artist.

Go for partitions that free up space. There are many partitions of different styles that will give the impression that there’s bigger space in the office than there actually is, without sacrificing privacy. Luckily for you, we have the ability to secure office partitions, office equipment and systems furniture to fit virtually any budget!