Do you work from home? You're not alone. According to recent data from the Office for National Statistics, a record 13.9% of the UK work force are home workers. Whether you only work remotely on some days, or you're entirely home-based, it's important that your home office is comfortable and healthy, so you can be as productive as possible. So where do you start when furnishing the perfect home workspace?
Two of the most important things to consider when choosing furniture for your home office are ergonomics and wellbeing. This is especially true when choosing a desk. People in the UK spend an average of 8.9 hours a day sitting, according to research quoted by Get Britain Standing. But even if you have an active lifestyle and exercise regularly, the research goes, prolonged sitting for more than 4 hours a day can lead to a number of health problems, including obesity, back pain, and increased blood pressure levels. Using a sit-stand desk to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day can have a positive impact on your health and help avoid these problems.
There are many height-adjustable desk options on the market, covering the whole price spectrum, including electric height-adjustable desks that can go up or down at the touch of a button, cheaper sit-stand desks with manual winding handle, or even different desk mounts that can be used with a standard fixed-height desk.
Some great examples of sit-stand desks in our collection are the Vitra Hack and the Narbutas Easy desk. Or if you still prefer to work at a fixed-height desk, check out the beautifully crafted solid wood desks from Wewood, made of French oak and American walnut.
Whichever option you choose, remember to regularly change your position, as neither sitting, nor standing for a long time is recommended - you should aim for a good balance between the two. There is no magic formula about how much time you should spend standing, and everyone should try to find their own balance, but experts recommend that you should stand for at least two hours of an eight-hour work day.
If you enjoyed this article, also check out the other blog posts from our home office series, How to choose a task chair, and How to deal with noise. Or get in touch with us if you need more ideas on how to design your workspace.
The task chair you sit on has a huge impact on your wellbeing and comfort. Sometimes it's tempting to go with the cheapest option, but considering how much time we spend sitting, it's worth investing time to research and choose a well-designed ergonomic chair that will serve you well in the long term.
Some of the main features to look out for in an office chair are the mechanisms that control the seat, armrests, and backrest, such as seat height adjustment, synchro tilt, knee tilt, and backrest height adjustment. Most work chairs have levers to control these, located under the seat.
How do you know your chair is set at the right height? Ideally, your feet should be resting flat on the ground, and your knees should form a 90-degree angle when sitting. Again, most work chairs will have a mechanism to adjust the seat height to your preferred height. It's always a good idea to try the chair in person before buying, so you can be sure it's the right model and size for you.
If you suffer from back pain, and frankly, even if you don't, look for a chair with adequate lumbar support. The lumbar support is the cushioning which is usually found in the backrest. Ergonomic office chairs allow you to control the lumbar position via adjusting the height of the backrest. As a rule of thumb, the lumbar support should follow the natural curve of your back.
Another important element of a good office chair is the upholstery. There are so many options out there, that it's easy to get overwhelmed. Selecting the fabric or leather is often a matter of personal taste or budget, but if you know what to look for, it's easier to narrow down the choice. Fabrics with a high wool content, for example, are able to withstand a high amount of wear and tear, and are also less likely to crease. Wool is also known for its great thermal insulation. Woven mesh seats and backrests are also increasingly popular with work chairs, as they allow for better air circulation. Leather upholstery is very durable and easy to maintain, so it's suitable for homes with small children. Check out our Buyer's Guide for more detailed information on choosing fabric or leather upholstery.
Last but not least, consider whether you will be using the chair on a hard floor, or with a carpet. Many manufacturers nowadays offer wheels for both types of floor. Braked castors for hard floor will stop the chair from rolling away on the hard floor when no one is sitting on it, and they are also designed not to scratch hard floors. Castors for carpet, on the other hand, will facilitate the chair's movement within carpeted areas.
Task chair ideas
There are lots of great office chairs out there, but below is a list of models which could work particularly well in a home office.
Get in touch with us if you need more office chair ideas, or a quote.
When we talk about productivity at home, two of the biggest challenges to tackle are background noise and distractions. Have you ever tried to make an important business call while working from home, and found yourself trying to outshout the kids and the dog? Or participated in a video conference from your living room, and felt embarrassed about the clutter in the background. If that has happened one time too many, you might consider installing an acoustic privacy booth, such as the Framery O available from our sister company Office Blueprint. This compact soundproof booth has great sound insulation, and blocks sound from entering or leaving space. You can use the booth for Skype or video conferences, or simply to get away and focus on important tasks in silence.
Framery O can help solve the issues with privacy and acoustics
Originally designed to bring some privacy to open-plan offices, these compact booths can also work quite well within a home office. The booths' small footprint - 1 x 1m - allows for flexibility with their positioning within the house. The Framery booths also come in a larger size, Framery Q (1.2 x 2m), which can be configured in four different ways to use as a meeting room for 2-4 people, workspace for one, or as a space for dynamic group work sessions.
Framery Q can be configured in several different ways, depending on your needs
Get in touch with us for more information about the Framery booths, or for more ideas on dealing with problems with acoustics.
Our visit to Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair 2018 didn't disappoint. We feel so inspired after seeing so many of our favourite brands and their new product launches at the world's meeting place for Scandinavian furniture and lighting design. Browse the photos below for some highlights from the show.
Fritz Hansen's elegant stand
Arne Jacobsen's Series 7 in an office chair version, upholstered in gorgeous cognac leather
Eero Aarnio Originals showcasing their collection of Ball chairs and Bubble chairs against a pale pink backdrop
The hanging Bubble chair is one of the all-time Eero Aarnio bestsellers
Modular shelving system by String
String shelving system
Upholstered Mila chairs (in black) designed by Jaime Hayon and Pila chair (in brick red) designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
The new incredibly comfortable Officina armchair by Magis, designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
New rug collection by Kasthall
Get in touch with us for more information about the products above.
Our Winter Sale must end 31st January 2018, and we are offering an extra 10% off all new orders in the last week of Sale. The discount is in addition to the standard sale discount. Just use code sale10 at the checkout to apply your extra discount.
Also, don't miss the Home Stories promotion by Vitra, which is running until the end of this month. Get a free gift with each Eames Lounge Chair or Eames RAR chair purchased before 31st January.
Our Winter Sale is now on, with up to 20% off new orders, and huge savings in Clearance. Shop our newest products below, or check out the Clearance section for some great ex-display and stock bargains.
Happy holidays from all of us at Couch Potato Company!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Please note that our London showroom will be closed for the holiday period, from 25th December 2017 until 2nd January 2018.
But don't despair - you can still place orders online on our website, or email us at email@example.com with any orders or enquiries during that period, and we will respond to you. We will reopen as normal on 3rd January 2018.
Need a last-minute Christmas gift ideas for the design aficionados in your life? Why not browse our Clearance or What's New sections for some inspiration? Or check out our Gifts section for some small designer gift ideas.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Couch Potato Company!
The most anticipated Friday of the year is only a day away, and we are now offering 15% off new orders* until 26th November. Use code BlackFriday at the checkout to apply your discount. Hurry up, as the offer expires at the end of this weekend.
Not sure where to start? Check out the newest additions to our product range in What's New, or take a look at some of our favourite Design Classics. The pieces from the Eames and Saarinen collections are always a great choice.
* Minimum spend £500. Delivery charges apply. Excludes items in clearance, which are already greatly reduced. Offer ends at 23:59pm on Sunday, 26th November 2017.
It is the season of giving, and Vitra has some amazing gifts ready this year as part of their Home Stories for Winter Campaign.
Buy an Eames Lounge chair in any finish, and choose one out of three gift options:
or buy an Eames RAR Rocking Chair in any finish, and choose one out of two gift options:
The offer is valid during the campaign period from 1st November 2017 until 31st January 2018.
Eames Lounge chair and ottoman in American Cherry
Eames RAR Rocking Chair - Limited Edition Winter 2017
"Getting the most of the best to the greatest number of people for the least": This is how Charles and Ray Eames described one of their main aims as furniture designers. The Eames Plastic Chairs are among the products that come very close to achieving this goal.
The Plastic chair collection, launched in 1950, introduced a new furniture typology, which has since become widespread in the industry: the multifunctional Eames Plastic chair offers a variety of base options, as well as shell and upholstery colours.
Initially made of polyester reinforced with fibreglass, the Plastic chair offered a high level of comfort, both as a dining and office chair. Vitra discontinued the fibreglass models in 1993 for ecological reasons, and nowadays the original Eames Plastic Chairs from Vitra come with polypropylene shells, which are more environmentally friendly.
Today you can specify the most optimal combination for your perfect chair, so it can be used in a dining room, home office, or sitting room, depending on your needs. And the best thing is that your Eames Plastic chair won't go out of fashion any time soon, because the chairs from the Eames collection are true design icons, and as such, they have acquired timeless aesthetic value.
With two types of shell (side chair or armchair), over 5 types of base, 14 shell colours, and 28 upholstery colours (for a seat-only or full inner shell upholstery), the combinations available for the Eames Plastic Chairs are virtually endless. To highlight this abundance of choice, Vitra are introducing an updated version of their product configurator, which helps you specify your very own personal Eames Plastic Chair design and check how it will look before you order.
How does the campaign work?
Vitra tote bag (front and back)
Did you know that the names of the different Eames Plastic chairs can provide some clues about the base and shell type?
DSR = Dining height Side chair, Rod base
DSW = Dining height Side chair, Wooden base
DAX = Dining height Armchair, X-base
DAL = Dining height Armchair, La Fonda base
PSCC = Pivot Side chair, Cast base on Castors
Not sure where to start? Just play around with the Vitra Configurator, or search for the hashtag #VitraOriginal on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to get inspired by other users' configurations and how they look in situ in their homes. Or why don't you pop into our London showroom, and we would be happy to help you with your choice and provide you with advice and inspiration.
The Eames DSR, DSW and DSX are all part of the Eames Plastic Chair collection