NBF Holiday Gift Guide

Find gifts that loved ones will actually use with our NBF holiday gift guide! We’re sure to have a budget-friendly find for everyone on your list.

Desks

Is someone on your list in desperate need of designated workspace? Whether your sister’s old desk in her home office really needs to be replaced or your son needs a working surface for homework, these two desks are up to the task.

Sauder Office Desk - A Great Gift

This writing desk from the Sauder Palladia collection features a warm, traditional look. Contoured bases, along with versatile storage options, make it both beautiful and functional.

Desks make great holiday gifts.

Jamocha wood laminate finish paired with nickel-tone hardware gives this laptop desk an attractive appearance. A pull out keyboard tray ensures added functionality while a drawer provides storage space for working materials. It’s a lovely transitional piece that is sure to look amazing in any setting!

Storage

Chances are, you know someone who may need a helping hand when it comes to organization. These storage pieces can make organizing a snap for anyone. They are easy to use, incredibly affordable and wonderfully easy on the eyes.

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Talk about multi-purpose! This storage and filing seat allows you to store and file away papers neatly and efficiently. Best of all, you can place it out of the way under your desk or use it as a temporary seat.

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This Pacifica Mobile Pedestal is a unique, modern and high functioning storage unit, ideal for anyone who is on the go. This piece can easily be transferred from room to room and offers plenty of storage space with locking drawers that can accommodate both letter and legal sized files.

Bookcases make great gifts.

All book lovers can agree – bookcases are a necessary part of office and home storage. This three shelf bookcase provides you with an affordable way to help anyone on your list dress up their space and keep their books in a designated and organized area.

Accessories

Office accessories can go a long way when it comes to creating an inspiring and comfortable space. This collection of items is for everyone on your list whose office could use a little bit more in terms of décor and liveliness.

Artwork for your office.

Nature lovers and outdoorsmen alike are sure to appreciate this Bass Lake Print. Featuring a gorgeous landscape, this is sure to enhance the look and feel of any home or office.

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Is there a sports fan on your list? This plastic desk pad not only protects your desktop from scratches and stains, but also allows you to show your team spirit. It’s a win-win!

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Looking for something truly luxurious and sophisticated? This genuine leather desk pad with wood tray satisfies on both counts. It offers a stylish, comfortable way to protect any desk surface.

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This office accessory is a true multi-tasker. It offers storage for necessary office supplies, like pens, pencils and scissors, while also providing a charging dock for any smart phone or tablet. This useful and practical gift is sure to be ideal for nearly anyone.

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Give the gift of worldly elegance with this Renaissance Desktop Globe. It’s the perfect piece of décor to add visual interest without taking up too much precious working space.

Office Design Mistakes

design mistakes

Moving into a new office building? Giving your corporate space a makeover? Although rehabilitating your office interior can be tons of fun, be careful that you don’t fall victim to one of these common design mistakes!

Measuring inaccurately. Before jumping into the office design process, be sure to properly measure your space to ensure that you get the right size furniture and décor. This means not only measuring to make sure that your new furniture will fit in your office, but that it will fit through your door. If you’re working from a small home office, then a large, fully assembled executive desk may not be the best option. On the other hand, if you’re working in a large executive space and fill it with short bookcases, a compact desk and small scale wall art, then you’ll make the room look out of proportion. Be sure to also measure walkways so that you know you’ll be able to walk around your workspace freely once all of your new furniture is set up and ready to use.

Ignoring lighting. The lighting in your office will greatly affect your mood and, thus, your productivity and level of focus. Because natural light is the best light, try to set your desk up near a window so that you can reap the benefits of the sun during the daylight hours. When it comes to artificial light, just be sure that your work area is well illuminated so that you aren’t straining to read paperwork.

Picking the wrong color scheme. In design, color is everything. Try to avoid super-bright tones, as they will make your eyes sore by the end of the work day. Blue is the most productive color, but neutrals with just a pop of your favorite color are always a good choice. Make your color choices interesting without being too intense and calming without being too dull.

Taking on more than you can handle. When it comes to your office renovation, don’t bite off more than you can chew. You may want the dream office you saw on HGTV last week, but taking on a huge project without the proper manpower and tools can lead to some serious disappointment.  If you don’t know your limitations from the beginning, then you will likely end up taking short-cuts just to get the job done and the finished product will leave a lot to be desired.

Setting up an unrealistic budget. Along with knowing your physical limitations for your office rehab project, be sure to get your finances in order before pulling out your credit card. Between the furniture, the carpeting, the décor and unexpected renovation needs, revamping a home or corporate office can be quite the burden on your budget. Decide how much money you will be able to allocate to each element of your renovation before you begin purchasing products and supplies to ensure that you don’t go overboard. Remember, no matter how well you plan out your renovation, there will almost always be unexpected costs that will pop up at one time or another. Be sure to set aside a little extra cash for just such needs.

Chairs Around the Office – Kylie Nimphius’s Petite Office Chair

This month, we sat down to talk with Kylie Nimphius, one of NBF’s web merchandising specialists, to talk to her about her brand new office chair. This chair was designed to specifically address the ergonomic needs of petite individuals. As part of the new NBF Signature Series Status Collection, this petite chair will be in our next catalog and available on NBF.com soon! What makes this chair such a great fit for Kylie?  Find out below in our sneak peek!

Petite Office Chairs - Chairs around the Office at NBF

Q: What is your favorite thing about your chair?

A: I love the adjustable lumbar support. It is so comfortable, and it fits my back perfectly. It erased previous back issues that I had with my other chair which had no lumbar support whatsoever.

Q: Do you use any ergonomic adjustments? Which ones and why?

A: I’m 5’2 so my feet normally don’t touch the ground like they need to when I use a standard office chair. With this petite chair, I use the seat height adjustment to lower the seat far enough so that my feet rest flat on the ground. I also use the arm height adjustments, lowering them so that they support my arms comfortably, and the adjustable lumbar support.

Q: What do you think about the seat of the chair and the petite design? Are they both comfortable?

A: It’s really difficult to find a good petite chair, but this chair is great and well-designed for petite people. It’s small enough so that I’m not drowning in it, but still surprisingly roomy and comfortable.

Q: What do you think about the look of the chair?

A: I really like the look of the chair overall. I like the tan color – it’s different from the standard black. The detailed stitching offers a nice little pop, and the arms on the chair have a cool shape.

Cool, Natural and Warm Tone LED Lighting

LED Lights

Thinking of adding new LED lighting to your office, but confused by the options that are available to you? When LED lights were first introduced in the early 1960s, they had a striking red hue, but nowadays they are available in three different tones that generate a much wider breadth of light which reaches across infrared, ultraviolet and visible wavelengths: cool, natural and warm. Expressed in degrees Kelvin, color temperature is a measurement used to represent the exact hue of a certain type of light source. So what’s the difference between cool, natural and warm LED lights? They aren’t only there to look pretty. Rather, each color serves a unique purpose, and, although there are no rules pertaining to which rooms to use which lights in, there are best practices for where to use each type.

Cool Light: LED lights with a cool tone to them give off a hue that is most often blue, but can also be green. Cool LED lighting has an artificial look to it and is often used to highlight items in display cabinets and in hallways. Because this type of light has a wakening effect, it can also be a good option for use in retail spaces, kitchens and bathrooms. So how do you know if the LED light you want to purchase has a cool tone to it? Cool LED lights will have an intensity of at least 5500K (Kelvin) or greater.

Natural Light: As their name implies, natural LED lights produce a bright white luminosity that’s closest to the natural light given off by the sun. The most popular of the LED tones, natural lights can be easily incorporated into most home and business applications, including offices. Natural LED lights are between 5500K and 6500K—a happy medium between cool and warm light.

Warm Light: Warm toned LED lights give off a color that can range from golden yellow to red. This type of lighting is typically used for bedrooms and lounges—places where people might want to relax. The light produced by warm LEDs is similar to the color that an incandescent bulb gives off and is not typically recommended for office settings. Warm LED lights range from 2700K to 3000K.

While there are no rules for what type of lighting should be used in what type of room, the science behind the different LED light colors makes your decision easy. Implementing cool tone LED lighting will help show off display and décor, implementing natural LED lighting will help office employees stay focused and productive, and incorporating warm LED lighting will create a soft, relaxing atmosphere in your lounge or reception area.

Giving Your Business Curb Appeal

Does your business have curb appeal throughout all seasons of the year? It might not be something you have recently thought about, but it does factor in quite heavily when it comes to visitors’ impression of your business. While curb appeal may rely on certain aspects that are not easy to change, such as building color or structure, you can still do a few things to instantly enhance the space in your guests’ eyes.

Add Seating

Benches give you room to enjoy the great outdoors.

Outdoor seating, whether in the form of a patio table and chairs or a few benches, can enhance the look of the business. This also adds functionality to a space that many businesses often under-utilize, creating a dining or resting area for employees on breaks.

Have Proper and Welcoming Outdoor Lighting

The last thing anyone wants to do is to approach a building when the path or sidewalk is dimly lit. While some lighting is sure to be provided by city street lamps, consider whether or not that light is enough. Properly lighting your business entrance and your business walkway, if you have one, ensures that everyone approaching your business can safely see and will feel welcome.

Add Outdoor Plants/Planters

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These will require some maintenance to be sure, but they easily bring the beauty of nature to your company’s doorstep.

Dress up the Door

Whether it’s some festive decoration or a bold door color, dressing up the doorway to your business is an easy and impactful way to give your business a pleasing look. You’ll also want to ensure that the doors remain clean and well maintained. This is especially true for glass doors, at it is quite easy for them to become soiled with fingerprints and the like. You may also want to consider updating the door hardware – that is the handles or pulls.

Add Outdoor Arbors, Sculptures, Fountains and Other Outdoor Art

Outdoor Arbors to add visual interest.

A piece of outdoor art can go a long way, whether it is a water fountain or an outdoor arbor. Whatever décor you choose should also reflect your company’s mission and culture.

Add Receptacles

Planters add curb appeal.

While trash cans and recycling stations are not often praised for their beauty, they can help you keep the outside entrance to your business neat and tidy by presenting those passing through or those leaving with a place to neatly dispose of their trash.

Case Study: The Benefits of Adjustable Height Desks

So maybe you’ve heard—sitting is the new smoking. But is it true? We wanted to get the opinion of someone who recently switched from sitting all day, every day to alternating between sitting and standing, so we arranged an interview. We interviewed Jay Miller, who works for a financial services firm that recently outfitted its office employees with adjustable height desks. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Approximately how much time do you spend standing each day? How much time do you spend sitting?

A: On average, I probably spend about 2-3 hours standing in a typical 8 hour day. The rest is sitting either at my desk or in meetings.

Adjustable height standing desk

Q: Is there a certain time of day that you prefer to stand?

A: In the morning, I’ll stand sporadically just to stretch. In the afternoon I like to stand for about an hour after lunch when I would usually get that afternoon grogginess. I find that standing keeps me alert without having to rely on caffeine. It’s also handy to stand when I have people stop by my desk. Rather than having them lean over to look at my screen and try to move my chair, I can just raise my desk and we can both easily look at my monitor.

Q: For how long do you normally stand before you switch back to sitting?

A: I tend to stand for about a half hour to an hour at a time. Although raising and lowering my desk is easy, I try to be conscientious of my co-workers as I think the constant up and down can be a bit distracting.

adjustable height desk seated

Q: Do you feel any difference either physically or emotionally now that you’re switching between sitting and standing as opposed to sitting all day long?

A: I definitely feel better. Before the standing desk, I would try to get up and walk occasionally, but when you’re on a roll it’s hard to pull yourself away just to walk. Raising the desk is easy enough that I can just move it up and keep on working.

Q: What type of office chair do you use when sitting?

A: My chair has some ergonomic options, but it can still be tough to find what feels comfortable.

Q: What’s the best thing about your adjustable height desk?

A: Feeling like I’m actually doing something a bit healthy at work besides sitting in a chair for 8 hours. Being in IT, it can be hard to feel like I’m doing anything good for my wellbeing, but this is just a little bit that goes a long way. I’ve heard the benefits of standing, so it’s nice to have the flexibility to actually do that without looking ridiculous when trying to work.

Q: What’s the downside?

A: My shoes weren’t the most comfortable to stand in, so I had to buy a new pair!

Thanks, Jay! For the sore feet, we recommend outfitting your workspace with an anti-fatigue floor mat like the ones from Wearwell and  Millennium Mats!

Brand Spotlight: National Office Furniture

National Office Furniture is one of NBF’s most popular brands due to its dedication to delivering unique office furniture pieces with personality. The brand was created over 30 years ago to provide the marketplace with quality furnishings and shorter lead times. Today, National Office Furniture’s commitment to those two principles continues with additional focus on reliability, safety, style and sustainability. Here are some of our favorite National Office Furniture collections.

The Fringe Collection

National Office Furniture Fringe Collection

Designed for reception areas and lounges, the Fringe Collection delivers a fresh, updated look with clean lines and modern angles. This contemporary furniture collection is just as stylish as it is comfortable with generously padded seats and either fabric or vinyl upholstery that is available is six different colors. This collection is complete with options that promote flexibility, such as the sofas with tablet arms, to ensure that you can easily create a vibrant collaborative space or waiting room that both supports and delights your guests. Furthermore, with the distinct and unique high back design, these seating options in the may act as booths, providing a little privacy and even a slight sound barrier for users. Additionally, every piece of the Fringe Collection is Level 2 Certified to support better sustainability standards.

The Barrington Collection

National Office Furniture Barrington Collection

Looking to create a regal, professional office? The Barrington Collection brings all the right pieces to the table. This traditional collection with antique styling brings an air of elegance and is constructed out of hardwood solids and veneers. The rich color, moulding details and the brass hardware all come together for a truly exquisite collection that is sure to exemplify your passion for excellence. This collection is also Level Certified, meaning that it has met numerous sustainability standards.

Mix It Collection

National Office Furniture Mix It

The Mix It Collection doesn’t offer just your average, dull office chair. Instead, with its commitment to delivering furniture with personality, National Office Furniture provides a vast collection of office seating that lends colorful and stylish flair. The collection, sure to cover a wide range of office seating needs, features guest seating, desk seating and portable seating options. One of the most popular desk chairs of this collection, the Mid-Back Ergonomic Chair, features adjustable seat height, adjustable arm height and adjustable arm width in effort to support you throughout the day and contribute to an ergonomic workspace. Meanwhile, the Guest Chair with Black Poly Arms is available with fabric upholstery and may be purchased in marigold, tangerine, black, burgundy, pine or navy.