• Thomas Russell

Home office adapts to smaller spaces

Limited living quarters call for different pieces

Coaster’s home office assortment includes a number of small-scale writing desks and other laptop-friendly desks, as well as vertical and horizontal bookcase units.Coaster’s home office assortment includes a number of small-scale writing desks and other laptop-friendly desks, as well as vertical and horizontal bookcase units.
LAS VEGAS - Home office suppliers at the Las Vegas Market are adapting their lines to the lifestyles of today's consumers, including Millennials with limited living quarters.

While writing and other laptop friendly desks are still selling well here, there also are a number of modular configurations that are allowing retailers and consumers plenty of choice in the category.

Resources such as Linon are also offering pieces with built-in functionality that allows them to be used for work or study. Linon is promoting a dozen or so vanities that have lift-top and flip-down work surfaces as well as wire management for laptop use. Retailing from $149 to $299, these are doing well with retailers who like the dual functionality.

The company also is seeing strong reaction to the dual functionality of ottomans on casters that have jewelry and file storage. In addition, it is seeing strong early reaction to new writing desks added to popular occasional collections.

Bush Furniture is seeing strong early reaction to eight new SKUs in its cottage-influenced Westwood collection, including corner desks and L-desk and hutch units as well as an entertainment console.

Bush also is adding items such as desks, bookcases and console units to various collections such as Cabot and Somerset, which also comes in a new espresso oak finish. The mix of new items allows the retailer to merchandise the line to consumers with small living spaces who are seeking to mix home office and entertainment pieces in a single room.

Winners Only is showing its Build Your Own office concept, which features small-scale pieces that can be displayed and purchased in many different configurations. The Willow Creek part of the line has six SKUs, including a desk and hutch, a file, a desk and return and printer unit.

Its Horizon modular office offers eight SKUs of smaller-scale pieces including desks, lateral file units and bookcase like hutch units.

With multiple configurations in either group, retailers can pick the setup that requires the least amount of floor space, yet allow consumers to pick from a wide variety of product.

"We want to get the maximum dollars for them," said Sheue-Wen Lee, CEO.

Coaster's extensive home office assortments feature items ranging from contemporary and asymmetrical bookcase units and room dividers, retailing from about $179 to $199 and offered in dark cappuccino and distressed gray finishes.
It also has a large array of writing desks, corner desks and other smaller-scale laptop/tablet-friendly desks in a range of styles, from contemporary metal and glass looks to traditional flip-top configurations.

Others resources such as Parker House are doing well with library walls, a core part of its line. These incorporate office pieces such as bookcases, peninsula desks and inset desks as well as entertainment pieces such as consoles and bars, which allows the office category to fit comfortably into family living spaces.

Retailers are drawn to the updated traditional Aria library shown in High Point last market as well as the new Stanford collection, which has more transitional lines.

The company is also seeing positive early reaction to a new line of office chairs, available in nine colors. The colors and styles correlate with 14 library walls as well as executive and writing desks that go with those walls, said Roberta Woodard, vice president of merchandising.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.


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