Home: Chair
Reception Armchairs   (+1)  [vote for, against]
Distressed furniture for the workplace

We've all seen it: the stiff-looking, thinly padded stuff that we're supposed to sit on while waiting for our appointment to free up. This furniture comes in two flavors: cheap and looks it, or outlandishly expensive and rubs your nose in it. In no case does this stuff look as good as the moment before you paid for it.

My proposal is this: sturdily constructed furnishings that can tolerate the day-to-day abuses of users who will not have to deal with the repercussions of their mistreatment of said sit-upons, while looking like whatever disaster might befall it can't be all that bad.

Frames would be ruggedly overbuilt using architectural grade materials: major frame members of a long couch, say, being parallams or ganged I-joists. I-joists are a great choice because they keep the weight down and make it less of a chore for the overworked secretaries to rearrange the reception area when some bastard boss directs them to work outside of their responsibilities. There are no exposed wooden, metal, or plastic pieces: all seating elements are fully upholstered from top to bottom with the exception of the feet, which are four inches on every dimension and bolted from the bottom.

Upholstery materials are sturdy synthetic fabrics guaranteed six ways from Sunday to never ever shrink, rip or go out of fashion. You can cut these fabrics, but it takes an effort. Soaked for four weeks in industrial grade Scotchgard (tm), they repel every liquid liable to land on them, and they're equipped with large reliable zippers to easily pop the covers off the cushions for easy laundering at those poor secretaries' homes. Said zips make recovering the cushions a snap once the covers are dry (medium heat, no cool down). The covers themselves bear a pattern that is not floral, nor solid, nor even geometric. It might best be described as "urban camo," with a random smattering of smears, blobs and blotches in any color from ballpoint ink to printer toner to Hot Mama Magenta lipstick. These colors are permanent and will not fade, though they can be added to without worry.

The most important part though, is that the cushions are deep enough that, landing on one, your tailbone doesn't make an acquaintance with the boards beneath. Leaning back doesn't stop at ninety degrees, but allows you a pleasantly inclined 115 degrees that relieves pressure on your spine. The armrests are deeply cushioned and high enough to relax your arms.

A coffee table resides in the center of the grouping. Said table is covered at the factory with scuffs, nicks and small stains, which are then sealed below the finish. Further damage will not significantly alter the appearance of this table, go ahead and put your feet up.
-- elhigh, Jun 23 2005

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