June 2009 Archives

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We custom designed this office furniture suite for a modern home office. The writing desk, credenza and hutch, all from the Axis line, feature brushed steel and dark wenge stained wood which looks good against the brick wall and hardwood floor. Our patterned "Scratched" glass finish adds a modern flair.


Conference Tables in History

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Treaty_of_Paris_by_Benjamin_West_1783.jpgThe Treaty of Paris, signed in 1783, officially ended the Revolutionary War. This painting by Benjamin West depicts American delegates John Jay, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Henry Laurens and William Temple Franklin. The painting is unfinished because the British delegation refused to pose.

Honed Absolute Black Granite has a beautiful satin finish, making it very popular in modern home design. Unfortunately, the Honed finish is somewhat porous, and shows discoloration from fingerprints and liquid stains. Many unlucky homeowners have installed Honed Absolute Black Granite countertops because they loved the look, and then found out too late about fingerprinting when the marks appeared on their brand new countertops.

At Stoneline we offer both Polished and Honed Absolute Black Granite table tops, though we do not recommend Honed for kitchen countertops due to the fingerprint issue. We have recently learned of another granite finish which may provide an alternative to Honed: Antiqued.

Antiqued Absolute Black Granite is a textured surface which diffuses reflected light, for a satiny appearance similar to the Honed finish. Our first look indicates that Antiqued granite is more impervious than Honed, and appears not to show fingerprinting to nearly the same degree.

Antiqued granite deserves a closer examination as a possible alternative for high-use applications like family dining tables and kitchen countertops. We will post again when we have more information on how the Antiqued finish holds up to long-term use. In the meantime, keep your eye out for Antiqued Absolute Black Granite.

Desk Feng Shui

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Feng Shui your desk. Does that sound silly? Feng Shui is simply a set of aesthetic principles designed to help people live in harmony with their environment and increase positive energy (qi). There's nothing silly about that.

Feng Shui is more commonly thought of for use in the home, but there's no reason why the principles of Feng Shui can't also be applied to the office. Most people spend more time in the office than in any other single location (besides asleep in bed). A few simple adjustments can make your desk and office a more harmonious environment. And you might even improve your qi.

1. The Elements of Style. Feng Shui is based on five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water. Office spaces are often sterile and heavily unbalanced towards metal and away from earth, water and wood. Use color to bring the elements into your office: green or brown for wood, red, yellow, orange, purple or pink for fire, light yellow, tan and light brown for earth, white or gray for metal, and blue or black for water.
You can also incorporate natural elements such as potted plants, earthenware pots or a small fountain on your desk. Use these natural elements in a practical way, for instance store paper clips and pens in pottery on your desk.

2. Avoid Poison Arrows. Feng Shui says that poison arrows, or shars, are straight lines pointing towards you. The longer and straighter the line, the more negative the energy. For instance, a long railing pointing directly at your front door.
Practically speaking, in most business environments you will not able to move your entire office to avoid shars. But you can work with this principle on a smaller scale. If you have a long, straight railing, hang plants along it to break up the line. If your office or cubicle is at the end of a walkway so that people are walking directly towards you, move your desk away from the direction of traffic.

3. Line of Sight. When you are sitting at your desk and someone comes to the door, can you see them immediately, or do you need to twist in your seat? If at all possible, move your desk so that you can see the door without having to turn around. If you cannot rearrange the furniture in your workspace, place a mirror by your desk which allows you to see the door.

4. Simple Shapes. According to feng shui, rooms should be simple, unbroken square and rectangular shapes. Many modern offices include structural elements that jut into the room like exposed pipes or protruding corners. If this describes your office, try to conceal the protruding element with a screen, wall hanging or plant. If there are exposed beams on the ceiling, hang a pendant, small bamboo flute or windchime from the center of the beam.

5. Think Round. Though your office should be a square or rectangle, it should also incorporate round office furniture. Round shapes symbolize prosperity, making them particularly appropriate for the office. If you have the space, a round meeting table and round rug is ideal. If you can't add furniture to your office, you can still incorporate round shapes: hang round mirrors or hangings on the wall, and collect round objects on your desk. Not only will this improve your feng shui, it will make your desk more attractive and comfortable to sit at all day.