February 2012 Archives

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Buying custom office furniture online doesn't have to be a mystery. The key is to build trust with your supplier. Here are a few questions to ask:

Where is the company located? Can you reach them by phone? You want to be able to pick up the phone and speak to a real person about your order, especially if the furniture will be made to order. Think twice about sending money to a furniture company if you cannot determine from their website where the business is located, or how to get in touch with a live person. A reputable business will not hide this information.

Do they make the furniture themselves? If not, where is it manufactured? Hand-built furniture is an investment and you want to know exactly what you are getting.

Are technical drawings available? Just as you would bring measurements of your room to a furniture store, when buying online you want to be absolutely sure the furniture will fit your space. Diagrams with precise measurements are essential, especially for a large piece. When buying a piece with electrical wiring, such as a conference table, many clients opt to have the installer or electrician come in advance to measure the space and compare with the diagrams.

Are material samples available? If you are concerned about whether your new table will look the same in your dining room as it does in the photo on the website, samples of the actual materials can be very helpful. Note that samples of heavy materials such as granite or metal can be expensive to produce and ship. Many furniture companies require potential customers to purchase samples. This charge is usually deducted from your furniture order.

What are their payment terms? Does the price include freight? Be sure your quote itemizes all charges, and clearly indicates any charges which are not included such as freight. (Freight charges are often based on weight and sometimes cannot be calculated until the size and design of the piece is determined.)

Do they have a showroom open to the public? If not, can you visit their facility? Having a public showroom is not a necessity. After all, the benefit of online sales is to connect with customers all over the country and the world, who wouldn't be able to visit a showroom in a city far away. If there is no showroom, the company should be agreeable to you visiting their factory/facility, distance permitting. On a factory tour you should get to meet the artisans and see the furniture being made -- maybe even your own piece.

Can you see examples of their work in your area? If they have no showroom and you cannot travel to their facility, ask if there are examples of previous sales in your area which you can view. An established business often has a history of happy customers who are willing to let others visit on-site and see the furniture. Of course this will largely depend on your location: if you live in a major metropolitan area this is a much more likely option. An added benefit to visiting a past client is getting to speak with them about their experience working with the furniture company.

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Your conference table top can be built in a single piece, or in multiple sections. The decision is based on several factors:

Table size: Stoneline Designs builds conference tables up to 30 feet long. However, 10' is the maximum size top (116" for shaped glass) that we can fabricate and ship in one piece. A conference table top larger than 10' must be in multiple pieces.

Access: If a 10' table top will be made in one piece, all access points must be carefully measured: doorways, elevator, stairwell, tight corners, etc. Remember that the top will be a few inches longer when crated. If any access point is not large enough, the top should be made in multiple pieces.

Design: A single piece top has a smooth, professional appearance. On the other hand, we incorporate the breaks in a multiple piece top into the design for a sophisticated look. Some tables even have different finishes or materials for different sections of the top. Either approach makes an attractive table, depending on the look you are going for in your conference room.

Power/Wiring: A round wiring grommet can be installed in any conference table top, whether single or multiple pieces. A wiring trough runs along the center of the table, and requires the top to be built in multiple sections.

Seating: We plan the break between top sections to fall between chairs, for more comfortable seating. For example, a 10' table will typically seat 10: 4 along each side and 1 on each end. We would divide a 10' top into 2- 5' sections so that the break occurs between the 2 center chairs. A 12.5' table could be made in 2 or 3 sections, depending on whether the table would seat 4 or 5 on each side. We use this same principle for dividing larger tops as well. With careful planning a conference table can be designed so that no chair is placed in front of a pedestal or break in the top, even up to 30' long.

Metal Office Furniture Care and Maintenance

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Metal is a hard, durable material, and furniture made of metal typically requires far less maintenance than wood. Use these tips to get the most from your metal furniture.

Brushed Steel
Brushed Steel leg plates are finished with a Hand rubbed Oil finish and sealed with a Clear Satin Conversion Varnish finish. With normal use the finish and sealer should never need to be reapplied. Brushed Steel is subject to corrosion, therefore we do not recommend outdoor use in coastal areas, or exposure to rain. 


During processing at the mill, molten Steel is passed through rollers to flatten & shape the bar of Steel into a 1/2" inch thick plate. The rollers leave unpredictable character on the Steel surface, often in a linear pattern. We rub over and highlight this character with our regimented scratching, but each leg plate will retain the underlying character from the hot rolling process. The bottom of leg plates have a Cork barrier applied to protect floors. Stoneline uses Brushed Steel in the Axis and Radian table lines.

Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel panels are systematically brushed with a horizontal line pattern. As stainless Steel does not oxidize, no finish is necessary. However, both the Quadrant and Crescent table lines, which use Stainless Steel, also include wooden components. So we do not recommend locating these tables where they will be exposed to rain.

Aluminum
A cross-hatch pattern is hand scratched into the surface of 5/8" Aluminum plate. The scratch finish is on the pedestal part of the Vector table only. Solid Aluminum crossbars have a brushed texture and a Clear Satin Conversion Varnish finish. With normal use, the finish should never need to be reapplied. Aluminum is subject to corrosion from water, though not to the same degree as Brushed Steel. Therefore we do not recommend outdoor use in coastal areas, or exposure to rain. Stoneline uses Aluminum in the Vector table line.

Custom Reception Desk

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Stoneline recently completed a custom made Reception Desk for the Durham NC, Jewish Community Center.

JCCCornerDetailCCCropped.jpgSandblasted Steel, Oxidized Steel, Scratched & Stained Concrete panels, Scratched Glass and Jerusalem Gray Stone are  all combined in this large Reception Desk.   The Desk is designed for high traffic with several separate work stations.

JCCDetailcc.jpgVegetation was used as a resist on the Oxidized Steel panels, leaving an imprint of leaves, grass and flowers. This organic imagery softens a complex, architecturally varied structure.