Guide to office furniture materials

Choosing the perfect office furniture for your workplace is no easy task - there are countless different options to consider. The layout, colour scheme, and materials you choose all play an important role in how your office functions as a productive, professional space. For our advice on the best uses for different office furniture materials, keep reading.

Wood office furniture

For businesses that have an environmentally friendly approach, wooden office furniture is the perfect addition to a biophilic office that embraces natural colours and materials. When sourced sustainably, wooden office furniture can have a low environmental impact, helping your business save the planet. In the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui, wood is also said to inspire creativity and grant stability. So, if you’re looking for an earthy, grounded environment, the perfect material for creating this atmosphere is wood.

As well as its environmental benefits, wood office furniture can complement all sorts of office aesthetics; from rustic to modern. Because wood office furniture can come in different finishes, colours, and styles, it’s always a reliable material to choose from. Timeless and long lasting, wood office furniture is a great investment that remains practical and attractive for many years. For example, a cluster of Core wooden desks can provide a communal hub that seats many employees - perfect for a group brainstorming session. If your office has a dedicated reception area, a wood reception desk provides visitors with a warm welcome, giving the impression that your business is as reliable and professional as your furnishings. 

Glass office furniture

Glass office furniture can create a sense of modernity and luxury with its sleek and reflective surfaces. Glass is light and airy, so it can be used to open up an office space and make a small space appear bigger. A glass top table makes the perfect accessory for any modern office, paired with office armchairs for a stylish seating area. However, be aware that glass furniture should be kept dust and streak free, which means regular polishing. If you prioritise the sleek aesthetics of your office, then glass office furniture is an investment that’s worth the upkeep.

Plastic office furniture

Plastic office furniture is an affordable and simple choice for furnishing your workplace. It gives you the freedom to choose from a variety of fun colours, and can be eco-friendly when made from recycled materials. What’s more, plastic office furniture is easy to maintain, needing only a quick wipe down to keep it clean. This means less chance of staining, which sets it apart from wood or fabric materials, making it easier to keep your office looking presentable and clean.

Plastic is a popular and comfortable material for office seating, as it’s both sturdy and flexible under the weight of a person. This is great for office ergonomics, with plastic making up the majority of most high quality office chairs. A Kin plastic swivel chair makes a great option for dynamic office seating, and comes in a multitude of different colours too. Plastic office seating is the way to go for businesses on a budget who don’t want to miss out on style or practicality.

Metal office furniture

Metal is a material that’s associated with profit and value - after all, many metals such as gold and silver are incredibly valuable around the world. Therefore, metal office furniture can be a great fit for offices that are business and revenue focussed. But, this isn’t to say that metal isn’t an incredibly universal choice for office furniture. As it’s such a strong material, metal is often used within the structure of office furniture, although it may not be used so much as a stylistic choice in most office designs. To avoid an office space from looking too cold and unwelcoming, metal is best used as an accent in office furniture, rather than in large slabs.

For example, metal table legs are practical and make up a strong foundation for desks, tables, or storage units. They also look good too, adding a smooth, shiny finish to parts of furniture that may otherwise go unnoticed. Metal and wood are the perfect pairing for creating an industrial office design, as they balance each other out. Want a bespoke office furniture design approach? It’s possible to change the colour of the table legs to fit in with your current or planned office decor. Plus, you can choose between various melamine faced chipboard (MFC) colours and metals too.

Need some inspiration? Try out a design like this corner desk with open storage, which makes use of both wood and metal for a balance of different materials. 

Upholstered office furniture

Employees and guests often need to feel comfortable in the office, especially when they’re sat down for long periods of time. Upholstered office furniture provides both comfort and style, and can be customised with a variety of different colours and textiles - depending on the finish you want. It’s possible to choose textiles and colours that represent your brand’s identity too. For example, if you’re after something luxurious and stylish for an executive office, leather office chairs are a great fit, and can be tailored to a colour that matches the aesthetic you desire. Alternatively, a fully upholstered three seat sofa creates the perfect sitting area for visitors and employees to sit back and relax. 

Upholstered furniture adds a touch of comfort and homeliness to an office space, preventing it from feeling cold or uninviting. Even if you only include a couple of upholstered task chairs or an odd office sofa, a mix of different textiles in your office space is essential for creating a productive, ergonomic workspace. 

DBI Furniture are experts on office furniture, and supply consistently high quality, reliable furniture to all sectors. If colour and style are aspects that particularly concern you, why not read our ultimate colour guide for office furniture? Take a look at our wide range of products, or contact a member of our team to discuss how to elevate your office space.