Choosing Office Furniture: A Buyer's Guide to Desks and Chairs

Choosing the right office furniture is the key to your, or your employees, happiness, and wellbeing. This means the work produced relies upon choosing good office furniture- whether it’s writing up reports for clients, working from home or writing up your University assignments, good office furniture is a necessity. Also, the office aesthetic you want is just as important; choosing office furniture that builds the look of your office or adds to the décor of your already decorated room, so it’s crucial to look at your options and convey the right message.

Choosing office furniture made simple: things you need to consider

Whether choosing office furniture to replace the old because it looks outdated and worn out, you’re trying to change the impression you give to clients, or setting up a new office altogether, choosing office furniture can be very confusing with so many options, styles, and variations. This Buyer’s Guide will lead you to find what’s the perfect fit for you and your office.
Anyway, who says you need a specific reason when choosing new office furniture!


First things first with choosing new office furniture, measure up your space and see what you have to play with! Unless you’re buying custom office furniture, you will need to look at options that will fit in the space you have.
Simply take a tape measure to your room, measure the width, depth, and height you have available – measure the angle of corners too if you’re looking for corner desks.

When thinking about the size chair you want, consider if you want a small one to slide under the desk, a big, cushioned armchair, one on wheels (these often take up more space on the floor) or a small one that can be folded away when not in use.

General note: The standard desk height is 29-30in (74-76cm), depth is anywhere between 20-30in (50-76cm) and width is usually, at least 24in (61cm).


The next important thing to consider is choosing the material you want for your office furniture; the most common are steel, wood and glass – some units will be a mix of these to offer the best of both worlds, e.g., glass top desks with a steel frame.


Steel desks and chairs are a great option because they are extremely robust and durable for
a long time; they can hold a heavy load and won’t get damaged by the things on your desk, like hot drinks. Longevity is another quality to look for when choosing office furniture, because they get very high usage so need to be able to last. Constantly having to buy new furniture won’t help you get any work done and won’t be good for the bank.

Harbour Housewares Steel Computer Desk


Wooden furniture is certainly the most popular option because of its natural, aesthetically pleasing, and professional look – hence why it’s a popular option in choosing office desks and chairs. Longevity is also a feature of wooden furniture, alongside it’s durability so you can be sure to rely on your wooden desks and chairs.

However, this classy, office-ideal material tends to be more expensive than steel as its most often the result of hand-made work, thus, made with a lot of care.

Wooden Computer Desks


A popular material for office desks is glass, specifically the table top. Glass provides a sleek, modern, and trendy look to your office, which is perfect for offices that see a lot of clients! Also, glass is great for reflecting the light, so whether in a small office it will reflect the natural light creating the illusion of a bigger and brighter space.

Choosing glass office furniture does come with more risks. They are not as durable, so chips, scratches and cracks are likely overtime, especially with such high usage.

Cleaning glass also brings more challenges, as glass highlights every speck of dust, so it needs to be done more often - it’s important to completely dry the surface once wet. The beauty of glass can also be a detriment, whereby glass allows visibility under the desk, so cables cannot be hidden out of sight.

Glass-top Computer Desks


Yet another aspect of choosing office furniture that can lead you down many paths is style; here are the most common styles you should consider first.


Folding desks and chairs are particularly useful for home offices, with their lightweight and portable design, they can be stored away easily when not in use – great for a temporary home office set up between 9-5 or in a small university room. They can also be great at work for the use of conferences or big events, where there isn’t space to have a permanent set up, but can easily be put up and taken down when required.

Folding Space Saver Desk


Probably the most useful feature of a desk is the use of storage – drawers, shelves etc. This is great to keep the desk clutter-free and leave plenty of workspace for you, all while giving you easy access to anything you need right at your fingertips – or we should say side!
If you’re considering a desk with storage, be sure to look at the measurements carefully to make sure you have plenty of leg room (space under the desk) so you’re not squeezing into a small gap.

Wooden Desk with Drawer


Another consideration, particularly for choosing home office furniture, is the purpose of your desk and chair. Are they solely for working purposes or do you want to be able to use the desk as a spare dining table, or the chair for when you have guests over? This may change the aesthetic you want, for example, the natural brown colour of wood may go with your living room décor more than the grey of steel.

Double-Use Desks

Padded Seat

Ergonomics is an essential consideration when buying office chairs – you’ve got to protect that derrière! Chairs can come padded or not padded, so you must consider if a padded seat is sufficient or if you will find something to cover the hard surface, e.g., a cushion. Who says you can’t have a padded seat and still add another cushion? You can even repurpose a towel as a throw for that extra level of comfort and splash of colour.

Padded Chairs


The aesthetic of your office furniture is not only determined by its material, which you have limited control over, but you can choose the colour that best suits you and your space!
Whether you like the natural look of brown wood, prefer the slick look of black desks and chairs, or want to add a vibrant colour to the room, there is office furniture in almost any colour you can think of. Also, who says you have to have a matching desk and chair, switch it up and have different colours to truly add character to the room. Another way to add more colour is through the cushion or throw – available in a variety of colours.


It’s always important to ensure you have a clean workspace, whether at home or in the office and especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply, use anti-bacterial spray or wipes to wipe over your office furniture, remember your keyboard, computer, and anything else on your desk.

- Better organisation

- Hygiene

- Enables productivity and increases motivation

- Better aesthetic

If you have wooden furniture, use a damp microfibre cloth to wipe it – microfibre captures the dust and won’t ruin the wood. If you want, you can even use wood wax or polish to keep that natural wooden shine.

Top tips

- Comfort is key! Choosing the office furniture that is the perfect fit for you is quintessential; add a cushion to your seat to maximise comfort

- Expensive office furniture isn’t always the best! Consider your budget and how many units you need

- Warranty! Office furniture get’s a lot of usage, be sure it will last

- Protect your flooring! Consider buying feet covers if your units don’t come with them already

The Harbour Housewares Wooden Folding Desk - Black & Silver - is a solid, robust wooden worktop with a tubular steel frame providing ultimate sturdiness for your hard days work. It’s combined durability and lightweight gives the optimal mix for an office desk, allowing you to move it around if need be while withstanding any knocks along the way. In terms of appearance, this desk has a sleek and contemporary design, perfect for any décor and it comes with protective caps on the legs to protect your flooring from any scratches or scrapes. It even folds away easily allowing you to completely put your work aside once you finish and store it until you need it again.

Harbour Housewares Wooden Folding Desk – Black/Silver

If you want the full set, our Harbour Housewares 2 Piece Industrial Office Desk & Chair Set – White/White - is perfect. The robust steel framework on both the desk and chair ensures reliability and the wooden desktop provides the ultimate withstanding surface for all your work essentials. The compact, minimalistic design of the desk maximises the space around and under it making your office look bigger and giving your legs plenty of room.

Harbour Housewares 2 Piece Industrial Office Desk & Chair Set – White/White

The Harbour Housewares padded Folding Chair - Black & Silver - is our best-seller chair, with it’s foldable, lightweight steel construction it’s the perfect office chair to tidy away at the end of the day. The sponge padding ensures long-lasting comfort for you and the rubber bumpers on the feet ensure there’s no damage to your flooring. The black design will go with any décor you already have or are choosing and will fit perfectly whether used as an office chair or a recreational chair at home.

Harbour Housewares Padded Folding Chair – Black/Silver

Shop all our Office Desks and Chairs

Don’t forget other essential office furniture like Clocks and Shelves and you can’t forget that perfect work Mug!