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Best Contemporary Office Furniture

October 25, 2019 | by
Reviewed by real estate expert Jonathan Wasserstrum

Give your office a simple make over by adding some contemporary office furniture. No one wants their office space to look like a relic of the past. Many people already have negative opinions of the average office workspace. So don’t make the situation worse by furnishing it with ugly or uncomfortable, old-fashioned looking pieces.

On the other hand, you may not be looking for ultra-modern, high-end office furniture either—perhaps because it’s too expensive, or it just seems a bit too self-consciously hip. If that’s the case, then your “just right” sweet spot is going to be some nice contemporary office furniture.

Contemporary office furniture basics

When furnishing a contemporary office, there are several standard pieces that you will likely need to purchase many of. Ideally you should be able to get a better price for these items, since a seller may offer bulk discounts.

Among the office furniture basics are:

Office desks

These can be traditional desks, which include drawers and compartments, or more streamlined desks that are actually more similar to tables. So much office work is now done digitally desk drawers are not as necessary as they once were to contain staplers, paper clips, pencils, notepads, and other items that don’t get as much use.


These could include stationery chairs, rolling task chairs, stuffed armchairs, and more. You will need to think about what kinds of chairs go with which kinds of desks, and also consider that some chairs can effectively function as their own workspace for an employee using a laptop. Keep comfort in mind too. Comfy chairs may be more expensive, but it could be worth the cost if employees are more healthy and happy as a result.


Sofas and couches are more of a modern office furniture staple. Once upon a time, they were usually only seen in reception areas or in one of the big boss’s private offices. But nowadays, they can be found throughout many a contemporary office, giving employees a comfortable spot to stretch out and work, or providing a convenient spot for a mini-meeting.

Office cubicles

Cubicles have been out of fashion in recent years, with open plan office spaces becoming the norm. However, studies have shown that many employees actually dislike these open spaces, finding them noisy and distracting. So it may be worth considering bringing back office cubicles to give workers more privacy.

Extra office furnishings you should consider

While these aren’t necessarily standards of contemporary office furniture, these are all beneficial items worth considering adding to your office space:

  • Charging stations – Everybody is always looking for an outlet or a way to juice up their smartphone these days. Make it easier for your employees by offering some designated charging stations.
  • Zen gardens / plants – These items might not be at the front of your mind, but a touch of nature can have a bigger positive effect on people’s psyche than you might think.
  • Flat screens – In the digital age, people often need to be able to show videos or make PowerPoint presentations at meetings. Having smart screens readily available (mounted on the wall or as a part of a media unit) will make things easier for your workers.

Try out your office furniture first

Before purchasing, it’s wise to “test” the contemporary office furniture that interests you first. By all means, do your browsing online, but it’s best to visit a showroom first before committing. A sofa that looks great in a photo might be too hard or too soft in person. Office desks that look perfect in the picture might end up being larger than they appear.

Places to buy contemporary office furniture

Here are a few stores where you can find a good selection of contemporary office furniture:

West Elm – A lot of their pieces have a light, streamlined look that is contemporary yet classy. They have numerous stores throughout the U.S. and beyond.

CB2 – Their offerings include desks and chairs (both stationary and rolling), and a wide range of different kinds of filing cabinets (many of which are more attractive than the standard metal ones). Locations are mostly only in major cities.

Hon – This dedicated office supplier has a great variety, with everything from workstations to workplace tools. There are only a handful of showrooms, but the website can point you to local dealers.

Wayfair and Overstock are websites with loads of contemporary office furniture options. Just make sure they have good return policies in case you don’t like what you get.



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