Office Furniture Hunting

Posted by | Filed under Business | Sep 15, 2015 | Tags: , | No Comments

ofhWORKING AT HOME IS THE PERFECT situation for Chris Williamson. Once a vice president of human resources for a $400 million company, she decided she needed to be at home with her three children more than she needed to be at the office. So, she started her own business, Creative Human Resource Solutions Ltd., which she runs from her 4-bedroom colonial home in Perrysburg, Ohio.

She set up her office next to the master bedroom, in what used to be the catch-all room over the garage. Its large window gives her a magnificent view over the trees toward the historical site of Fort Meigs, a War of 1812 battleground next to the Maumee River. But the one battle Chris confronted was one she didn’t expect: She couldn’t find suitable home office furnishings.

“I looked for months for office furniture,” says Williamson. “I could find armoires, but there was no drawer space. Or I could find metal filing cabinets to put a top on to make a desk, but it just didn’t feel like real furniture. And an executive desk didn’t really fit in the space the right way.”

One store dealer tried to convince her to buy children’s bedroom furniture, but the drawers weren’t the right size for files. “I’d go to furniture stores, and I’d tell them I needed filing cabinets, which I don’t think is an outrageous request,” Williamson remembers. “It was hard to find anything that wasn’t contemporary–a style I like–but it’s not in keeping with the rest of my decor.”

Finally, Williamson found an armoire she liked in a furniture store and logged on to the Hooker Furniture Web site (540-632-2133, www.hookerfurniture.com), where she discovered the entire collection of Faith Popcorn’s “La Cocoon” office furniture line that the futurist and author designed for the company. “I was so thrilled to find it because it was exactly right for the space,” says Williamson of the antique cherry credenza, hutch, lateral file, bookcase, and workstation desk she purchased through a dealer located on the company’s site.

With its “gentle French style,” as Williamson calls it, the furniture blends in beautifully with the rest of her traditional decor. “Before I found La Cocoon, my options included piecing together odds and ends to try to get what I needed for my home office,” she says. “I’m sure I would have ended up spending more money had I gone that route.”

No longer her junk room, the 16-foot-by-16-foot office suits her perfectly. “Before, I always had a large office with a large desk and a credenza and a conference table, so that’s the way I’m used to working,” she says. Now, with all the pieces of La Cocoon in place, she has plenty of space to spread out when she’s working–and plenty of places to stash things and close up shop when she’s done for the day.

Although her family respects her work space, they like to hang out there, too. “Sometimes, we’ll migrate to the office in the evening,” says Williamson. “My family will be in there when I’m working.” The room’s television, two welcoming and oversized chairs, and ottomans make them feel right at home even in the office.

The arrangement suits the family well, says Williamson, who for the past year has been working on such projects as employee-opinion and performance-feedback surveys and writing employee handbooks. “Ideally, my picture of this home business is to be an HR professional for small- to medium-sized companies who need someone for an executive search, or to help evaluate their benefit plans, or design policies, or whatever HR strategy issues they may need,” she says.

For now, though, Williamson is concentrating on taking on work that she can do during quieter times of the day, such as when her daughters Paige, 10, and Hannah, 6, are in school, and Meredith, 2, is napping. Because her current projects don’t require her to be accessible during the day, she can also work at night, after the kids are in bed, or on the weekend, when her husband can take them out of the house–and everything stays organized thanks to her perfect home office furniture.


 

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