Contract furniture is, essentially, furniture used for commercial use. So while you might think a certain type of seating booth would look great in your dining room, unless it’s a commercial one, you need to have a rethink. Contract furniture is the ideal solution for a lot of businesses, many of whom may not have even considered that they need it. But buying from a specialist commercial supplier cuts out the middle man and gets you what you need quickly and to your requirements.
Restaurants and bars
One of the most common venues for contract furniture is a restaurant or bar. These types of venues need chairs, tables, stools and various other types of furniture that is found inside. Of course, depending on the size of the restaurant, there is likely to be a large amount of this furniture needed as well. And it all needs to match the theme. Unless you are actively trying to achieve a mish-mash style, bulk buying is the only solution to get everything the same. Pick a set theme that you want to run through the venue and work the furniture in around it. For example, a high-end, luxury restaurant is likely to have tablecloths on the tables. In these circumstances, the tables just need to be the right size and shape to suit the customers; the main top will be covered so appearance isn’t as important. However, if you are intending to have carefully-crafted wooden chairs, a metal-legged table may look a little odd, so think about how it will look to a potential customer.
Bar stools will need to be practical so think carefully about the type of fabric you want to cover them with. Obviously, you will want something hardy and long-lasting but don’t sacrifice on style. Make sure the fabric matches the look of the rest of the bar; otherwise the stools will stand out and look odd. Consequently, people may be more reluctant to sit on them, making them a waste of money.
Bistros and cafes
Bistros and cafes are a little different to restaurants and bars because the clientele is often quite different. They are more likely to be frequented in the morning and afternoon, rather than at peak meal times like restaurants. They’re often closed in the evening, which needs to be taken into account. The design, layout and the type of furniture will be quite different. For example, cafes are likely to have a much faster turnover of customers, meaning their surfaces need to be wipe-clean. Plastic-topped tables and faux-leather chairs are ideal for keeping clean between customers, as is a linoleum floor.
While bistros are slightly higher-end, they still have much the same considerations. The high turnover of customers and the necessity to keep them clean in tight time constraints means much of the furniture will be similar to that found in cafes. Polished wood might be a better option if you want to convey a more expensive style of establishment. It’s still easy to clean but it looks that little bit nicer than hard plastic. It is also easy to make a very French-style theme, with matching wooden chairs and some carefully positioned prints on the walls. This will give you the freedom to dress the place up if necessary-for example if there is a special evening event-while still being able to keep the simple, easy style for the majority of the time.
Kevin Mills started his career as a company executive in the Reading and later relocated to Leicestershire. He is a proud father of a new son and happily living with his wife. At present he is working at an international furniture house in Leicestershire. Kevin occasionally writes articles about restaurant and hotel furniture. If you want to connect with Kevin you can add him to your Google+ circle.