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Originally published in Interiors & Sources

05/01/2012

5 Steps to Lengthen Furniture’s Life Expectancy

Restore or renew furniture to refresh your facility.

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    A furniture restoration expert may be able to preserve the look of your existing furnishings or fix up pre-owned purchases. The laminate on the piece below was easily replaced by a Furniture Medic technician, giving it a like-new look and saving it from the landfill.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF SERVICEMASTER

  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2012/0512/B_0512_FurnitureRestoration5.jpg

    A furniture restoration expert may be able to preserve the look of your existing furnishings or fix up pre-owned purchases. The laminate on the piece below was easily replaced by a Furniture Medic technician, giving it a like-new look and saving it from the landfill.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF SERVICEMASTER

If the furnishings in your facility are dulled, scratched, torn, or outdated, don’t necessarily assume you’re destined for a showroom full of new ones. With patience and elbow grease, you can restore the luster to your current furniture or create a “new to you” look by purchasing or renting pre-owned pieces.

“It’s economically smart and better for the environment to extend the life of existing furniture or consider buying pre-owned furniture that has already made its carbon footprint,” says Andy Cooper, training manager for ServiceMaster’s Furniture Medic restoration program. “Furniture doesn’t need to be as disposable as it’s often treated.”

Start with these five steps for finding and fixing quality furnishings.

1) Reasons for Renting
First, consider why you need to change your furniture. This will help you narrow down vendors and sources. If you’re outfitting a new office or clinic that will stay in place for the long term, you might want to own the furnishings.

However, a short-term project or an upcoming move to a new building might call for renting instead, says Bob Buzzell, vice president of marketing for CORT, a nationwide furniture rental company and pre-owned furniture dealer that routinely works with Fortune 500 companies.

Other reasons you might choose to rent include:

  • Your company is a start-up or has recently launched a new business venture, requiring a short-term office setting while the project’s viability is tested
  • Your company is in the middle of moving to a new location and you need to minimize disruption while you move the permanent furniture
  • Capital is scarce, discouraging you from tying up valuable funding in furnishings
  • Your company wants to retain its options for future furniture changes
  • You need to stage an office or dwelling to attract tenants
  • Permanent furniture delivery is delayed or the anticipated delivery time is unacceptable
  • Furnishings need to reflect style or seasonal changes
  • A natural disaster has destroyed existing furnishings – some insurers cover the cost of renting replacement furniture for a short term specified in your contract
  • You need to change the purpose of a room for a one-time event and don’t want to purchase furniture you’ll only use on occasion

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