The path to choosing the right furniture for colleges and universities can be a bit of a, well, education! It’s not simply a case of stocking up on equipment – you need to consider available space, colour schemes and the different types of areas you are furnishing.
You also need to take into account the age group you are catering for. Colours and styles of furniture appropriate to a primary school setting aren’t going to cut it when it comes to fitting out higher education facilities.
Chrisbeon has established a great reputation as an elite office furniture and stationery supplier over many years, but we are also heavily involved in the world of education and are ideally situated to meet the demands in this sector – from nursery age through to colleges and universities.
Today we are focusing on higher education, the colours and trends which are popular with students to the point where it can play a major role in attracting them to a certain college or university.
Moving with the times
The pandemic has changed the way we all live, work and learn and schools, colleges and universities have had to adapt their thinking in order to keep students in the classroom.
Safety remains a top priority, dovetailing with comfort and the visual and physical experiences which are so integral to our seats of learning, areas including classrooms, dining areas, refectories and canteens and cafeterias, dormitories, common spaces and libraries.
Fire safety is also an important consideration and fire retardancy is very high on the list of priorities for today’s schools, colleges and universities – probably to an even greater extent than most normal office environments. There is a particular focus on seating and notice boards and we are only too happy to advise and supply the most suitable products to meet those needs.
It’s important to note that not every supplier is able to meet these higher standards of fire retardancy in educational settings and it’s always worth talking things through with us before pressing ahead and making that purchase.
Cleaning is another major consideration, making the choice of fabrics for furniture extremely important. The go-to options need to be easily cleanable fabrics like faux leathers and other bleach cleanable and antimicrobial fabrics. In junior and special needs schools, urine-proof fabrics are also a desired choice.
Smart Fabrics are very popular right now – fabrics that are treated with nanotechnology-based protection offering an invisible barrier which kills viruses and bacteria on contact. Here again, we can help and advise you on the best choices to meet your requirements.
Furniture for college and university classrooms
We supply all types of chairs, desks, tables, storage units, trays and lockers, across a range of designs and colours. Learning area trends now focus on easily moveable furniture where space can be maintained between students. There is a tendency in some establishments to avoid circular desk arrangements and space dividers are being continued in some areas.
Some colleges and universities have adopted a policy of pop-up locations where food is available throughout buildings to avoid pinch-points of too many students gathering in one place at any one time.
Hygiene is particularly paramount here which means tables, chairs and other surfaces again need to be easy to clean and maintain, while the flexibility of being able to have movable furniture remains a distinct advantage.
Libraries and quiet areas
Furniture requirements for these areas are different, places where soft furnishings like sofas are needed. But they should be hard-wearing and you need to ensure that specific furniture is fit for purpose and of a higher quality if heavily used.
A small sofa in a university library will potentially be sat on by hundreds of students each week and therefore gets much more wear than a sofa in a child’s bedroom.
Choosing the right colour scheme to go with each of the separate areas within the higher education setting is extremely important.
Colour is a great addition to liven-up spaces with shades of purple, green and blue viewed as calming – more in keeping with the quiet and residential areas of these establishments, while yellow, red and orange create a feeling of energy.
It’s also worth remembering that too much brightness can be a distraction, so the colour you choose must fit in with the surroundings, colours and branding of the college or university. Many educational settings also use murals, words and mottos in artistic form to convey messages which are instructive, motivational and inspirational.
Whatever the furniture requirements are in your educational setting, Chrisbeon can help. Give us a call on 01952 292606 or call in and see us at our showroom on Stafford Park, Telford.