Get some inspiration for affordable (cheap) phone booths to add privacy to your coworking space, from a few thousand dollars to completely DIY...
Coworking furniture: don’t sit on these ideas!
Remember office cube farms? If you do, then you know how important furniture is to a workspace. It can make the difference in being place where people have to work, to a place where people get to work.
Which is why the furnishings you choose for a coworking space matter.
To create a space where innovation flows, inspiration abounds, and meaningful connections form, you need furniture and design elements to match your brand and community. From standard conference tables to unexpected conversation starters, here is a skimable list of inspiration for furnishing your coworking oasis.
Raise (and lower) your expectations of desks
The heart of any coworking space is the desks where members will spend their days. Opt for desks and chairs that are comfortable yet lightweight and mobile. This allows members to easily shift workspace configurations to accommodate meetings, events, and their working style of the day. Some options:
Standing height desks on casters. Let members alternate between sitting and standing. Bonus if they have manual crank adjustability.
Flexible one-person desks. Look for curved shapes with built-in cable management. Pin-leg bases allow swift repositioning.
Lightweight task chairs. Prioritize adjustability and breathable mesh materials. Swivel mobility is key.
Bar-height tables and stool. High tops scattered throughout the space break up the sea of desks. They double as impromptu standing meeting areas.
Re-think the conference tables
Typical boardroom-style conference tables are definitely functional and expected… but they lack imagination. Here are some creative twists on conference tables that will bring personality to your space and delight your members:
Modular conference tables. Tables with interchangeable parts allow you to expand tables for larger meetings or create unique shapes.
Wheeled conference tables. Tables on casters enable swift reconfiguration between meetings. Bonus: integrated cable management.
Standing conference tables. Allow meetings to occur on your feet for energy and collaboration. Height adjustability accommodates sitters.
Diner-style booths. Curved diner booths bring casual cafe energy to small group meetings.
Outdoor picnic tables. For informal "walking meetings," bring the collaboration into the fresh air with durable but stylish outdoor tables.
High-low gather tables. Tables with a mix of high and low sections keep meetings interactive.
Dry erase tabletops. Entire tabletops painted with dry erase coating transform tables into oversized movable whiteboards.
So rather than defaulting to traditional wood conference tables, get creative with shapes, heights, materials and mobility to energize your coworking meetings.
Create collaboration zones
While heads-down focus work is crucial, connection and collaboration are just as vital in coworking communities. Create inviting spaces for members to meet, share ideas, or just take a break from their screens.
Modular sofas and ottomans. Sectionals with movable pieces allow quick reconfiguration of lounge areas. Ottomans act as spare seating or coffee tables.
Casual meeting tables. Ditch board room formality with low coffee tables or versatile bistro tables with bar stools. They encourage relaxed meetings.
Snack or cafe zones. High tops and counter stool seating bring energy to snack nooks and self-serve cafes.
Booths. Whether fully enclosed or open on one side, booths foster privacy for small meetings. Sound-dampening materials are a bonus. Phone booths are even more valuable for members who need temporary privacy.
Offer some unexpected furniture choices
Add visual interest with unexpected furniture choices that also encourage connection. Here are some innovative ideas:
Hammock chairs or bubble chairs. Suspended seating pods create fun alternative workspaces when you need a change of scenery.
Swings. Suspended bench swings bring playground mobility to adults. Set one next to a couch or use it as stand-alone relaxing seats.
Bean bag chairs. Remember these from childhood? Beanbags are trending again as unconventional comfortable seats.
Campfire seating. Arrange stools or cushions in a circle around a small table, mimicking campfire hangouts. Equalizes status.
High school lab stools. The height-adjustable stools on rollers are nostalgic but perfectly suited for impromptu gatherings.
Don't overlook local antique and thrift stores for vintage finds that lend coworking spaces character.
Where do you find unique coworking furniture?
Big box furniture stores are handy but unlikely to yield finds full of character. Here are some sources for unusual furnishings that provide both function and flair:
Thrift and consignment shops. Vintage finds like retro office chairs, couches, and unique tables lend eclectic character. You never know what you may uncover.
Used office furniture outlets. As companies liquidate furniture, you can swoop in for high-quality desks and chairs at a fraction of retail pricing.
Furniture rental companies. Consider renting some statement pieces, which allows you to easily rotate new furnishings in and out.
Boutique furniture makers. Support local artisans and get perfect one-of-a-kind creations from woodworkers, metalsmiths and upholsterers.
Flea markets and antiques malls. Another source for unusual secondhand furniture from various eras to mix and match.
Architectural salvage yards. Find interesting beams, school lockers and the like to repurpose. Patina tells a story.
Custom fab shops. For truly unique solutions, welders, metal workers and other fabricators can build your custom ideas. Or partner with a local makerspace to feature their creations and promote their organization.
The more eclectic and multi-sourced your furnishings, the more distinct character your coworking space will take on. Plus, sourcing locally helps set you apart. You can tag those folks in all the social media posts that feature their creations.
Don’t forget the finishing touches of furnishings
Final flourishes pull the whole coworking space together into a unified aesthetic. Consider details like:
Plants plants plants. Green spaces bring life and fresh air. Opt for hardy, low-maintenance varieties, and check out this list of plants for coworking spaces.
Whiteboards or dry erase surfaces. Mount wall-to-wall whiteboard surfaces for impromptu brainstorming almost anywhere. Or use wheeled boards.
Acoustic panels. Strategically placed panels absorb sound in open areas for focus. Panels in funky shapes add flair, but do some research on the function and form of sound proofing you need.
Ambient lighting. Mix task and ambient lighting. Lamp accents create cozy lounge vibes.
Original artwork. Local art personalizes the space while supporting community creatives. Rotating installations keep things fresh. Encourage members to display work or partner with a local university arts program.
Bike racks. Bike-friendly features like racks encourage sustainable commuting.
Whatever your coworking brand or specialty, create a welcoming oasis tailored to your members' needs. Thoughtful furnishing facilitates productivity, sparks innovation, and cultivates community.