PBN Spotlight on Contract Furniture Industry Trends
Wendy Shewalter is the President and CEO of Contract Furnishers of Hawaii Inc., dba Office Pavilion. With 42 team members, the company ranked No. 2 on PBN's recent List of Hawaii Office Furniture Dealers, as ranked by the number of employees.
How is business? Any plans for expansion, new products, etc.?
We are excited for the coming year! We are now a MillerKnoll dealer and have access to both Herman Miller and Knoll product lines. Also, we have recently become the DIRTT dealer for Hawaii. With these product lines, we able to provide our clients with a broader range of solutions to fit their needs. Another showroom space is also in the works, so stay tuned.
What demands are you seeing for office furniture right now?
Flexibility. And also an element of fun. Many workers are still hybrid, so being able to provide flexible spaces for them to work in the office is important. Employers are wanting to provide their workers with spaces that motivate, inspire and engage them, so they can do their best work and enjoy being in the office.
What trend in office furniture design do you see as progress?
Employers are moving away from the idea of traditional high cubicles, as well as the concept of completely open benching, which was very popular a few years ago. The current approach is more balanced to foster collaboration and creativity, while still recognizing the need for heads-down privacy for productivity. Collaboration areas, which can be used for touchdown workspaces or for casual meetings are a great multi-functional solution.
What is the most exciting office space your firm has furnished?
We recently completed Central Pacific Bank's third floor office in Downtown Honolulu. We worked very closely with CPB, Ferraro Choi and J. Kadowaki to create this incredible space. It is functional, of course, but it's also beautiful, vibrant and fun. In addition to workstations, breakroom and meeting rooms, it features privacy phone booths, walking treadmills, an indoor "park" and various touchdown/collaboration areas that provide employees with flexible spaces that support the various ways they work.
What are the most interesting problems your company has dealt with in designing offices? How did you resolve them?
Every project has its own unique "problems," from the functional needs of the end-user to the timeframe, to the aesthetic and vision that each client has for their space. It can be challenging, but that's part of the process and also what makes the job fun. We enjoy collaborating with our clients to blend together their functional and aesthetic needs and bring their vision to life.
Article Courtesy of Pacific Business News, Lucy Tuitipou 03/15/2023