Office Decor and Lighting

Part
01
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Part
01

Top Workspace Decor Companies

The top three companies designing or selling workspace decor for mid-market offices are Uttermost, Article and Apt2B. Uttermost offers about 5,000 decor items and provides the broadest range of mirrors in the industry. Comparatively, Article offers more than 3,000 decor items while Apt2B offers more than 2,000 decor items. Below we present details of our approach to this study, which explains how these companies were selected and also the detailed findings for each of the top three companies.

Research Strategy

We started our research by searching the websites of furniture companies in the United States, most of the results from this search were related to home furniture, rather than decor items. Even though there are many companies in the furniture and furnishing business, most of these companies sell home furniture only and do not include many decor items in their products list.

We broadened our search to include companies that focused on home and office decoration. However, we mostly found companies that offered home and office decoration services. These companies did not make, design or sell decor items, rather they bought them to use for home or office decoration for their clients. Also, the majority of these companies are involved in home and office decoration services only. As a result, we deepened our search, leveraging sources such as industry databases, manufacturers' and retailers websites, and industry articles relating to furniture and decor products. This search led us to discover and select the three top companies in the decor business presented in this report as explained below.
According to Lighting New York, Uttermost is a major player in the business of furniture and decor item designing and selling. Uttermost has the largest collection or assortment of decor items found with about 5,000 items. Given its size with respect to the number of employees, steady growth, popularity and the large size of its collections/assortments, we determined that Uttermost sells more decor items to businesses compared to Article and Apt2B. Uttermost dominates some of the largest furniture e-commerce websites in the United States including Lighting New York (LNY) and Overstock where it has many positive ratings and favorable customer reviews.
Article is relatively younger and smaller than Uttermost but doing very well in the industry and it is definitely another strong competitor to beat in terms of decor. It boasts of a large assorted collection of decor with more than 3,000 items. Article sells more decor items than Apt2B due to its size and the strategic positioning of its warehouse locations across the United States. Similar to Uttermost, Article is also featured on Lighting New York with many positive ratings and complimentary customer reviews.
Apt2B is also a big name in the decor items business and boasts of a huge assortment of over 2,000 decor items on their website. Apt2B is growing very fast growing and a strong contender to beat among its peers in the furniture and decor industry.

UTTERMOST

Uttermost is a well-known furniture brand which was founded by Bob and Belle Cooper in 1975, at present, Uttermost remains a family-owned and managed companies. The company has grown steadily for the past 32 years and presently has approximately 290 employees working in its Virginia factories which are built on an area totaling 600,000 square feet. Uttermost also has a factory in China which covers an entire city block with a sales force of 120 representatives throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and more.
Uttermost has the largest collection of about 5,000 decor items on Lighting New York, Bellacor and Overstock with excellent ratings and customer reviews. Uttermost supports many of the most prestigious home-furnishing retailers in the world with their products and services, including many of the top hospitality projects globally. Uttermost designs and sell decor items such as clocks, frames, coasters, coat racks, trays, desk lamps, rugs, poofs, plants, vases, figurines, knickknacks, wall-hangings, and artwork. According to America's residential and commercial lighting experts, Lighting New York, "Uttermost offers the broadest selection of mirrors in the industry, as well as one of the most extensive lines of art, metal wall decor and decor accessories".

ARTICLE

Article was established in 2011 and originally called Bryght. Article is a well-known online furniture brand that ranks as one of the top-performing brands in its category. It has 4 warehouses in the United States; in Washington, New Jersey, Florida and California, and a large market base, customers and sales. Article provides a large collection of decor with more than 3,000 items and has about 20 employees in each of its locations.

Article sells decor items such as clocks, frames, coasters, coat racks, trays, desk lamps, rugs and delivers directly to customers. Article performs very well compared to other brands in the online furniture industry, providing 11 e-commerce features that enable the company to better serve its customers. Since 2014, Article has partnered with some of the world’s best designers and producers of furniture and decor items to bring a curated selection of attractive furniture and decor items to thousands of customers across the United States.

APT2B

Apt2B is a well-known and fast growing online furniture brand it is definitely one of the competitors to beat in terms of selling workspace decor. Apt2B was founded in 2011 and boasts of a huge assortment of over 2,000 decor items on their e-commerce website. Apt2B has a large assortment of decor items that are valuable to mid-market offices such as clocks, frames, coasters, coat racks, trays, and desk lamps.

Part
02
of three
Part
02

Popular Decor Items

Studies have found that decorated office spaces tend to produce more productive employees. Additionally, offices that have a predominant green or blue-green color have more productive employees than offices with a predominantly red color. However, information about the most popular decor items for mid-market offices in the US is not available due to the fragmented nature of the industry, and its lack of general information in reliable sources.

Methodology

We started the search by directly looking into industry reports and market studies on the US office decor market. The idea for this search was to identify the top performing categories of office decor based on their sale volume or market size. However, the reports published by the leading market firms such as the Grand View Research, IBISWorld, and Technavio focused primarily on the office furniture market and not in office decor products.

We then moved our search on news articles and blog posts related to the given topic. The same idea applies to this search. From the search, we found that most articles published by reputable sites such as Talent Culture, Snack Nation, Local Market Launch, and New York Magazine, only provided general ideas and themes on how to decorate an office space. There were no articles provided for the most popular decor items for mid-market offices in the US.

We then started to search for the leading marketplaces for office decor items. We were looking for the “best-selling,” “most popular,” and “top selected” items in the office decor space for mid-market offices. However, in marketplaces such as Pottery Barn, Houzz, and Amazon only provided information on specific products in the office decor category and no information can be found on products or items specific to mid-market offices.

Lastly, we looked into case studies published by office decor planners and providers. The idea for this search was to look through case studies and check whether they were applicable to mid-market offices in the US. However, most of the case studies we found such as the ones published by the Jefferson Group and Office Designs only provided generic information on various themes and styles of office decor. There was no information about the given topic.

After this exhaustive search, we concluded that no information is available on the most popular decor items for mid-market offices in the US. Moreover, the information for the topic cannot be triangulated because of the unavailability of general information regarding office decor items. We also concluded the thought that the industry is too fragmented to have information about the top-selling or most popular products in the office decor space.

Best Sellers/Most Popular/Top Selected Office Decor Products Sold Online

The most popular office decor when it comes to desks is paper organizers, pinboard, letter or mail sorter, desk watch, bookends, and small lamps. The breakroom of an office usually has small plants, floor vase, art sculpture, and wall art.

Insights on Decor in American Workplaces

A study found that half of their participants believe that their workplace design and decor lacks personality. Moreover, a study done by the University of Texas found that white or blue-green offices tend to produce higher job performance in employees than red offices. Additionally, people who describe their office as a place with personality and has an uplifting environment, state that art has a significant influence in changing their office space. In another study, conducted by Exeter University, it found that employees become 15% more productive when houseplants are added in sparse workplaces.

Part
03
of three
Part
03

Popular Decor Item Usual Replacement Age

There was very limited information available about the usual replacement age for office decor items. One data point we found was that indoor plants last between two and five years. Below is an explanation of our research methodology, followed by the few data points we were able to find.

METHODOLOGY

Since there was insufficient information from which to compile a list of the most-popular office decor item, we looked for information about the replacement age for common office decor items in general. To do so, we implemented three strategies in looking for that information. First, we looked for articles about common office decor items such as clocks, frames, coasters, coat racks, desk lamps, rugs, plants, vases, and/or wall art/art work generally. We specifically looked for item replacement ages applicable to offices. The only office-specific items that we found the usual replacement ages for were carpet, phones, desktops/laptops, and speakers.
Thus, to look for additional information on this topic, our second strategy was to expand the scope of our research by looking for item replacement ages in general, not specific to offices. We hoped that more-general approach would yield more results because it was a broader search strategy. Indeed, we found more replacement age information with that approach. Though the replacement age information we found doesn't specifically apply to offices, we still focused on the above-mentioned office items, since they are common to have in offices.
As a third strategy, we checked product reviews from customers (for common office items) that discussed product age/replacement information. That method also yielded some useful information about how long a particular product lasts. The office item we used customer review information for was a coat rack. Though the replacement time frame for a coat rack, as stated by that one person, doesn't apply to coat racks in general, we still included that information because it was the most-specific information we could find about that common office item.
Lastly, a few of the items we included below (speakers, phones, and desktops/laptops) are quasi-decor items. However, we included those items because they are part of an office's decor/layout and thus could be considered part of the decor. The entirety of the replacement age information that we found for common office decor items is included below.

REPLACEMENT AGE FOR COMMON OFFICE DECOR ITEMS

1. carpet

Commercial carpet, especially office carpet, lasts between three and ten years. There are undoubtedly numerous factors that can affect the replacement age for office carpet, such as maintenance and wear. In the U.S., seven years is the average replacement age for commercial carpet, especially office carpet. Nylon carpets tend to last longer than those made from other materials. In general, denser carpets last longer than other carpets.

2. indoor plant

The average replacement age for indoor plants is between two and five years. As one gardening source stated: "After that [two to five-year period], plants stop thriving and it’s best to invest in another plant."

3. coat rack

Multiple sources stated that coat racks "last for many years" without specifying a number. However, we found one customer review which stated that it was his "third coat rack in the last 10 years." If we assume that each of those three coat racks lasted for the same amount of time within that ten-year period, that would mean each coat rack lasted a little over three years (10/3 = 3.33). From those two sources combined, it appears that many coat racks last between 3.33 and "many years."

4. clock

While we weren't able to find the usual replacement age for a clock, a clock expert stated that three to five years is the recommended time frame for a wall clock to be oiled as part of its routine maintenance. If clocks don't receive proper maintenance, they will eventually accumulate enough dirt to cause its mechanisms to stop working. However, it's possible to get the clock cleaned even if it stops working, in hopes that it will resume working again. For reasons such as that, we weren't able to determine the usual replacement age for a wall/office clock due to the many different factors that can affect a clock's lifespan. However, that same clock expert stated that routine maintenance can "keep . . . [a] clock running for years to come."

5. three quasi office decor items

Lastly, we found the usual replacement age for three more common office items. These items are the ones we described in our research methodology above as quasi-decor items. The usual replacement age information for these items is specific to offices. First, the usual replacement age for an office phone is 13.5 years. Second, the usual replacement age for office speakers is 15 years. Third, the usual replacement age for an office desktop or laptop is four years.
Sources
Sources