Commercial furniture dealers serve as invaluable partners in the furniture procurement process. Their expertise extends beyond simply supplying furniture; they act as consultants, through close collaboration with architects and clients, dealers offer creative solutions that enhance the overall design concept without compromising on quality or functionality.

Supplying Furniture: The Dealer’s Expertise
Dealer’s ensure that the furniture selected aligns with the client’s vision and budgetary constraints while ensuring compliance with architectural specifications. By tailoring solutions to meet the unique needs of each project, they ensure that the chosen furniture seamlessly integrates with the overall design aesthetic.

Collaboration with Architects: Maximizing Synergy
Effective communication between architects and dealers is essential for successful project outcomes. By engaging dealers early in the design process, architects can leverage their insights to enhance architectural designs and streamline the procurement process. Dealers empower architects and clients to navigate the procurement process with confidence and resilience. Ongoing collaboration ensures that the chosen furniture complements the overall vision for the space, resulting in a cohesive and harmonious design.

Answering Bids: Navigating the Competitive Landscape
In competitive procurement environments, dealers must navigate bidding processes with skill and strategy. From responding to requests for proposals (RFPs) to showcasing their value
proposition, dealers strive to stand out among competitors. Transparency and fairness are paramount throughout the bid evaluation process, ensuring that clients receive the best possible solutions for their projects.

In the dynamic world of commercial furniture procurement, collaboration is key. By partnering with knowledgeable and experienced dealers, architects and clients can navigate the complexities of the procurement process with ease. From supplying furniture to answering bids and suggesting alternatives, dealers play a vital role in bringing architectural visions to life. By embracing strategic collaboration and leveraging the insights shared in this guide, architects and clients can ensure successful outcomes for their projects.

Restaurant design is a delicate balance between aesthetics, functionality, and ambiance. From the layout of the dining area to the selection of furniture pieces, every element plays a crucial role in shaping the overall experience for diners. However, behind the scenes, we face unique challenges when it comes to crafting the perfect culinary space. Through our recently completed project, Mextizo, we’ll explore some of these challenges and how they influence the process restaurant design.

Functionality vs. Aesthetics:
One of the primary challenges in restaurant design is finding the balance between form and function. While it’s important for the space to look visually appealing, it’s equally essential for it to be practical and efficient for both staff and customers. When selecting finishes and furniture, we must consider factors such as comfort, durability, and ease of maintenance, without compromising on the overall design concept.

At Mextizo we selected a booth fabric with a moisture barrier to prevent salsa stains from sinking in. Purebotanica by Architex was a perfect match for the client’s vision and the need for easy maintenance. Vinyl seats add an additional layer of protection. The dining chairs from Oak Street Manufacturing have a frame that looks like wood, but is actually metal, to increase their lifespan and stand up to any type of cleaner used.

Traffic Flow and Space Optimization:
Another significant challenge in restaurant design is optimizing the layout to ensure smooth traffic flow and maximize seating capacity. Furniture plays a crucial role in this aspect, as the choice of tables, chairs, and booths can either facilitate or hinder movement within the space. Care is taken to create designated pathways and functional zones while making the most of the available square footage.

Budget Constraints and Timeline:
Budget constraints are a reality in restaurant design, often requiring designers to balance cost-effectiveness with quality and style. Furniture specification involves not only selecting pieces that fit within the allocated budget but also consider how quickly they can arrive. Time is money in the restaurant industry, and the faster the furniture arrives the sooner they can be open.

We were able to source all furniture locally through Oak Street Manufacturing. From the custom booths to the metal chairs and butcherblock tables, Oak Street helped us keep Mextizo’s budget in check and on a quick timeline.

Theme and Brand Consistency:
Many restaurants strive to create a distinct theme or ambiance that reflects their brand identity and culinary concept. This presents a challenge when selecting furniture pieces that align with the overall theme while maintaining brand consistency. Whether it’s a rustic farmhouse-style eatery or a sleek modern bistro, every furniture choice must contribute to the cohesive aesthetic of the space.

When the owners of Mextizo came to us they had a clear vision-an modern authentic space with greenery and murals. As veterans of the restaurant industry they knew they needed a lot of booth seating as well. We leaned into that, using a leaf motif on the booth backs and natural wood tones on the chairs and table tops. The bar front, tiled in Daltile’s Remedy tile in Herbal, ties everything together.

By carefully navigating the balance between functionality, aesthetics, budget, and brand identity, we created a space that is not only look visually stunning but also provide an exceptional dining experience for patrons. With creativity, innovation, and attention to detail, the challenges of restaurant design can be transformed into opportunities for memorable dining experiences.

Check out Mextizo at 1140 Blairs Ferry Road NE in Cedar Rapids!

Every year we see new and exciting products and updates come our way at Phelan’s Interiors. From cutting-edge technology to timeless aesthetics, these products represent the latest and greatest and our job as designers is to sort through the new launches to find the best fit for our clients’ ever-changing needs. We’re already one month into 2024, but let’s take a look at the top 5 products we’re excited to show this year.

1. Softpod by Global
Launched at Neocon 2023, Softpod is the next generation of workstations. Designed with flexibility and the changing workforce in mind, the individual pods can be combined within an open office, support collaborative and community space, or become focus sanctuaries. These pods can be unassigned, touchdown workstations or customized to fit an individual user, the possibilities are endless and that’s why we’re excited about this new product from Global.

2. Tori by 9to5 Seating
Tori is a strong addition to the already strong product line that is 9to5 seating. The wraparound back design is impactful from any angle, but function always comes first. The back design supports the lumbar for increased ergonomics in addition to multiple arm and seat adjustments. The warm, minimal styling along with the wide range of mesh and fabric options make the Tori a very versatile chair for any application.

3. ROOM by OFS
When you think of a phone booth, do you picture a soundproof, modular room made of sustainable materials? If not, it’s time to get familiar with ROOM. One of our favorite brands, OFS, joined forces with ROOM this year to add to more options to the OFS flexible architecture family. ROOM provides soundproof, mobile, and flexible work rooms in a variety of sizes.Sustainable and quick to assemble, we foresee these pods taking the place of small, fixed construction meeting rooms in the near future.

4. Friant
Not new to the furniture world, but new to Phelan’s is Friant. We had the opportunity to explore their pop-up showroom and June and we were excited with what we saw. Their systems and office furniture have high style and budget friendly pricing. That combined with their quick ship options and (our favorite part) their frequency of shipping complete makes Friant an exciting new addition to the Phelans lineup. With several Friant installations in the Cedar Rapids area we’d love the opportunity to show you how they stack up against other brands.

5. Surface & Sound Kinetex by EF Contract
A soft surface that acts like a hard surface when it comes to durability, Kinetex is already a staple in some parts of the design world. EF Contract has taken another leap with the line this year and started introducing more styles that look like traditional carpet, making it easier to incorporate this versatile, durable flooring into a whole new range of spaces. Kinetex is a solution to flooring problems when you’re considering acoustics, moisture, safety, durability, and sustainability.

As we reflect on our top 5 products for 2024 one thing becomes clear: the future of design is brighter and more exciting than ever before. From sustainable materials to smart technology, these products represent the creativity and innovation happening every day in design. Which of these products resonates with you the most? Share your thoughts and send us a message if you’d like to learn more.

As we move into 2024, there are some exciting commercial interior design trends that are emerging. One of the most prominent trends is the use of vibrant, playful colors. These colors can be used in a variety of ways, from accent walls to furniture pieces, and are a great way to add energy and personality to a space.

Another trend that is gaining popularity is the juxtaposition of minimalist and maximalist design elements. This approach involves pairing sleek, simple pieces with bold, ornate pieces to create a balanced and visually interesting space.

Organic textures are also becoming increasingly popular, as people seek to bring nature indoors. From woven rugs to wooden furniture, these textures can add warmth and depth to a space.

Mixed metals are also a trend to watch in 2024. Combining different metal finishes, such as copper, brass, and silver, can add a touch of glamour and sophistication to a space.

Finally, warm and cool tones are both being embraced in commercial interior design. Warm tones, such as yellows and oranges, can create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, while cool tones, like blues and grays, can evoke a sense of calm and tranquility.

Overall, these trends offer a wide range of possibilities for commercial interior design in 2024. Whether you’re looking to create a playful and energetic space or a calm and sophisticated one, there are plenty of options to choose from.

First things first. Phelan’s would like to sincerely thank all of our customers for their loyalty and support over the years. We are so appreciative of every relationship that we have made.