Ancillary Furniture | Support for the Evolving Workplace

Our modern, multi-generational workforce has driven demand for flexible spaces and tools that support differing styles of work. Especially in recent years, we have seen traditional furniture systems and formal workstations being replaced with casual, collaborative landscapes that boast both comfort and versatility. These alternate workspaces and the furniture within them are often referred to as “ancillary” and have become a popular trend with which companies are attracting and retaining younger generations of workers. While you may be familiar with the term, how exactly does it correlate with design? Let’s take the next few minutes to define ancillary furniture, explore its role within the workplace and discuss how it can be tailored to meet the unique needs of your organization.

CDI Features Ancillary Furniture
Image Source: Office Snapshots, Kolektif House Coworking Offices in Istanbul

What is Ancillary Furniture?

The dictionary defines ancillary as “providing necessary support to the primary activities or operation of an organization, institution, industry, or system.” This helps to paint a picture of what the term means in regards to furniture. Ancillary furniture can be described as the range of products that complement our primary personal workspaces, supporting multiple postures and working styles (sitting, perching, lounging, standing, etc.). These design elements are most often found within informal “in-between” spaces, such as lounges, work cafes, lobbies, outdoor patios and collaborative areas. In contrast to standard furniture categories like desks, benching, casegoods and task chairs that are found within our primary work areas, ancillary furniture includes elements such as lounge and soft seating, occasional and accent tables, storage, lighting and a plethora of accessories. As employees and their organizations continue to slip away from formal workstations and adopt a more casual, communal approach towards workplace design, support spaces outfitted with ancillary furniture pieces continue to grow in popularity. 

CDI Features Ancillary Furniture
Image Source: Office Snapshots, Kolektif House Coworking Offices in Istanbul

Lounge & Soft Seating

Workplace design has grown increasingly residential in the past several years. Homelike influences, such as lounge and soft seating, are now vital components in contemporary work life, supporting a range of postures and promoting both productivity and employee health. These design elements offer a broad range of benefits, including acoustic and visual privacy, ergonomic comfort and integrated technology. Manufacturers such as Kimball, David Edward, Stylex and Hightower all boast plentiful offerings of lounge and soft seating, perfect for your workplace’s “in-between” spaces. Follow each brand’s respective links to tour their NeoCon 2019 showrooms and view their newest lounge and soft seating introductions. And check out some of our recent lounge and soft seating features on the blog, such as the OFS LeanTo, David Edward’s Stratus Lounge, 9to5’s Lilly and Kimball’s Wilder.

CDI Features Ancillary Furniture
Kimball Splendor 


Ancillary tables come in all shapes and sizes — work and occasional tables, multi-purpose and pull-up — and provide functional flexibility for employees and guests. Work tables, like those from Bernhardt and OFS, provide a central location for engagement and connectivity on-the-go. Global and Senator offer mutli-purpose options that are quickly assembled, rearranged, stacked and stored. And classic pull-up designs from Kimball, Allermuir and Source International are easily integrated into any informal workspace.

CDI Features Ancillary Furniture
Kimball fiXt


Storage elements have adapted with modern times and now provide greater customization and support for today’s ancillary spaces. Kimball, Group LaCasse, Great Openings and many others offer a wide variety of storage components, including credenzas, filing, bookcases, cabinetry and lockers, all of which can be coordinated to ensure aesthetic cohesiveness and seamless integration. Visit the blog to check out several recent storage product features, including Kimball’s fiXt and Watson’s Zo Storage.


Ancillary accessories found within our workspaces vary greatly. Planters, accent and task lighting, paper management and pillows are all examples of tools that lend support to our informal spaces. These design elements can sometimes be an afterthought following on the heels of seating and tables, but they lend an equally important role in creating an inspiring and flexible environment.

CDI Features Ancillary Furniture
Image Source: Office Snapshots, Offices in Mumbai

The Future of Ancillary Furniture

As our work becomes increasingly mobile and younger generations become the majority, traditional work settings will continue transitioning into flexible, relaxed spaces that blur the edges between home and work lifeThese ancillary spaces support our autonomous workers, allowing them choice in where, when and how they work throughout the day. Providing a balance of design elements, including lounge and soft seating, a variety of tables, storage and accessories, will ensure employees have the tools they need to remain happy, healthy and productive while away from their formal workstations and offices.

The breadth of ancillary furniture is near endless, but the tools and products we have outlined here are a few idea starters that could be integrated into your space. Reach out to the Corporate Design Interiors team for further guidance in creating balanced ancillary areas within your workplace today. 

CDI Features Ancillary Furniture


Featured Image Source: Office Snapshots, Ideas AB Offices in Malmo, Sweden

About CDI

Corporate Design Interiors (CDI) is an industry-leading commercial furniture dealership whose award-winning product knowledge, thoughtful design coupled with strategic planning deliver functional and inspiring interiors designed to foster employee well-being, productivity and engagement. CDI’s relentless focus on delivering positive workplaces mirroring the culture and vision of companies while delivering a high value investment has earned CDI diverse clients including;  established Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits/public sector and energetic startups.

As a “Select” Kimball dealer, CDI’s excellence in sales, partnership, quality improvement, community involvement and overall business best practices earned it the 2017 Kimball Premier Partner Award.  CDI was selected among 52 other Kimball Select dealerships throughout the country for this industry-leading honor, earning additional praise for its company culture and enterprise practices.

CDI Awarded 2017 Kimball-PremierPartnerView the video below to take a further look into Corporate Design Interior’s award-winning partnership with Kimball.

Contact Us

Corporate Office & Showroom:
1711 Paramount Ct., Waukesha, WI  53186
P  262.521.1010