Furnishings and Design Year End Information

It is hard to believe but the end of the fiscal year is quickly approaching, once again. To allow our designers and upholsterers enough time to meet the end of year demand and meet our clients’ expectations and timelines, all FY18 specific Design Request Forms (DRFs) must be submitted to the F&D office no later than August 8 to allow appropriate time to design and quote or re-upholster. Requests received after this date will run the risk of not meeting campus wide year-end dates.

F&D aims to provide exceptional customer service throughout the year, and especially at year-end! Please do not hesitate to call or email if you have questions. Our main number is 8-6508 and our general email is furnishings@fa.ua.edu.

Upholstery Projects – Get a Jump on the Competition!

Many of you already know what a talented upholstery team we have here at UA. From making office furniture look like new again, to replacing the ripped vinyl on your favorite piece of gym equipment, to revamping the waiting room area at the medical clinic, there’s not much here on campus that our team can’t handle. What you may not know is that as classes wind down for the summer, the demand for upholstery projects heats up.

If you’ve been considering submitting an upholstery project and would like it completed this summer, the time to act is now. Submit a Design Request Form today and let our team help you pick that perfect pattern to help make your office furniture the envy of all your peers!

What’s that? You’d love to make that outdated furniture look like new again, but it’s just not in your budget this year? Don’t despair, fill out that Design Request Form anyway and let us show you some of the many surplus fabrics we have on hand that are free to a good home.

Still not sure if an upholstery project is right for you? Still not sure how the process works? Give us a call at 348-6508 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Submitting a Design Request Form

To submit a Design Request Form, visit our F&D website at the following link – Furnishings and Design Website.  Once there, click on the Design Request Form link in the lower left-hand corner and fill out the electronic DRF accordingly.  Be sure to fill in all the sections with red asterisks in order to ensure a successful submission.  Once that’s complete, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page and you will immediately see a confirmation screen confirming the successful submission of your design request.  If you have any technical issues during this process, please try accessing our site using a different browser.  Once your submission is received by F&D, your project will be assigned based on staffing availability, which could take up to a few weeks.  After your project is assigned, your department will be contacted by the designated designer.  If you have any questions or need any help throughout this process, please call our team at 348-6508.

Plans for the summer?

It is that time of year again, when the weather starts getting warmer and everyone starts making plans for their summer vacations. Seasoned travelers will tell you that to maximize the fun and reduce the risk of your plans not coming together as you hoped, it is best to start planning early. The same good advice can be applied to summer office moves and furniture purchases. As the students are finishing up their finals and heading out of town for the summer, that’s when campus construction, and all the furniture purchases that go with it, hit full stride based on months of prior planning and coordination.

Unlike residential furniture, commercial furniture is made to specification based on the clients’ needs and as a result, typically takes 8 weeks to be manufactured. In addition, due to the high furniture volume during the summer months, scheduling the delivery and installation can also take a couple of weeks from the time the furniture is manufactured. Now factor in a couple of weeks on the front end for one of our talented interior designers to help you pick out the furniture that works best for your needs and you can see how this process can easily exceed three months.

So if you are planning an office face-lift or redesign of furniture for this summer, be sure to fill out your Design Request Form before March 9, 2018 to receive priority.

Stran-Hardin Arena – Open for Business

Stran-Hardin ArenaThe University of Alabama’s Adapted Athletics program originated in 2003 and has since developed into one of the premier programs in the country, winning nine national championships in men’s and women’s basketball and tennis. And now, because of the extraordinary efforts on the part of UA’s faculty, staff, alumni and donors, our Adapted Athletics teams will have a first-class facility in which to showcase their talents.

Furnishings and Design’s own Leah Shepherd was handpicked to be a part of this special effort and worked with the design team to make this a truly one of a kind arena. Paying special attention to the needs of the athletes, the arena minimizes transitions and doorways as well as providing spacious ramp access to the mezzanine. Additionally, the arena provides wheelchair accessible seating throughout its’ bleacher sections rather than having only one designated wheelchair accessible section.

Stran-Hardin With the ribbon-cutting and the grand opening now behind her, Leah has been able to take a moment and reflect on what the team was able to accomplish. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to be a small part of such a special project. It’s a joy to see the excitement on the coaches’ and players’ faces as they go through the facility. The pride and gratitude they exude for their new home is infectious.”


Great job Leah and great job Team UA for continuing to raise the bar in the commitment to excellence for our student population!

NeoCon 2017

trade show imageEach year, the interior design industry holds one of the largest and most recognizable trade shows, NeoCon, at The Mart in Chicago. The Mart is 4.2 million gross square feet, spanning two city blocks and rising 25 stories. It is home to hundreds of tenants, including showrooms of furniture, flooring and fabric manufacturers. This year was no different as more than 50,000 design professionals representing over 500 design companies met to discuss current trends and review the latest in commercial furniture and products.

Every summer, the Furnishings and Design department sends a group of designers to represent the University of Alabama at Neocon. The attendees this year were Mary Kathryn Holt, Simoen Warren and Sarah Lindsay Knight. The group visited showrooms specific to higher education as well as manufacturers represented on the UA System’s Furniture Contract. Visiting the showrooms gives the designers a preview of new furniture products, materials, and general design trends.

trade show imageUpon their return, Sarah Lindsay, Simoen and Mary Kathryn gave a comprehensive presentation to the entire Furnishings and Design staff, complete with pictures and information on the showrooms and new products being released. Striking the perfect balance between the latest in interior design and the rich traditions and standards here at UA is what makes our design staff’s talents really stand out!

Does your worn out furniture need a fresh look?

The University Upholstery Shop is committed to bringing quality upholstery services to the University community. Each year, our trained upholsterers reupholster over five hundred items for various University clients. We are able to work on almost any type of project – from weight room equipment to large sofas to office task chairs. The Upholstery Shop is able to help the University reduce overall costs by repairing old and worn furniture with new materials rather than purchasing completely new pieces. If a piece of furniture is broken or damaged, we often work with Building Maintenance or the furniture manufacturer to repair or replace the broken parts. So, if your department has furniture that is past its prime, consider using the services of our talented upholsterers to bring the piece back to life.

Furnishings and Design – Concur Reports

Are you a Concur Org approver? If so, you may receive a Concur report titled “Furnishings & Design.” Our office generally places orders for requested furniture items for campus, pays for the item using our P-Card, then allocates the charges in Concur to the FOAPAL provided by the client. Due to the fact that many furniture items are not shipped, and paid for, until up to 3 to 6 months after the initial order, oftentimes, approvers are caught off guard when they receive an email from Concur asking them to approve F&D expense reports.

If you should receive one of these reports, please review it carefully. A copy of the original vendor quote, the final receipt and a copy of the email traffic from the client authorizing the purchase and FOAPAL information is attached to the transaction. When approving these transactions, you are not responsible for all charges included in the report, only the ones charged to your Org. One way to know which ones are yours, is to look for the blue 3D paper icon. See below for an example:

If you are unsure, please do not send the report back to the user. Instead, please contact Dan Genest at 348-0879 or Kate Russell at 348-8433 for additional explanation.

Little Hall – Renovation complete!

Constructed in 1915 as the University’s first stand-alone gymnasium, Little Hall was named in honor of William “Bill” Gray Little, who is credited with introducing football at the University of Alabama. In 1967, Little Hall became home for the School of Social Work and remains so today as they prepare to celebrate 50 years in the building! Recent renovations to Little Hall started in 2015 and Kristie Brown was assigned as the project’s interior designer. Kristie worked hand in hand with Dean Vandiver and her team to accommodate all of the programming requirements while highlighting Little Halls’ classical style with elegant wainscoting and elongated arched openings.

The North facing façade is complemented by beautiful terrazzo floor patterns meant to draw visitors through the first-floor space and connect them to the South vestibule where Hall of Fame honorees flank the corridor walls in custom cabinets. The cabinets were designed by Kristie and are a highlight of the corridor. Additionally, the newly added third floor hosts a breath-taking event/reception space with exposed structure framed by large arched windows located on the North and South exterior walls. Once finished, Dean Vandiver noted that the new floor patterns are unique and dynamic, as are UA students!

Congratulations to Kristie on a job well done!!


Furnishings and Design Year End Deadlines

It’s that time of year again and the end of the fiscal year is approaching quickly. With the implementation of Concur during FY17, all purchase orders must now be issued, not just submitted, prior to September 30, 2017. This is a change from previous years so please make a note of this difference and help us communicate this update to any stakeholders in your work area. In order to allow enough time to fully design the furniture within the requested space, all Design Request Forms (DRFs) that are year-end specific must be submitted to the F&D office no later than end of business day, August 15, 2017.

In chronological order, the deadlines are as follows:

  • August 15: Design Request Forms are due

  • September 25: Purchase order requests are due to purchasing

  • September 30: Purchase orders must be issued

Please understand that these deadlines are in place to ensure that proper time and attention can be given to each and every space on campus. F&D strives to provide excellent customer service throughout the year, and especially at year end as everyone is trying to finish up their year-end projects. Please help us help you and plan accordingly so we can all have a successful year end closeout!