Looking Ahead

As organizations begin navigating how the workplace needs to evolve in a post-pandemic world, nothing is more important than ensuring the health and safety of the people who work there and those whom they serve. While workstyles and floorplans may need to shift, spaces for work, healthcare, hospitality, and education will still need to accommodate people in meaningful ways. Knowing that designers will be challenged with finding just the right products and materials to support these environments moving forward, we have created this page as a resource for all relevant information regarding our product offering.

Design Considerations

Return-to-work and the “new normal” of service industries will require thoughtful strategies to form new habits and behaviors. The use of ancillary furniture will still be relevant to support comfort, engagement, and aesthetics, but will need to take into consideration the following factors: layout modifications, materiality and cleanability, upholstery techniques, and elements for space division.

Layout Modifications

The layout of furniture in collaborative spaces and lounge areas should include social distancing of seats (6ft/2m apart) and the rearranging of furniture to minimize face-to-face orientation for those who do not need to interact.


Furniture materiality, both hard surface and textiles, should be assessed for porosity and cleanability. Non-porous hard surfaces and fabrics that are bleach-cleanable are the recommended options.

Upholstery Techniques

Specific upholstery techniques such as minimal cushions, no tufting, and the use of as few seams as possible should be considered when selecting lounge and soft seating.

Space Division

Where needed, add hard surface screens or high-backed elements that provide space division and a barrier between people.

Product Solutions for Post-COVID Spaces

Using the design criteria noted above, our Cumberland product offering has been assessed for adherence to these principles. Recommended product solutions are outlined below.

Tables & Storage

Due to the structural composition of the furniture and ability of our materials to be universally applied across product lines, all of our tables and storage are suitable when specified with the appropriate surfaces and finishes.

Products with Space Division

The following products employ hard-surface space-dividing “barriers” inherent within their design: Facade Meeting Tables and Thick and Thin Seating. Facade Meeting Tables offer an optional 15″-high glass privacy screen while Thick & Thin Sectional Seating can be specified with 41” or 51”-high walls that divide space and provide privacy.


While bleach-cleanable fabrics can be applied universally to all of our seating, the following list represents seating products designed with minimal cushions and seaming for ease of cleanability. This is inclusive of sofas, lounge and guest chairs, stools, and benches within each respective line.

Materials & Cleanability

When selecting furniture for spaces, integrating materials and finishes that can withstand regular cleaning cycles using disinfectants such as bleach will help to keep environments safer for people. Materials that are easy to maintain, resist mold, and promote good indoor-air quality should always be prioritized.

Hard Surfaces

Our extensive material offering is available on everything we make, ensuring design continuity throughout a space. Highly durable, easy-to-clean, non-porous surfaces and finishes suitable for post-COVID environments include:

Our natural wood veneers are coated with a catalyzed polyurethane finish that is one of the most durable finishes available and is highly resistant to industrial-strength cleaning agents, chemicals, and solvents.

Solid Surface (Corian®)
Corian solid surfaces are highly durable and non-porous. They do not support microbial growth, which is why they are frequently used in the most demanding healthcare design environments.

Stone (Quartz)
Engineered stone such as quartz will provide an extremely durable, non-porous surface that is optimal for cleanability.

Glass surfaces can be easily and repeatedly cleaned and disinfected while maintaining its original luster and appearance.

While Cumberland’s primary focus has always been in honest, natural materials, our extensive in-house customization capabilities easily allow the application of laminate at the same price as our wood finishes.

Powdered Coated Metals
Powder coated metals offer increased endurance and corrosion resistance against the wear and tear of more frequent cleaning.

Black Painted
Dark Bronze Painted
Silver Painted
White Painted


The following linked documents identify the upholstery fabrics supplied by our textile partners that can be cleaned with select disinfectants, including bleach. While we do offer a wide selection of materials from our partners, our upholstery artisans can work with textiles supplied from any manufacturer to make your design vision into reality.

Cleaning Information

Cleaning  involves removing soil and stains from surfaces, while disinfecting refers to using a recommended chemical to kill any germs on the surface. It is important to clean a surface before disinfecting, as germs and other viruses can hide under soils.

For hard surfaces, including wood, glass, metal, Corian, or laminate, common quat-type cleaners can be used, which meet the EPA’s criteria for use against the virus that causes COVID-19. A diluted bleach solution, as recommended by the CDC, can be safely used on engineered stone (Quartz) but is not recommended for use on Natural Stone. The safest solution for disinfecting all types of stone, including natural stone, is an isopropyl alcohol/water mixture in a 1:1 ratio.

Please see manufacturer sites for specific recommendations on cleaning upholstery fabrics.


In compliance with Michigan Governor’s Executive Order 2020-77, we are currently in the process of fully reopening our manufacturing facility and will continue to prioritize existing orders for essential industry clients. As a family-owned, vertically integrated company based in Michigan, our supply chain remains intact and operational. While we are ramping up our capacity to meet the potential upcoming needs of the business, we look forward to working with you to discuss your project requirements and timing.

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Putting People First

The Cumberland brand is first and foremost a reflection of the talented and dedicated people who work here. During this crisis, we’ve welcomed back parts of our workforce to support essential industries as needed and have taken precautions to ensure their health and well-being. As we move toward being fully operational, we will continue to put our people first by providing personal protective equipment, applying social distancing, and sanitizing our facilities.