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Focus on your needs before you buy furniture
Do you live in a small or large house?
Is it your home or you are renting?
Do you like to rearrange things and remodel often?
Do you have small children?
What’s your style?
These are the most important factors to consider before you buy furniture. The idea is to have furniture which will provide comfort and functionality while adding character to each room. And don’t forget that each room is used for a different purpose.
It makes a difference if this is your home or not. Bulk furniture is not moved easily from house to house or from room to room, and might not fit in a smaller home. What you want is practical solutions, which won’t become a problem in the event you’ve got to move in a new and much smaller house. Or decide to remodel the living room. Rearranging bulk furniture becomes a daunting task due to the size.
Our advice? Be practical
When you fall in love with a rather big bookcase, think if you do have enough books in the house. If not, it will only stand in your way when you want to transform the room or move to a new house. So, avoid oversized furniture. Get items, which will be carried easily and won’t make your decisions hard should you decide to redecorate the room.
Do you have children? Unless you are very wealthy and don’t mind replacing the kid’s furniture every two years, avoid products that are designed just for children. For starters, kids grow too fast. And thus getting a larger bed or closet will become a necessity not long from today. And then again, it’s a matter of taste. Your little girl will get tired of the pink bed, pink closet, pink rug, pink picture frames … You can always style up their room with their favorite colors but choose furniture that will never grow out of style. For instance, you can hang pink drapes or get sheets with pirates but keep the bed white.
Another thing to consider when it comes to kids is glass furniture. Avoid glass coffee tables. And we bring that up mainly for safety reasons. Items made of glass can become the reason for an accident. All the same, glass gets dirty easily too. It might be cleaned easily but the little fingers will make glass filthy in no time.
So, another thing to consider is your convenience. For instance, if you hate dusting (who can blame you???), avoid open shelving and bar carts. Exposed items, utensils, and bottles will get dusty fast and thus need regular cleaning.
The best ideas when it comes to furniture
When you want to buy furniture or decide to redecorate and are looking for solutions, the best idea is to forget about trends and see what will be best for your home. One of the most important things with such projects is to find ways to be comfortable and still have enough space in each room. Don’t sacrifice space for a larger sofa! Furniture occupies too much space. A sofa or table might look small in a large exhibition center or store but bulk in your living room. Remember the importance of scale & proportion. We talked about this architectural rule in another article – take a look at Wainscoting & Chair Rail: The Rule of Proportion and Scale.
The same rule applies here as well. You want the furniture to be proportionally right within the room and with each other. Don’t get a very large couch and a tiny coffee table. It won’t be practical or elegant.
In order to remain in fashion at all times, stay out of fashion. Don’t follow the latest trends to the letter. Get informed but only adopt styles, which match yours. No need to transform the living room with colors and sofas you don’t really like just because a couple of designers said so. Remember that you will feel good at home only when you live in an environment that meets your needs and reflects your own personality.
Which mistakes to avoid when you redecorate with new furniture
Whether you decide to refresh the existing furniture or simply rearrange it, keep it simple. One of the greatest things nowadays is that everything is much simpler. No need to keep the living room locked or fancy. No need for heavy dining sets and absolute order. After all, we share moments with friends and family. And so we want warm corners and friendly dining rooms. No wonder why most kitchens today are open plan. There is a need to communicate with friends when preparing a snack or coffee.
If you like to add character to the room, get furniture with character. Even a small item must have a soul. It must have a personality. That’s how a room will be styled up. No matter if this piece of furniture is very expensive or bought at a flea market, it must have a soul.
Need some ideas & tips to make this ‘furniture project’ work?
- Blend styles. Too many antiques will make the room too posh and traditional. It’s always better if you mix & match antiques and modern furniture to keep the house elegant but still cozy.
- Combine materials. Don’t use only wood, metal or glass. Mix and match them.
When you mix materials and styles, remember that the way furniture is arranged is also important. Picture this: an armchair with a side table on top of which there is a lamp and a few stacked books. The absolute representation of a classic corner. You can break the extreme traditional style by using a very modern table lamp instead of a classic design. The looks will also change if you use a red armchair instead of a leather one.
- Avoid combos and sets. Whether you want to redecorate the bedroom or living room, avoid loveseat & sofa combos or bedroom sets. This is one of the latest trends, which we are inclined to recommend. Thumbs up for mixing styles and different furniture that will make the room more interesting. Besides, this will give you the chance to spend money on furniture – like the sofa or bed – that is worth spending more on and find frugal solutions for the side or bed tables. And then again, this will give you the chance to find furniture of the right size and not just get what comes with a set and then try to find solutions for arranging them.
9 furniture we suggest for each home
Here we take the opportunity to suggest furniture every home needs basically for practical reasons but also to make nice style combinations.
Why get them: They are absolutely necessary for every home. No matter how many chairs you’ve got around your dining or kitchen table, they never seem to be enough. A sudden guest or a bigger dinner party will put you in an awkward position. Folding chairs will untie your hands. They are easily stored in the house even if you don’t have a basement or garage simply because they don’t occupy space.
How to use them: you can use them in the kitchen, dining table, living room, bathroom or outdoors.
What to look for: get resistant materials if you plan to use them outdoors or in the bathroom. Make sure they are comfortable enough and strong.
Why get them: We suggest plastic chairs because they are extremely practical. Since they are very resistant, you can use them indoors and outdoors. If you get chairs, which are stacked one on top of the other, they will also occupy less space.
How to use them: they will be ideal for any dinner table – kitchen or dining room. They will also offer an alternative solution outdoors when you have multiple visitors.
What to look for: they should be comfortable but also made of a good material. If plastic is not quality, it might smell bad. We would suggest you get different colors to be playful.
Check out some beautiful ones at LexMod
A small side table or stool
Why get it: Regardless of the material, such items can be very handy. They are some of the most helpful pieces of furniture because they can be carried easily around or from one room to the next, and serve multiple purposes.
How to use it: They can serve as side tables on a daily basis or when you have many guests. And they can play the role of a table or stool. You can use them to stretch your legs, leave a cup, place a tray, or put towels.
What to look for: whether you get a stool or side table, the surface must be flat and big enough to host a book or plate. If you are planning to use it in the bathroom too, make sure it is made of resistant materials.
Check out what we found at BurkeDecor
Why get it: although its name speaks on its own, it’s only fair to say that this piece of furniture is one of the most comfortable ones. It can stand on its own and provide style, or be matched with a sofa.
How to use it: cuddling, watching TV, or reading a book. It can be the first furniture you buy when you move to a house on your own for the first time or the ideal furniture for a tiny apartment. You can use it in the living room, bedroom, kitchen or dining room.
What to look for: make sure it’s really comfortable and the legs are rather high for easy floor cleaning. Check the cushions. You don’t want them to occupy the space meant for you and your loved one. Choose a fabric that you like and pairs nicely in the room. If you plan to eat while sitting on your love seat, perhaps you should consider a leather one.
Why get it: armless chairs make the perfect solution for overweight people, children, and people who like to get up every other second to check on the kids or oven.
How to use it: this type of arm (less) chair is great for the living room, bedroom, dressing room, or kitchen. Since it occupies less space than regular armchairs, it will fit in most rooms. You can use it to throw your PJs or everyday clothes, keep extra blankets, or make a cozy corner.
What to look for: choose rather a small size slipper chair so that it won’t occupy too much space and will give you the chance to use it anywhere you like and move it easily.
Why get it: ceiling lights are often not enough, especially if the room is tall. A floor lamp will lit up any corner you like and create a great ambiance too. It’s the perfect combination of adding style and function by using one item.
How to use it: what’s easy with floor lamps is that they can be transferred easily from one part to the room to the other or from one room to the other. They are ideal for any livable space – living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and basement. They can be combined with furniture like sofas, tables, armchairs or stand alone.
What to look for: the first thing you should check is how much light they provide and the color of the light (yellow/white). It’s always preferable to get LED lights – if you get dimmable ones, even better. If you plan to move the lamp a lot here and there around the house, avoid arc floor lamps or ones with heavy bases. If you plan to place them in a narrow part of the house, measure the base to make sure it fits.
Get a look at this floor lamp at YLighting
A wooden dining table
Why get it: we suggest a wood dining table since this material has class written all over it and each home needs an elegant table. Don’t forget that you can change the chairs easier or even mix up their styles, but it’s hard to replace the dining table mainly due to the costly prices. So it’s best to get something that will last for a very long time and wooden options are everlasting.
How to use it: the question here is not how to use the table per se (that’s obvious) but how to combine it with the right chairs to style up your dining room. Our advice is to get a rustic table and modern chairs to lighten up the style. A rustic table can be beautifully combined with white, black, red or orange chairs – to give you an idea.
What to look for: the size and dimension. You can choose a rectangular, square or round table but make sure you have the space for it. Remember that round tables often occupy more space. If you get rectangular ones, make sure they are wide enough to host the dishes of guests sitting opposite to each other and serving dishes in between.
We found some excellent ideas of rustic tables at Carolina Rustica
Why get it: this is the only furniture that will provide ample storage space for little things or large items and still add style in the room. These cabinets are portable and thus can be used in every room should you decide to redecorate. You can even label the drawers to know what you keep and where or get a cabinet with wheels for an easy way to move it around.
How to use it: this is the perfect furniture for the dining room (for tablecloths, napkins, utensils or decors), home office where you want to keep everything organized and neat, kitchen (for kitchen tools, napkins, aprons, vases etc.), bathroom where you can keep towels, soaps etc. – you get the picture.
What to look for: make sure you get the right dimensions and size. Don’t take tall drawer cabinets because it won’t be easy to check what’s inside the top drawer unless you are very, very tall. Make sure the drawers have the space you need. It’s always more comfortable to get cabinets with wheels. If you are going to use it in the bathroom, get resistant materials (stainless steel or plastic).
We really loved this drawer cabinet at Graham and Green