Furniture can make or break a room, but choosing the right pieces for your home doesn’t have to be a mind-bending experience. In fact, with some simple tricks of the trade, furniture shopping can be a transformative experience, for you and your home. Here are some of my key things to consider when selecting furnishings for your home.
Get your measuring tape. Measure the room, but don’t stop there. Measure the doorway into your home and into the room, measure any hallways, stairways and any passages that the furnishings must traverse, and if you live in a condo, measure the elevator. If you have a floor plan of your home, have it handy when shopping. The sales associate will be able to help you choose a size and scale that works for your space. Now, go home.
If you’re not experienced in choosing furniture, or even if you are, I recommend noting the measurements of each piece, then outlining it in tape on your floor. Do this with every piece of furniture that you intend to have in the room. This should give you a good idea of how everything will fit together, and the negative space around it.
Your needs are important. You need to decide how you will be using this new piece of furniture. Do you want a few individual chairs for casual cocktails or a deep lounge sofa for movie nights. No designer or sales associate can tell you how to use your space. So be sure to give it some thought before you start shopping.
The style of your furnishings should be guided by the overall aesthetic of your home. A good gauge is your current collection of furniture. What do you like or dislike, and why? Do you lean toward straight and square lines, or organic forms? Do you prefer bold colours, or neutrals? Don’t be too trendy, particularly when it comes to the big-ticket items such as a sofa or dining table. An unusual shape or colour will stand out for all the right reasons, as long as it’s in style, but will stick out like a sore thumb once the trend has passed. For longevity’s sake, invest in classic pieces that you’ll love for many years to come.
Speaking of longevity, your furniture isn’t the place to skimp on quality. Yes, a well-made, quality piece will cost more, but it will also last longer and withstand daily use. Quality is generally reflected in the type of material, construction (check the joints, drawers, frames, springs and cushions) and upholstery.
If you’re shopping online or from a catalogue, I always advise my clients to see the piece in person, if possible. It’s very difficult to gauge quality and comfort from a photo. Be sure to sit, lie down or otherwise “test dive” the piece as you intend to use it.
Request fabric swatches if they are available so you can take it home to see the finish/fabric in the light of your space.
This may seem like a rigorous process, but trust me, it’s worth the effort. There’s nothing worse than purchasing a piece, paying an arm and a leg for it, waiting weeks (or longer!) for delivery, and having buyer’s remorse because it is not what you expected. Do your due diligence now, and you’ll end up with a collection that you’ll love for decades to come.
By Diana Rose Design