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How to select furnishings

    It can be nerve wracking making design decisions. Especially when it comes to the major furnishings in your home. Here’s my cheat sheet to making the right selections and being happy with your decision.

    Measure your space and start with the biggest pieces.
    Make sure to measure your space first and if possible bring a floor plan with you when you are shopping. Also, measure it twice! Just incase you get it wrong! A photo of the room doesn’t suffice. With a floorplan in hand Sales associates can be very helpful at suggesting the right size and scale for your room. Decide if you are looking for a 3 seater sofa or a dining table. When you get back home. QUICK DESIGNER TIP: use measured-out painter’s tape or string to build a layout of how it will look in your home.

    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 give it some thought before you start shopping.

    Go see the item in person whenever possible.
    Online product photos are hard to judge. How a colour or fabric or wood tone look in an image may look completely different in person. If a swatch is an option I always recommend that you borrow or buy it to take home and see how that fabric or finish will look in your space. It’s a little extra time but well worth it. Any time I’ve made a snap decision and bought something without taking this extra step I have regretted it!

    Style decisions can often be scary and confusing. I suggest you take a look at your existing furniture and asses what you love and what you hate. Write down and see what similarities you find. Do you prefer neutrals and square lines? Or a more colourful funky look? Careful not to push yourself too far out of your comfort zone unless you are working with a designer like myself who can see the final vision. If you push yourself too far then you are more likely to regret your purchase.

    Finally you need to trust your gut. Do you see yourself with this furniture piece in 10 years still? If so, buy it!

    Rebecca Hay, is the Principal Designer of Rebecca Hay Designs Inc. This Toronto award winning boutique design firm for over decade has been offering complete design & renovation services for residential, commercial and vacation properties. Known and celebrated for her design work and appearances on various acclaimed HGTV shows, Rebecca and her team design classic livable spaces that reflect their owner’s personality. Servicing clientele throughout Canada.

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