Furnishing your home can be fun and rewarding. For once, you can get rid of all of the dorm-room hand me downs and buy something that suits your taste. But, what is your taste, and will it work with your newest home? Here are some tips on choosing the right furniture for your home.
WHAT IS YOUR STYLE?
Determining your style may be the hardest part about selecting furniture for your home. The Casual look is usually very comfortable, with overstuffed chairs and an earthy look. It may make you think of a cabin in the woods. Usually, casual furniture will look kind of big and boxy, like Dad’s old recliner. This is where you’ll find the micro suede materials the most often.
Contemporary furniture is usually loaded with metallic finishes and glass. The chairs and sofas will have an angular design. Some of these pieces can be surprisingly comfortable, in spite of the sharp corners and angular shapes. You’ll often find unusual fabrics that have a different weight or texture. You’ll also find vinyl in these furnishings.
Country style furnishings are often very padded and plush. You’ll find overstuffed chairs in this style, too, but they’ll usually be softer, and have a floral pattern of some kind on them. The fabrics will be lightweight, usually cotton type, with soft prints on them. The country style will also spotlight painted woods with arts and craft inspired painted accent pieces.
The Traditional style of furniture uses antiques heavily in its design. You’ll see a lot of dark woods such as walnut, mahogany, and cherry. Upholstery and fabrics are heavier, as well, with damask patterns figuring heavily into the mix. Chintz is another popular fabric for the Traditional style of furnishing.
An Eclectic style is really more than “a little bit of everything”. Many people think they are eclectic because they have too much stuff that isn’t in any style at all. Eclectic tastes will reflect ethnic themes, or utilize artisan pieces such as handmade pottery, original artwork, or other very individualized works.
Once you decide which style of furnishings you like, you need to select the size very carefully. A huge sectional may look like a comfortable, inviting hide-away on the showroom floor. But in a small apartment, or even in a small living room in a house, it can be the elephant in the room.
A good guideline is to select furniture that is scaled to the size of rooms you will be furnishing. If you are not buying a suite of furniture, make sure that all of the sitting surfaces are the same height off of the floor. This will create a balanced look. Otherwise, something will look “off” in the room, and you won’t be able to figure out what it is. The same goes for decorations aswell, for instance you want plants to be a suitable size for your home, a large garden planters may look too big so scaling is important.
When you select fabrics, the type of furniture you choose will help to determine what kind of fabric you choose. However, those fabrics will be available in different prints and patterns. A good rule of thumb is to select your patterns according to size. For instance, if you have a big floral print on your sofa, you don’t need more big print in the room on chairs or ottomans. Choose medium and small prints for other upholstered pieces, pillows, and drapes. This is also how you can mix plaids, stripes, and floral prints. A large floral print on your sofa, a small stripe on two arm chairs, and a medium plaid in the curtains can bring variety and color into your home.