Finding and buying the right furniture is one of the most important aspects of designing your home. What may just be tables, chairs and beds can have a huge impact on your comfort, efficiency and stress levels as well as the look and feel of it. Each time you come home you will step into an environment of your own creation, a refuge from your day to day troubles. Every time you invite someone into your home you show them small pieces of your personality. Maybe you have an old rocking chair from your parent’s home revealing a vestige from your childhood or maybe you have a sleek, modern sectional showing your progressivism. Considering the importance of your furniture, shopping for each piece can be a challenge, especially if you are trying to fill a whole room or house. Plus, you also have the added pressure to find something affordable and durable. There are many factors to consider but there are a few benchmark ideas that can simplify your choice.
Much of what goes into choosing the right style of furniture for your home is subjective and up to your own personal tastes. However, there are some basic tips to help refine your selection. First, start with the basic items that any room needs. A bedroom needs a bed. A living room needs a sofa or chairs. A dining room needs a table. It’s pretty simple and there’s no need to sacrifice comfort and function for the sake of being avant-garde in this respect. Next choose a style. If you are buying one item, choose the style based on how it might fit with the rest of the room. Some choose to run themes through the entire home while others decide to go with a more eclectic design. If you are starting from scratch, many suggest that you avoid trends. Your furniture should last you a long time, so make sure it means something to you and it’s not going to be embarrassing to you in the future. Remember that even strange and tacky things may have been a trend at some point like floral upholstery and nautical paintings. Beyond this it is up to you. Pick something that reflects your personality and preferences.
This is another thing that largely depends on your own personal preference. For instance, some people like the smooth comfort of a leather couch but others can’t stand the feeling of sticky leather on their skin. However, certain materials and fabrics will degrade overtime causing the furniture to become more and more uncomfortable the longer you have it. Materials like wicker are going to be nice when you first get them but very uncomfortable after a while. Certain stuffing like cotton and feathers become lumpy over time. Also, feathers are a breeding ground for dust mites. Foam is a durable choice and pretty much stays the same except for a few craters depending on the quality. Materials are important to pay attention. You might think that you can just know what you like when you feel it, but even a three foot stool is a welcome haven after a day of walking around furniture shopping.
The craftsmanship is another important aspect of an item of furniture, if not the most important. You may be tempted to go with cheaper options, but cheap pieces are typically cheaply made. Also, a cheaper item won’t last as long as a quality one, so you will probably end up paying more to replace broken things. The two things to take a close look at when you inspect a piece of furniture’s quality are its composition and its manufacturing.
The quality of something’s composition, or what something is made of, is easy to determine because certain materials are simply better than others. There are three different basic materials to choose from, each with their separate pros and cons:
Plastic. Plastic is a popular option when searching for its durability. High grade plastic is nigh indestructible either by time or by heavy use but cheaper plastic can melt in heat, bend or break under heavy weight and become discolored over time. Plastic furniture is sometimes avoided because it lacks the sophistication like you can get with wood or metal. However, it can have a sleek and simple look, especially when used in chairs or barstools like the Piloti stools above. Plastic is also popular in kids’ rooms or outside because it’s resistant to wear and tear either by energetic children or the elements.
Metal. Metal is another durable choice when quality material is used. Sturdy metals like iron are difficult to damage but cheaper aluminums can easily get bent out of shape. Iron tends to be heavy and difficult to move when used in larger pieces. It also absorbs temperature more quickly so when it’s hot it gets very hot and when it’s cold it gets very cold. If metal is going to break it will be at the welding points, or the parts where different pieces are connected.
Wood. Wood is the most elegant option to some. It can be made to look garish and showy or sleek and minimalistic. It is an often sought after option but it can also be the most delicate. There are several different types of wood but the best kind for furniture is hardwoods. Hardwood includes ash, oak, maple and others. As opposed to soft woods like pine and spruce, hardwood is more durable and less likely to snap under heavy weight. Although hardwood is typically more expensive than softwood, it lasts long enough to be worth the extra cost.
There are lots of different things to consider when buying furniture but the main thing to focus on is getting something you like that will last a long time.