The Art of Furniture Selection

Furniture shopping can be intimidating with the abundance of options available and trying to narrow down what the best fit for your space is.  I’d like to help take away some of the stress by providing you with some insight into what things you should consider before you begin this task.  I’ve narrowed down this fine art into 5 elements that need top consideration when selecting furniture for a space.

1. FUNCTION

The first thing you need to consider when deciding on furniture for a space is what your need is. How does the room need to function and what furniture pieces will allow it to perform those functions? In addition, consider if the furniture needs to have specific features for functionality.  Think specifically what is needed – how many seats do you need?  How much storage?

 

 

For example, you determined you need a sofa for your family room for lounging and conversing with family. It needs to seat at least 3 people and have some sleeping capabilities for guests. Here you’d be looking at a full, oversized or sectional sofa likely with a pullout bed option.

2. BUDGET

The second thing you need to figure out is what the budget is. Even before sourcing items, it will be hard to narrow down some of the next elements until you know what money you have to spend. Consider how long you picture the piece lasting (is it a short term piece while you’re temporarily renting or something you’d like to last for decades in your forever home?) when deciding how much money you can fork out.

 

If you are purchasing pieces for multiple rooms at one time on a set budget, consider the pieces that will get the most use to begin, and wait on supporting pieces if need be.   You can also consider well-made secondhand or antique pieces that can come at a fraction of the cost.

Be sure to consider taxes and delivery, if necessary, when browsing at prices and sources.

 

3. SCALE

Scale is something I have found often gets neglected when considering furniture for a space. It’s important to measure a space before furniture shopping so you know how much room you have to work with. Pay attention to appropriate distances for walkways, door openings and legroom for guests when using furniture.

 

With the room available, you’ll want to proportion furniture so it isn’t too big or too small for the space.  Now days there are so many options of apartment size (smaller) furnishings as well as oversized or grand furnishings, that it makes no sense to invest in something that doesn’t suit the room it is being placed in.Selecting the right scale of furnishings can make a room more functional, feel cohesive and more inviting for yourself and guests to use.

 

4. TIMELINE

Here we are referring to how quick you need a piece, as well as how long you want or expect it to last. If you need a piece rather quickly, you’re going to want to source from certain stores or online sources that have items in stock or on the floor. If you are deciding to go the custom route, expect that it will take a minimum of 6-8 weeks to be made and arrive.

When you are looking at the life expectancy of a piece, consider where it will be placed and the usage it will get. Typically more used items like beds, everyday dining tables, chairs and couches should be well constructed with a solid frame and washable materials that can stand up to ware and spills. You can get away with cheaper items that won’t get the same daily usage in less used spaces, like side tables, guests rooms and formal dining/living rooms. However if you have something you want to be passed to the next generation (a formal dining room table for example), consider going custom in solid wood to be sure it will last and be a desirable custom design worth passing down.

Overall, expect custom and more durable furniture to cost more and take longer to arrive in your home.

 

5. STYLE

Think of style as the icing on the cake – so cliché I know! It’s the layer most visual and gives the cake its appeal and presentation. Many times style is the first thing people jump to when considering furnishings for their spaces, but for a smart purchase decision, style is one of the last things you should consider. It’s important to pay attention to all the other elements we’ve gone through first to ensure the piece is the most functional and wisest decision before picking out how the piece will look.

You may find you are drawn to a particular style, in which case it could be easier to know where to shop and what to look for. But you don’t have to fall into one set style for a room to come together and look great. Often the most interesting and beautiful rooms combine elements of a variety of styles, keeping the room from feeling dated and boring.

For the budget-conscious homeowner, I often suggest investing in staple furnishings in timeless styles and having more fun mixing other styles you are drawn to in accent furnishings and accessories. This way you can replace them as trends or moods change and haven’t invested too much money.

Overall though, the style of your rooms and furnishings should be a reflection of you and your lifestyle.

Here’s a fun quiz to take if you’re feeling lost about styles:

http://www.hgtv.com/quizzes/find-your-design-style-toast-your-good-taste

 

 

Furniture shopping can be a large investment, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating.  I hope I was able to inform you about some of the things you should consider when selecting furniture for a space.  If you have any questions or need help sourcing or selecting items, message me and I’d love to help you out!

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