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Choosing Furniture can be a little daunting but having made your choices from Part 1, you will find things a lot easier. A lot of stuff can be eliminated right off the top because it doesn’t fit, is the wrong colour and style, is not in your budget, doesn’t fit with the atmosphere you are creating and the purpose of the space.
Consider the following when buying: purpose, timeless, simple.
Avoid decorating trends or fads as they are easily dated. If you want to incorporate a trend or fad, the least expensive way is with the use of accessories that can be changed up when the trend has passed.
I’m a fan of custom made furniture and I’ll give you an example. In 1991 we had a really good quality sofa, loveseat, chair & ottoman custom made for the living room. It was not cheap…but in 2003 we had a flood in our home; the living room furniture was submerged, turned over or whatever, in 4 feet of cold water from a broken water main for 5 hours! When I phoned the folks who made the furniture, planning on placing an order for new stuff, I told them what had happened. They said “you don’t need new furniture, we will come and pick it up, remove all the upholstery and padding and let the frames dry out for a couple of months, then re-do the furniture!” Wow, were we impressed! The next time, we need to re-upholster the pieces, we will change up the design a bit and voila, a whole new look! The same thing happened with the Oriental rugs! Cleaned, dried and back as good as new!
If you establish an atmosphere and keep to the chosen style your home will have the look of being professionally decorated.
Consider seating arrangements, lighting & tables, traffic flow, balance (by using high/low heights, different shapes and avoiding overcrowding). This is where that floor plan will come in handy.
Measure your furniture to see if it will fit into the new space. The guide below gives the space needed between and around furniture.
A Guide for Furniture Arranging:
A coffee table should be 1 to 1½ feet from the sofa, otherwise it is too far to reach for your glass of vino!
A major passageway should be 3 – 6 feet wide
A minor passageway should be 1 ½ – 2 feet wide
Space from the dining table to wall should be 3 feet to allow for chairs to be pushed back
Sofas and chairs should be placed 8 – 10 feet across from each other making for easy conversation
When arranging furniture: place large pieces 1st, smaller pieces 2nd and accessories last.
When choosing fabrics remember smaller patterns suit smaller chairs or ottomans more than large ones.
Time for another break….this is a lot of info. and you might find it handy to print and put into your project binder for easy reference. Make lots of notes and relax! When you’re ready, there’s Part 3!