Walking into a nicely decorated home is like meeting a well-coiffed person. Everything is in place, each room is carefully arranged, and the furnishings seem to accent rather than overshadow the home’s design.
Quality furniture should bring out your home’s best features. But attractive furnishings don’t happen by accident. A homeowner or apartment dweller must take time to shop for just the right arrangement of pieces in an effective period style that will suit both the home and its occupants. A single person or a young couple just starting out may not have the luxury of buying matching pieces. They may pick and choose what they need from yard sales or second-hand stores. But those with steadier incomes and discretionary funds to spend may wish to purchase roomfuls of furniture that create an ambience that is soothing and aesthetically appealing.
When you are ready to shop for furniture, you may want to first browse newspaper ads or online websites to get an idea of what’s available. With numerous styles like Mediterranean or early American to choose from, you will want to match the furniture design to your home for a coordinating effect. Contemporary furniture in a Victorian home is not perhaps the blend you want. Shop for a variety of pieces and suits that fit your home’s theme or style. Compare wood grains and hues as well as fabric styles and types in finding the best fit for your living room or bedroom.
Another thing to keep in mind is functionality. Will a white sofa in the family room hold up against three kids and a Dalmatian? You may want to find another piece of the same style in a different color and a sturdy fabric. Find out if you can vacuum or hand-clean certain pieces of furniture, or if they must be dry-cleaned periodically. Either of these cleaning methods can entail cost or time that must be budgeted.
Don’t forget to consider auxiliary pieces, like end tables, coffee tables, lamps, and so on. These should work well with the prevailing theme and furniture design to create a cohesive theme, not a jarring one. You also will want to choose appropriate décor, such as framed artwork or corner sculptures, to complement your furniture arrangements. A Ming vase might look slightly out of place in a rustic log cabin.
Remember to include furnishings for your porch and patio, as your budget permits. While these are less important than household furniture, they also help to create an impression about your property, and they provide comfort and respite from daily chores and hassles. Shop for comfort and appearance, as you would for other types of furnishings. Even family portraits can be framed in the same type of oak wood that comprises your china cabinet or kitchen cupboards.
Have fun decorating your living space, and don’t hesitate to ask for help from a sales associate at a store where you shop.
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