Today we are going to talk about furniture. Furnishings are what make your home interior or exterior comfortable and to be utilised in whatever activity it is intended for. Furnishings make your house a home. What it made of, the texture colour, room aesthetic. All the things we sometimes do not think about when we see something we like and wonder why it doesn’t fit the space we want it in.
The first thing you should consider is what is the space intended for? Is it for the general public or private use? If its for public use then you will need to consider the furnishings you use to be more robust and durable. Also check if there are any fire safety requirements for a public place. Public places need furnishings that will handle lots of use over a long time. I know that seems obvious….. but really some public places I have seen did not consider that people may actually be using them, even though that was the intention. Going for a look but not making sure it can handle the traffic really is a huge waste of time and money!
So I am going to work on the assumption today that this is for private use.
First thing you should consider is what sort of look are you going for. I will quickly explain the 3 main ones here.
Antique - furniture for this period is generally seen as being at least one hundred years old. Antique furniture goes along with a period in time, cultures, countries or even individuals. You will have to do your research on this one if you want the room to be just right
Modern - furniture for this period is generally seen as being in the nineteenth or even early twentieth century. Not as expensive as your antique furnishings and a little easier to come by if this is more your style.
Contemporary – furniture that is produced today by furniture designers. I find contemporary tends to lean towards the unusual at times. Definitely talking pieces.
Or you could be looking for a mix of all three! Go on – just don’t fill the room if it doesn’t need it!
Next have a think about the space itself. How do you want to arrange your furniture into your space? Is it just for looking at with the occasional use or does it need to be more functional? You can also look at having areas in your room occasional and functional. Maybe you have a single armchair that you want to be a focal point but not overly used. You can organise your furnishings into groups so that you have structure to your space. Having single pieces of furniture allow for more movement of the furniture to where you want it, but it could leave your room lacking flow with gaps here, there and everywhere. Consider using modular pieces. These pieces of furniture help to retain space and reduce gaps but also give a continuity of the form in the room. They are also flexible in being able to move them around the room still and some even have extra storage under the seating!
Once you have decided on your space you will start to have a good idea of what you would like to see in the room and one of the biggest decisions you can make is the upholstery of the furnishings. Just because you love the idea of silk does not mean it is very practical as an upholstery on a piece of furnishing that is going to get a lot of use. I won’t go into every type of upholstery to consider, these days there are lots for different uses, areas, colouring!
But keep in mind these following few points and you should be ok.
Will it hold up to constant use? Will it last if its in a room with lots of sunlight (silk lovers keep this in mind - silk is not a sun lover!). Do you need it to be easy clean? Is the material something that holds its colour well or will it fade over time?
Next to consider is the shape of the furniture. If your someone who loves unusual shapes go for it but keep in mind how it will work with the overall room at the end. If its too big and dominates it could take away from the rest of the room and then all that hard work will be lost. I do believe that sometimes, no matter how much a piece of unusual furniture screams at you “Buy me!” you just have to let it go for simple is best. But if you can’t then your best option is to make it the focal point in the room and use it as your muse. What goes with it? What colours shapes textures compliment and flow with your furniture piece? If you’re looking at a simpler piece of furniture, keep in mind that just because it’s simple doesn’t mean you want to go overboard on everything else and drown away the furniture itself.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little, but if you feel like your suddenly overwhelmed with all your choices…. Take a step back and imagine what it would be like to be sitting in the room. Does it feel like the space you’re after or is there just textured coloured chaos surrounding you? Take a picture of everything you are looking at and lay them all out together to see how you feel.
There is a lot to take in when your redesigning a room and it can feel overwhelming. Just breathe and focus on one part at a time. Don’t rush it you will be fine! =)