The right furniture & you...

The right furniture & you...

The furniture at home is almost an extension of your personality. Choosing it with care can go a long way in ensuring a classy decor, says Simran Chhibber.

 Buying something for your house can be really exciting and therapeutic. However, furniture shopping is a kind of shopping that will be on display. People coming in and out of your house will see and form an impression about your house and tastes. More than that, you have to live with that furniture for some time at least. 

A little organised approach when going ‘furniture shopping’ can go a long way. Let me list out a few important points that need to be considered whilst choosing and buying furniture for your home.

Give the following questions a thought. Are there a few pieces of furniture that have accumulated over time? Do you plan to reuse these? Do you want to build upon them? Or do you want to start brand new?

These questions are very basic, in fact, they might sound very simple. But just read them again. They form the basis of your furniture planning and are likely to give you a correct head-start, in terms of budgeting and defining your options.

There are a few more questions to ponder upon. What is your budget? Is it flexible? What style of furniture do you like? Contemporary, modernist, traditional or rustic? Any favourite colours?

Scrutinise what you already have

Have a good look at the existing furniture. If something is wobbly, peeling off, and in a bad state, get rid of it. If something measures high on emotional grade, keep it and refurbish it with new upholstery and finishes. 

Hiring a furniture expert or an interior designer to stop by and scrutinise your pieces of furniture to ascertain their life and reusability can be a great idea. 

Sometimes, designers can suggest amazing ways to reuse your old furniture and make it look brand new. And yes, their advice goes beyond a coat of paint or varnish. So, it is a good idea to seek professional advice.

Going hand in hand 

Furniture isn’t going to be a stand alone piece in the room. It will be accompanied by rugs, curtains, artwork etc. So, think of the entire room decor and not just about the furniture piece. Many of us commit the grave mistake of buying expensive furniture in our excitement and later discover that it doesn’t go with anything around. 

Plan a small trip to the nearest home-store. Just browse through the stuff available. Have a look at what is new in the market, what styles are in vogue, and more importantly, what you like.

Neutral upholstery

Try to go in for neutrals as far as upholstery and other room furnishings go. Keep the larger surfaces of your room in shades of neutral. That being said, introduce colour to your room in the form of artworks, throws, pillows etc.

Don’t compromise on comfort

When buying furniture, especially sofas, do not compromise on comfort. Such pieces of furniture are usually bought only once or twice in a lifetime and hence the comfort they bring along is of great importance. So, do not be scared to buy an expensive sofa which comes within your budget.

Since big pieces of furniture are going to stay with you for quiet a while, try to pick something that has very clean geometry. Such pieces are likely to survive your changing tastes.

Where to shop from?

The answer to the question – ‘Where to shop from?’ depends on factors like your budget, the style you opt for and your expectation of quality. As a rule, I would prefer buying furniture from exclusive furniture stores rather than big shopping marts. The reason is simple. 

Furniture stores just deal in making furniture. That being their only business, they tend to churn out better quality furniture than shopping marts who deal in everything under the sun.

Qualities of good furniture

l A furniture piece that feels light or shaky is the kind you should avoid. The legs of the furniture piece should be heavy, preferably wooden, and joined to the frame of the ensemble and not merely nailed to it. Check out for a fifth leg in the middle of the sofa — it gives extra support.

l When shopping for cupboards and cabinets, inspect the drawers for dovetail joints in the corners. Go in for wood joinery at the corners rather than glue or nail.

l Pull out the drawers to make sure they come out all the way. Open the cabinet doors to check if they open completely and stay that way without closing back on you. Check out the hardware, particularly handles and knobs. These should not be wobbly.

l When buying mattresses, give attention to coil count: the higher the count, the better the support.

l As far as cushions go, again, heavier the cushions, the better they are. Look out for yearly sales where you can grab great deals.

l The most common mistake homeowners do is misjudging the furniture size. An ensemble that looks just fine at the store might look gigantic under your ceiling. Hence, it is important to go to the store keeping some dimensions in mind. 

l Do not forget to take into account the dimensions of your doorways. The furniture has to go in, after all!

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