The Dos and Don’ts of Furnishing Your Home
If you’re a natural at interior décor and have a knack for choosing the perfect pieces of furniture, then furnishing your home will be a breeze. However, most of us battle to pick out the right shades of paint, never mind the assortment of chairs, tables, beds, and wardrobes that are expected to meld together to create a home that’s filled to the brim with both comfort and style.
But there’s good news…
While decorating your home is a very personal art, the light at the end of the tunnel is that there are design principles you can follow to make shopping for the best bedroom furniture a pleasure instead of a headache. Whether you’re looking to furnish a new home or apartment or just feel like refreshing an existing room, these dos and don’ts should set you on the right track.
- Look to the architecture of your home for a befitting decorating style that works with the property’s heritage. If you have a country cottage, stick to wooden furniture with soft finishing’s or if you live in a city apartment, go for steel fittings complimented with glass. There are ways to mix classic and contemporary pieces so that they combine to form a unique setting that works, but the above will help you to “play it safe”.
- Consider your location. Just like the architecture of your home can be used to influence your décor choices, so too can location. Think about it, a nautical themed room with white-washed furniture will leave you feeling a little out of place if you live inland, and an elegant room adorned in white and more white isn’t going to aspire to the practicality of your lake house.
- Find value in mood boards and never underestimate their power. Use Pinterest or go “old school” and use poster board, glue, and magazine cut-outs to create a mood board for each room in your house. Consider the layout, size, and shape of each room and then add to each “collection” when you find an image of an item that catches your eye. Swap and move your images around until you’re satisfied with the ideas you’ve gathered – and then shop for them!
- If you’re working with a small space, then it’s important that you realise that you’re not limited to small furnishings. Even tiny apartments can be complemented with big and bold pieces that don’t make you feel like the room is closing in on you. For example, a large wardrobe in your bedroom can help with storage, so it ticks the box for being practical, and it can be customised so that it tucks itself neatly out of your way.
Tip: choose wardrobes with sliding doors and exterior mirrors so that you 1) save space and 2) create the illusion that the room is larger than it is.
- Rome wasn’t built in a day so, take your time. There’s no need to rush and do all the furniture shopping at once. The best spaces are those that have evolved over a few years.
- Don’t place all your furniture against the wall. Bringing pieces into the centre of a room will give your walls some breathing room as you play around with floor space and "feng shui" your way to comfortable living. Furnishings that can be placed freely in a room include tables, sofas, beds, and Ottomans, to name but a few.
- Avoid furniture that looks the same. The pieces you choose shouldn’t all be the same height, shape, colour or pattern. If you go this route, you could end up with a bland-looking room that lacks character. Instead, match raw woods with whitewashed pieces and don’t be afraid to play around with fabric, glass, and steel.
Ideas: break up typical square cushions with round ones; select vases that vary in shape and height; play around with fabrics such as leather, suede, and faux. Variety is what makes a room interesting and oddly enough, calming.
- Don’t clutter your space so that there’s no room to breathe. A “busy” room can be comfortable but a room that’s jam-packed with an assortment of items that simply don’t belong can leave a person feeling anxious. Choose the objects you want to show off and pack the rest away in a luxury wardrobe. As a rule of thumb, less really can be more when it comes to furnishing a home. White space is also essential – so leave open gaps on your walls and between the cushions on your couch.
- If you’re not an interior décor expert, then stick to one colour to work around. Again, let’s play it safe. Don’t overwhelm yourself with colour palettes and intricate themes. Choose a base colour for your room and work around this, introducing two complementary colours max! *By colours, we also mean wood stains.
The bottom line…
The best way to furnish your home is to stick to the basics and avoid overwhelming yourself with options. Consider what type of themes appeal to you, which colours you can imagine yourself being surrounded by daily, and what you need in terms of practicality. Take your time choosing your pieces and look to Pinterest boards and home décor magazines for inspiration. If you find yourself frazzled and unsure, consult an expert, you may find that your sanity is worth the cost.