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The most important piece of furniture in the living room after the sofa is the coffee table. They are the unsung heroes of home décor and are frequently overshadowed with not much attention paid to them. While coffee tables of many styles can be found easily in most home décor stores, the large variety in their design can make it a little confusing to zero in on the right one.
They are not limited to just the living room but can be placed in the family room or bedroom too. The coffee table if grand looking can be the centrepiece of the room forming its focal point. They can also be styled in different ways like with a vase of flowers, candles or a witty collection of coffee table books.
The coffee table in the living room must be the best looking one and should match the rest of the décor of the space. Since this is a formal area it will probably not be subject to the rough handling as some of the other rooms, so you can opt for one made of delicate materials such as glass etc.
The coffee table in the family room on the other hand must be able to withstand rougher handling so it is important that it must be sturdy. It is also useful if it is multifunctional so look for tables which come with built-in storage facilities. The surface should be made of material that is able to handle a certain amount of abuse like spillage of liquids etc. As this is an area that children use frequently, glass top tables with sharp corner or edges must be avoided.
The shape of the coffee table must depend on the seating configuration of the room. Square and round ones work best with large sofas and smaller arrangements look good with oval and rectangular ones. If the room has rounded furniture then choose a square or rectangular table and vice versa, to form a nice contrast. The maximum size of your coffee table should be two thirds the size of the couch in length and in height it must be same as your sofa or lower. It should fit in the seating arrangement in such a way that there must be enough space around it for leg space and movement.
The kind of material you choose for the coffee table depends entirely on the size and shape of the room, its existing décor and also on how you intend to use the table. Clear or transparent tables give the illusion of space and are ideal for small rooms as they make it look more open and airy. Tables made of metal and stone give the space a more modern look while wood especially dark wood such as mahogany give a more traditional look to the room. Leather and faux leather are also good options as they are easy to maintain and safer around very young children.
The right coffee table can be the star of your room, in its own right and also helps set the tone of the room.
In our previous post we have already discussed a few tips to be considered while shopping for furniture. Here are a few more tips which will further optimize your furniture shopping experience.
1. Think about long term plans for your room.
Irrespective of how much you like the look of your room now, you are likely to want to change it in the future. Buy furniture based on the way your room looks currently and also for the way you would like it to possibly look in the future. This ensures that your furniture does not need to be tossed out soon, and can last through redecorations and makeovers of the room. Look beyond the passing fads in style and colour which come and go. Buy a piece which you will feel comfortable with even years later and that truly appeals to your senses.
2. Always test the furniture in the store.
A piece of furniture even when if it is of the highest quality, may not be have the comfort factor that you require to it. Always sit on the couches and chairs, lie down on your cots and mattresses and test the doors, hinges and drawers to ensure that they work smoothly. Also if the furniture squeaks or scratches the floor of the showroom then it is likely to do the same to the floor of your home and it is best to skip it. When it comes to fabrics, test it under different lightings conditions before you decide. Make sure the furniture is convenient to use and works for you before putting your money on it.
3. Ask for and consider the opinion of the sales people.
Most of us aren’t experts in furniture design, interiors or upholstery. Our knowledge on it is based on our limited experience and research. Salespersons on the other hand with more experience and exposure in this industry can be considered experts in the field. Discuss details about the budget, dimensions and shape of the tentative space and the kind of furniture you have in mind with them. This will help them give you an informed opinion about the right product for you. Pick a weekday or anytime when the store is not too crowded and the salesperson can give you his undivided attention to make the best of it. Consult a sales person but make sure the final buying decision is ultimately yours.
4. Take into account the shape and scale of the room
Before venturing out to buy furniture, measure your room and draw up a floor plan of the space you intend to buy the furniture for. Take some photographs of the room with you as it makes it easier to assess if the furniture will be a good fit for the room. Swatches of carpet and other fabrics in the room along with paint samples if possible will also prove to be great help. Stores are generally large in size and the furniture which may seem the right size there will look larger when placed in your house. So it is recommended to carry a tape measure to check if it will fit into the space you have assigned for it. If still in doubt then go home with the measurements of the furniture, and double check it by mapping it out on the floor of your home. Also don’t buy too many pieces of furniture for a room as it will make it look over crowded and cluttered.
5. Check the credentials of the store or brand of furniture.
Always do your research on the store and brand ratings beforehand. Online reviews give a fairly good idea about the reliability of the store and the merchandise. Note that any store with low ratings has clearly been subject to customer complaints previously. Talk to the employees and enquire about the return policy of the store and the warranty they offer on the furniture. Also find out the shipping details and its charges to your location. When there is a choice, opt for the merchant with the best ratings. High ratings not only indicate the best in quality but also the best after purchase service.
With these in tow furniture shopping will now become a breeze, with no room for any regrets in the future. Make sure to shop from trusted brands like Featherlite to avoid any future disappointments.
Buying furniture is a big investment, which needs to be made wisely. Common mistakes and lack of knowledge in many cases can leave us regretting our purchase. These can be easily avoided with a systematic and organized approach. While furniture shopping, it is best to go prepared with these tips in mind.
1. Always deliberate on the piece of furniture you want to buy.
A great way to save money on furniture is to buy it when it’s on sale, but don’t make hasty decisions based on slashed prices. Sales and discounts can be very tempting and lead us into making impulse buys. Low prices can make the furniture seem irresistible but in retrospect may not always be the right choice for the room. Don’t buy the first piece of furniture you like. Slow down and look around. Always discuss with your family members and do some research on it before buying it. Chances are you will find one that you like more and is more suitable. But if a piece of furniture that you have been eyeing for a while is up on sale then do not miss the opportunity.
2. Inspect the furniture thoroughly to check the quality.
When buying furniture one of the main attributes to look for is quality. Quality not only determines how long the furniture will last but also on how long it will retain its original look. The better the quality of furniture the more resistant it is to wear and tear through the years. When two similar pieces of furniture have a difference in price because of difference in quality, it is always wiser to choose the one of better quality as it will pay for itself in the long run. Buying from a trusted brand is generally an assurance of quality as such brands conduct quality checks before releasing their products into the market.
3. Buy furniture that complements the style of the room and your personal style.
A room and its furniture should be a reflection of your personality. It helps create your personal space where you feel the most comfortable and relaxed. Sticking by your style helps you bring together unlikely pieces of furniture to ultimately form the perfect room for you. Buying furniture that is keeping with your style also makes it simpler for you when you want to decorate and accessorise the room further. Also note that the style of art, upholstery and other furnishings already in the room have to match the piece of furniture you buy for the room. A room with mismatched furniture and accessories can be shabby and does not have a soothing effect on the mind.
4. Set a budget and stick to it.
Before setting out to shop it is always best to research on the desired furniture and gain a rough idea on how much it costs. Based on this research it is also important to set your budget for the furniture in mind. Do your research and check beforehand if the store or brand you are looking at houses furniture within that particular budget. After deciding on the budget it is time to prioritize which pieces are most important to you. Decide which piece of furniture deserves the higher weightage of your budget and which piece you are willing to compromise on. This gives you room to splurge if needed but only on the right piece of furniture.
Ever spent a huge amount of money on furniture which was the latest trend at one time and have it go out of fashion in no time? Trends in furniture like in fashion are changing at warp speeds, with every passing season. New styles, textures and colours of furniture and accessories are continuously being introduced in the market, even as you are reading this. The best way to keep up with the different trends that catch your fancy is to incorporate a small part of it into your décor in the form of accessories to the furniture.
There are still a few ‘Classic’ pieces of furniture which are simplistic and evergreen. Therefore it is necessary to invest in such pieces which will never go out of style or be considered out-dated. Such pieces of furniture create the base or foundation on which the décor of the room can be built upon with addition of fashionable accessories. They will last for many years to come, so make sure that you don’t compromise on their quality.
A few pieces of ‘Classic’ furniture that can be incorporated into your home are
· The Rectangular Dining Table
For all the circular, oval, oblong shaped dining tables and even the efficient rotating ones that have hit the market, the rectangular shaped tables will always retain their charm. This basic timeless design with tapered legs is slower to show wear and tear, compared to fancier ones with carved legs. A coat of varnish will help lengthen the life of the polish of the wood and also provides extra shine.
· The Couch or Sofa
A Sofa or Couch is the most important piece of furniture in the living room. It not only serves the residents of the house but is also where the guests are entertained. A sofa should ideally fill the space of a living room and not clutter it instead. A branded sofa in muted colours, with materials ranging from leather or earthy fabrics is to be considered depending on the climate and décor in mind. It is probably one of the most used pieces of furniture in the house, so comfort and quality are the most essential qualities to look for in one. The colour should be preferably mild and should blend with the background and theme of the room. Neutral coloured sofas like beige, tan and black ones, in clean and classic designs are safe bets.
The Round Glass Top Coffee Table.
A coffee table placed in the centre is usually the focal point of the living room, with the rest of the furniture encircling it. It is also a very adaptable piece of furniture used to place a stack of books, to display photo frames and candles or even as a table to write on. Hence it is important to choose a table which is both practical and easy on the eye. A popular choice is the round glass top coffee table which gives the room a sophisticated, modern look and is also sturdy. Make sure the glass in the table has rounded edges so you will never have to worry about accidently cutting or scraping yourself on the edges.
· An Accent Chair
It is a piece of furniture that is placed to provide additional seating or to fill up an empty space in the house. It should typically complement the rest of the room décor, and the colour, texture and design must not clash with the sofa set in the living room. A simple accent chair either in leather or any fabric matching the sofa is preferred. This is a piece of furniture which can be moved around the room or even to other rooms of the house so it has to be basic in design and looks so that it blends effortlessly everywhere.
These versatile pieces can adapt to changes in trend and hence are meant to be long lasting. So it is recommended that you buy furniture from a well-known and trusted brand such as FeatherLite as it is an assurance of quality of the product.