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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.
Accessories play a very important role in the look of a room as they are the fine detailing required for a room to look complete. While lot of effort and time is spent on buying furniture for the house, accessories for it are sometimes neglected. They are bought on a whim without keeping the décor of the room in mind and can look mismatched. Accessories must always be chosen keeping the main furniture and theme of the room in mind. If the right accessories are used they can completely change the look of the room. They add class and finish to an otherwise incomplete and bare room. A room without accessories looks plain and dull and if over accessorized or mismatched can look shabby or overdone.
There are many accessories like paintings and sculptures or rugs and carpets which require more thought and deliberation before buying, as they are usually expensive or take up a lot of space. They are also bigger features of the room and cannot be changed or modified very often without changing the entire décor.
And then there are accessories that are flexible and are affordable like cushions, lamps and vases. The best part of these accessories is they are generally easy to move and can be easily placed in different parts of the room to change its appearance. They can also be discarded in lieu of newer accessories and replaced more often than furniture as they are usually much more affordable. Some of these accessories are a must have and no room is complete without them.
· Decorative lamps.
Lamps are to the floor what chandeliers are to the roof. They are light sources that not only provide light but are also a treat to the eyes. They are great accents to the living room to add to the existing light in the room or to be used as a source of dim light for indirect or mood lighting. Every bedroom also needs decorative lamps used as a ready light or as bed lamps. There are many varieties of decorative lamps in all shapes, materials and colours available in the market. There are a few types like wooden decorative lamps which suit most decors and emanate a warm glow.
They are the easiest accessory and the most flexible ones to add to a room. They come in the largest range of fabrics, colours and designs and take up very little space. They are an instant spruce up for a room and can be changed very often. They can be placed in any room of the house and on any seating furniture too.
Flowers are a great way to bring freshness to a room and greenery into it. You can choose to use fresh flowers, dried flowers or artificial and ceramic flowers depending on your décor and convenience. As important as it is to choose the right kind of flowers, it is equally if not more important to choose the right vase to exhibit the flowers in. Vases come in a lot of different sizes from small table top ones to really tall vases meant to be placed on the floor. They can also be moved to different rooms and surfaces to change the appearance of your space.
Make sure that they match the size of the room and its theme to preserve the style of the décor of the space. They should also be placed in such a manner as to maintain the perfect symmetrical balance in the room. These basic accessories must be incorporated into every home to create a cosy and inviting environment.
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.
In our previous blog we discussed how home décor can come to the rescue of common relationship problems between two people. Let’s address another relationship problem and see how a couple of ideas in the layout of your house can help prevent the problem.
Problem: No Communication
With all the distractions of day-to-day life, it’s easy to misunderstand what your loved one is saying. And of course, misunderstanding can quickly lead to an argument. While you know that you and your partner would save a lot of time and energy if you just listened to each other in the first place, the reality is that there are too many distractions. We end up not having ‘conversations’ at all. A few comments thrown over a TV show you are both watching does not count. Nor do the 2-minute calls you make to each other during the day or the text messages you send.
What you need is a quiet and relaxing space in your home where you can talk without the distraction of electronic devices. Having the ability to hide your TV, for example, can make a big difference. Don’t just turn your set off — tuck it away entirely. Let your living room or your family room become a space that’s just about the two of you and your conversation.
Having a phone and computer station is just as important. When you get home, resist the urge to spend dinnertime on your cell phone as your partner chats with you about the day. Even if you think you’re hearing everything, odds are you aren’t. Commit to storing your phone and computer in another room as soon as you get home from work. Keep the ringer on for important calls, but don’t sit around playing with your phone.
Try these simple ideas and see the difference it will make to your relationship.