Picking furniture is largely a matter of personal taste, but there are some constants you should also keep in mind when furniture shopping. These become even more important when you’re trying to furnish a large space (like a new house or apartment) mostly from scratch. Here are some room by room furniture tips to get you started:
- Living Room:
Living room furniture takes a lot of abuse, especially since the living room often does double duty as an eating and sleeping space. For this reason, you should always choose sturdy, high quality furniture even if it means making sacrifices elsewhere. Make sure any joints are well constructed (held together by screws or pins, rather than nails or glue) and pick stain-resistant, fade-resistant fabrics like cotton and wool for upholstery.
Living room furniture packages including a couch, armchair, coffee table and side table are relatively easy to buy at any major furniture or big-box store. But if you want a little more personality, try to mix and match, combining a classic, timeless couch design you’ll like for the next 15 years with a funkier patterned armchair.
- Dining Room:
There are many attractive tables that are faux wood or wood veneer. The downside of these options, as opposed to solid wood, is that they can’t be sanded down or refinished. So if you plan to keep your table for more than about 10 years, solid wood is probably also a solid investment.
If you’re worried about spills, you might want to consider dining room chairs with leather seats, rather than upholstered cushions. This way you’ll still get the comfort of a padded chair, but without the stress on spaghetti and meatballs night.
You spend approximately a third of your life in bed (presuming you get enough sleep), so this isn’t the place to be stingy. Consider spending a little more on a high-quality mattress you can keep for many years; there are many affordable mattress sets that come with 10-year or even longer warranties. And when you’re shopping, lie on each prospective mattress for at least 10 minutes. You may feel silly, but it takes that long to really get a feel for how much support it’s providing.
Did you find this room by room furniture guide helpful? Let us know in the comments!