Quality of workmanship, high-quality materials, aesthetics – these are all things that distinguish luxury furniture from run-of-the-mill products.
However, the word “luxury” on the label does not mean that an item is suitable for your home. You can squirt on quality, sure. But without thinking a little about your choices, you could end up with an expensive purchase that you’ll be stuck with and will soon regret.
This is why many people get annoyed about buying furniture. It’s a big investment. To get your money’s worth, you should consider living with your chosen items for the next 10 to 20 years. Especially when shopping at the higher end of the market, choosing furniture that doesn’t feel quite right is an expensive mistake.
There is a lot to consider when choosing furniture. Personal taste, size and layout of your home or garden, existing decor, your practical and aesthetic priorities. When choosing a dining table, for example, there is often a trade-off between the number of people you want to seat and the space you have available.
Or with patio furniture, you may need to balance durability against ease of moving or storing it when not in use.
However, one thing choosing new furniture shouldn’t be is a chore. It should be exciting to choose a new centerpiece for a room or even go to town with a whole new suite of furnishings. It can have a transforming effect on a room, your whole home or outdoor areas.
Yes, it’s a decision you have to make. But you should enjoy the process. Here are some expert tips to help you along the way.
Start with what you already have
If you are planning to buy new furniture, it means that your existing furnishings are looking worn, outdated, or you are otherwise dissatisfied with what you have. Take a critical look at both the furniture you’re looking to replace and whatever else you have around. What is missing? What would really bring the room to life? What would be your dream piece?
Think of both practical aspects and aesthetics, e.g. whether the space is crowded or feels underutilized, how the size of the furniture affects movement and light, etc. Once you have a picture of what you really want, you have your starting point for matching pieces.
Look at what other people have done
Once you have an image in your head, go out and research it. Thanks to the internet, this has never been easier. With sites like Pinterest and Instagram, you have tens of thousands of home decor examples just waiting to be explored, easily filtered by room, theme, style, color, furniture pieces and more. Whether you have a complete design scheme in mind or just a single piece of furniture to incorporate, get online and see what others have done for inspiration.
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Some people love the idea of achieving a consistent look throughout their home and even their gardens. Bringing everything together in a coherent way can certainly have an impressive effect. It creates atmosphere and reflects your personality. Adding pieces and evolving your decor is also fun, but focused as you take on the challenge of finding new pieces and accessories that fit the theme.
If striving for a consistent theme throughout your home seems too difficult, you can break things down by having a different theme for different rooms instead. You can keep the differences modest – perhaps choose a “rustic” theme in one room with lots of natural wood and “contemporary” in another with sleek traditional upholstery. Or mix modern aesthetics in one room with shabby chic in another. Or you can push it further with themes based on mood, colors, activities, etc.
Choose furniture that suits you
Sometimes people see a piece of furniture that they fall in love with and they just have to buy it whether they really need it or not. And that’s okay – we’re all allowed to impulse buy and enjoy. A less risky approach, however, is to think carefully about what matters most to you and your family, how you want to spend your time in and around your home, and choosing furniture that adds to your experience.
For example, if snuggling up on the sofa with a good book or movie is one of your favorite pastimes, then it makes sense to invest in a large, soft and roomy sofa. It will give you hours of pleasure. If you love to invite friends and family to dinner parties at every opportunity, opt for this showpiece dining table and chair set. Or if you’re someone who just gets outside as soon as the sun comes out to soak up some rays, get some luxury loungers or day beds for your garden.
Think about the future
Having encouraged you to let your creativity run wild by coming up with different themes for different rooms, a word of caution. People’s tastes change over time, as do fashions and trends. What looks like a fabulous, innovative look for your home now could be something you’ll hate five years from now.
Again, you are making a big investment when it comes to high quality luxury furniture. You want to avoid having to start all over again too soon. That is why there is a certain timelessness to a lot of luxury furniture – they are designed to last, not only in terms of build quality, but also in riding the waves of tastes and trends.
While there’s nothing wrong with injecting your creative personality into your home, it’s worth considering how you might view the same design idea five or ten years from now. When it comes down to it, push the boat on decor, but take a little safer when it comes to furniture choices. Sticking to classic designs and styles means these pieces will still work even if you change your mind.