Choosing Your Furniture

Unless you've studied interior design and/or decorating, the idea of purchasing new furniture for your home may be enough to cause you to break out in hives. You want exactly the right pieces and, since they will likely be expensive, you also want to be sure that the furniture is something you can live with for a long time to come. Shopping for furniture and furnishings can be a lot of fun, but it can also be daunting. Where does one begin?

It's You, In The Shape Of A Couch

Your furniture should be an expression of your own unique personality and style. If you don't know what style you really like and fear you just might buy what your parents had because that's what is familiar, then we have some ideas for you to help you discover your own sense of furniture style. We also want to offer some practical ideas as well, so your furniture is not only beautiful, but also functional.

Collecting Data From Magazines

Before you head off with check book in hand, pick up a few decorating magazines and a scrapbook, some glue and scissors. As you flip through the magazines, cut out the pictures of the rooms or pieces of furniture that you really love. Make sure you are really taken with them-whether it is color, style, size, fluffy cushions or straight lines-whatever draws you, cut it out and put it in your scrapbook. If you happen to be leafing through a magazine at the doctor's office and find a picture of a room you love, ask if you can either have a copy of it or if you can tear the page out of the book. After a few weeks of collecting, you'll begin to see a pattern emerge. It may be a specific color or floral pattern that is predominant in your choices. It may be Victorian design or Italian design. You may find you are drawn to rustic style furniture or to the idea of shabby chic.

Now You Know What You Like...

You will see from your scrapbook what draws your eye. You have found a firm starting point. Visit furniture showrooms and outlets to get an idea of sizes of furniture in the styles and colors you love. Part of the balancing act in buying furniture is that, if you own your house, your furniture should blend with the house design. You may be surprised to note that indeed, your taste in furniture blends well with the style of your house, if you bought a house you love. Our tastes tend toward the things we enjoy.

...Create The Feeling You Want To Achieve

Now you will have to determine what kind of feeling you want to generate in your home. This is where your personal taste will really show. Some people want their homes to feel warm and lived in, comfortable and friendly. Some people like the look of a formal living room and dining room, resplendent in rich fabrics and heavy woods. Whatever your taste, your furniture should complement the color scheme and style. Selecting pieces that are the proper scale for your room is equally important. Pieces that are too big for a small space will make it crowded and, conversely, if the pieces are too small and the space large, then you will need to have a lot of furniture to fill the room.