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Furniture – No longer an Afterthought

By December 20, 2010 No Comments

by Mina Fies

When approaching a renovation or remodeling project most people think of the furniture last; in reality that’s the first place you should start!

Furnishings play a big part in how your space comes together so it’s important to think about furniture from the very beginning. What are you going to use the space for? How would you like it to feel, look, and function? All questions you should ask yourself before beginning a renovation. In the ideal situation you should decide how the space is going to be used and select your furniture while creating your space planning accordingly.

Shape and Fabric

When looking at furniture it’s important to consider style and comfort, so you’ll want to begin with the upholstery.  Let’s take your living room as an example.  Start with the sofa by choosing the shape first and then the fabric (if you don’t like the shape and style it won’t matter what fabric you cover it with).  Choosing a print or pattern will add visual interest to the room.  Either a simple geometric pattern or a complex floral will help the sofa become a focal point of the room from which everything else will relate.

Coordinating Pieces

Now that you’ve chosen your sofa and fabric, it’s time to select a loveseat or chair that coordinates.  Try pulling a color from the sofa’s pattern and highlight it as the fabric for the second upholstery piece. This will help support other choices further down the road in the renovation process like selecting wood finishes and paint colors.

Don’t forget – you have options.  For example, use an ottoman as an alternative to a traditional cocktail table. A round ottoman can really keep the space fresh and could be made from leather or an interesting fabric choice (just remember to select something that is durable and stain-resistant). Choose a nice tray to top off the ottoman so you have a hard surface to place items.

Case Goods

Once you have the upholstery items selected move on to the case goods. This includes all your wood or metal items, like end tables, dining chairs, and so forth. When selecting these items feel free to change things up, just make sure they complement the style and colors of the other items in the space. For example, you can have two matching walnut end tables flanking the sofa with a glass-topped cocktail table. Introducing metals or mirrors adds a unique and elegant element to the space and helps to avoid having too many (overly) matching pieces.

The Bottom Line

When renovating you always want to start with the furniture, as it’s the foundation and heart of the room. It’s much easier to pull a paint color from a fabric that you’ve already chosen than to try to find a sofa to match the walls!  The same goes for the space planning.  If you know where you want to place a particular piece of furniture, then it’s easy to build a wall (or half wall) made just for that piece, customizing the space to exactly how you plan to live in it.

Most importantly, chose items that you love.  You’ll be spending a lot of time on and around your furniture, so you want to select things that are stylish, comfortable, and functional. Once those pieces of the puzzle are chosen, it’s easy to do the space planning and pull the entire room together to fit you and your family just right.

© Mina Fies is the Founder and CEO of Synergy Design & Construction, Inc.  To learn more about Mina and receive your FREE Report, “How to Qualify a General Contractor and Avoid Remodeling Nightmares!” please visit www.renovatehappy.com

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.

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