Furnishing a home can be an exhilarating experience. It is one of the most immediate forms of creativity, where you use your imagination to produce the ideal space for yourself and your family and friends. Working with furniture, decor, and linens, you can recreate the memories of a seashore holiday, the industrial chic of an urban loft, or the homely comfort of a farm kitchen. With so many different styles to choose from, how do you decide which one is right for you?
Planning furniture in a room
Furniture stores have a variety of styles on display. It may be a good idea to do some online window shopping first, to get an idea of what’s available, how you will match up different pieces, and which stores to visit in person.
Furnishing a home is a big project, and it’s a good idea to go slowly, bringing in new pieces of furniture and decor to match those you already have. This allows you to develop your style, taking the time to see what does and doesn’t work, and what remains to be done.
Home furnishing styles
There are many different home furnishing styles and you can have a lot of fun furnishing a home or a condo. It can be a good idea to choose a theme and to pick furniture, linens and decor to match. Or you can just evoke a style or place – a beach cottage or a log cabin – with a few simple pieces. This is useful when your home furnishing budget isn’t unlimited.
Rooms by the sea. Even if you’ve never seen the painting, you can relate to the feeling of light and the nearness of a vast expanse of water. Recreate your favorite holiday space with light, airy curtains, and decor pieces that incorporate sea grass, driftwood, seashells and even sea glass. Sandy neutrals and sea blues for furniture slipcovers continue the theme.
Just a few pieces can create the effect you’re looking for – serene, peaceful and relaxing. Matching wall art to slipcovers or rugs can easily evoke the atmosphere you want, without having to go overboard.
Nothing says cozy like a farm kitchen: large wooden table, comfortable arm chairs, woodstove and a dresser full of blue patterned china. As a bonus, the table might be reclaimed wood from an old barn, with a patina of age that can’t be artificially created.
Farmers study, too, and a large, solid desk, with Tiffany lamps, leather arm chairs and book cases is useful for doing the accounts and paperwork.
- Shabby chic
It’s the quirky side of home decor, with distressed finishes on furniture in pastel shades of cream, pink and green, floral and flouncy linens and unabashedly romantic decor with rose motifs predominating. Evoking an era that never was but might have been, shabby chic helps you create your own special retreat.
You can build up a room on the theme, or just pick a few pieces, such as bed linens or a mirror, to suggest the slightly faded sweetness. You can even combine it with the other styles. The contrast with industrial chic furniture made from found items can balance a space, suggesting solidity, comfort and romance.
When furnishing a home, it’s also good to keep some practical considerations in mind. Measure your space before you go furniture shopping, so you can be sure that your new pieces will fit without overcrowding. But above all, have fun and pick the styles and designs that you love, because you’ll be living with then for a long time to come.