Furnishing a home the way you want is hard work. It takes time to find pieces that fit (literally and metaphorically) into the space. And since every home and each person is different, the end goal is different for everyone. Here are a couple guidelines you can follow, however, and they should help simplify the process.

Determine Purpose

Every space has a purpose, from a bedroom to a basement to an attic. What we do in the space is going to have a major impact on what we put in it. For example, we furnish an office differently than a dining room. Or when furnishing a living room, the function of the space is equally important: will it be hosting guests for cozy get-togethers and long conversations? Or will it be the center of entertainment for family movie night? The furniture you use and where you place it has a lot to do with what goal the space is intended to achieve.

Measure It Out

There’s no sense shopping for furniture if you have no idea how big the space is. Measure the room, and write it down. This will save you from the distress of learning a piece is too big or too small after you’ve placed it in the room. There are apps that can help you track the size of your space, and help you see how different furniture pieces might fit inside it. You can even block off the space manually with tape to see how much space you’ll have between each piece.

Coordinate Style

When decorating a room, you’re aiming for a delicate middle ground of “surprisingly intentional.” You need the space to be creative and inventive without looking random and haphazard. And you want it to look planned without looking formulaic. Try matching a theme without being too pattern-based. Architecture and decor both need to be considered in the decision, as they will have an effect on the “feel” of the furniture. Try creating a mood board, and reference it as you shop, so you know what to look for.

Choose the Right Colors

Who uses a space and how often it’s used should have an impact on your color choices. If you have pets or small kids, reconcile yourself right now with the fact the color white is more work than it’s probably worth. If the room is frequently used for long periods, avoid colors that are too strong or too dark, as it can have a depressive, claustrophobic effect.

Invest in Quality

Keep in mind that well-made furniture pieces can last hundreds of years if cared for properly. Allow yourself to spend a little extra where it matters, as you usually get the quality you paid for. Not every piece needs to be an heirloom, but the right piece can really tie a room—or a whole home—together.

Choose Pieces You Love

Some high-use pieces will have to be replaced over the years, but some (like a quality dining table) might stay with the family for decades. Be sure to avoid impulse buys based on fads or current trends, to ensure that the pieces you buy will be something you’ll still love well into the future. Take your time; if you have to wait to find or to purchase the one you want, that’s ok. Better that than buying a dining table twice.

About the Author: Matt Grimm works with RST Brands. At RST Brands, we design solutions that make life simpler and more beautiful.From organizational tools to indoor and outdoor furniture, we put the science and soul of great design into everything we make.


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