For some of us, furniture is a thing we sit on, or throw stuff in, or lay down upon. It?s not something we spend a lot of time thinking about. In fact, recent research shows the 47% of us haven?t updated the look in our home any time in the last five years, despite the fact that, according to a HomeGoods survey, only 20% of us are actually happy with the way things look.
That might be changing, though. Household furnishings are predicted to reach a demand of $34.9 billion by 2021, according to the Freedonia Group, and the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that furniture sales were $9.51 billion in June of 2017, up from $9.27 billion in June of the year before.
Durability and functionality are of course at the top of the list when we think about what we want from our furniture: a recent survey of 2,000 furniture customers found 95.1% of them were expecting what they?d bought to last for many years. And for people who buy wood furniture, the expectation is that it will last at least 15 years. But our furniture is more than just functional. Of people surveyed, 72.7% say that their furniture reflects their personality, and 67% believed that you could tell a lot about a person from their furniture. Our contemporary furniture, classic look, or handmade wood furniture is not just holding us up: it?s also making us happy or making us sad, and it?s telling other people about us! With all that, and with the volume of buying and selling going on, what should we be looking for in our furniture? Here are a few tips:
- Design : We like different things. The most popular looks in America are for home decor are traditional, following by modern, then eclectic, country, and finally global. But within those broad looks, there are certain principles of interior design that hold true whether you?re looking for handmade wood furniture or a sleek and modern steel. You want furniture that looks inviting, and remember that repeating one or more elements within a space will tie everything together in terms of design. This might be color, texture, or building material.
- Make the Most of Space Even if you live in a large house, you?ve probably got a room where space is at a premium. Some companies specialize in pieces that are adaptable or designed for small spaces. Be sure to measure everything carefully, including the room you want the furniture to go in, before you buy anything. Remember that a tight squeeze never looks good. It?s better to have a slightly less good table that fits then a gorgeous one that looks as if you wedged it there with a pry-bar! Even better, you could get custom made furniture, such as handmade wood furniture, to fix your space requirements precisely.
- Be Timeless Trendy can be great, but trendy often becomes dated and ugly long before you?re ready to part with it! Consider what you like, but also look for something that won?t look silly in five to ten years. If your home looks like a fad, it?s likely you?ll be unhappy with it soon. This doesn?t mean you have to go full on Victorian classic or do everything in beige: just aim for simple and sophisticated, and use traditional colors. Neutrals are great, and classic dark colors like navy are a good complement to both modern furniture and handcrafted furniture.
- You Can Mix Your Styles This might come as a surprise. You could be thinking you have to keep the same look, so you need your handmade wood furniture made to look identical everywhere, or a plastic chair in the dining room means you need contemporary furniture throughout. But mixing styles is perfectly acceptable. This is an eclectic look that can work just fine so long as you match other elements in the room, such as color, fabrics, or textures.
You spend a lot of time in your home, and your overall happiness is affected by the way it looks. More than that, your living space is saying things about you to everyone who sees it. Make sure your space is saying the things you want.