Your Trusty Guide to Interior Styling and Buying Furniture Online
Furniture plays a leading role in the interior design of your home. In essence, the existence of quality furniture is what brings original, creative and functional interior design to life.
Interior design is mainly focused on the way in which furniture is arranged throughout the room. Homeowners looking to establish their own individual style in a particular room regularly use furniture in diverse ways.
Often, furniture assumes the role of a centrepiece which other items in the room are placed around in order to achieve the designer’s desired look. For this reason, furniture is widely regarded as one of the main tools in interior design.
When it comes to purchasing new furniture for your home, it can be tempting to simply engage an interior designer who will do all the planning for you. But what most people do not realise is that all you need to do is choose a couple of quality pieces of furniture for your home to transform it into one of style, comfort and prestige. All without the added financial burden of hiring a professional.
Whether your living space is a cosy three-room HDB flat, an immaculate condominium or a spacious landed property, when it comes to styling your home, certain elements in interior design remain the same.
A few standard pieces of furniture can be found in every home both big and small. They include the fundamentals like the sofa or the dining table. Then there are pieces that are not absolutely essential but always good to have like an ottoman or recliner armchair. While not every piece is going to have equal use in the household, it is always good to have them even if they might not seem that important and you would rather use the space for something else.
Just imagine the horror of inviting people over to your house, only to realise there are not enough extra seats to accommodate all of them. You do not want to underestimate the convenience of having a side table around when you entertain guests either.
Our wide-ranging guide to interior styling will tell you everything you need to know about the furniture essentials for every space, in addition to advice on how to select and shop for the perfect designer furniture for your home, without all the stress.
Furniture Essentials for Every Living Space
Whether you are moving into a new home or looking to update your existing place, you probably need a couple of obligatory furniture pieces to complete the space. With so much empty space, it can be overwhelming to think about the pieces you may have overlooked. Although having to start from scratch can also make customising the place to suit your interior style a lot easier.
Find out what is needed in each room of your new home to create a cosy and conducive space ideal for living, working and engaging with family and friends.
Stepping into an empty living room with nothing but white walls and cast emptiness can be a very daunting experience. With all the available choices, not only in terms of furniture, but also ornamentations and other accessories, it is not always easy to know what to use for your space. Moreover, individuals usually have specific preferences when it comes to aesthetics, not to mention differences in square footages mean that not every living room is able to accommodate the same type of furniture. Nonetheless, there are a few furniture essentials we believe can and should be integrated into every living room.
Places to sit, clever storage, table tops to hold your miscellaneous items and a place for your television. Each piece of furniture has specific characteristics or qualities, which will determine whether it is consistent with the cohesive living room design.
Often regarded as the centrepiece in any living room, the sofa is not only the largest and one of the most expensive pieces you will purchase, it is also where you will spend many hours resting after a long day. Because everything else in the room is centred around the sofa, it naturally becomes the ideal starting point for your furniture shopping and will determine the choices you make for the rest of your space, in terms of design, function and cost.
Your first consideration is functionality as even the best-looking sofa will be deemed useless if it does not fit its purpose. Take note of things like how many people you want to be able to seat on this sofa on a regular basis.
If you have a large family, a sectional might be just what you need. But if you live alone or with your partner in a smaller apartment, a compact three-seater is likely to be the more sensible choice. Ideally, you also want a sofa that is stylish and can serve as the perfect spot for a rainy day spent binge-watching the latest dramas on Netflix.
Keep in mind that the sofa you choose can affect the overall style of your living room so you want to put some thought into the possibility of establishing a stylish and functional living room around this piece.
You will want to think about this carefully as the sofa you choose can make or break the space. Apart from your personal style, you also want to evaluate how well it fits with the size of your living room and whether it complements the other existing pieces.
Practical Coffee Table
Next up is the coffee table. Drinks, desserts, books, flowers, electronics and other knick-knacks. The faithful coffee table is often the centrepiece of a multipurpose living room that is crucial for both form and function.
Given that coffee tables come in a range of shapes and sizes, you need to identify the styles that will interact best with your living room. For example, oval coffee tables are generally suited for smaller rooms since they make the room appear more spacious. However, a coffee table must have other functions other than simply looking good. To this end, you need to consider the purpose of the table.
If you are looking for a coffee table that holds more than the mere essentials, consider one with extra compartments, cabinets or slots for you to store larger items like books and magazines. Features like casters and wheels are useful if you want to roll the table aside for extra room. Depending on what you intend to use it for, some table surfaces can also be electronically adjusted for working or eating. Given that the coffee table is often positioned in the centre of your living room, it is more than just a place for your magazines or remote controls, serving as a timeless piece that highlights your sense of elegance and style.
On top of that, a coffee table is also seen as the heart of your living room that ties all the individual elements together, making sure that everything is in sync.
Snug Recliner Armchair
Call it a reading chair or a recliner armchair – this is something every living room needs for two simple reasons.
First of all, for a perfect place to curl and enjoy some alone time after a long day in the office. If you fancy a more private and relaxed space within a quiet area, try having the piece in a cosy corner of your living room. This way, you can properly rest your whole body as you immerse yourself in some light reading or simply to clear your mind of any stressful thoughts.
Second, for flexible seating. Recliner armchairs are a fantastic way to provide more seating for guests in a living room.
Depending on how much space you have, the chair can be a sleek armless ensemble or a lavish traditional-inspired design. And if unsure of what style to go with, some recliners also come as part of a set with your sofa, so this is something worth considering. Feel free to choose something you love but just make sure it is a good fit for your room both size-wise and style-wise.
Ottomans are a brilliant creation due to their clever design and life-saving functionality. It is an efficient way to put away things in the living room you do not want lying around while doubling as a footstool, drink table, dessert tray and more. Ottomans are likewise great for maximising seating space. Their lightweight nature means they can be transformed from a table into a chair for when guests arrive, and then back again. The piece is regularly paired with an armchair, recliners or sofas. It may in one of these situations, fulfil a dual role as a side table.
While ottomans can be found in a number of shapes and sizes, round ottomans are overwhelmingly favoured as they bring visual depth to a home décor. They lend a sense of softness to a rigid environment consisting mainly of square and rectangular pieces of furniture. They also serve as good common focal points.
So, if you want something that embodies both comfort and functionality, round ottomans are the right way to go. Although all kinds of ottomans are known to be equally snuggly and versatile pieces to add to your living room.
As the space that strikes the first and most enduring impression on your guests, a cluttered living room unarguably makes for an unimpressive home atmosphere.
Having a display shelf can help remove clutter from your room. It is where you showcase items that would otherwise not belong anywhere else in the living room. Think books, decorative ornaments, picture frames, and trophies. Not only can adding a shelving unit beautify your living room interior by displaying your collection of unique and beautiful ornaments, it also helps to put the unsightly clutter away in an orderly fashion.
There are many options for a shelving unit, from a bookshelf to a tower shelf or even a wall-mounted shelf. A display bookshelf in particular can be a great place to show off your prized possessions. This type of furniture can help you stay organised, locating the book you need almost instantly. Incorporating a display bookshelf is also a good way to maximise empty wall spaces in a functional manner.
Multipurpose TV Console
Like the sofa, the TV is also used as the focal point of the living room in many homes. So, unless you intend to mount yours on a wall, an entertainment unit remains a living room must-have as far as furniture essentials go.
The console table is an important part of a living room’s décor. It is a versatile piece of furniture that can be used to showcase your home theatre setup and game console, but that can also be a display space for decorations.
You want an entertainment unit that comes with ample drawer cabinets to hide those unsightly wires and cables as well as to store your remote controls and other electronic devices. An ideal TV unit should place the TV at a good height and angle such that you get a comfortable view of the screen from where you are seated.
Aside from functionality, TV units are available in a variety of stylish designs. Intriguing forms can make a vivid visual impact on your living room by providing the space with the ideal finishing touch.
A bedroom is not complete without the classic bedroom furniture staples. There is the obvious bed, the functional yet stylish dressing table and at least one nightstand. That said, how well the furniture and other decorative elements in your room meshes together has an impact on how comfortable and relaxed you feel in your bedroom.
Making the right furniture choices for your sleeping space essentially provides your bedroom with the much-needed oomph required to transform it into an inviting and attractive sanctuary that you would want to retreat into after a long day.
The bed is the centrepiece of every bedroom and should therefore be given the attention it deserves. This means taking your time when it comes to choosing a bed for your room since it plays a very important role in shaping your bedroom’s décor.
If you already have a bed that you are satisfied with, the n by all means continue enjoying it even after you move into your home. However, a new home could also present a new opportunity to level up your mattress game.
Upgrading you bed involves either purchasing a larger-sized bed or investing in a higher quality mattress, or both. Finding the right mattress can make all the difference when it comes to your sleep quality,
The size of your bed can make a significant effect on your overall comfort and freedom to move around in your sleep. But make sure not to go too large as this can take up significant space meant for other bedroom pieces, whilst also hindering your mobility.
Aesthetically, a bed frame paired with a chic headboard can lend a splash of personality to your bedroom interior. Furthermore, it serves as a very much needed back support whenever you cosy up with a great book.
Having a chic bed frame is always a great way to put a twist on your bedroom design but avoid anything that could put a dent in the overall décor. Complete the look with some extra cosy pillows and fluffy quilt comforters.
Complementary Bedside Table
The bedside table is a loyal mainstay in most bedroom settings. It is the anchor to your bed that enables it to blend seamlessly into the bedroom interior, completely in sync with the design of the bed.
Whilst the bedside table is traditionally matched to the bed frame, and purchased as a set, feel free to channel your inner eccentricity by opting for something in another style or colour. The bedside table also happens to be the perfect spot for your phone while you sleep. For this reason, they are usually positioned just beside your bed so that you can grab your frequently used items like your phone or glasses without much effort. It is also the perfect spot for displaying any decorative pieces and other beautiful ornaments you might have. A simple lamp, alarm clock, potted cactus or small photo frame will undoubtedly add character to your room.
Before buying a bedside table, you want to think about what your purpose for it is. Because bedside tables can differ widely in size, shape and function, you need to take into account the purpose of the table, the size of your room and how much storage you need.
A nightstand is ideal if you are only looking to place a few essential items like your phone or small knick-knacks. But for bulkier items such as books and magazines, a bedside cabinet complete with small chests of drawers and cabinets would be more appropriate.
Ideally, you want a nightstand on each side of the bed for a balanced appearance although those who sleep alone tend to make do with just one.
Glamorous Dressing Table
When it comes to dolling yourself up, a dressing table complete with a stool and tall mirror is the perfect spot for keeping you comfortable and focused as you fuss over yourself. That said, the dressing table is more than just a place for you to enhance your outer beauty. It Is an ideal place to store your cosmetics after applying makeup. You can also use the dresser drawers to organise your other beauty essentials and toiletries in an orderly manner so that the next time you get ready, you know automatically where to reach for the items you need.
If need to, a dresser can also double as a desk, or extra surface area for your files and documents when your desk is cluttered.
Next to your bed, your wardrobe is perhaps the second most essential piece of furniture in your bedroom. This is due to its role in keeping your bedroom tidy and clutter-free.
Wardrobes are predominantly found in two styles – sliding door and open door wardrobes. What you decide to go will depend on your available space, budget and the number of clothes you intend to hang in it.
Sliding door wardrobes are designed to glide horizontally from left to right and vice versa. Because of their sideways sliding mechanism, no extra space is taken up on either side of the wardrobe. They also provide abundant space for just about everything. With a wardrobe this accommodating, the need for additional storage in other areas of the house is reduced. Moreover, these wardrobes are as good to look at as they are functional, lending a touch of class and elegance to any space. They can be designed to complement the general style and colour palette for your room.
Additionally, the wardrobe can be enhanced with a mirrored sliding door. If you have a smaller room, this not only saves you precious space meant for other bedroom essentials, but also serves a functional purpose by reflecting areas of the room to make it appear larger.
Open door wardrobes, on the other hand, are the traditional choice. The wardrobe mechanism involves a shutter that is attached to the closet using hinges. Their outward mechanism also means that you are offered a complete view of the inside contents when you open both sides of the doors, which allows you to make efficient and stress-free decisions on what to wear each morning.
Having hinged doors also provides the flexibility of incorporating additional home storage solutions such as hanging an over-the-door organiser, installing hooks or mounting a utility rack on the inside of the door. These wardrobes are designed to open up at any angle. Consequently, they are conventionally utilised for wardrobes of any shape ranging from square, to L-shaped, triangular and even pentagonal corner wardrobes.
Because wardrobes are usually something purchased once for the long-term rather than regularly updated to keep up with style trends, when buying a wardrobe, ensure you choose one that can hold your items and fit stylishly into your room.
Even though a couch or chair is not always seen as a bedroom essential, these pieces add style and colour to your bedroom. This chair can range from a petite vanity stool to an office chair or even a generous vintage find that would not be out of place in a living room.
Having a nice, cushy chair in the bedroom means another place to relax and unwind after a long day. It also makes the perfect spot to finish up any last-minute projects or read a book before you turn in for the night, especially given that a bed is not the best place for office work as the body may begin to associate bedtime with work stress. Not to mention, having a chair in your room also mean your friends and family can rest on it while waiting for you to pick out your clothes or put on your makeup. Another reason to have comfy chairs in the bedroom is that it allows you a proper place to sit down as you put on your shoes and socks, or sort through your purse or handbag before heading out to begin a brand new day.
The dining room lies at the heart of your house. It is a place where the family gathers after a long day to share a hearty meal, and where they relax and spend quality time together on a warm evening. However, many modern home designs tend to integrate a dining area within a large open plan space, which often also consists of the kitchen and living room area. Under these circumstances, it is up to the homeowner to establish a 'dining area' within a larger, multifunctional space. This can be quite a challenge given that it not only involves selecting the right furniture and lighting but also the way they are arranged in order to achieve a 'room within a room' effect. It can be difficult to create a warm and inviting ambience in these open plan spaces – that is where your dining room furniture comes in. But keep in mind that sprucing up a dining room goes beyond simply buying a few chairs and a table.
Creating an alluring space requires the inculcation of a few essential elements. In particular, a dining table, dining chairs and storage space are all requisites of a proper dining room, where friends and family can come together for a good time.
Classic Dining Table
There is no way you can properly dine without a table. In fact, this is the numero uno when it comes to dining room essentials. Without a dining table, where would you have an empty surface to tuck into those meals?
While dining room tables are available in numerous sizes, styles, and materials, it is important to go for something that can accommodate your daily needs and not just a lavish, over-the-top dinner party.
The size of the room is often what dictates the size of the dining table. With that in mind, you want to consider how many people are in your household, and how frequently you have guests over. A two-seater dining table is perfect for a singleton while an extra-large sized table ensures that an extended family of eight have sufficient surface space to wine and dine in comfort. But what happens if you do not have extra seats for your guests? In this context, an expandable dining table makes room for your guests in a pinch, and is a practical option for those who do not require a bigger table in their day-to-day. Otherwise, an outdoor garden table should also do the trick.
In terms of shape, you have a choice of oval, round, square or the classic rectangular option.
If your goal is something timeless that never goes out of style, a rectangular dining table should be your first choice. Alternatively, softer edges are known to lend a more modernist feel. Square or rectangular shaped tables tend to hold symmetrical chair arrangements with the same number of chairs on each opposing side. This balance can be affected when an extra chair is added or when a space is left empty.
So, if the proportions are right for your room, a round table can be incredibly versatility, allowing you to alter the number of seats around the table with minimal impact on the overall aesthetics. The only difference is having more or less space in between each person. That said, since many new homes are without a separate dining area, you may need to put extra thought into planning the space for your furnishings to complement one another perfectly. A good starting point is to consider how much room you would like the dining table to occupy.
Selecting the dining table is crucial given how often it is used, and the visual impact it has on any space. Along with the size and shape of a dining table, you also want to consider style, to give your dining room and home a unique point of view.
Consistent Dining Chairs
A mistake people often make is not putting enough attention into selecting the dining room chairs. Not only should they be stylish and complement your dining table and interior décor, you also need to consider if they will sit your entire family in optimum comfort.
When deciding on what chair is right for you, prioritise what is most important to you, be it the quality of materials and finish, level of comfort or durability.
If you entertain often, something eye-catching and cushy like a velvet upholstered chair is a fantastic choice for guests. If you have kids, you will probably want a chair made of leather material as these are easy to clean and can endure some wear and tear. The chairs and table do not necessarily need to be part of a set, though. If anything, the preferred styling approach is to have chairs that mesh well with your table but not be exactly the same.
Matching the pieces of furniture has to do with establishing common elements within them. These shared elements can be tied to a certain style period, the colour undertones, the upholstery, the degree of formality or even just having identical legs. Think a marble table paired with bright yellow chairs that have matching steel sled legs.
Regardless of what kind of dining chairs you decide to go with, always bear in mind comfort as fit and finish or anything else is irrelevant if you do not actually want to sit on the chairs. But no matter which style you decide on, it is always important to prioritise chairs that actually provide users with peak comfort.
Accessible Buffet Hutch
Even the largest dining tables can sometimes run out of space.
A buffet hutch is a versatile piece that not only creates additional table surface for serving guests the extra dishes and cutlery during a grandiose reunion dinner, but also general storage for your china, tableware and linens.
A buffet hutch is a great multipurpose piece of dining room furniture that adds to your dining experience. If you have the space, a stylish buffet can make your dining room feel more complete. On top, you can display small artwork, set up a drink station or add an orange table lamp to create an ambience dining room. They also offer plenty of storage space underneath, often featuring a mix of cabinets and drawers. On a regular day, the concealed storage can be used to stash away extra crockery, linens and servings trays meant for serving guests. On special occasions, buffet hutches can serve a dual role to place food, drinks or tableware that do not fit on your main dining table so that guests can easily help themselves to what they want.
Role of Furniture in Interior Design
Whether you are an expert in the field or just someone who recently developed a keen interest in everything interior design-related, chances are you would have picked up on the integral role that furniture plays in designing a room.
A room marked with ill-fitting furniture can only make for an unpleasant sight. Not every furniture style is going to complement a specific room. In fact, the intended purpose of certain furniture might not even sit well in the room where they are currently situated. These instances are only one of several reasons that emphasise the definite need for you to select and procure the right furniture for every room in your house.
Original and creative interior design requires both stylish and practical furniture. Some of the most innovative yet functional interior designs are known to benefit from the strategic placement of furniture throughout the space.
Furniture generally serves as a focal point with which other items in the room are centred around with the intention of bringing out the desired look and feel of a living space. In that sense, furniture is considered a prominent element in interior design.
Here, we spotlight the fundamentals that make furniture a central feature in interior design and explain why they should take precedence when it comes time to give your interiors a facelift.
1. Furniture promotes function
What are some of the must-have pieces to design a living room? What about the dining area? Before picking out the furniture for your upcoming design project, you want to give some thought to the intended purpose of a specific space. This will give you an idea of the furnishings you need most.
In essence, the combination of sofas, chairs, tables, beds, and other furniture help to indicate the intended purpose of a given space within your property.
For example, if you are planning a room designated for entertaining guests, you will naturally incorporate plenty of seating into the room design. But if your goal is to create a conducive working space, turn that area into an ergonomic corner with office desks and chairs where you can perform important tasks with ease.
Even the arrangement of these pieces of furniture can determine whether they are fully utilised in a given space. Putting the right furniture in the correct places can have a major impact on how you use and see your space. In the office, having sofas in the lounge area can be seen as a way to encourage collaboration among employees. Sofas in your living room also makes it the perfect spot for entertaining guests. Always take advantage of the fact that furniture can make for a spectacular focal point. Pick the one piece in your head that you believe clearly highlights the room's intended purpose and centre your design around it.
Make sure your other furnishings and decorative elements are positioned in a way that draws the eyes to that particular spot.
2. Furniture establishes balance
The basic principle of design is balance. The idea is to make everything feel equal in terms of their visual weight or appeal. Visual weight has to do with achieving balance in a room. Imagine how you would feel if all your furniture were to be shifted to a similar side of the room.
The first type of balance is symmetry. This is achieved when the space is divided into two even sides that reflect one another. For instance, placing an even number of chairs on both sides of the table. That said, having too many objects or replicating this concept throughout the space can make your home look boring so you want to exercise moderation.
The second type is asymmetry. With this sort of visual weight, items are balanced without having any extra duplication. For instance, to balance out your living room, you want to keep a sofa on one side and two chairs on the other side of the room.
The best way to ensure visual balance is to simply rely on your eyes. Think you might have found a feasible arrangement that works? Step back for a few minutes and evaluate how the room looks in its entirety. That small shift in perspective should suffice in giving you an idea of whether one side appears to be weighted down compared to the other so that you can make any necessary adjustments.
A pro tip when dealing with several large and hefty pieces of furniture is to stagger their arrangement throughout the space to prevent one side from bogging down the other. Where possible, place larger items alongside smaller ones to introduce multiple points of visual interest.
3. Furniture enhances flow of movement
On the topic of furniture arrangement, in addition to their role in defining function, these groupings also have a say in whether your friends and family are able to move through the space with ease.
In interior design, furniture and functionality work together in the space planning, where the allocation and division of interior space and furniture arrangement is decided based on the amount of space available.
Space planning involves circulation. Those who have attempted to squeeze their way out of an extremely cramped seating area will know the importance of leaving enough physical and visual breathing room. There is hence a need to ensure that guests are given an adequate amount of space for them to move freely. It also makes planning the space around the furniture as important as arranging the furniture itself. The goal in here is to maintain sufficient pathways between pieces so that people can navigate the room freely without bumping into each other or tripping over furniture. And in case you were wondering how much space to leave, there are some guidelines you can follow.
The first objective is to ensure the flow of traffic throughout the room by maintaining a minimum of two pathways in a room. To move about with ease, you need around 70 cm to 120 cm of width for major traffic routes and at least 60 cm of width for minor routes. So, keep the space clear of any bulky pieces of furniture that could potentially obstruct the course.
Ideally, you also want to arrange seating into clustered groupings in order to facilitate conversation, with the flow of movement centred around the respective seating groups and not through them. It is likewise recommended that you leave a gap of about three inches between furniture and the walls.
The same goes with making sure that you leave enough room for people to navigate between seats and tables. Furniture should be spaced at minimum 75 cm apart, with about half that distance between your coffee table and couch so everything is within reach.
4. Furniture defines beauty
Beyond its practicality and ability to provide comfort, furniture also has the power to make or break the overall look and feel of a space. Your furniture must always align with the existing décor, layout, and style of a room. Overlooking this principle will result in a disorderly visual design. Just imagine stepping into a room adorned with traditional architectural details and material finishes, only to be rudely greeted by a collection of modern-looking furniture. For this reason, most people centre their decoration around their furniture and inculcate accessories that add to its appearance. That is because quality furniture is the foundation of interior design.
While ornamental details certainly enhance a space, the absence of proper furniture means it will only remain a non-functional room. Maintaining a delicate balance between style, function and aesthetics therefore requires careful consideration in the choice of furniture. The right furniture can play a leading role and greatly transform the available space in any room by lending the place a lasting appeal.
Ideally, furniture should also be used in conjunction with lighting, decoration, curtains, and flooring to achieve a striking overall appearance. Here, the aesthetic harmony between furniture, artistic detail and light ultimately brings about the dynamic design of the room. It does not matter whether the furniture used in the interior design of a room is simple, classic or overtly modern in appearance, the result should be a harmonious integration of the different elements to form a well-arranged whole. That said, choosing the right style of furniture can be tricky. With an abundance of unique styles to pick and choose from, the first step is to establish the look you want for each room and purchase the furniture that best brings the design to life.
Well-fitting furniture is after all the defining interior design element that weaves together all the different components into an aesthetically-pleasing room.
5. Furniture provides comfort
A well-thought-out interior essentially improves the quality of life enjoyed by its occupants in terms of how comfortable and relaxed they feel at home.
Since each person has their distinct style, requirements and preferences, the furniture you decide on has to not only meet your expectations for comfort and convenience but also be able to express your personality and quirky sense of style. What this means is that each piece of furniture you choose needs to not only complement one another and add to the interior design, it also has to be able to make the room feel comfortable without overpowering it. Ideally, you want to choose furniture that can help you make the most of every room in your house and increase your productivity. Making clever use of furniture to create an aesthetically-pleasing room for greater efficiency and utmost enjoyment is the defining trait of a well-designed home.
A recommender interior designer in Singapore serves to enhance and bring to life the mental image of how you want each room in your home to look, feel and function, much like how it relies on logical use of the space to conjure up spectacular room designs. The use of high-quality, well-proportioned furniture situated in fitting areas of the home can help simplify the organisation of basic elements and make it a lot easier to effectively use the space in any room. The convenience brought by the right furniture will ideally bring you a more effortless and stress-free lifestyle.
As mentioned, the right furniture in a given space can help you achieve numerous goals with minimal obstacles. With the right furniture, you can seek respite as soon as you step into your home. Selecting the right furniture for your space hence rewards you with great comfort.
Introduction to Interior Design Styles
Are you able to tell the difference between traditional and contemporary interior design? And what exactly is minimalist style in interior design? As mentioned, to find the right furniture for your home, you need to first identify which design direction to take. But with a wide variety of unique design styles to choose from, trying to figure out which style works best for you can be an overwhelming task. Moreover, it is possible to mix and match elements across several styles to come up with a desired look.
A great way to begin an interior design project is to read up on each of the styles and understand how one style is different from the other. It is important that you are able to identify what type of style or colour scheme you want for your interior. That is why it helps to have a good gauge of the various design styles, as this makes it easier for you to pinpoint your style preferences, which may very well turn out to be a blend of two or more styles.
Let us run through the most prominent interior styles so you can pick which ones you feel the closest connection to.
Contemporary style is at times used interchangeably with modern design, save for a few distinctions between the two. Compared to its modern counterpart, contemporary style tends to draw inspiration from multiple time periods, often resulting in an eclectic environment. Sleek, simple furniture and decoration accompanied by intricate moulding details on walls and windows are some common features found in a contemporary-style house. The style also borrows elements from minimalist home design, as seen in how its layout regularly boasts a spacious, open plan concept with barely any clutter in sight.
Furnishings take on a sharp, angular appearance and are covered with simple fabric upholstery made of fleece, cotton and linen. You will find sofas, chairs and stools in neutral tones like black, white and grey, without any ornamentations or patterns. This style of furniture has legs that are exposed so you will not find any trims or tassels, skirts or fringes on them. Meanwhile materials like metal and glass are commonly integrated into contemporary pieces due to their alluring reflective properties. Contemporary design is an ultimate representation of the unique blend in house décor styles. Because this distinctive approach to interior design incorporates details from numerous time periods, it manages to establish a versatile environment suited to stand the test of time.
That said, what is considered to be contemporary style will most likely evolve over the course of the century.
2. Mid-century Modern
Simplicity is present in every facet of mid-century modern design, including furniture. This style is commonly associated with being sleek. Consistent with the focus on minimalism, clarity and a lack of excessive decoration or detailing, modern design also aims to keep clutter or the use of ornamentations to the lowest. Modern-inspired furniture have smooth, clean lines, with a neutral colour palette consisting mainly of whites, creams and beiges. That said, mid-century homes do offer bright pops of colours namely reds, oranges and teal through things like pillows, curtains and rugs. Also used in abundance are natural materials in particular timber which can be found in fixtures such as wooden wall panels.
There is essentially a great deal to experiment with when it comes to creating a distinct mid-century modern look that is yours sincerely but if you are interested in putting a twist on your design, consider inculcating aspects of the eclectic or boho styles into your creation.
The minimalist style is all about simplicity. Whether it is the shape and design of furniture or the prominent colour scheme and decorative elements applied to the space, the mantra 'less is more' is prevalent in minimalism. This form of design can be seen as a more simplified version of modern and Scandinavian interiors. The essence of the design is not embodied through details but rather, through natural materials and essential objects where the tactical arrangement of these elements is to ensure that everything is in place for a reason.
Minimalist spaces tend to favour a more subdued colour palette. The rooms are monochromatic, usually in soft neutral tones. You generally find shades of black, white and grey in a minimalist interior albeit with a splash of accent colours.
Furniture is known for its clean lines and scant details, often doubling as storage, as seen in ottomans where the seats can be opened up to access the space underneath. The lighting also does wonders to bring this style to life. In places where natural light is scarce, floor lamps are more often than not present.
In general, this design can be applied to almost all decorative styles as it focuses on eliminating clutter and making sure everything in a space has a purpose.
Scandinavian design style adopts a fully white colour palette with hints of the natural environment present in the form of namely wood, fur and indoor plants. Gloomier colour palettes have also gained traction in the recent years, as gleaned in the occasional grey or black feature walls.
Much like the minimalist style, the objective of this design is to achieve purpose and reduce clutter in spaces, even though texture also takes on a more prominent role in Scandinavian interiors.
Other features of Scandinavian design include spaciousness, natural lighting, lack of ornaments and fully functional furniture.
Scandinavian furniture design is simple and low-key, often resembling a work of art. These pieces generally feature intriguing lines of which sculptural influence is widely perceptible. Floorings are light in colour, with a similar colour palette applied throughout the home.
While walls are usually kept entirely white, they sometimes come in softer greyish shades. Any splashes of colour are likely to be inculcated through the use of art pieces, rugs, cushions or the lone piece of furniture.
You might want to throw in a few classic Scandinavian accessories such as the vase, candle holder, marble accessories and abstract prints to enhance the space. Large pendant lighting often works wonders too.
Classical detailing, lavish furnishings and an abundance of decorations are the defining characteristics of traditional design. Other elements of the style include dark wood finishes, striking colour schemes and the heavy use of textures and curvy edges.
Traditional tables and chairs are constructed from dark woods and boast exquisite carvings and cursive details.
Window curtains typically come in a wide range of patterns from florals to stripes and plaids. They are also chosen for their scalloped edges, tassel fringe trimmings and elegant drapes held in place by tassel ropes. In terms of the traditional colour palette, soft and muted tones are consistently embraced for their ability to create a warm and soothing feeling throughout the home. This is often contrasted with huge crystal chandeliers meant to illuminate the space together with reflective candlestick holders that add lustre to the shimmering warm light. A few detailed vases with fresh or artificial flowers and inanimate nature paintings also serve well as decorative ornaments in the décor.
If you enjoy an elegant blend of modern and traditional, then a transitional style décor is your pick. The design pulls together a range of individual styles to create a timeless aesthetic that is truly one of its kind.
Given the combination of both old and new styles in transitional design, furniture either have clean, polished lines or possess curved detailing with delicate carvings, if not a combination of both.
Chairs, sofas and tables tend to embody both masculine and feminine traits to give the space a powerful yet inviting ambience. Although transitional furniture by and large features significantly less decorative accessories compared to their traditional counterparts. Most of the furniture is upholstered with striking patterns and textured materials like velvety white fabric, soft leather and tufted cords. Lighting such as wall sconces, pendants and floor lamps are designed similarly to the furniture, with their smooth, straight lines and curvy edges.
Buying Furniture Online or Instore: The Good and the Bad
Now that you know what furniture you want for your home and are set on the interior design style for your new place, the next decision would be to decide on how you want to purchase the pieces to furnish your home. To this end, you have a choice between buying furniture online or making a trip to a brick-and-mortar store to pick up the furniture you want for your home.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of buying furniture over the Internet, however, it is not uncommon to have doubts about how the entire online shopping process works and perhaps question why you even thought about shopping for your furniture online in the first place. Add to the fact that you are likely to hear all sorts of opinions from all types of people on the topic of online shopping.
These people are often either trying to convince you of the general untrustworthiness of online retailers, or the ones that cannot seem to stop raving about their amazing experiences with shopping online.
So, if you are faced with the conundrum of whether to buy your furniture online or in-store, we have put together a list of the good and the downside commonly associated with buying furniture online, which will hopefully help you in making your decision.
The Good: You Can Do it Anywhere
Nothing trumps the feeling of being able to shop in your pajamas whilst curled up in bed. For many, buying furniture online is often a walk in the park. You get to access the websites just about anywhere at anytime of the day. This could be during your daily commute to work, whenever you require a break from looking at one too many proposals, right up to the evening as you are waiting for your bus home. By the end of the day, you should have everything you want in your shopping cart. That way, you effectively eliminate the need for long trips to your nearest furniture store. All you need to do is simply hit the ‘Buy now’ button and the online merchant will work to fulfil your order.
The Good: You Get Better Discounts and Offers
Online shopping also means that you are more likely to chance upon special offers and discounts on items purchased exclusively from furniture websites. These usually come in the form of voucher codes.
A reason for this is because online stores tend to attract a larger customer base and can hence afford to provide better discounts and concessions on their offerings. So, before making a furniture purchase online, you might want to do a quick search to see if you can get your hands on any promotional codes or special discounts offered by that particular online store as this could very well lead to significant savings of up to 10% or even more. A good starting point is to look up the company's social media page since this is where they usually post any last-minute discount codes.
The Good: You Have Access to a Wider Range of Items
It is not uncommon for online stores to offer a wider variety of the offered products online compared to their physical locations. This is due to the space constraints associated with displaying furniture in stores or showrooms. Meanwhile, there is unlimited screen space available online to list just about every item.
In some cases, a style of furniture which you might not have at that time included in your list of requirements while planning, ends up catching your attention and you find it to be a better fit for your home. In this instance, shopping for furniture online essentially introduces you to an abundance of options that far exceeds what a brick-and-mortar store has to offer.
The Good: You are Generally Allowed Purchase Returns
You might not always need it, but it helps that online retailers tend to offer a returns and exchange policy that allows you to send back or replace a piece of furniture that is faulty or simply does not feel right. This is perhaps one of the best reasons to buy furniture online.
With this policy, you can request for a refund or exchange on a damaged piece or one that does not match your interior properly.
The Downside: You May Not Get What You Expect
Unlike shopping for furniture over the web, when you browse in-store, you get to have a feel of the item, test the drawers, try out the sofa and only buy if you are completely satisfied with the piece. This means there is a chance that something you see online could turn up looking different from what you expected.
It does not matter how much you adore the product or even if it looks as pictured, you have to prepare yourself for the possibility that the furniture might arrive at your doorstep with damage, if not missing a few vital parts. Moreover, the colours can sometimes be far from what is published online.
The Downside: You Trust Unsubstantiated Reviews
So, you read reviews praising the structural integrity of a particular piece and decide to place an order. Unfortunately, after using it, you find the furniture quality to be rather underwhelming. This is why you need to be careful about what you read online. What works well for other users may not necessarily live up to your expectations and you might end up disappointed with a purchase that other people seem to be very satisfied with.
Furthermore, it is not unusual for reviews to be infiltrated with an unusual number of positive feedback or ratings for a piece of furniture. This is often the result of a business encouraging customers to leave a review in exchange for perks such as a discount on their next order.
The Downside: You Pay Exorbitant Delivery Charges
But even in situations whereby standard freight is free, the total delivery charge may not include services like white-glove delivery where delivery agents bring the furniture inside the house for you or assemble the piece if required.
Tips For Buying Furniture Online
Most of us have heard our fair share of stories on online shopping going horribly wrong. But while there absolutely are shortcomings associated with buying furniture online, there are also easy ways to help you circumvent these negative experiences.
With just a few easy tricks, you are ensured a high-quality piece of furniture that matches both your needs and expectations – at the right price.
Read on for our top tips on buying furniture online.
Know What You Need
Before purchasing a furniture, you need to first determine the purpose for the piece of furniture and know exactly which piece is it that you intend to obtain or replace your old one at home with.
Is your sofa falling apart? Have your drawers sustained one too many nicks and chips from the constant slamming and shutting? Consider these questions before jumping into the process of looking for that particular piece of furniture.
Before embarking on your furniture shopping journey, make sure you know exactly what you need and want with these three prerequisite steps.
1. Find Your Aesthetic
The first step is all about having a good idea of what you want while not limiting yourself to those few options.
Not sure what your preferred look is? Have a look online for spaces that catch your eye and take note of what styles, aesthetics and decorations speak best to you.
A quick web search will indicate if you lean towards sleek minimalism, traditional chic or perhaps fancy an eclectic mid-century vibe. If furnishing an entire room, the shades and tones of your favourite pieces can help inspire the colour scheme. From there, you may begin the process of eliminating the things you do not want and bookmarking the type of items that you deem suitable.
Doing your homework and establishing your parameters is going to save you from scrolling through a never-ending range of options once you begin your furniture shopping proper.
2. Measure Thoroughly
Read the Description
Understand that Actual Furniture May Look Different
Read Customer Reviews
Review Return Policies
Get Excellent Furniture and Decorative Pieces at Megafurniture
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