Before Buying Furniture
The living room is freshly painted and the floors are laid with sparkling tiles. Now all that’s left is to bring in the furniture. But before you go out and shop for the sofa set, coffee tables and everything else, here are a couple of things you might want to consider.
Always remember that the size of your furniture must be in proportion to the size of your room. For example even though you have your heart set on that luxurious velvet sofa set it may not suit your living room.
If you have a small living room, opt for sleeker furniture without bulky upholstery and padded armrests. Also fewer large pieces of furniture would be a better option rather than many small pieces that crowd the room. A plush sofa set would fill up the place and be great in a larger living room.
Tip: Decide where exactly in the living room you want your furniture to go. After that, you can measure the area so you know approximately what furniture size will fit there. Also remember to take into account the space required between the wall and the furniture while measuring.
Be careful while buying wooden furniture. Furniture made of particle board and medium density fingerboard is also called “solid wood”. But furniture made out of these is not worth buying, as it is harder to repair and heavier than real wood. Buy furniture with signs that explicitly say solid oak wood or cherry wood or ash wood. These are safer to buy.
A number of times you want to know the kind of finish that has been used on your furniture. To find out you will have to do a solvent test. Dip cotton in some nail polish remover or acetone and rub over an area that is not easily visible. If the finish softens then the finish is nitrocellulose lacquer, which is the most popular finish in the furniture industry. If the finish softens with alcohol then the finish is shellac. If it does not soften with either acetone or alcohol then the finish is varnish, polyurethane, catalyzed lacquer etc. that cannot be dissolved by its original solvent.
If you are applying finish on your furniture then remember to account for humidity. High levels of humidity in the air will prevent the finish from drying and it will turn white or have a dull finish. If a professional is finishing your furniture then allow the piece to dry completely, for a few days before using it.
Placing any kind of potpourri directly on the furniture will damage the finish even though it is kept in cloth or plastic bag.
If metal bed frames are squeaking then just apply oil to the rivets and this will stop it from squeaking. If a bed made out of wood squeaks, it means it is getting loose and needs re-gluing.
In a drawer wood moves against wood and certain parts need to be lubricated. If drawers stick rub some paste wax on the drawer and the wood that it rides on. If this does not work then the drawer needs some repair or is very worn out.
Glass tabletops actually protect the wooden tables. Do not allow moisture get trapped between the glass and the wood. Raise the glass tabletop with rubber bumpers, this will allow airspace and let the wood breath.
Before using wooden screws rub a little candle or bee’s wax or soap on the screw threads and it will move more smoothly.
Also see Types of Wood
The furniture you pick up must go with the rest of your rooms.
So if you want to include embroidered cushions, block printed curtains, lots of Indian artefacts and curios etc., you might want to have a divan with bolsters and a couple of low armchairs. A mild steel sofa set with leather upholstery might look out of place, don’t you think?
Also make sure the colours of your furniture match with the walls, curtains and other elements in the room.
Choose the minimalist furniture style if your living room is small because it tends to make it look more spacious. On the other hand, Victorian style furniture would look lovely in larger living rooms.
Tip: Picture your living room the way you want it to look once it is ready. Now that you have a clear idea of what you want, you won’t need to waste any time at stores that don’t have the kind of furniture you want.
Must Have Items
If you are working with a budget or with space constraints and want to restrict the furniture shopping, here are some of the must-have pieces of furniture for you living room.
A sofa set (a love seat with two single-seater armchairs) or two divans
A coffee table
A wall unit or showcase
A TV trolley
If you don’t have time to clean your home everyday and once a week is about all you can manage. In such case it would be better to opt for easy wipe laminated or melamine furniture. But if you have a maid to help you out, you could go with fancier furniture that requires more maintenance.
Another important factor to consider is where you live. If you have a seaside apartment, wrought iron furniture may not be such a good idea because it may rust over time. Also if you live by a busy street, carved furniture might be a problem to clean.
If you have a centrally air-conditioned home, fixed upholstery is fine because the dust won’t ruin it. But if you don’t, try changeable upholstery so you can dry-clean it every once in a while.