10 Tips For Buying Contemporary Furniture
Adopting a clean style is a simple way of making your home look and feel fresh and modern. This is especially the case when you consider buying contemporary furniture.
Numbers of items
Care & maintenance
Shades, styles & colours
Form follows function
Storage & shelves
Buying contemporary furniture has many positive aspects. Among these are that the designs are flexible and generally complement any room. A few pieces of contemporary furniture can even make traditional homes feel modern.
Durability is key though. This is especially the case if you use the furniture daily. After all, don’t want to be changing the pieces on a regular basis.
The furniture that most homes need for their living areas include:
- Ample seating
- Some storage
- A place to put the TV and any other pieces of home tech
- A few occasional tables.
To accommodate these elements takes some planning. Here are some pointers to help you through the process of buying contemporary furniture.
Be Careful With Numbers
Less is most definitely more when it comes to buying contemporary furniture. Rooms with too big a variety of pieces of furniture are likely to feel cluttered and cramped. It’s a good idea to avoid having too many smaller pieces in one room. But, it’s also important to steer clear of having too few. It can make rooms feel empty, cold and unwelcoming. Rooms should be set up to be as inviting as possible.
Match Other Features
You may want to consider how contemporary furniture will match with other features. Some pieces can look outstanding alongside certain style choices. For example, soft sofas and armchairs with rich fabrics, would look great along with solid wood flooring and accompanying rugs.
Contemporary furniture is unlikely to ever go out of style, so long as you take care. The aim is not to spill liquids or cause an excess of wear and tear. People with children and pets may consider buying a throw or two to protect more expensive pieces. When guests come to visit you can remove these. It will help maintain your furniture for longer so it looks fantastic for many years.
Play With Different Shades
Buying contemporary furniture involves choosing from a huge variety of styles, shapes and colours. You can choose furniture for the different colours you want in a particular room. Oak furniture, for example, is often light in colour and creates a warming atmosphere. But, you can also select dark furniture, like wenge or walnut, that creates a more traditional feel.
Space Saving Furniture
You can buy some attractive contemporary furniture designed to save space in a room. Indeed, among the most popular ways of achieving this is with furniture that can expand or contract to suit its purpose. You can have a small dining table that extends. It’s an ideal way of allowing for more guests when needed – without a large dining table taking up space all the time.
Homes feel modern and contemporary when they have fewer traditional details. When buying contemporary furniture, the items you choose should have simple lines with minimal design. Selecting a few key unique pieces for your home can make a powerfully fresh and modern statement.
Form Follows Function
Think about the function of the furniture pieces you’re buying. Are you buying it for style, for practicality or for comfort? Whatever your reasoning, bear it in mind whenever you choose furniture for your rooms. It will make sure you get a home that has furniture and other items that suit your needs.
When you select sofas and armchairs start by deciding on how you will configure them. You want them to best suit the space, especially when choosing upholstered pieces. A corner sofa can help orient the seating area of open-plan living space. If you also incorporate a chaise end you could create a relaxing spot that would be in demand.
If you choose a pair of sofas and arrange them at a right angle you could form a sociable arrangement. It could also give everyone a good angle to view the TV. Arranging the sofas to face each other would create a more formal feel. It could be ideal if the rooms are for frequent entertaining.
Armchairs are perfect statements that can provide solo seating or quiet corner nooks. Pairs of armchairs can also fill room in a bay. A pair that don’t match could complete a formation around a coffee table.
Pick the upholstery for your seating areas
The upholstery fabric you choose for your sofas and armchairs needs to suit your lifestyle, as well as delight your eyes. Will it survive the kids and the pets? Will it stand up to any strong direct sunlight? All these considerations are key to your selection.
Leather may be durable but it can also stretch and crease. Although pigmented versions do resist soiling, they are unlikely to appear as natural as semi-aniline. Pigmented fabrics are soft with a protective finish. Aniline may also be soft but it tends to show wear.
Linens, when they are of good quality, may not fade, but they can wrinkle. Cotton blends tend to stand up well to wear and tear. Wool repels dirt and is comfortable throughout the year. The sun damages silk and to keep its opulence needs regular careful cleaning.
It’s advisable to check the “rub count” of your fabric. The higher the number, the more durable it will be. More hard-wearing furniture tends to have tight weaves, woven patterns and high thread counts. It is sensible to buy a protective treatment for the upholstery, especially with young kids and pets to contend with.
To create the style of plump, sink-into seating, feather seat cushions are a good choice. They’ll need frequent plumping to keep them in shape. Fibre cushions tend to be cheaper than feathers. They are also soft and offer more support than feathers.
If your preference is for firm seats then foam is the best choice. Bear in mind that the very cheap versions will flatten with regular use. Some cushions combine the type of fillings to take advantage of the benefits of each.
Think about the frame of the furniture you buy. It will determine how long your furniture is likely to last. Dowelled, screwed and glued frames are stronger, as are the ones made of hardwood.
When you invest in high-end seating, look out for hand-tied springs. If the items don’t offer these then S-shaped springs also create strong seats and flexible support. Webbing systems may not create strong support themselves but can do when used with tensioners that fasten them to the frame.
A useful tip is not to cut off the fire-safety label off any furniture as it will stop you donating it to charity in the future.
Think about coffee and side tables
Coffee tables can anchor a collection of seating. The height is important. A contemporary sofa that is low slung needs a design that is nearer-to-the-floor than more formal high seating. If it’s likely to become0 a clutter magnet, you may find a design with drawers preferable.
Don’t think a single coffee table has to be on its own. A series of tables is an alternative and can be more flexible. They allow you to move them around so cups and glasses are within easy reach.
A footstool in front of the seating is an alternative if you like softer contours and colour or pattern. It can double as a coffee table with a tray on top. This also deals with liquids that may otherwise threaten the fabric.
If you invest in a storage version with space below you can clear away remotes, magazines, DVDs, and kids’ toys.
Don’t forget furniture that can cater for televisions that aren’t mounted on the wall. This can also help with games consoles and digital boxes. Seek out designs with cable outlets or which are open at the back. Cupboards and drawers would also be useful. You can then stow away remotes, space uncluttered.
The height of the TV storage unit relative to the sofas is important. Match the units to the height of the seating for comfortable viewing and a cohesive look in the room.
Incorporate storage and shelves
The best storage makes space for all you need to keep in a room. It should also offer room for the display of decorations with open and closed options for books and records. Coloured or patterned box files can also help hide those things you don’t want to be shown off.
Make use of alcoves either side of a chimney breast for off-the-shelf or made-to-measure storage. One space-efficient way to stow is a floor-to-ceiling storage wall. Modular shelving can be very attractive.
Consider a sideboard for a living space. It has a clutter-swallowing interior and a surface that’s perfect for decorative accessories. It can also be a pleasing focal point.
If you pick a desk, try to find a design that’s sympathetic to the lines of the rest of the furniture. You could opt for an armoire-type desk that has doors. This would transform it into a good-looking piece of cabinet furniture.
You may want to include a console table. It would be handy for table lamps and can function as a room divider. Also, consider having a window seat. You could have this built-in or freestanding. It would add an extra perch as well as more storage.
Solid wood offers the individuality of a natural material. The most robust pieces are those with traditional dovetail and mortise and tenon joints.
The world of interior design is constantly changing and with every new year come new trends. At Olson & Baker, we pride ourselves on staying on top of the furniture game. So please have a look at our range. We are sure there is something there for everyone.< Back to all articles