How to Choose the Right Furniture for Your Living Room Space
Your living room is arguably one of the most, if not the most, important spaces in your home. It’s often the first room guests encounter upon entering, and it’s probably where you and your family spend the majority of your time together.
For these reasons, it’s crucial to put your own stamp on this living space. You want your living room to reflect you and your personality. Therefore, it’s advisable to plan the space to achieve the look and feel that’s most important to you.
Your living room should be a place of comfort, where you can be happy to entertain your guests and to just enjoy being. It can complement who you are, even going as far as to be an extension of yourself.
A well-designed living room is comfortable for all who use it, both family and guests. Your choice of furniture is vital in terms of relaxation, entertaining guests and for its visual appeal.
When you’re selecting furniture, it’s important to consider factors such as quality, size and aesthetic appeal. You also need to consider whether you want to have a theme to your space, and whether you want a formal or informal living room. If your living area is open to the kitchen, you’ll want to consider coordinating with that space as well.
With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at how to plan and choose the right furniture for your living room space.
First Things First – Planning Your Living Area
If you’re wondering how to choose living room furniture, considering your room size is the first step to planning what can go in it. It’s a good idea to create a floor plan on paper so you can figure out different ways of fitting in the furniture that’s caught your eye. Planning helps you efficiently utilize all available space, while avoiding cluttering. It also helps you to include room for walkways around your furniture.
Remember, when measuring your space, take note of the furniture-to wall-clearance too so you don’t order pieces that won’t fit into your living room. It’s also important to select the correct sized furniture for your room. If you’re living space is on the small size, huge pieces can look overbearing. Similarly, in a large room, tiny little chairs and tables also look “off.”
In the case of shared furniture, it’s crucial to place this in easily accessible spots to ensure all the family can use the pieces. For instance, placing the coffee table in the center of the room is far better than placing it beside a chair that’s only used by one individual. Also, remember to place the TV in a central location.
A handy checklist to follow for planning your living area could be:
- Take measurements. Using a tape measure, calculate the dimensions of your room, remembering to take any recesses into account.
- Draw up a floor plan. This allows you to see how much space you have to work with. Draw out a few different ideas you have for furnishings, ensuring you some space around each furniture piece. You don’t want to be squeezing in between tables and chairs as you navigate the room.
- Measure your doorways. If the furniture you’ve ordered comes assembled, be sure that it is able to fit through your doorways when delivery time comes.
- Stage your room. At this point, you may wish to mark out the spaces on your floor where you want to place your potential purchases. You can use newspaper sheets or painter’s tape.
- Consider how your room will be used. Some people use their living room only occasionally, whereas others utilize this space for daily family use. If you’re only using the space from time to time, you can buy more delicate pieces without worry. However, for family rooms that are heavily used, it’s imperative to purchase stain-resistant and sturdy items, particularly if you have children.
- Note the architecture of the room. Perhaps you have a beautiful antique window in your room that you wish to make a focal point of. If that’s the case, purchasing a period-looking piece, such as from an Amish Early American collection for example, can complement it.
- Consider what color you would like your furniture to be. Color profoundly affects the mood of your room. With this in mind, neutral woods work every time. For pops of color, think about buying a few throws or cushions.
- Think about the shape you want your furniture to be and how that’ll look in your living room. Furniture with a rounded shape occupies more space than rectangular or boxier pieces.
Now you have everything planned out, you can move on to selecting your furniture.
Next — Selecting Your Living Room Furniture Pieces
The fun part of the whole process of making your living room look amazing is the selection of your pieces, right? Still, to make sure you get what you’re looking for, it’s a good idea to adhere to the following process:
- Begin with the basics. First, you need to purchase the basics — an armchair, sofa, coffee table and side table. Take care of these main objects first, before adding any extra pieces.
- Purchase good quality pieces. By buying solid, sturdy, investment pieces, you’ll find that your furniture has a very long life, and you’ll save on the expense of replacing each item every few years.
- Look for fabrics that are stain-resistant as well as being high-quality. Good quality fabrics afford you more comfort, as well as being longer-lasting than inexpensive materials. If you have young children in the family, it’s a good idea to buy stain-resistant fabrics in case of spills.
- Coordinate your furniture. Every piece in your living room should look good together. If not, your space will look thrown together, and consequently, won’t be a conducive atmosphere for entertaining. It’s therefore best to adhere to a theme, Old World for example, and to only buy pieces that are true to your theme.
- Buy furniture that works in your space. Purchase a loveseat, for instance, rather than a full sofa if you have a smaller room.
- Pick out other complementary pieces. Once you’ve identified all the pieces you want for your living room, move those in, and then pick out other complementary pieces that fit in around your furniture while affording you plenty of space to move.
Remember to take your time when selecting your living room furniture and to take all of the above into consideration. Buying quality solid wood pieces, ensures your furniture looks good and lasts a lifetime.
Construction of Your Furniture
When you’re selecting furniture pieces for your living room, it’s imperative to select items of quality. When possible, it’s best to buy solid wood that’s been handcrafted. AmishOutletStore.com has everything you’ll ever want — and more in terms of old-world, quality craftsmanship.
Nowadays, we’re all used to imitation real wood pieces that may look good from afar, but they are lacking in the durability that solid, handcrafted wood offers.
Let’s take a look at some modern composite materials furniture can be made from:
Particleboard is a hot-pressed composite made from waste wood-based materials, bound with formaldehyde resin and then usually painted or veneered. Weaker than other composites and fiberboards, it’s also relatively inexpensive. Particle board may look fine upon your far-away glance, but upon closer inspection, it usually looks inferior to solid wood.
Particleboard is also much flimsier than solid wood. If the outer veneer or laminate portion peels off, the interior particleboard crumbles. It doesn’t stand up to moisture well because it absorbs water and expands, so it’s not ideally used in a living room where spills are a risk. Once damaged by water, furniture made out of particleboard cannot generally be repaired.
MDF or medium-density fiberboard is far denser than particleboard, and it is also a wood-based composite material, pressed from formaldehyde resin, residual wood fibers and wax. Often used in place of solid wood, MDF, like particleboard, is environmentally questionable due to its formaldehyde content. For this reason, some manufacturers are now opting to use polyurethane resins instead to create the material.
Like particleboard, MDF tends to expand when damp, which can lead to cracking.
It’s true that both MDF and particleboard pieces break down in time, ceasing to be attractive pieces of furniture. Although solid wood furniture may expand or contract, it always looks good, and it does not warp like these cheaper materials.
Arguably, solid wood is the best choice when you’re buying living room furniture. Wood ages well, is high quality, long-lasting and strong. Your wooden furniture is an investment, and it looks as beautiful in 40 years — sometimes even more beautiful due to its character flaws — as it did on the day you bought it.
Additionally, no two pieces of wood are the same, so your wooden furniture is entirely unique. These natural variations in the grain depend on the age of the tree as well as the environmental conditions the tree experienced during its lifetime.
When it’s cared for correctly, hardwood furniture looks attractive in any living room. A few things to remember when caring for your wooden furniture are:
- Polishing and cleaning your pieces regularly keeps them in excellent condition.
- Restoring and treating any scratches on the surface of solid wood is far easier than fixing a damaged composite piece of furniture.
- Keeping your wooden pieces out of direct sunlight is crucial, as the sun bleaches wood and degrades the finish of your furniture.
- Remembering to keep your wooden furniture away from sources of direct heat is imperative, as heat can also damage wood.
- Using harsh chemical cleaning agents on wooden furniture is a bad idea as these can strip or stain the surfaces of your piece. Find natural, gentle alternatives instead.
As wood is a sustainable product, and also gives the appearance of luxury, it perfectly complements your living room. When choosing furniture, know that if you’re buying pieces made from either particleboard or MDF, they are an inferior product to natural wood.
You may also be potentially exposing you and your loved ones to toxic chemicals in particleboard, like formaldehyde in the resin glue that binds it together. The World Health Organization has classified formaldehyde as a carcinogen. Health experts propose people have an exposure rate below 0.1 parts per million. Some individuals experience nose and throat irritation and eyes watering at levels as low as 0.03 parts per million. Care.com reports that the fumes from particle board can emit for up to five years.
This is why real wood furniture is always the best choice when you’re planning the perfect living room.
Living Room Themes
We’ve already mentioned the importance of knowing your theme, and there are so many you can choose from that it’s easy to become confused. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Which living room furniture should I choose?”, the following are some of the most popular and widely used furniture themes in interior design:
Contemporary furniture is renowned for its clean and sleek lines. Most often, the colors used are neutral tones, such as beiges, whites and creams. More often than traditional woods, black lacquer, metal and glass are most commonly utilized. An Urban chair with your choice of fabrics or an Urban Loveseat would be good choices in the modern living room.
Generally speaking, traditional furniture is quite formal and elegant, and it can include beautifully ornate details such as skirted bottoms and rolled arms. This category of furniture can come in many rich and natural colors. A beautiful traditional half round table, such as the Buckingham Oak table, brings a touch of class and character to your room.
This class of furniture combines Italian, Spanish and French design. Rustic looking in nature, antique pieces are also often used in the design of Old World-style living room decoration, and earthy, deep colors are favored. If your living room is an open concept, consider this Olde Century Mission Table.
Wooden Amish Furniture
Made to be extremely high quality, wooden Amish living room furniture is handcrafted with genuine care. Amish fireplaces, for example, add a great focal point to just about any living room. Popular style choices include Shaker and Mission furniture.
Amish solid wood furniture is well-renowned for its strength, durability and craftsmanship. While cherry wood and red oak are popular, hickory, maple, walnut and white oak make excellent choices for living room furniture.
Casual furniture is cozy and comfortable, and it often makes use of patterns, plaids and more. It’s also functional, like this 48-inch bookcase available in multiple wood types.
By now, you probably have a million and one ideas for creating the perfect living room. You’ve chosen your furniture, and you are thinking of ways to make a good room great. One way to instantly give your living room more wow-factor is to add some accent pieces.
Accent pieces immediately bring more beauty and personality to your living room, and they do much to break up the monotony. Adding one or two carefully chosen pieces, like a Trestle Mission Bench, can turn a nicely-put-together space into an extraordinary one.
Having too many blank spaces in your living area can make the room look uninviting regardless of the quality of furnishings and decorations you already have. It’s also true that the corners of the room can look a little awkward if they’re entirely bare.
Try adding a plant stand, such as this 22” arts and crafts plant stand in oak with a decorative plant or vase to one of the corners of your living room, or a beautiful solid wood rocker like the Bow Arm Slat Rocker. This quirky and fun addition to any living room and comes in a choice of woods, including oak, cherry and hickory.
Also, adding pops of color does much to improve the look and energy of your space. Keep in mind that accent furniture shouldn’t be the focal point of your living room, but it should be an addition that helps bring everything together.
Tips to Make a Smaller Space Look Bigger
If your living room is a little on the small side, don’t worry. There are so many ways you can make it look and feel far more spacious and inviting. A smaller space doesn’t need to mean that you feel cramped — quite the opposite in fact.
Here’s how you can make the most of your more compact living room, as well as some pointers on how to select the perfect living room furniture:
- Choose a sofa and armchairs that are raised from the floor on legs as this creates a sense of space and light. The upholstered Berkshire Sofa and Center Inn Gent Chair are the type of pieces you should be looking for.
- Make the most of the natural light hitting your room as this opens up the space. Keep drapes open during the day, and open the windows, too.
- Add either sheer drapes or ones that are the same color as your walls. This serves to trick your eye into seeing a bigger-looking space.
- De-clutter. There’s nothing that makes a small space look even smaller than lots of things lying around. The general rule is that if you haven’t used something in at least a year, it should go.
- Buy rugs and fabrics that are either plain or in small prints. Larger patterns just drown a smaller sized room.
- Decorate in a neutral and light color palette as this visually expands your room.
- Purchase furniture that’s multifunctional, such as an ottoman that can be used for seating and as a coffee table.
- Consider adding mirrors to your living room. This reflection technique tricks your brain into thinking the space is bigger than it is. Take a look at this rectangular Cabin Creek Mirror, which comes in a choice of woods, and this Antique Oval Wall Mirror, which also comes in many different wood and stain varieties.
- Install wall-to-wall or floor-to-ceiling bookcases, as these are perfect for storage and makes your ceiling look higher than it actually is.
- Refrain from filling up every inch of storage space in your room. If you leave some empty space on shelves, it makes your room look more airy.
- Buy light-colored wooden furniture that blends in with your walls to create the illusion of widened space.
- Consider placing some of your furniture pieces at an angle rather than against your walls. When a piece is surrounded by open space, it can often make your room look bigger.
- Paint your ceiling in a bright color to attract your eyes upward and create the illusion of a higher ceiling.
- Think about color coordinating your accents to make your room look more uniform and streamlined.
- Consider carpeting your floor with a striped covering as this gives the illusion of a floor that goes on forever.
- Choose a glass-topped coffee table, such as the Artesa, that’ll give the illusion of space to your room.
- Install several lighting elements, such as lamps, which will stop people’s eyes from being drawn to just one spot of light.
Remember that making a smaller living room work involves thinking outside of the box. By employing just a few of these tips and tricks, you’ll find that your little room is big on style and space.
Adding Hidden Storage
Again, if your living room is on the small side — and even if it’s not — adding hidden storage is a wonderful way to keep your room clutter-free and make the space look bigger. It’s imperative to strike the right balance between making the room feel as spacious as possible, and ensuring it’s functional.
For this reason, utilizing bookcases and shelving is crucial, and so is adding in furniture that has storage potential. For example, a trunk can often be used as a quirky alternative to a coffee table, or a small chest of drawers can make an excellent replacement for a console table. Storage benches, like this Locker Drawer Bench look great, but also add that much-needed storage.
Another idea is to either make or purchase a curtain in a neutral fabric that ties in with your décor for concealing your living room storage spaces. The trick is to carefully think about how your available space can be best utilized, while keeping the feel of the room as light and as airy as possible.
How AmishOutletStore.com Can Help You Complete Your Living Room
If you’re beginning the process on how to choose solid wood furniture for your living room, you should now have a wealth of information you need to make a good and informed choice.
To recap, first you must look at your space and its dimensions before doing anything else. Yes, you may like some furniture you’ve seen, but it needs to work in your specific room. Figure out what materials would go best, too. Smaller rooms look better decked out with light-colored natural woods, whereas darker woods can look wonderful in more spacious living rooms.
If you’re still asking yourself which solid wood living room furniture you should choose, take a look at our selection of exceptionally high-quality wooden living room furniture here at AmishOutletStore.com. With so many products to choose from, you won’t be stuck for living room furniture inspiration. We’re here to help you with lots of solid wood furniture ideas for your living room space solid wood furniture ideas.