Part Two: How to Find the Right Furniture
Welcome back fellow interior decor lovers! This is the second post in my series of How To Design Your Home When You’re Not A Designer. If you missed part 1, what should my home look like? Go ahead and click the link to start there!
So last week we figured out what we like, which can be a daunting task. Hopefully, you slept on it, meditated on or just looked at your home inspiration board like a million times. And in the cases you’re like me and are a co-habitator, you’ve talked about what you like in home design with your roommate/spouse/house-guest-that-just-won’t-leave.
Okay, okay, I think we’re all on the same page by now. So let’s get to it!
Choosing Furniture For Your Space Without Losing Your Mind
There is an infinite amount of furniture in the world. Old designs, new designs, DIYs, knock off, stools in too many varying heights, it is endless! And when you are starting fresh, it can be crazy!
Hopefully, you already have some furniture, maybe something that can work with your design sense! But the reality is that isn’t always our reality. Sadly not everything you own will stay. So if you’re sentimental, this might be hard. But it’s okay to say goodbye to Grandma’s floral couch that smells like mothballs and hello to something you love.
There are a few ways to start the process of picking the perfect pieces. Like a choose-your-own-adventure book, you can start from where you’re comfortable. But what is a not optional part of the process is making sure you know the dimension of your space.
Measuring Your Home, Each And Every Part
Whether you’re moving into an apartment that seems like it shrank between the viewing process and the actual moving in, or you’ve lived in the same space for years, you have to measure it! A really big part of making sure your home looks great is actually getting furniture that fits. Don’t be like me and try to move your 26” wide couch down a hallway that ends with a doorway that is only 24”. It’s just not going to work and then you’ll be bummed out and have to rethink your entire design over again.
Measuring isn’t that hard, you don’t even have to be that precise! Just get the general dimension of your room and what’s in it.
First, take the measurement of the walls. If you live in a cookie-cutter type of apartment it shouldn’t be too hard. If you live in a Victorian house separated into an apartment, it will be a pain. But once it’s done, you won’t ever have to do it again!
Be sure to take measurements of the height and width of the following…
Then be sure to take note of…
-where are the outlets
-the size of the trim (floor, ceiling, doorways, and windows!)
-the depth of window sills
-etc… anything that you can’t actually move.
Special note: MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW THE DOORS IN YOUR HOME SWING! Because you don’t want to put in a great big credenza, only to find out the door will hit it every time it opens. Or you can only open your closet door 6 inches because your bed is in the way.
The Fun Part..Use Your Imagination!
Now we get to the fun part, take all that inspiration from yesterday and let your imagination go wild! Don’t think about money, hell, don’t even worry too much about those measurements. This is the creative part of you making you a space you love.
Spend all the time you want to daydream about what you want in your space. What’s in your perfect space? A great set of Eames chairs around a wooden farmhouse table? A little nook to sit and read (or let’s be real, sit and scroll through Instagram)? A crazy pattern rug with all the colors of the rainbow?
Now let’s get listing! #listersgonnalist
Grab a pen and paper, or your laptop, phone or whatever. And sit down and list out what you want. If you dream of making a huge Thanksgiving dinner this year for all your friends and family, you’re gonna need a huge table to do so…or maybe two! Write down everything you know you’ll want. Try to stick mostly to furniture at this point, decor can always be added later and generally is not the type of financial and spatial investment furniture is.
Now take that beautiful list of dreams and…get realistic.
Sometimes you can have great dreams with great style, but you do have to look at your space and prioritize. For example, I live in a great apartment I love. But it’s not big, and I don’t even mind that, I love small spaces! But for whatever reason, I thought I could still fit my huge concrete dining table in this small apartment. Technically I could. But for that one piece of furniture, I would have to give up so much more. So I had to prioritize. Did I want to be the type to always be gathered around the table and host dinner events, with the cost of giving up having a living room? When I looked at it my husband and I really are more cuddling on the couch with a good TV show type than we are having over all of our friends for dinner.
So my dream table got the boot. Mind you this was already something I owned! This heavy giant table was not a dream to move and I moved that baby three times. But it just wasn’t going to work, so we had to part ways. I donated it to my local thrift store that aligned with my personal ethics, and then was able to make way for way more space that I will use so much more!
That’s the big thing about learning to how to design your home. You have to take your big dreams and reel them in and look at how you actually live.
If you don’t have house guests, don’t get the sofa bed. If you don’t even cook, don’t get the table and crazy kitchen gadgets! Make your home right for you, because interior design is about not just looking great, but being yours!
Check out the next post in the designing your home when you’re not a designer, its all about where to shop for the right furniture!
Do you have any horror stories of not being able to fit furniture into your space? Tell me in the comments below! (I can’t be the only one, right?)