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Some things stand out like a sore thumb; other things stand out nicely from the crowd. It’s natural that we all want a unique house that makes a lasting impression on others while at the same time provides us with comfort and coziness while allowing us to wake up in something elegant and classy every morning.

That’s why choosing furniture is a process that can’t be rushed into. If you solely focus on unique pieces, you will probably run up super high costs, plus perhaps lose out on some comfort. Many times, exquisite pieces or sets are more for show, and show they do! But when it comes to actually comfort, they might not provide much. By the same token, sometimes comfortable furniture might lack that touch of elegance. That’s not the golden rule, but we could akin it somewhat to fashion; our tight and trendy clothes are never going to be as comfortable as our sweatshirts and jeans.

This is not to say you can’t have both. Ideally, furniture should be functional, comfortable, and elegant. To get those 3 elements means you should take your time in choosing. You might sometimes have to compromise on aesthetics, but it’s never a good idea to sacrifice your comfort.  Not only that, but they need to blend together. We’ve all been in homes where each item might be very nice on its own, but all together, they just don’t match or are uncomfortable to look at. That’s not the meaning of having a house that stands out. Furniture that stands out typically has details that don’t often show up in most pieces. Details could be in the legs of a chair or table, for example, or in color and texture of materials.

To help you out a bit, let’s separate the rooms and areas that every house or apartment will have. You can first envision the bigger picture you want your house to look like, then delve into the details that will pull everything together. But most important is scale. Scale is crucial for a well-decorated room; that means that the size of the furniture needs to be in balance with the size of the space. So get your measuring tape out and know the dimensions of the room before purchasing any piece.

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The entrance: Obviously, that’s the first thing anyone will see upon entering the house and gives an indication of things to come. The entrance will actually be more about accessories and smaller pieces of furniture. It’s a good place to focus on small things like the doorknob, the color of the door, rugs, plants, and lighting. For example, the door color shouldn’t be the same as the rest of the exterior or interior of the house. Bring it down a notch or two to a deeper shade. Contrast the color to the walls, if you want to experiment a bit more. A large entry or hallway is a nice place to add an armchair or bench, for example. That will add color and texture to the entrance. Define the area with the use of a rug, and if your foyer is on the small side, floating shelves might work better than a hallway table. When it comes to lighting, a large light fixture can make a room feel larger. A bold pendant or modern chandelier also makes a memorable and bright first impression.

Living room:  Every living room has a focal point that begs for attention. It could be a fireplace, a bookshelf, or just even the TV screen. When choosing furniture, keep that focal point in mind because that’s what you’ll be working around. Upholstered pieces, first and foremost, delineate a nice seating arrangement. Think of using two matching sofas in front of each other, or a sofa with two armchairs. This encourages interaction and engagement among the guests. You should focus more on the ‘living’ part of the room by making it snugly with deep upholstered pieces. Upholstered ottomans, benches, and stools come in a variety of shapes and always add a class to big or small rooms. For the living room, you want to keep in mind several things, such as the sofa, couch or chair material should be durable and stain resistant when possible, especially if you have children or pets. Shelves, accent tables, or coffee tables can be bought with their own storage space, which is a plus as apartments can be very cramped. Try to design in a way that there’s always a surface nearby for a book, drink, lamp, or vase.

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When choosing furniture for any room, it’s really important to choose quality. Cheap furniture is not cost effective at all since it breaks and gets damaged very quickly. Because the choices are overwhelming, you need to narrow them down by staying away from cheap pieces and go for inexpensive ones, which will suit your budget.

Dining room: The biggest mistake most people make when choosing dining room furniture is picking the wrong-sized table. Too big and you can barely get around it, too small and it’s somewhere in a corner where no one will notice it. A table should be at least 24 inches in smaller eating areas, 36 inches in standard dining rooms and 48 inches in bigger rooms between the table and the nearest wall. A traditional rectangle table can anchor the room, but lacks in flexibility where seating is concerned. Oval shapes can help better in smaller rooms because of their rounded corners. Square tables are always a fresh, clean-cut shape, but limited in seating; usually only four seats. This is when you can think of a function and get a small table that expands. A round table is often a favorite and is flexible for easy seating arrangements.

When it comes to material, you might prefer a glass top in small rooms since they eliminate visual weight, and make for easy cleanup. Solid wood is the highest quality, but veneer offers a less expensive option. Some people prefer to get an entire set where the chairs will match the table. But a uniformed look can also sometimes be a boring look. Perhaps the look you’re going for is more elegant or subtle, something more traditional. In this case, sticking to a single or softer color could be your best shot. For the more adventurous person, you might want to choose different colored chairs of the same model for your dining table. But you want to stick to not more than two different colors for smaller areas, while you can go up to three colors for bigger tables.

Bedroom: Before you even shop around, you should know the measurements of the bedroom. Actually, you should measure any room that you’re planning to buy furniture for. When you know the measurements, it will quickly eliminate those that would be too big, crowding the room, or too small to stand out. After that, determine the style that you want. Are you looking for traditional, or are you more into the modern lines? If you’re redecorating a bedroom from scratch, it’s a bit easier to follow a style and stick to it. If you’re buying furniture to suit some other pieces or the color or the flooring, it becomes a bit trickier. Consider how the new pieces will blend with the style of your bedroom and any other fixtures or décor.

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Like we said, every room has a focal point, and it’s usually the bed in bedrooms. For a standout bed, think about the headboard. You can make it as high as you like, for example, as well as add width to it. It’s quite trendy to go with very high headboards, nearly as high as the ceiling. That would suit a bedroom where there’s just a big wall behind your bed, but wouldn’t be the choice if there’s a window behind. Nightstands are classic and will never go out of style. Even if you don’t like them, you probably need them to place personal items on. They will take up room so make sure the measurements are right. For those who don’t care much for them, floating shelves near you can have the same purpose to place small items or a reading lamp beside the bed.

For dressers, chests, and drawers, dressers are wider than they are taller, while chests are typically taller than they are wider. It really boils down to how much space you have. If you have space, individual pieces can sometimes be placed together to create one large unit, which is often a choice many like to go with.

Your entire lifestyle will be a deciding factor when choosing the furniture. So a couple’s room will differ than a single room.

Outdoor Pieces: You might be lucky enough to have a patio, garden, or balcony. You’re going to use it when the weather is nice, but you’re going to buy its furniture according to the general type of climate and weather your area has. So, is it usually humid or rainy, or maybe dry and hot? Wooden pieces can splinter and crack in hot and dry conditions; most metals can rust in humid conditions, and so on. One of the main things that you need to decide is what kind of style you are aiming for. If you’re looking for something more traditional, you could go for bamboo. On the other hand, if want something more modern and minimal, you could go for sleek steel. For a small space, a bar table set may work better than a regular dining set, because bar tables are narrower, and stools take up less room than chairs. You can also take a look at the cafe or bistro tables and chairs as they have a smaller look.

A little of this, a little of that: If you like sleek designs, chances are you’re not going to like rustic types which are usually on the bulkier side, but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t like one or two pieces that stand out from your sleek line. Using one piece or accessory that is different than the general style of a room will stand out and add that ‘je ne sais quoi’ element. Often a retro piece can do that, or a unique one you picked up from travel.

There’s still more…

Buy now for the future: We don’t buy furniture like we do clothes; for every season. What you buy now needs to last for a long time. You might be single or a couple now, but if you see kids and a family dog in your near future, put that into account because it will determine what kind of purchases to make.

The rest of the furniture: What looks great in a showroom, doesn’t have to look great in your house. A beautiful sofa at the showroom is standing all on its own, with the perfect lighting on it, plus a few pieces that make it a real stand out. In your house, there are going to be other things around it; the rug or the flooring, paintings and whatnots on the wall, the lighting in your room, a shelf, and many other elements in the room that might now allow the sofa to look its best. So when buying a sofa or chair, for example, try to get a color swatch and bring it home. The color you see in the store or online might look very different in your home.

Think before every piece: A couch for your living room might look splendid, but looks out, even horrid, if used in another room. With every piece you buy, there are things to consider before you buy it. For example, dining chairs are probably used more than just to eat and rush. You could be spending a lot of hours in the dining area, so you want your chairs to look stylish, but also comfortable. A table lamp, for instance, can be just for decorative purposes, or one that provides a main source of light.

Piece by piece

One big mistake people often do is buy all their furniture in one bulk. They will take years to buy the right house or apartment, but only days to buy the furnishing. This can cause you to make lots of mistakes, such as buying things you have no room for, items that don’t blend in nicely or just buying to fill in space. Spread your choices over several months, so that each item you buy is truly worth the money and stands out not just for its beauty, but also for its comfort.