No one moves into a nice home without quickly filling it with furniture. As humans, there are some furnishings we can’t live without, at least, not well. We don’t usually like to sit on the floor for long stretches. Even if your culture does tend to sit on the floor, there is usually an ample cushion between you and the floor. That’s furniture.
Besides making a poor chair, we quickly discover that the floor makes a poor dining table, work surface, bed, and shelf for holding small objects of value. A young couple may go without furniture for a day or two while waiting for the moving truck to arrive. That, however, is only a brief and temporary stop-gap measure. We need furniture.
We tend to divide up a house into walled-off, focused spaces. Each room has a purpose. And that purpose is usually marked by a particular piece of furniture. It is easy to look into a room and determine its purpose by the furniture inside. Here is a closer look at how to choose the best pieces for your spaces:
They say one-third of our lives is spent sleeping. It makes sense that a significant part of the furniture budget should go to the bedroom, maybe even a third.
If you only have one piece of furniture in the bedroom, the obvious choice is a bed. And, because so much of how your day goes is dependent on how your night goes, you should put a lot more attention into getting the best bed you can afford.
That arguably makes buying a mattress your most important furniture purchase. It has to be your massage therapist, your orthopedic specialist, and your sleep aid. It has a lot of roles to play.
It is also not the only piece of bedroom furniture you need. For those notoriously small NYC apartments, you may not have room for anything else. Multitask by getting a bed with a flat-top headboard, and drawers underneath for clothes.
If you have room for one more piece, make it a comfortable chair for putting on your shoes and reading at night. Reading in bed is a strain on everything.
The Everything Room
Living rooms are well named because those are the spaces where we do the most living. And living encompasses just about everything. Consider all the things we do in that space:
- Watch TV
- Play games
Not everyone has the luxury of dedicated spaces for all these activities. The living room is the everything room. That is what makes it so difficult to furnish. It usually starts with seating, as almost everything in that space is done sitting down.
On rare occasions, everyone in the family will be sitting at the same time in that space. So, the priority has to be on having enough comfortable seating for everyone.
Since everyone will spend massive amounts of time in this room, including guests, take the opportunity to present some art. It can sometimes be difficult to slip culture into a busy schedule. That makes the everything room a great place to add a few pieces that exist only for art and reflection.
Dining Room Alternatives
You have probably already noticed the fact that the dining room is receding in importance. Most apartments skip it altogether. And new homes are more likely to have a combined kitchen and dining or living and dining space. The open-plan home makes it all very free-flowing, with no dedicated space for everyone eating together in the same spot.
If that describes your family, you don’t have to fight it. Think of that dining space as an opportunity for a gaming space, a dedicated TV space, or even an office if it is just you and a spouse. You don’t have to buy an ornate table with 6 matching chairs. If the living room is the everything room, the dining room is the anything room. There are no limits to what you can do with this space.
Bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms are just spaces that someone else has defined for you. However, you don’t have to be boxed in by their ideas. Think outside of the box and define your spaces based on how you live. Furnish accordingly.