Designer’s Tips: Choosing Furniture & Staging Your Home

Home | Designer’s Tips: Choosing Furniture & Staging Your Home

By: Howard Eason, HE Designs, LLC

Furniture choice, furniture arranging, and home staging are three design elements that require preparation and planning. Each can grant you high return when well planned. I often answer the question of how to achieve comfort and functionality in a room without compromising the style. It is an excellent question. Using these tips will assist you with these three design assignments.

Let’s begin with furniture choice. Furniture choice is one of the most important decisions to make when designing a room. Your selection makes a difference and frees you to enjoy a comfortable, stylish and well planned space. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right furniture for your home.

Tips for Furniture Choices:

  • Consider the room. Furniture should be the correct size and proportion for the space. Before choosing furniture, it is important to measure your room to ensure that your furniture selections are appropriate size to fit your space.
  • Consider the function. Be sure to define the use for your targeted area. Make your furniture choice conducive to the room’s purpose. For example, a television room would require comfortable and durable furniture that is conducive for heavy use.
  • Consider the style. The style of your room is usually reflective of your personality and taste. When styling a room, having a relative theme enhances furniture. For example, if your style is modern, the furniture selection should blend by choosing modern-styled furniture throughout the space. Another way to achieve a stylish theme is to ensure that your furniture blends based on color and finishes such as wood and metals.

Choosing the best furniture to suit your lifestyle does require you take time to sit, relax, or even lay down to ensure that your choice is the best for your long-term investment. Taking this time will certainly benefit you down the road in comfort and satisfaction.

When it comes to furniture arranging, this task can be a challenge. Without the appropriate planning and purpose for a space, arranging furniture can become a game of musical chairs. In most cases, a space contains a focal point of interest. The focal point may consist of a television, a fireplace, a bed, or conversation. In any of these cases, your furniture should be arranged in a way that best suits the purpose and function of the room.

Tips for Arranging Furniture:

  • Consider Size: Start with the largest piece in the room. Whether it is a bed, sofa or dining table, the largest pieces will dictate the flow and ultimately the design layout for the space.
  • Consider Outline: Boxy furniture is usually arranged in a linear position which aligns in the direction of the walls. For example, a straight back sofa would follow the same line and direction as the wall behind it. Furniture with curved backing or rounded edging, such as tables, can be used to soften the corners of an otherwise squared or boxy space.
  • Consider Flow: Furniture should never block entryways or access to other rooms or areas. Be sure to position your furniture so that it offers an attraction within each space. Also, try not to block windows with furniture. Windows are focal points and an excellent way to show off natural light for the room.

Rearranging and relocating heavy furniture will exhaust quite a bit of time and energy. Taking time to measure, plan, and prepare for your room will save you from the hassle of playing musical chairs.

Home staging yields an excellent success rate for gaining the interest of buyers. When your home is on the market, buyers tend to focus on not only the look of the home, but also the feel of your home. You want to make sure that your home stands out among the competition and is memorable to potential buyers. Staging your home is one of the best ways to add personality and interest. What you choose to show in your home can be a help or hindrance to the purchase of your home. When staging your home, it is imperative that it appeals to a broad audience of buyers.

Home Staging Tips:

  • Color Choice: Empty homes on the market should remain neutral in wall color so that visually the home has a consistent flow. It leaves the décor and planning up to the imagination of the buyer. When you have various bold colors throughout the home, it can make an empty home seem compartmentalized which means there is no consistent color story throughout your home. Use color to only enhance the home’s unique features and focal points. A focal point, such as a fireplace wall, is a perfect place to add color to emphasize the unique feature of your home. Wood features such as door trim, crown molding, and even cabinets should contrast your wall color. These enhancements allow the important investment features of your home to stand out. For furnished homes, color can be used to complement the room’s furniture and décor to showcase a complete design. It is important that the furniture connects within its environment so that it does not look isolated or unplanned. Remember that buyers are sold on the idea of a complete living environment because they can easily imagine themselves living and entertaining in the room. Color fabrics can be used to accessorize furniture in homes with neutral walls. Items such as throws, pillows, bedding, and draperies can brighten and refresh a well-worn room.
  • De-Personalize: Buyers are sometimes distracted by elements that show the story of the seller’s life rather than items which highlight and promote the liveliness of the home. As the seller, you want your buyer to be intrigued by the home and not distracted by figuring out your personal life. It is important to clear all distractions so that the focus remains on the home and its attributes. My tip is to remove personal items such as family photos, degrees and awards, mail, magazines and books that do not enhance your décor. The room that is theme specific and only caters to the interests of the seller (unconventional spaces) should be neutralized to become general purpose rooms.
  • Maximize Square Footage Visually: Creating additional square footage is always a great way to make your home more attractive to buyers. The way to do this without added cost is to promote “visual square footage”. This staging technique is designed to make your home look and feel larger. You can achieve this by opening window draperies and blinds to allow your rooms to flood with natural light. This allows your room to feel larger due to the amount of sunlight. Another tip is to hang draperies one to two feet higher than your windows; this will make your space appear much taller. Lastly, organize clutter and miscellaneous items to show off more of your actual floor space.

The key to a successful design is simply about planning and preparation. I hope that these tips will inspire you when choosing the furniture and arrangement for your home.