How to buy the right upholstered pieces
I’m super excited to talk about my passion for finding the right piece of furniture. My grandfather used to tell me never to skimp on the cost of appliances and furniture, and with every purchase, I’ve thought about his words of advice! After reading our previous blogs to determine your aesthetic and space planning, it’s my turn to help you fill the area with the perfect upholstered pieces to achieve your goals. Did you know that “upholstery” derives from the middle-aged English word “upholder,” a name given to tradesmen who would hold up their creations for all to see and purchase? If you think about it, it only makes sense that the first upholstered pieces consisted of animal skins nailed to wooden frameworks and evolved with the addition of animal hair-stuffed pillows and cushions. My oh my, look how far we’ve come! With all the options and choices, how does one begin to narrow down all the possibilities? Let’s discuss some of the criteria we should establish before making a selection.
Lifestyle/Purpose: We must consider our lifestyle and how we want the space to function. Are these pieces going in a room where little ones with sippy cups of milk or juice, or a group of teenagers might hang out to watch their favorite movie? Or is this a room where friends will come over friends to watch movies and play games? Or is it that everyone has left home, and now you are entertaining adults and want a more refined space? When I began my initial project with Lambert Home, one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted a sectional. My living area was ample open space, and I had it filled with a couch and chairs prior, but this time, I wanted a comfy, well-made, durable sectional where we could all get cozy and watch a movie. Now that my kids are older and out of the house, we randomly call for a “family movie night.” Everyone has a blanket and their designated spot. Lambert helped my dream come true.
Scale: The scale of your furniture is essential in bringing balance to a room. First, determine which object will be the primary focus in the room, whether that be a sofa, bed, chair, or set of chairs. Next, focus on how the other items you plan to place in the room will relate to this primary piece. For instance, if you have a chunky leather sofa as the main piece, you will want to choose a chair or set of chairs to balance the couch’s visual heaviness. Whatever the determination, each piece should help to leave the room feeling harmonious.
Shape: The shape, or rather form, of the furniture piece, as well as the body of the room, is another vital factor in determining the right choice. For instance, if you have a smaller living room, you might opt for a sofa and pair it with a couple of chairs. A larger, more open space would be perfect for a sectional! Once we’ve established our options, we can determine the style of our choice based on the room’s aesthetic. Are we going for a more angular selection leaning towards modern decor versus a more traditional option with rolled arms and a tufted back?
Construction: Let’s be honest; as consumers, we usually focus on the exterior of a piece of furniture first. Does it have a look I want to see in this space? For instance, I have a beautiful iron and wood console, yet the entire back is constructed of plywood. The price and look were suitable, and I love it! We do the same regarding the pieces of furniture family and friends sit on. We begin checking off boxes for shape, style, and fabric and even will go so far as to discuss the cushion type. Still, I challenge us to think beyond the look and discover what the foundation or, instead, the structure is made up of. A few things to note, furniture frames constructed of hardwoods, including mahogany, maple, walnut, oak, and teak, are considered high-quality because they will maintain their shape and last longer. Soft woods like pine and cedar are more affordable and easy to shape. Ask a salesperson if these details are separate from the product information sheet. One last thing to note about the construction is joinery. How the wood is joined