Can you believe it?! There are only 5 weeks until Christmas! We will have a great little gift this year with the completion of our new home scheduled to finish up in roughly 9 days! Eep! My last entry was at the beginning of October and within 7 short weeks our ceilings, cornicing, windows and doors, sanitary fittings, cabinetry, tiling, stone and part of the internal painting has been completed. All of the exterior has been painted and our feature linings have been installed. We are really impressed with the build progress so far and we are beyond happy with how all of our selections look installed. Another big thanks to the amazing HBC team for making this journey so enjoyable.
With Christmas fast approaching and lead times blowing out as a result, I have now locked in window treatments, extra cabinetry, carpentry (skirting boards,) upholstery and wallpaper installation. I’ve also been sourcing some new pieces of furniture. We won’t be replacing everything because I still like a lot of things we own already, but there are a few pieces that will be too small in the new house. In this post I’ll touch base on buying selected furniture and give some tips on how to achieve continuity and flow in your home. So sit tight, or make sure you bookmark this as a ‘must read’ at some point this week or over the weekend.
I’ll start with furniture. For large ticket items like sofas and beds I always suggest to select a quality product, in a neutral tone. Try to avoid trending, seasonal colours when purchasing anything expensive, unless you really love it and will continue to like it when the trend passes. If you want to inject some vibrance into your home, you can easily style each area using pops of colour in decor, artwork, linen and textiles.
Top tips for buying a sofa
- Look into sofa designs with removable or reversible seat and back cushions. This way you can rotate them to maximise the life of the foam or feather insert and you can conceal any unexpected stains or imperfections, by flipping it over.
- If you want elongated sofa seat cushions, expect some sagging in the fabric over time. Stitching helps the fabric stay in place so a long span of cushion will naturally stretch in the centre more than a shorter seat cushion.
- Consider your family dynamic and the way you will use your sofa before selecting a fabric. Larger/thicker weave fabrics are more likely to pull and catch on sharp objects like pet paws, jean studs, jewellery etc. A finer and tighter weave won’t catch as much but it will show up marks a bit more than a chunkier weave.
- If you are wanting a leather sofa make sure you do your research on what category/grade of leather will be most suitable for you. Don’t be fooled by the word ‘genuine’ leather. It doesn’t represent a higher grade or quality, in fact it is less breathable and prone to splitting/cracking because of the thin top layer of PU or vinyl bonded on the top.
- A sofa that is on glides (frame goes to the floor) is easier to keep clean in a darker colour because the bottom of the frame will get shoe marks across the fabric. If you’re wanting a lighter coloured sofa, consider a design on legs so there is no fabric at foot level.
- If you have an open plan living area and the sofa is not against a wall, take into account the ‘backside’ of your new sofa. Some cheaply made lounges are upholstered to only be seen from the front and will have multiple panels of thinner fabric pieces stitched together to create the back… and not in the ‘luxe quilted’ way either.
- When choosing a sofa with a modular or chaise option, consider your room layout and locate the chaise on the far side of where you enter the room. This will open up the area and ensure the space is accessible and usable.
I generally have all my sofas custom made here in Perth, but here are some of my favourite store bought designs that I have used or specified in projects.
- Bedside tables with drawers are practical for any bedrooms being ‘used.’
- Side tables are a great, affordable way to furnish a guest bedroom, where bedside storage isn’t necessary.
- Designs with a shelf can be aesthetically pleasing, but in reality can collect a fair amount of dust.
- In my (tried and tested) opinion, one of the best features on a bedside table is a rim around the top edge. It is so handy as nothing falls off eg phone on the charger, reading glasses, books etc.
- Try and purchase a bedside table with height in mind. Compare the height of your mattress to the height of the table so they are similar measurements. Double pillow-top mattresses usually look better with a taller bedside, whereas low-lying beds look better with shorter bedsides.
- Be cautious of resting drinking glasses or water bottles on both veneer and timber bedside tables. Watermarks are common and are hard to fix on veneer products, so the best way to avoid them is by keeping a coaster nearby.
- If you are looking into a hinged/door design, make sure you can specify opposite swing directions. If both hinges are on the same side, one will open towards the bed (rather than away from the bed.)
Some beautiful 1 and 2 drawer bedside table options are linked below. These are a few of my favourite designs at the moment and the first two have the brim around the top (that I mentioned above.)
Beds VS ensembles
Choosing a bed with a frame or an ensemble completely comes down to personal preference, but there are a few factors to think about before making a final decision. In the Homebuyers Centre display homes I mostly specify ensembles, paired with a headboard. The base of the ensemble doesn’t need to look pretty because it is covered with a bed wrap or valance, so as a result this is a more cost effective option for us. It also allows me to customise headboard designs based on the style and the colour scheme I want to adapt. In client projects I always gravitate towards a full bed, as it’s a more unified piece of furniture.
- Bed frames are usually fixed to the headboard making it a more solid unit, in comparison to an ensemble/headboard pairing. In saying this the headboards I have custom made, feature a built-in wall mount option to secure it safely and prevent movement.
- A quality bed will usually be more expensive than an ensemble setup.
- With an ensemble you don’t necessarily need to have an upholstered headboard at all. You might want to create a feature wall with VJ panels, wallpaper or a boxed out plinth as your statement headboard.
- Do you like the look of a valance or bed wrap being visible? Even if you go up a size with your quilt to create extra hang on either side of the bed, you’ll still see part of the valance or bed wrap somewhere around the perimeter (see above image.)
- An ensemble base will either come with castors (small wheels) or fixed legs. Castors are good if you need to move the base around the room. However in a main bedroom where it get’s used more, the fixed legs will be more practical.
- For either product, I always try to keep the headboard around 1100mm high. 1050mm is my go-to measurement because it allows enough height for europeans pillows but ample room above for a statement piece of art too. If I’m not using any art, I will arrange to have the headboard made at a taller height of 1200-1400mm.
Ensuring continuity and flow throughout your home
- One way to create flow with your interior is to use the same timber tone throughout your home. RJ Living have a beautiful European Solid Oak range which extends across various products and this is a neat way to ensure the tone of your wooden furniture is consistent. You can shop their timeless collection below.
- Using a ‘Colour’ palette is another great way to create continuity in your home. By dispersing pops of a similar colour palette into each room, it helps the overall interior feel connected and harmonious. You can decorate with colour in so many different ways for example in artwork, cushions, florals, ottomans, rugs, books, vases, textiles, linen, lighting and planters- to name a few. This pointer can also be applied to neutral or monochrome interiors by replacing colour with the use of repetition in texture and tone.
- This next tip is not essential but I personally like to keep a majority of the interior hardware and trims consistent. Below is an example compilation of how you can create cohesion in your home between hardware, furniture, lighting and decor. I’m actually in love with all of the below!!
- ‘Shape’ can also be cleverly used to keep your interior looking unified. ‘Curves’ are insanely popular at the moment and it’s soft, round form can be applied in many areas of the home. In lighting, mouldings, accent chairs, artwork, cushions, shelves, cabinetry handles – you name it! There are plenty of products on the market to inject the repetition of shape into each space, and it doesn’t have to be costly or permanent at all.
- Similar to the previous dot point, ‘Pattern’ can transform a space and create flow in your home. Linear patterns have been trending for years but they continue to be a huge influence with new, innovative designs evolving. Lining boards like Easycraft Vj panels have been circulating in mainstream residential design for around 6 years now, but batten and half dowel cladding has quickly gained momentum with brands like Porta and Glosswood becoming increasingly popular. Kit Kat tiles are also a firm fave of mine, with many styles and finishes available. These materials use the repetition of linear pattern to generate a textured focal point and feature in your home.
Well if you’ve gotten this far, thank you for reading and I hope this content was informative or helpful in some way. If you’re a first time home builder, I have documented our journey from the beginning and included some shop the looks and handy tips in each entry. Feel free to navigate through them below.
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It’s crazy to think that the next time I write a post, it will be from my new desk, in our new home!!!!
Have a fab weekend everyone,
Homebuyers Centre WA has kindly sponsored this blog entry, based on my experience as their decorator and our own building journey. All thoughts, design work, styling and written content are my own.