Choosing furniture can be a daunting task. Will it look right? Will it go with your existing home décor? Will it fit?… Luckily Brighton and Hove is awash with award winning and inspiring interior designers who know how to create a great look for your home or office.
So we asked six of them, all leading local interior designers, for their top tips on how to choose furniture you’ll love. This is what they said:
General Tips on Choosing Furniture You’ll Love
“If at all possible, be a collector and buy and gather things slowly. If you rush at it, you buy a ‘look’, rather than collecting things that you love and have links to people in your life and places you’ve visited, and therefore have stories attached. I’m more and more ethically conscious of where things are from and their lifespan. There is nothing worse than buying a look in haste and ditching and replacing it in a few years just because you are tired of it. Think less is more, and quality not quantity!”
Claire Potter Design
“Choosing furniture can be very daunting as even when you’ve got a list of what you need, and your room dimensions, the choice is staggering. My top tip is to seek out pieces that are well made and have a story. We use a lot of reclaimed or vintage pieces in our interiors as we find that they are generally very robust and have that added charm that only comes with age. And often they come with stories: Where did it come from? Who used it? Does it have a patina that makes it special? Having a piece like this makes you feel like a custodian rather than an ‘owner’ and probably means that you will love your purchase for much longer. Go with your heart and seek out the old, well made and unusual – whilst still making sure the thing will fit!”
How to Choose Colours that Work
Katherine Richards Design
“These days life can be stressful so I believe it’s doubly important to get your home right, especially the colours. Coming home needs to be uplifting, comfortable and relaxing and the way to achieve this is by being discerning about the colours you choose. It is vital you surround yourself with colours which are right for you. It’s easy to choose neutral palettes because they are easy to live with. But easy isn’t always enough and can be emotionally dulling. Colour stimulates your mind, improves your sense of wellbeing and ultimately your life. Not all colours are right for all people, but it’s a good idea to surround yourself with a healthy range of tones. For example, although you might not like yellow, recognise that it’s a wonderfully uplifting colour so why not introduce it into your home with a vase of daffodils!”
How to Choose a Chest of Drawers that’ll Last
Kate Langdale Interiors & Floral Design
“When it comes to choosing a good chest of drawers it’s worth paying out for a decent one. Look for timeless classic pieces that will work well in your bedroom or dressing room. I would always go for something made of solid wood. Never buy cheap ply that warps in a damp flat and falls apart after a few months! Check the drawer bottoms are solid too and not ply or mdf as these can fall out, or easily become loose after a few years. I like chests with deep drawers for extra storage, and it is so much nicer if they have feet too so you can easily hoover underneath. If over the years you fancy a change of look, wood furniture can easily be painted and stripped too! Options to change the handles to match in with your new style work out so much cheaper than buying a new piece every time.”
“A good chest of drawers is an investment and can also be used in other rooms around the house for storing files and papers in your spare room-cum-office – and make perfect storage for towels, linens and toiletries in your bathroom. Hang a mirror on the wall above your chest of drawers and the top doubles up as a dressing table, or perfect as a TV stand. A chest of drawers is so useful for storage you’ll never regret spending out on a good one, two or even three!”
How to Choose the Right Chair
Adrian Robins Interiors
“When you are choosing a chair, there are a number of things to consider which also depend upon its use. Clearly the ergonomics of the chair are important and the most important thing here is seat height and depth. A chair that is for relaxing or reading might need to have a higher back to support your head, and a soft but supportive seat and back cushions, to avoid bad posture and possible back pain.
The size of a chair in a living room needs to be in proportion to the size of the room and other pieces of furniture. I think that if you have a plain sofa/room, a chair gives you the opportunity to have something unusual in design or the fabric that it is covered in. Basically it can be a focal point like a piece of art and in some ways a chance to express yourself without going too wild!”
How to Choose the Perfect Table
iGigi General Store
“Your table is a place for you to sit and of course eat around, you can work at it, read on it, paint on it or play games around it – even dance on it if the mood takes you! Celebrating the best moments, the birthdays and making the biggest decisions all happen at the table with a cuppa or a glass. These gatherings are the most important times of our busy lives – we stop and communicate with our friends and family whilst sharing a meal together. Size does matter! So think about how many people will be sat around this special place on a day to day basis – how big is your room really? And don’t worry about the Christmas day lunch! You can get creative for this occasion.
Are you the entertainers – the on the knee Tv watchers – the candelabra diners or chandelier swingers? All things considered, choose well. You need roughly 45-55cm per person to be comfortable – and I suggest you look around the room to see what style you have created – don’t go too crazy or outrageous – you’re gonna want to love this table for a long time… remember it knows all your secrets!”
Thanks to all these designers for their advice. We found it really useful, hope you do too!
If you have good tips for choosing furniture, let us know in the comments below!