Home Furniture Design and Fabric Selection

Home furniture design and fabric selection are very important to a modern homeowner, whether male or female. Nobody wants to choose the wrong furniture or home fabrics, and although the furniture might appear the more important of the two, the wrong fabric selection can completely ruin an otherwise well-designed room.

So what do you do? Leave it to chance and hope that your untrained eye is as good as that of anybody else, or hire a professional to help you? In fact, your own opinion about how to decorate and furnish your home is likely to please you just as much as that of a professional interior designer. Most people who worry about such things are trying to please friends and visitors rather than select what they personally like.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, because most people do not make the best decisions when it comes to home furniture design and fabric selection. While there is no procedure you can follow to come up with what is best for your home, here are some guidelines on how to go about selecting your furniture design and how to make the correct fabric selection to go with it.

Decide on a Theme

You cannot even begin to consider furniture without deciding on a theme for your home – or even for each individual room. Very few people furnish and decorate their entire home on one single theme, but tend to mix them. Thus, many people love to have at least one themed room in their home: an Egyptian room or a room based on Ancient Rome, Classical Greece or an Asian, Wild West or Native American theme.

None of these is suitable for general household furniture, of course, or for the normal fabric selection you will find in your local sores. However, it does show that your whole house doesn’t have to be decorated the same way. So when you decide on a theme, your living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom can all be based on a certain home accent – even a traditional one.

For example, you can use antique style furniture and fabrics in your lounge or living room, with sofas and perhaps a chaise longue in the classical French style. Your dining room might be either contemporary, with a black glass-topped dining room table or one in beautiful glossy French polished walnut or mahogany with Queen Anne legs. The chairs might be traditionally webbed and sprung, and then upholstered in tapestry or velvet fabric.

What this is inferring is that you should decide on a general them for each room before you decide on appropriate home furniture design, and then choose the furniture and a fabric selection appropriate to that theme.

Home Furniture Design

As stated, the design of your furniture should go with the theme: contemporary, antique, Georgian or art nouveaux for example. Furniture makers such as The Custom Shoppe can help you design your own solid wood furniture, offering a choice of designs and woods appropriate to your general theme.

You may have chosen a Shaker theme with simple solid wood furniture. Shakers used what was available locally, such as pine, birch, cherry and poplar, and some even used maple or beech. You might prefer something more European, with stained dark oak, walnut, or cherry veneer or the exotic cinnamon-colored Asian teak or solid mahogany which has a beautiful deep red shade. Rosewood is another beautiful wood suitable for most forms of home furniture design.

Traditional American furniture, such as that available from American Craftsman, could be fashioned from light oak, apple or cherry, and black American black cherry is very much in vogue. So is Maple, although the wood you choose should be appropriate to the rest of the furniture in your room.

Home Fabric Selection

If you choose light oak for your dresser or armoire, a walnut or mahogany chest of drawers or table would not go well. This is where advice on home furniture design would be worth seeking. The same is even truer when you consider your home fabric selection. This is where genuinely serious mistakes can be made.

It would be far better if you could find somebody well versed in interior design, and while you might think that it doesn’t really matter – it does! If your drapes, rugs and upholstery fabrics all match, and the colors and designs were appropriate to the type of furniture you have chosen, then an OK room could be converted into a fabulous room.

Get It Right – For the Cats, Kids and the Visitors!

Keep in mind that not all fabrics are cat-proof, and many are also not child-proof. What that means in general terms is that you should be practical when choosing fabrics, and understand that what might be perfect for occasional dinner parties might not be so suitable for general use in a household with kids and a colony of cats with blunt claws needing sharpening!

Space planning, home furniture design, fabric selection and all the rest that make a room what it is, should be thought out and complement each other. You will get your reward when that first visitor walks into your room and gasps ‘WOW!’ That is why you should make a serious effort to get these things right.

Buying Furniture: Dealer or Manufacturer?

When buying furniture is it better to use a dealer or straight from the manufacturer? A lot depends on what you are looking for and whether or not a specific manufacturer can offer a product to meet your needs. It may also be that a specific manufacturer does not sell direct to the public, but only through authorized dealers: The Custom Shoppe is one such cabinet maker, and all their custom products must be ordered from an authorized dealer.

Let’s have a look at the benefits that dealers can offer you, and whether it is better to use a dealer by choice, or a manufacturer when the firm sells direct to the public.

Advantages of Manufacturers.

When ordering directly from a manufacturer, you can contact the maker directly when you have a specific technical question to ask. You might want information on the flammability of certain types of upholstery, for example – although that would generally have to meet national regulations in any case, but that’s just an example.

You may want to know if a standard product can be altered to suit your requirements, although your dealer should also be able to give this information. Many, however, prefer it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, and prefer to deal directly with the maker of their furniture and feel they get better information by doing so.

Another benefit that some gain by purchasing from the manufacturer is the warranty: unless the actual maker closes down, your manufacturer’s warranty will always be honored. The same is true if you buy your furniture through a dealer, but you must make sure that your warranty is not the dealer’s own warranty, but is offered by the maker of the furniture. Otherwise your warranty might be invalid if the dealership closes, or the manufacturer changes dealers.

Benefits of Buying Furniture from a Dealer

Buying furniture from a dealer provides you with a much wider choice than if you chose from the range of only one manufacturing company. Some furniture distributors offer furniture from a wide range of cabinet makers and designers, and can provide you with a fabulous choice of furniture for every room in your house – even your home office and kitchen.

This is particularly true when you buy your furniture online. Using the same dealership website, you can flip between the products on offer from the various furniture manufacturers until you find exactly what you are looking for – and if you can’t, then you can have it made to your specifications. Many furniture firms now offer a custom service on a wide range of products, where you can choose from a range of woods and wood finishes, fabrics and even dimensions.

There are furniture distributors that can offer you a bed from a range of specialist manufacturers such as Simply Amish, The Custom Shoppe or Stickley, and then the mattress from a mattress specialist such as Jamison bedding. That way you get your ideal bed along with the ideal mattress for a good night’s sleep.

As previously mentioned, some manufacturers will not even sell to the public, but only to distributors or dealers. That is because they keep their costs down by avoiding individual home deliveries, but instead deliver in bulk to dealers. They can also employ more intelligent manufacturing schedules such as campaign manufacturing, again helping to keep costs and prices down.

Generally, if you have the option between purchasing furniture from a dealer or a manufacturer, you get a better level of service from the dealer because you have more choice. Dealers can also offer better prices than manufacturers in many cases, because they are purchasing more units with each order.

The Choice is Yours

Naturally, which outlet you choose depends a great deal on what type of furniture you are looking for. Those seeking traditionally constructed and upholstered furniture will not be attracted by a modern furniture dealer, and somebody looking for reproduction period furniture will like be attracted only by specialist furniture stores.

However, if you find a good dealer or furniture distributor, then they may offer a wide selection of different furniture styles, suitable for different rooms and ranging from the period and traditional to the ultra-modern. The question is, would you rather access a website that offered you a range of possibilities, or one that offered you only one manufacturer’s range of products?

The answer would likely be the former, which is why you will find furniture distributors that sell either from their physical store or from their website: you can choose from a range of manufacturers online and then visit the physical store to see the items in the showroom. There are furniture stores that offer you exactly that: the ability to select from their website and then visit the store and make sure it looks as good as it seems online.

Why Wouldn’t You Choose White Bedroom Furniture?

Decorating your bedroom with white bedroom furniture has so many benefits that I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t, at the least consider, using this furniture style in their home.

Firstly, it’s light reflecting properties will cause all the light entering the room to bounce off its surfaces and be dispersed throughout the room, instantly lifting your bedroom. We all associate white with peace and tranquillity, enabling white bedroom furniture to transform your bedroom into that restful retreat. Most furniture styles, woods or colours look harsh and cold without soft furnishings and accessories to introduce warmth into the room but white bedroom furniture has a soft, serene feel to it that requires fewer accessories to achieve that ambience. It has been proven that white is pleasing to look at, creates a greater sense of well being, initiating a restful state of mind and even encouraging sleep. Most of us wouldn’t consider how our choice of bedroom furniture will affect our state of mind and ability to sleep.

White furniture is not imposing like wooden, dark furniture and modern furniture can be. You can incorporate larger pieces of white furniture into your bedroom without cluttering the room and making it appear cramped. White bedroom furniture, in conjunction with white or light shades on the wall, look clean, fresh and bright, even when the weather is grey and dismal, and sunlight is scarce.

White bedroom furniture will easily complement any colour scheme and allow you to choose any wall colour, floor colour and accessories so you can change the colours and theme of your bedroom whenever you feel like.

You can achieve many different looks with white bedroom furniture such as contemporary, vintage, French-style, shabby chic, romantic, modern, country farmhouse; your options are vast. Both modern and contemporary bedrooms should feature large windows, single pane and floor to ceiling windows, if possible. Contemporary bedrooms should feature bold or neutral walls, low-lying bed designs and furniture with square lines. Modern bedrooms often feature white or light walls with white or grey accessories and high gloss paint, floors and furniture. Vibrant colours are also used to create a modern bedroom to offset white walls, furniture and floors. I think that vintage and romantic rooms are closely intertwined and have characteristic light coloured walls, white French-style or shabby chic furniture, and feature vintage items acquired from flea-markets and the like. Shabby chic style is accomplished by combining different styles and colours of furniture that oddly complement each other. White bedroom furniture looks striking against light blue and light green furniture pieces that have an undercoat of white and have been lightly sanded and distressed to look ‘shabby’. I always think French farmhouse when I think of shabby chic, but that is my personal take on the style, and everyone will have their own ideas of what this style represents. White furniture, distressed white floorboards and floral or check printed fabrics and curtains will effortlessly portray the country farmhouse feel.

Choosing Aspen Bedroom Furniture Made in America

When choosing Aspen bedroom furniture you have a wide choice, and keep in mind that Aspen furniture is made in America. You are not just being patriotic in helping the American economy to strengthen, but American furniture is among the best in the world. Here is a brief review of Aspen furniture with specific reference to the firm’s bedroom collections.

Not all furniture sold in the USA by American companies is made in America – a fair amount is made in China these days, but Aspen makes its furniture in Arizona. The Aspen Cambridge collection offers a selection of beautiful bedroom furniture in brown cherry, black and eggshell white finishes.

The Aspen Cambridge Collection

This range is influenced both by a traditional 18th English design and the clean lines of Shaker furniture, the result being a lovely elegance that looks good in any home and is typical of modern American furniture. The beds include the JustRight Mattress Height system where the bed slats can be adjusted in height to accommodate different mattress thicknesses.

Two full extension end drawers are included for extra storage space, running on stainless steel ball bearing glides for a very smooth operation. These beds are available in twin, queen and king sizes. The nightstand with a drawer and two shelves meets the needs of the average mattress height which is about 29-30 inches from the floor. If you prefer, there is a three-drawer nightstand without the open shelves.

The Cambridge range of Aspen bedroom furniture also offers a 64 inch wide 7-drawer double dresser with a matching mirror and an entertainment chest with three drawers and two open shelves for receiver boxes or recorders. Your flat screen TV sits on top, providing you with a clear view of the TV even when lying flat on your bed. All made in America, and so built to a high standard of workmanship.

You can also choose a 52 inch high 6-drawer chest in the same three finishes. Alternatively, if you are short on space after fitting in your king bed, nightstands and perhaps an armoire, you might not have the room for both a dresser and a chest. In that case, Aspen Home Furniture offers you the option of a chesser: only made in America, this chesser combines the advantages of a chest of drawers and a dresser with a mirror to match.

The Aspen Bayfield Range

American furniture doesn’t get much better than this, but the Aspen bedroom furniture range goes even further. If the Cambridge collection doesn’t suit you, then the Bayfield range might – this is a collection of American furniture crafted from solid spruce, and finished in a dark mahogany.

The beds in the Bayfield collection are available in queen, king and California king sizes, so are good for most of the American population. You have the option of regular or storage footboards. The latter offer a pair of drawers, the dimensions for the king bed drawers being 31W x 24D x 7H inches. The dimensions of the queen bed drawers are the same but 6 inches less in width.

One of the main design features of the Bayfield collection that distinguishes it from the Cambridge is that the Bayfield beds offer the sleigh bed design in their headboards. You can easily convert your bed from a regular style to a sleigh bed design by changing the headboard.

The Bayfield collection also includes a 9-drawer chesser with felt-lined top drawers for your jewelry. The 44 inch entertainment chest does more than just act as a bedroom TV stand. It has four drawers, the top drawer of which flips down to hold components for your TV, such as a satellite box while the next down is another flip-down that offers electrical outlets and HDMI connections for a laptop.

You can therefore use it, not just for bedtime TV viewing, but also to watch live online streamed or downloaded files via a laptop to TV link, or to access the internet for personal or business use. This is a very useful piece of bedroom furniture that you will not miss unless you have had it already!

Made in America

These are just two of the bedroom furniture collections offered by Aspen Home Furniture. Just like the company’s living room and dining room furniture, every piece is made in America. Buying American furniture does not necessarily mean that you are purchasing the very best quality, because the USA is the same as any other country – it offers the bad and the good.

Finding the Best Bedroom Furniture Store for Your Needs

Finding the best bedroom furniture store is a bit like finding the best bed. There is no such a thing in universal terms, since the best depends upon your personal preferences and also your needs. You might need a firm mattress for your bad back, while someone else may like something softer.

You might say that the best bedroom furniture store is one that equally meets the needs of everybody, irrespective of their personal preferences or orthopedic needs. However, there is no such store, and for that reason you are best to keep your mind open and simply look for something that catches your eye. Take the Stickley furniture store, for example.

You can select from their range of African sapelli (similar to sapele – a type of mahogany) sleigh beds in various sizes, or their more traditional Monterey style. These are available in a range of finishes to suit your needs together with accessory furniture such as dressers, seven-drawer lingerie stands, night stands and a range of mirrors.

You are highly likely to find something to suit your tastes from the Stickley furniture range. If not, try The Custom Shoppe furniture, offering a wide range of beds in a selection of woods. Not only does Custom Shoppe Furniture allow you to choose your own wood, your own style of bed and your own personal dimensions, but it is also hand-made specifically for you.

This is the ultimate in bespoke bedroom furniture where you have a say in the design all the way through. Your armoire can be designed to your specification, and can hold a TV set – or perhaps you would prefer a remote TV lift in hardwood, which raises your flat-screen TV at the end of your bed by means of a remote control?

Which of these are the best furniture stores for your needs? You tell me – and there are many more! American Craftsman furniture is truly beautiful, and among their wonderful bedroom furniture is a three-piece set comprising a magnificent slatted bed in most common sizes, a four-drawer nightstand and a sturdy eight-drawer dresser in hand-rubbed cherry. Alternatively, you can choose from a wide range of other woods or even metal beds with intricate metallic scroll-work.

If you like sleigh beds, Nichols & Stone furniture offers an astounding solid wood sleigh bed as part of its Williamsburg collection, which includes night stands, dressers and more. There are many more bedroom furniture store options available for you, both online and in local malls and shopping centers. There are more than enough to meet your needs, although you should keep one or two factors in mind when buying bedroom furniture.

It’s the Mattress That Counts

First, it’s not the bed that gives you a good night’s sleep, but the mattress. Sure, the base must be solid and not move or creak, but the mattress is the functional part of any bed. Make sure you have a good mattress that meets your needs – you can buy mattresses separately from Jamison Bedding.

Jamison Bedding offer you a wide range of mattresses to go with any bed of your choice, and will give you the best chance of a good sleep at night. This is particularly true if you the need for a genuine orthopedic mattress. It’s not important to everybody, but something to keep in mind.

Night Stands

Night stands, often known as bedside cabinets, are useful for holding drinks, books, lamps, clocks and a telephone. When choosing a night stand, match its height to the height of your bed. You don’t want it too tall or too short, and the height of your mattress or just an inch or two higher is ideal.

The Essentials

The essential components of bedroom furniture are the bed, nightstands (two if there are two of you) and a dresser – just a set of drawers will do for a single guy. Women will need a dresser fitted with a mirror – and perhaps a lingerie chest and an armoire (also known as a wardrobe). The armoire is essential if don’t have a closet for your suits, dresses, shirts and so on.

Your bedroom should contain your choice of furniture, but make sure you like it because you will have it for a long time. There is no such thing as a best bedroom furniture store because each has a different stock, and you could find your dream furniture in any of them.

Perhaps the best bedroom furniture store of all would be one that offers a wide selection of pieces from a number of different manufacturers. Then you have a good choice, plus catalogs from which you may be able to order. In that respect, online furniture stores are good, particularly those with a physical showroom in your area – or that offer links to some of the better national furniture stores.

Home Furniture Construction: Signs of Furniture Craftsmanship

Home furniture construction is every bit as important as its looks – perhaps even more so. Most home furniture manufacturers offer much the same type of furniture, with not a great deal of intrinsic difference between their overall design and appearance. It is how furniture is made that matters, because you want it to be comfortable, hard wearing and last a long time.

The standard of furniture craftsmanship employed is very important, whether you are purchasing a table, cabinet or sofa. Here is what to look for in your own home furniture before you part with a single cent:

The Construction

You can always tell how well a furniture manufacturer builds it furniture by checking a drawer. Just one drawer is all it takes to make a fairly accurate judgment. Remove the drawer and check the joints. There should be dovetail joints all round, signifying strength and durability. The front joint should be hidden dovetails, so they don’t show on the outside face.

Inspect the outside and inside of each drawer to make sure everything has been properly smoothed down, and its contents are unlikely to be snagged. The sign of good furniture craftsmanship is that even the outside surfaces of the drawers, including the bottom, have been properly smoothed and finished. They should also open smoothly, preferably with a central drawer guide rail to prevent any lateral movement.

Rails and framework should be fitted using proper carpentry joints: cross rails using dovetails or pinned mortise and tenon joints. Mortise and tenons should be used on the main frame of chests, cabinets and armoires. The wood finish should be added in steps. This should begin with a preservation coat and then the staining and finishing coats added.

Back panels should not be stapled – these frequently loosen, and the furniture could be weakened. In fact, if the correct jointing techniques have been employed in home furniture construction, the back panels should not be needed for strength – the frame should be strong enough itself. Nevertheless, panels should be attached using screws and corner blocks. An important aspect of taller furniture is that it has been tested for stability. You don’t want a tall chest tipping over when you pull out a filled top drawer.

Furniture Craftsmanship in Upholstered Furniture

Here again the strength of the frame is all-important. You sometimes find upholstered home furniture construction given less attention than that of cabinetry because it is not so visible. However, the frame should at least be constructed from a properly jointed hardwood frame, and not just from plywood panels nailed together as you sometimes find. A well-built frame provides a solid base for the springing and other upholstery, and your chairs and sofas will last a long longer because of it.

The base of the seat should first be correctly webbed and then sprung using steel springs of the right size for the depth of the seat. The springs should be properly secured to a solid wood frame and tied together so that the seat is comfortable to sit on. They should then be covered with canvas or synthetic burlap, and then stuffed using a suitable natural or synthetic stuffing material before adding a final cotton batting that acts as a base for the cover.

The External Covering Fabric

The cover fabric should be hardwearing, meeting industry standards for upholstery fabrics and also meet any fire-resistance regulations applicable. The cover should be properly tacked to the frame, although it is common these days simply to use a staple gun. The cushions should be filled comfortably, some preferring a coil sprung filling wrapped in a layer of foam or batting. Whichever type is used, the internal fiber should be effectively secured and distributed evenly.

Finally check the overall appearance of the furniture. If your upholstered furniture has been manufactured using proper standards of home furniture construction, it should look good, feel completely stable and also be comfortable to sit on. The covers and cushions should fit correctly, and be neatly sewn, and the seat should offer support at the front edge and not sag.

Home furniture construction is very important, and without being sure that proper standards of good furniture workmanship have been employed in its manufacture, you should not expect it to last. While furniture hand-crafted from solid wood and the best materials can be expensive, you should assess that against the cost of replacing poorly made furniture that fails to last.