Furniture

Fill your home with stylish and functional furniture

Furniture - Furniture

Good furniture is designed to incorporate elements that are both useful and stylish, while being durable enough to withstand daily use over many years.

This guide will help you navigate through a seemingly endless array of furniture types, styles, colors and finishes.

Furniture Placement

Furniture varies greatly from room to room, yet its basic function remains the same. Furniture should provide complete comfort, utility and style to your living space whether it is your living room, bedroom or home office.

Living/Family Room

Begin furnishing the living room by deciding how much seating you need and coordinate the space with enough chairs, recliners, rocking chairs and couches.

  • In case of smaller rooms or to free up space, look for an L-shaped couch that will fit into a corner.
  • Sectional couches are designed for larger rooms, and some feature built-in cup holders or tables for added convenience.


Consider the style and material type of the furniture that you are looking for. Leather provides sophistication and durability, while chenille and velvet provide soft cushioning and elegance.

  • Ottomans can add comfort and enhance the appearance of the room, and some models add extra storage.
  • Reclining chairs provide an ultra-comfortable way to relax in front of the TV.
  • Choose a comfortable arm height that's neither too high nor too low.
  • Select couches and chairs with simple lines to give your home a modern look and feel.
  • Special theater-style seating can turn a family room into a movie theater.


Bedroom

Dressers, chests and armoires provide storage while serving as an element of style. Choose a set that provides enough space while enhancing the room's appearance. Evaluate the size of your room and the amount of space you need to sleep to determine the best size.

  • Traditional mattresses and box springs come in twin, full, queen and king sizes.
  • Memory foam mattresses contour to your body for added comfort, while adjustable beds allow you to customize positions for your head and feet.
  • California king-size beds are slightly longer and narrower than conventional-size kings.
  • Airbeds, futons, bunk beds and loft beds provide space-saving sleep alternatives.
  • Ensure waterbeds are made from high-quality materials to avoid leaks.
  • Nightstands frame a bed while providing handy storage and surface space.
  • Add mirrors to smaller rooms to create a sense of depth and openness.


Dining Room/Kitchen

Size is the most important element to consider when placing furniture in your kitchen or dining room. Ensure there is enough room to comfortably sit at a table without crowding. Try to allow 24-30 inches of space for each person. Also, make sure there is room for people to slide chairs in and out.

  • Round tables work better in smaller dining rooms and kitchen nooks as they maximize the amount of useable space.
  • Rectangular tables are best for larger rooms and formal dining areas.
  • Dining chairs are available in a wide array of styles to suit your decor. Look for chairs that fit well when positioned with the back support of the chair resting up against the table.
  • Tables that are too small make rooms seem large and less intimate.
  • Tables that are too large make dining rooms feel crowded.
  • Dining tables are typically available in 29 or 30-inch heights.
  • A table with an extension leaf can grow to accommodate more guests.


Home Office

A comfortable chair and a desk with plenty of storage space are the hallmarks of a useful home office. If you spend a lot of time on the computer emailing or working on spreadsheets, make sure you have a chair that provides enough support to keep you feeling comfortable over long periods of time.

  • Choose a chair that allows you to make multiple adjustments, especially if more than one person uses it.
  • Cloth and mesh materials provide ventilation to keep your chair cool, while leather and vinyl offers a stylish look that is easy to clean.
  • Ergonomic features eliminate unnecessary strain on your back, neck and shoulders.
  • Height, armrest and tilt adjustment allow customization for long-term, comfortable use.
  • Chairs with five-point bases provide stability, while casters provide improved mobility.
  • A good desk should provide plenty of space for your computer, speakers and keyboard.
  • If you use your desk for more than computer work, look for a larger surface with extra drawers. In small rooms, consider desks that provide vertical storage or include spaces for other accessories, such as a printer.
  • L-shaped desks can be placed in a corner for better use of space in small areas.

Finish

Many pieces of furniture feature wood finishes that provide lasting beauty and traditional appeal. Choose between enamel, lacquer, oil, paint, stain, shellac and more finishes.

Bleach

  • A durable, clear coating preserves the finish
  • Lightens color
  • May turn wood almost white

Enamel

  • Creates tough, scratch-resistant surface
  • Hides grain and color
  • Applied over paint

Lacquer

  • Brushed or sprayed on in multiple layers for different effects
  • Clear lacquer shows the wood grain
  • Colored lacquer hides or masks the grain

Oil

  • Several coats must be rubbed into surface
  • Natural look
  • Enhances color
  • Produces a delicate finish

Paint

  • Available in a variety of color choices
  • Hides imperfections
  • May be glossy or semi-glossy
  • Can chip or scratch

Shellac

  • Clear coating
  • Serves as a sealer to protect against damage
  • Easily marred
  • Shows water spots

Stain

  • Adds and/or alters color
  • Can be used to simulate the look of different wood types

Varnish

  • Adds a rich, brown color
  • Finishes include matte, satin and glossy

Wax

  • Protects wood
  • Retains natural appearance

Features

Customize your furniture to meet your needs with table leaves, themed furniture, decorative pillows and more.

Table Leaf: Tables with drop-in leaves allow the table to expand to accommodate guests.

Loft Beds: For small bedrooms, consider using a loft bed to maximize available space. Loft beds are raised off the floor and have an open space beneath -- like a top bunk bed with no bottom bunk below. The room beneath the bed gives you space for items such as a computer desk, dresser or couch.

Theme Furniture: When furnishing your child's room, consider choosing furniture with a special theme that reflects his or her interests. With everything from race cars and fire trucks to cartoon and movie characters, you can find a bed, desk, table or other items that are bound to make your child feel more at home.

Pillows: Decorative pillows provide stylish accents for couches, love seats and chairs. They are available in a variety of sizes, materials and aesthetic styles. For sleeping, choose a pillow that matches the way you sleep. If you sleep on your back, select pillows of medium firmness. Use softer pillows if you sleep on your stomach. Firmer pillows provide greater support for side sleepers.

Corner Chairs: Just as there are L-shaped couches that fit into corners, there are V-shaped chairs for the same purpose. These chairs are designed to maximize space and allow you to face either direction when sitting.

Modular or Sectional Construction: Items that can be easily taken apart and reassembled make moving a breeze. Whether the door is too small or the piece is too heavy, furniture that can be reduced to small, easy-to-manage sections are extremely helpful.