In my latest post I talked about how to breathe new life into old furniture so that you wont have to buy new ones. But what happens when they are unsalvageable? What happens when you break up and he gets all the old stuff - you never did like that awful couch anyway - and you get the chance to buy new?


The piece that jumps off the screen at you on a website may look great – it’s just the right colour and size you are looking for- but looks aren’t everything.  What furniture is made from and how it is put together are considerations which will help you choose quality pieces that will look great and endure. Here are some practical tips to help you select the best for your home.


Leather and Synthetic Fabrics For Furniture Covering

Leather has a luxurious feel and attractive lustre. Its added advantage is its durability. Think about what might happen to it in your home – could a drinks party get boisterous? Have you got pets with claws? Will you flop into that armchair in rain-sodden clothes?  How leather is dyed determines how fast its colours are. You don’t want a curious mauve stain on the seat of your skirt or jeans. Vat-dyed leather’s depth of colour comes from being steeped in its dye until the dye has run entirely through it. Fully dyed leather can have a protective coating, making it more resistant to stains, and less likely to discolour your clothes. Cheaper options are leathers which are only dyed on the surface, these can look good because of the sheen of their protective coating, but they don’t wear well, and cat claws are their enemy.

The allure of leather can be well replicated in quality synthetic fabrics. These have come a long way since their ticky-tacky beginning when people said ‘imitation leather’ with a sneer. Modern fabrics are likely to be resistant to discoloration, and they don’t require the same degree of maintenance that leather does – you just wipe them with a damp cloth.


Upholstery And Cushioning

Looking at a selection of online furniture in Australia or in your local area will let you see what is out there. You also really need to check furniture in person to see if it meets your needs. Sit on sofas and seats, spend a bit of time doing this, and try shifting your position – you will want to relax on it at home, so don’t think you have to just briefly sit upright in it in the showroom. Check how easily cushion covers are removed and if they have moisture resistant linings. Look for firmness and support in cushions; if you sink easily into it when it is new, it will need to be replaced sooner than you would imagine.

Period Furniture

Antique, vintage and retro furniture have become a new modern in interior design. However, there are some differences between these terms. Antique usually refers to aged furniture that stays for a long long time. So when you try to buy this kind of furniture, refurbishment is expected. Vintage means something that of high quality so the design itself is from the 20th century. Retro always means the imitation of style from the recent past. So it doesn't mean that retro furniture is something you get from the flea market.


Wooden Furniture

You should expect hardwood furnishing to bear weight, so construction is what you need to look for. Run your hands over joints to ensure dovetailing is well done. Test desks and tables with your own weight, lean on them – if there is the slightest suspicion of flimsiness, they are not what you want (unless you are running a circus featuring a clowns’ tea party). Drawers and movable surfaces for keyboards and mats need to run smoothly – watch out for resistance, jerkiness, and stability – you don’t want to open a drawer only to see its contents fall on the floor.

Sure, you want furniture that looks great, but if you don’t think about what it is made of, how it is made, and your actual use of it, you can easily be fooled by cheap, shoddily made furniture which won’t last and will irritate you on a daily basis.

Purchase furniture from a trusted company and rest assured it is of high quality material.

Happy shopping and please please please let me know what you bought (and if I need to help you break his knees for hurting you!!!)


Lots of love