If you’re moving into a nice, new condo, you probably don’t want to bring your battered old living room furniture along with you. New furniture for the living room can be surprisingly affordable, and purchasing some just-right pieces will make you feel even more excited about moving into your new space.
But, before you head out to the furniture stores and purchase the first thing that catches your eye, use our tips to help you capture the best look for you.
1. Plan the Space
With too much furniture, a room can feel crowded; with too little, the room will feel empty. You really need to find pieces that fit the space.
The best way to do this is to map out your room on graphing paper. Make your drawing to scale so each square represents a certain measurement. For instance, if your living room is going to be 12 feet by 15 feet, you might have each square represent an inch, mapping out a rectangle 144 squares by 180 squares. With this outline of the room, you can roughly sketch in where things might go.
In most cases, it’s best to focus furniture around a central point, like the TV or a fireplace. With a to-scale outline of the room, you can then draw pieces to represent things like sofas, chairs, and tables. This helps you figure out how big you want the furniture to be so you can shop without doing the guesswork about whether it will fit together.
2. Start with the Basics
When it comes to living room furniture, seating is most important. You want something comfortable, and you need enough for guests. Sectional sofas are nice because you can either tuck them into a corner against a wall or place them in the middle of the room to define the space. Sometimes, though, they’re a bit large and can feel like they’re taking over the room. Some people prefer a sofa and a chair or two.
Look for fabrics that don’t stain and are easy to keep clean. Depending on your sense of style, you might want something in a neutral colour you can set off with bright accent pieces or something in a louder colour that stands out. Ask the builder for some samples from your floor and wall colours so you can match the furniture to the room.
3. Incorporate Other Elements
Once you’ve selected your main pieces, you can add some other elements to the space. This might include shelving, tables, ottomans, and lighting. Ultimately, think about how you’ll use the room. If the sofa you purchased has built-in drink holders, you might not need a side table next to it. If not, you might want small tables at either end or a coffee table in front. If the sofa is going in the middle of the room, some people place a table behind the sofa. Any of these choices can work.
Remember, having a large ottoman or coffee table in the middle of the room can take up quite a bit of usable space. If you don’t think you’ll actually use these pieces, skip them. You can always pick something up later if the room feels empty.
4. Keep Things Compact
If you want to save some space and keep an open feeling to the room, look for furniture that’s compact. Instead of a plush, English-style sofa with over-sized cushions, select a sleek, modern style that’s still comfortable. You might even choose a loveseat rather than a full-size sofa. Look for “space-saver” versions of reclining chairs. This style requires less open space in the back for reclining.
Also look for slim tables and shelves. They’ll serve the same purpose while taking up less space.
5. Don’t Forget Storage Space
Proper storage is key to keeping your living room tidy. Look for living room furniture that you can also use for storage. As you purchase your living room furniture, think about items you might need to put away. A few shelves could be perfect for your books, while cabinets can hold seasonal items or board games. If you’re going to use an ottoman or coffee table, look for versions with storage underneath.
6. Chose Multi-Purpose or Moveable Pieces
With the right furniture, your living room can work in a variety of ways. Pull-out sofa beds, for example are great for when you have overnight guests. A set of folding TV tables can give you extra table space when you have a party or want to eat dinner while watching a movie, but easily go out of the way when you don’t need them.
It’s also nice to have chairs you can easily move around the space, especially when you’re having a few friends over.
Treating yourself to some new furniture is the perfect way to start your new home life on the right track. A few key pieces can make a big difference to your happiness, so don’t be afraid to spend more for the things you like.