People often feel daunted at the prospect of decorating, not quite knowing where to start and paralyzed by the thought of making expensive mistakes. The key to keeping the decorating process fun and stress-free is to take the time when selecting solid, functional foundation pieces that will easily adapt and change as your own personal style does.
Here are six pieces that will give you lots of bang for your buck that you’ll keep for years to come.
1. A comfortable sofa
As the largest piece in the most frequently used area of the home, this can set the tone for the entire space. Find a piece that really epitomizes your personal style and the feeling you want to create for that space. If you’re like most of us, you likely spend a few hours on your sofa each day so make sure this important piece of furniture will survive the daily wear and tear. So make sure to pick a piece with a solid hardwood frame and choose a durable fabric in a neutral colour that will outlast trends and be easy to accessorize with a wide variety of colours. Tip: for easy cleaning, look for synthetic or synthetic blend fabrics.
Start early and with whatever budget you can manage. A fantastic art collection is not something you go out and purchase all at once, but rather something thoughtful that is accumulated slowly over time. It should reflect your own experiences and life story and most importantly, be something you fall in love with. Tip: check out local art fairs or online sites like Etsy.com for affordable, original pieces.
3. The perfect console
A simple, functional console is a versatile piece that can take on a variety of roles within your home – from an entrance console to a desk, dressing table or bar, you’ll always need at least one of these around the home. The Parsons desk by West Elm is a cult favourite among designers for its clean lines, practical size and effortless versatility. Tip: Pick a style with drawers for extra storage and functionality.
4. A classic dining table
Some of the best family memories are created around the dinner table and a solid, well-made wood piece will hold its value for years to come and you will always be able to sell it in the future. If you don’t have a lot of space, or don’t have many people around on a regular basis, pick a style with leaves so that you can adjust the sizing to your entertaining needs. Tip: Look for solid wood vintage pieces that can be refinished at a fraction of the cost of a new one.
5. A versatile bench or ottoman
This one piece can be used by the front door for people to take off boots; as an interesting mix along with chairs around a dining table; be easily moved into the living room as additional seating while entertaining and at the end of the night; or at the foot of your bed. No doubt you’ll find this practical piece will prove to be a lifesaver at many different times. Look for a size that is small enough to be used in the hallways of your home (usually no more than 16″ deep) for maximum versatility. Tip: Be sure to put felt pads on this piece – no doubt you’ll be moving it around.
Light can create atmosphere and change the mood of an entire space. As an accessory item, approach selecting lighting as you would your jewellery or a fine watch – it should appeal to you on an aesthetic level and also be functional in providing the type of light that is needed. For example, you’ll need brighter task lighting for workspaces, a softer ambient glow for lounging and relaxing. Lighting will provide the finishing touch to a space and can have a dramatic impact on the atmosphere within your home. Tip: Install dimmer switches to get a wide range of options from a single fixture.