joy of nesting

Here are the five easiest steps to furnishing your first home, almost from scratch.  This can be a daunting task.  Build a budget, a three to five year purchasing plan, make seating first priority, then dining room tables and chairs, and then accent chairs and occasional tables.  Once the big decisions are out of the way, it becomes a little less daunting, and a little more fun.

Step One:  Assess and re-purpose what you have.

You may have inherited pieces such as a grandmother’s dresser or have some items left over from college. Look closely before discarding anything because re-purposing those pieces may be a good option. If you can’t find a use for them, put a mover’s blanket over them and store them in a dry spot of the garage. For now, identify them as utilize, save, or toss then photograph them.

Step Two– Prioritize what you need.

The first purchases to make are the biggest investments: your sofa and your master bedroom mattress.
Get the best quality sofa your budget allows. A heavy frame and good cushions are your first two priorities. Fabric quality is number three. If you don’t spend the money on a good sofa, you will regret it in less than a year. The cushions get wobbly, the frame gets shaky, and the comfort level lessens. Go to a good furniture store that is not PB. Their products are beautiful but I am not convinced their sofa prices represent the quality they sell.  Do a sit test. You will sense a certain “heft” to a good sofa. The cushions should support your hips and lower back. I love Best Slipcover Company’s quality. Their retail pricing is close to PB. Their cushion and frame quality is fantastic. Their fabric choices are attractive and mostly less expensive due to the fact that they are slip cover fabrics and not upholstery fabrics. They are a Los Angeles company and if you contact them, they will tell you where to find their retail merchants.

Step Three-Plan a purchasing timeline.  A three to five year purchase plan is perfect for the first basic purchases. 

In this order purchase Sofa, arm chairs, coffee table, dining room set, master bedroom set, occasional tables, accent chairs, hutches, and china cabinets.  Fill in the blank spots with things like etagere’s and book cases.

Step Four– Make room for purchasing the occasional whimsy.  At some point you will come across something you simply must have.  Some home furnishings have personality or uniqueness that justifies straying off your plan.  Go ahead, but only if it feels really right.  Impulse buys can produce lasting style providing they are timeless and are something you truly love.

Step Five– Polish your look.  Create continuity with fabrics, furniture finishes, paint, flooring, and accessories.  Develop your home’s personality, without the use of themes.  Start investing in art.  Make purchases that are lasting and of the best quality you can afford. 

April 5, 2010

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