5 Dangerous Kitchen Design Mistakes

The kitchen is where all of the hard, dangerous work takes place. There are countless dangers - floor spills, faulty stoves and damaged electrical appliances - that await anyone who enters. Fortunately, there are ways to avert these dangers if you plan to pursue kitchen remodeling. Learn about 5 dangerous design mistakes to avoid incorporating into your kitchen layout.

1. Lack of Storage Space

Not having enough storage space in your kitchen seems harmless, but it's not when people start pushing and shoving into each other. Not enough space means that people will overload the cabinet and pantry shelves with excessive weight. Too much pressure could loosen the bolts and have the shelves collapse on top of each other.

2. Poor Lighting

light fixture2

Poor lighting in any room is a major defect that causes dangerous accidents. In the kitchen, the best chefs accidentally cut themselves or use the wrong ingredients in their recipes. Install LED lights that provide sufficient brightness for years of use. Install task lighting that shines light directly onto the stove, sink or counter.

3. Mixing Water with Electricity

Keep electrical sockets at least one foot away from water sources. Do not encourage people to plug in electronics and let cords dangle in the water. Don't allow the blender and toaster to get splashed by water from the nearby sink.

4. Lack of Counter Space

Not enough counter space is dangerous when the counter overflows with items. Not having enough electrical sockets is an issue if too many electronics are plugged in and overload the circuits. People who use small counters will drop food and sharp objects that cause accidents, including slips and falls.

5. Wooden Floors

Wood gives an elegant, classic look to the floor; however, it may not be the best choice for kitchens. This floor must support a countless number of liquid spills, so use a material that is waterproof and leak resistant.

Un-laminated wood rots, and in the worst scenario, the wood pieces break off into sharp shards. Instead of average wooden floors, install tiles or wood that is laminated for anti-breakage strength.

The kitchen needs special attention since it is the most hazardous room in your house. Follow a few important tips to keep this area clean, comfortable and safe. Make sure you only use safe and natural cleaners in your kitchen and your entire home. Melaleuca products are the way to go, as they contain naturally-derived ingredients like vinegar and citric acid from lemons. And the products do a really good job based on Melaleuca reviews shared by customers online. Always put safety on the top of your list as a kitchen remodeler.

References

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Dual-Functioning Furniture in Small Spaces

Realtors will tell you that snagging that condo in Soho or the studio overlooking Biscayne Bay is a prize unto itself. Location is everything. However, if you want to entertain in a small space you may have to opt for a fold-up card table and a roll-away-bed that fits in the closet during parties. That is assuming you have a closet!

Urban living often means leasing an efficiency apartment, studio or condo with limited floor space. One option to gain more floor space is to use dual-functioning furniture like Murphy beds. Custom built beds often have a second feature—like a dining table or extra storage—built in as secondary furnishings. These unique furniture pieces are decorative and functional. They allow you to fold up one furniture element to reveal another whenever it is needed. Options range from budget friendly to high-end custom quality, complete with a matching price tag.

There are numerous options for beds that are built on a storage platform, eliminating the need for chests-of-drawers and dressers in cramped quarters. Ottomans often serve as extra seating with a cushion and occasional tables without their cushions. Hinged-top coffee tables double as storage and provide extra seating. One furniture designer built a beautiful sidebar that expertly hides play space and walk through sleeping quarters for feline family members. The possibilities are almost endless.

Most people envision a Murphy bed as a wooden cabinet that holds a double bed mounted on a wall. This gives you floor space, but lacks personality. This same retractable bed can be built into a base that has 18 to 24 inch deep drawers from top to bottom in a variety of widths. The additional storage is priceless in a small apartment. The drawers are equipped with custom fasteners to keep them secure when opening and closing the sleeping compartment. Styles are available with a frame that has storage above and beside the mattress. When the mattress is folded up, the cabinet resembles an armoire or may display artwork in custom frames.

One design has a fold out dining table that is attached to the bed closet. Height levels can be adjusted to fit your personal seating preferences. You can choose a low, oriental style table, a standard dining height or even a bar height table based on your home decorating style and theme. Speaking of tables, you will find antiques and new designs that have multiple expansion options from folding flat against a wall to retractable leaves that transform a work desk into a table large enough to seat ten comfortably. A Murphy bed can be used as a room divider wall in your loft if you need to define space in an open concept floor plan. There are also cabinets for sleeper sofas and chairs that convert to a single bed. These cabinets provide storage around the sofa or chair and reveal a bed at night.

These are only a few of the multi-functional furniture pieces available. Roll around kitchen islands often provide storage underneath. The list is limited only by your imagination. A fantastic way to jump start your creativity is to explore the options used by shipbuilders and recreational vehicle designers. During the maritime era, ship builders utilized every square inch of living space to their advantage. Today, modern designers use the same techniques in their RV's. Many antique desks feature slide out writing spaces and hidden compartments as safety boxes. If you are artistic and crafty, browse flea markets for inspiring pieces you can rebuild and repurpose. You can furnish your small space beautifully, whether you buy a dual-functioning piece of furniture, build your own or have one custom built.

Sofa or Sectional: What’s the right choice for your home?

Decorating a living room, family room or great room poses an interesting challenge. It's important to establish a focal point, get the lighting just right and find attractive, functional pieces that provide storage. The most important aspect of decorating these rooms where so many people gather is providing comfortable seating.

Sofas and sectionals give the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to seating the most people, but how do you choose between a sofa and a sectional? Evaluating your decorating style, your lifestyle and your seating needs will help you make the right decision.

Formal Rooms

Does your room have symmetrical features, such as a fireplace flanked by twin windows? When you decorate, do you look for pieces with elegant lines, accents gilded in gold, dark wood tones and delicate fabrics? When selecting art for your walls, do you prefer portraits and landscapes to family photos and abstract pieces? If you answered "yes," to these questions, your decorating style is formal.

Many traditional sofa designs work well with a formal decorating style, but a sectional sofa looks out of place in a formal room. To make the most of your formal room, select sofas with carved wood trim and rolled arms. Look for upholstery fabrics that are smooth or fabrics that have subtle texture, such as damask or moire. To achieve a classic look, center your sofa in front of a focal point such as a fireplace or a picture window.

Informal Rooms

A sectional looks best in an informal setting like a great room or an open-concept family room. An informal decor style is characterized by clean lines, sturdy fabrics and no-fuss window coverings. Generally speaking, if a big-screen TV set is the focal point in the room, the decor is informal. Sectionals are well suited to today's casual, family-oriented lifestyles, and they work well with companion pieces like ottomans and recliners.

Because sectionals are kid-friendly and pet-friendly, contemporary, easy-care fabrics are your best choice. Microfiber sectionals are easy to clean with vacuum cleaner attachments. In households where pet hair is an issue, leather is the ideal choice. Leather is attractive and long-lasting, and you can wipe dog or cat hair away with a damp cloth.

Seating

Another consideration when choosing between a sofa and a sectional is how much seating you need. Do you need a lot of seating every day, or can you bring in chairs from other rooms when you entertain large groups?

A long sofa that seats up to four people works well in a large room, but the middle spots aren't as comfortable as the ends. Keep in mind that older individuals may have a hard time standing after being seated on a center cushion. Most people use the arm rest on a sofa to help them stand up.

A sectional virtually always seats more people than a sofa. On family movie night, it's easy to tuck a child into the corner of a sectional, and sectionals don't follow the one-person-per-cushion rule that some sofas seem to dictate. If you have a large family or if you entertain a lot, a sectional can provide adequate seating where a sofa can't.

Shape

If you want seating that wraps around the corner of a room, a sectional is best for you. Sectionals can be customized to suit the shape of your room, with a recliner built into one end and a "chaise lounge" extension on the other end. Some sectionals can even be separated into smaller pieces to provide a variety of seating options, then locked back into place when you want a one-piece look. A large ottoman in a matching or coordinating fabric provides even more seating, and many ottomans are now available with hinged tops, so they double as storage pieces.

Providing adequate, comfortable seating makes a large room seem friendly and inviting. Choosing the sofa or sectional that works best for your home will make your guests want to come back again and again.

Furnishing Your First Apartment

Getting your first apartment is a milestone event in your life. It's a sign that you are officially on your own and are able to take care of yourself. While finding an apartment or house to live in may be easy, deciding how to furnish it can throw many people for a loop, especially if they have little experience choosing furniture. There are a few basic rules when furnishing a home or apartment. The furniture needs to fit into the space. It should also work with your taste and coordinate or match in some way. Most importantly, it needs to be furniture that you can afford.

Measure Twice, Buy Once

An empty apartment looks like a blank canvas. You feel absolutely confident that you can fit a king-sized bed in your bedroom, two couches in the living room and a full-sized dining table in the kitchen. To avoid heartbreak and pain, always measure the space before you buy anything. Measure the depth and width of the room as well as the ceiling height. You should also measure the width of your doors and hallways so that you know you will be able to fit a couch or table through. If you have particularly narrow doors or hallways, consider the window as an entry option, at least when you are moving furniture.

Budgeting

When you move to your first place, you may be a student or just starting out at your first job. In any case, odds are likely that you will need a budget for furniture. It's a good idea to set a budget before you start looking furniture, so that you don't fall in love with a couch that is way too expensive. Once you have a budget, stick with it. You will have to plan carefully so that you can purchase all the furniture you need without over-spending.

Types of Furniture

Think of what you will use your apartment for and its size when choosing the furniture you need. For example, if you live in a studio apartment and plan on using it primarily for sleeping, relaxing on your own, and eating, you may wish to purchase a futon to act as both your bed and seating area. A futon is a great choice if you need to maximize space.

You will probably need a table of some sort for eating or work. In a small space, a table can perform double-duty. You can eat your meals on it and use it as a surface for your laptop computer or other work materials. If you intend to purchase a table for both work and eating, choose a comfortable chair to go with it. Working while sitting on a straight-backed wooden chair is not very comfortable.

Other furniture pieces that you may need include a dresser and bookcase. You may not need a dresser if you have ample closet storage space. In a very small space, the dresser can also serve as a television stand. Use the bookcase to hold books as well as DVDs or even kitchen equipment if you have a small kitchen area without much storage.

Life of the Furniture

Think about how frequently you intend to move and whether or not you plan on taking the furniture with you on subsequent moves. Inexpensive furniture that you put together yourself may not survive moving from place to place. Pre-assembled, high-quality furniture is more durable, but also more difficult to move as you change homes or apartments. If you intend to stay in your first place for a year or less, it may make more sense to purchase inexpensive furniture that you do not take with you.

To Match or Not to Match

Matching furniture ties a home together and sends a notice to the world that you're an adult. Carefully mis-matched furniture adds a bohemian touch to a living space. Decide whether you want your couch and chairs to coordinate and your wooden furniture to all be the same finish depending on the style you are aiming for.

What Makes an Ergonomic Office Chair

Anyone who works long hours sitting at a desk knows the benefits of a good ergonomic chair. A proper ergonomic chair helps you have good posture, improved circulation, and relieves strain on your back. It also helps you stay comfortable all day long.

Seat height. Ergonomic office chairs contain an adjustable seat feature. An adjustment lever enables you to adjust the seat height so that your feet will be flat on the floor and arms even with desk. Most office chairs seat heights range from 16 to 21 feet high.

A well-designed, ergonomic office chair enables the user to sit in a balanced and comfortable position for extended periods of time. But keep in mind that an office chair is only one component of an ergonomic workstation. Other factors, such as footrest, task lighting, and work desk need to be adjustable to be custom fit to the worker.

Seat depth and width. The majority of office chair seats are 17 to 20 inches wide, which supports most users comfortably. For an office chair to be ergonomic, the user should be able to sit with her back touching the backrest, while also having two to four inches between the seat of the chair and back of her knees. Backrest. An ergonomic office chair should have a backrest that is 12 to 19 inches in width. The backrest should have a forward or backward adjustable tilt.

Lumbar support. Lumbar support is essential to supporting the natural curve of the spine. Sitting for extended periods of time without proper lumbar support can cause slouching, which can lead to strains in the lower spine. An ergonomic chair should have an inward lumbar support curve. For even more of a custom fit, some ergonomic chairs allow you to adjust the lumbar support.

Seat construction. An often overlooked feature of an ergonomic chair is its seat material. The seat material should contain enough padding to be comfortable sitting for long periods of time, but also firm enough to offer support. The fabric should be comfortable for you too. Cloth and mesh are good examples of breathable seat fabrics.

Seat arms. Deciding whether you want a seat with or without arms is often a matter of preference or based upon the type of job you're doing. For instance, if your job requires you to be active or move around while seated, a chair with arms may get in the way. On the other hand, if you'll be spending a lot of time typing or having conversations with customers, clients, or employees, you may find a chair with arms will be a more comfortable way to spend your hours at work. Some ergonomic office chair seat arms are adjustable, which are helpful for computer operators. Seat arms come in varying widths, so be sure to choose the seat width that accommodates your preferences and tasks.

Stability. It goes without saying that a chair for be stable. Look for a five-point base as a sign of chair stability. Swivel. If you job requires you to get up and about from your chair or reach into your desk file drawers frequently, then a chair that swivels will be less taxing on your body.

 

Planning a Guest Room

If you have an extra bedroom in your house, you may consider turning it into a guest room. Even if you do not have a spare room, it is useful to have furniture that can serve as a sleeping area should overnight guests come to visit. The ideal guest room will be comfortable for visitors and will also serve a purpose when you do not have people staying overnight.

Sleeping Arrangements

You have a number of options to choose from when it comes to selecting furniture that people can sleep on. A full or queen sized bed may be an ideal option if you have a room that you will dedicate solely to guests. If you anticipate having young children stay over, you may wish to get two twin beds instead of a single queen or full-sized bed. A couple can push the beds together if they stay in the room or leave them separate. A sleeper sofa is a good choice if you wish to use the guest room as an office or sitting area when guests aren't staying in it. Another functional choice is a day bed. The bed serves as a couch or sitting area in the daytime. At night, it is large enough to sleep one. You may also be able to find full-sized or large day beds.

Other Furniture Choices

The guest room should be a comfortable place for people to stay. You do not need to put a full-sized dresser in the room, especially if serves two roles. A small bench is ideal, so that your guests have a place to set their luggage. If the bench opens, guests can set their clothing and accessories inside it. Night stands that have built-in storage, such as shelves or a cabinet, are also a good choice for a guest room. Some day beds have drawers built in to the bottom, which guests can use to store their belongings. You can also use those drawers to store linens for the room. Make the room more comfortable by giving guests a place to sit, such as an armchair or a chaise lounge.

Multi-Purpose Room

Unless you anticipate entertaining guests all the time or have many rooms in your house, you probably want a room that can serve multiple roles. Make a guest room an office or craft room by setting up a desk in one corner. A small cabinet can hold your office supplies or crafting equipment. If you decide to use a sleeper sofa or day bed in the room, you can make it into an entertainment or media room when guests aren't staying it in. Place a television and other media equipment on an entertainment center opposite the sofa or day bed. The television will also provide your guests with some entertainment when they stay there.

Having Guests in a Small Space

Some homes are not large enough for a separate guest room. If that is the case, you can still entertain overnight guests by selecting smart furniture. Children staying overnight can sleep in the same room as your own children if you invest in a bunk bed or a trundle bed. A basement recreation room can also serve as a guest area with the addition of a sofa bed. If you do not have a separate bedroom but do have a finished basement, you can provide your guests some privacy. A sleeper sofa in the living or family room is another option. Use foldable room dividers to give your guests as much privacy as possible. Consider hanging black-out curtains or shades in the window to make the living room an area suitable for sleeping.

Which types of wood go together

When you first move into a home, you usually plan to get really nice matching furniture and decorate it the home so that everything compliments everything else, and wood furnishings are usually part of that plan.Then, for most of us, reality hits. The next thing you know, you've got a pine table in the dining room with oak chairs and a buffet which is made of some wood you haven't identified yet. And let's not even talk about the color of the floor. The question is, "can it all be made to somehow work?" The answer is yes.

First off, there are no types of wood that absolutely positively don't go together. Oak can be a little challenging at times because of it's prominent grain (it tends to go best with similar "grainy" woods like elm and rosewood), but even oak will play nice with others if properly introduced. The design of the piece is actually much more important than the color or type of wood. If you have one modern design wood chair and an one Louis XIV chair, they're not normally going to look like they belong together even if they're made of the same wood in the exact same shade.

That being said, there are some types of wood that do naturally look very good together. Some popular choices include walnut with maple, maple with cherry, walnut with cherry and cherry with mahogany. Keep in mind though that wood's color changes as it ages, so what looks like a great match today may be quite different in the future.

Another thing you need to know is that too much of the same type of wood can actually start to look bland. A big mistake that people often make is decide to make an "oak room" with oak floors, furniture and trim only to find that they suffer from oak overload. Variety is the spice of life, so maybe it's good that you couldn't afford that matching dining room set that was the same shade as your hardwood floor and trim.

Speaking of flooring and trim, those are excellent tools to tie different types of wood furniture together. Picture frames are also useful in this regard. Flooring is a great equalizer, since many hardwood flooring patterns have both light and dark shades in them. Without an equalizing floor, one way to utilize trim to balance wood furniture in a room would be to find a trim that has a similar pattern or grain to one piece of wood furniture while being close in color or shade to another. This could "bring the two pieces together" and make them look like they are part of a greater plan. Another tactic is to get trim or other decorative pieces that form a"middle ground" for the color of the woods in the room. For instance, if you have a light colored hardwood floor and a dark cherrywood rocking chair, a medium-dark trim could bridge the gap and allow the eye to travel naturally from lighter to darker or vice versa.

Without some intervening piece or trim to smooth out the transition, it's usually best not to put very dark wood next to very light wood. If you have two pieces of furniture that you absolutely love, you don't want to move them and you don't want to add trim, flooring or other accents to blend them, your best bet may be to stain one of them a slightly different color so that you can keep the style without a harsh color difference. The bottom line, though, is that wood, in general, is pretty flexible in terms of its compatibility and there is almost always a way to make it work.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Desk

Having the right desk can make the difference between being stressed out from all the clutter and being able to work productively whenever you sit down at it. Whether you are shopping for a desk for your home office, to put in a small space in a different room in your home or to use at your place of employment, weigh several factors when making the decision. The right desk depends largely on your personal preferences and how you see yourself using the desk.

Desks come in two major types. Writing desks, like their name suggests, are designed to be used in connection with paperwork. This might include writing letters, paying bills, filling out forms or other similar tasks. Computer desks, on the other hand, typically have a keyboard tray to put the keyboard at a comfortable level and might also have a stand so you can place your monitor higher on the desk. Computer desks often have space for a printer as well.

If you need a desk for both writing and computer usage, look for one that allows you to shift your chair back and forth between two ends of the desk so you can set up separate work stations for the two activities. L-shaped and U-shaped desks are also effective for having different work stations. Another option is to select a model that is deep enough for you to push your computer back when you aren't using it and need the space for writing.

The right size of desk depends largely on the size of the space you have for it. If you have a room set up as a designated office, you will probably want to get a full-size desk, which is at least 6 feet long and 3 feet wide. If you plan to meet with clients who will sit on the other side of the desk, opt for one that is at least 4 feet wide so neither of you feel crowded. On the smaller side, writing desks can measure as little as 2 feet wide and 18 inches deep. If you are getting a desk without much depth, choose a design with a drop lid or a pull-out segment so you can extend your work space and have enough space under the desk for your legs.

In addition to the tabletop space on your desk, you should also consider its storage options. If you do not have other space for storing office supplies nearby, you will want a desk that has multiple drawers or shelves for keeping everything organized. Many desks come with filing drawers, which are ideal if you do not have a dedicated filing cabinet. You can either get a design with two filing drawers on top of each other or with one filing drawer and two to three smaller drawers above it. If you need lots of drawer space, get a wider desk that has drawer banks on both sides. Another way to extend your storage space is to get a desk with a hutch above it for additional shelving.

After considering the functionality of the right desk, the remaining task is to select a desk with an appealing appearance. Classic desks are made out of wood, with lighter colored wood feeling more casual and dark, almost red-colored wood feeling much more formal. You can also choose from glass, plastic and composite desks, which tend to be less expensive than wood, but may not last as long. A simple desk is likely to stay in style for years, whereas an ornate or unusual one might need replacement when it gets outdated.

Before buying what seems to be the perfect desk, consider its weight and mobility. A large, single-piece wood desk is great if it will be staying put for the foreseeable future, but if you expect to move the desk, a smaller desk with a lighter construction would be ideal. Many desks can be disassembled for ease moving them up and down stairs or through tight doorways.

Choosing the Perfect Coffee Table

In a living room, a coffee table can be a work horse. It provides a place for you to prop your feet up after a long day at work. It can store your television remote, books, and DVDs. When you host a party, the coffee table can double as a small buffet or table for cocktails. Since the table has a number of important roles, you want to choose one that is perfect for your style and the room it will live in.

Materials

The perfect coffee table should be made out of materials that coordinate with the rest of the living room's decor. For example, if you have a sleek, black leather couch, choose a sleek coffee table make out of glass and metal or even black leather. If you want to add contrasting texture to the room, try pairing a slightly rough-hewn wooden table with a leather couch. Also consider the durability of the materials. A wooden table may look lovely, but if you have children or teenagers, it can be worn down quickly when they put their feet on it or place drinks on it without a coaster. A large leather cocktail ottoman may be a better option if you want something that will last and withstand the rigors of family life.

Colors

A coffee table can be a neutral piece of furniture in a living area. For example, a simple glass table will blend in with almost any decor. If you wish to use your table to tie the colors of your room together, choose a painted table or fabric covered table in a color that appears throughout the room, such as red or green. You can also decide to pick a table that matches the other furniture in the room. For example, if the wood in the room is cherry, choose a cherry table.

Size and Shape

A coffee table that is too large will easily overwhelm the room. Allow for about a foot or two of space between the front of your couch or chairs and the table. In terms of length and width, you want a table that is no larger than half the length of your couch. The coffee table's height should be the same or an inch or two lower than the height of your chair's seat. A table that is higher than the seats will look awkward.

A rectangular or square shaped table is traditional and the easiest to work with. The four-sided shape works with almost any style of couch. A round or oval shaped table is trickier to work with. If you have a very boxy couch, the table will look out of place in your living room. Only choose a rounded table if your furniture is soft and slightly curved.

Storage and Design Options

Some people prefer to use their coffee table as a storage center. If this is the case for you, choose a table that has adequate storage to meet your needs. You may only need a single shelf attached below the table top to hold a few books, magazines or remote controls. If you need more storage than that, or prefer to conceal your clutter, look for a table with built-in drawers. Some coffee tables are designed like a mini chest of drawers and have drawers all over. Others have a single draw just below the table top. A few coffee table models allow you to use the table top as a design element or to create a display. If you collect a lot of small knick-knacks that you wish to display, you can arrange them on table top, then cover that display with a pane of glass.

Sizing up Your Dining Room Table

Dining room tables come in many shapes and sizes, and the right one for you will depend on several factors. These include how big your dining room is, how many people usually sit at the table and the maximum number of people you would like to seat.

Room Size

A dining table should have 36 inches of clearance on all sides between the table and the wall to allow people to walk around it and get into their seats. Therefore, to find the maximum size of dining table you can accommodate, measure your dining room, and subtract any existing furniture, such as a china cabinet, and an additional 6 feet from each dimension. In a pinch, you can reduce the clearance to 30 inches, which means you should only subtract 5 feet from each dimension.

Daily Dining Table Size

Each person sitting at the dining room table should have a space at least 24 inches wide and 14 inches deep. This leaves space for the full place setting and enough elbow room for most people. Of course, if possible, it is nice to leave a buffer of at least 6 inches between people so they don't feel crowded. In addition, you want some remaining space in the center of the table so you can include centerpieces or serving dishes if you would like to serve the meal from the table. With a round table, give each person at least 30 inches of circumference. This keeps their knees from knocking together under the table.

When looking at a particular table, keep in mind that you cannot just add up the perimeter and divide by 24 inches to determine how many people it seats. The space near the corners belongs either to the person sitting on the side or the end of the table. The 14 inches of depth each person needs times four corners adds up to 54 inches of unusable edge space. To compensate for this, subtract 54 inches of overlap from the perimeter of a square or rectangular table to find your usable edge space. Divide this by 24 inches to estimate how many people the table can seat.

Expansion Options

A table just large enough for your family is not adequate if you want to have people over for dinner. Choose a table with space for guests, either by buying a table that is actually slightly larger than you need or by buying a table that you can expand to seat more people.

Round tables are great for expansion because you can sit farther apart when you are eating as a family and just move the chairs closer together if you need to seat more people. They also work well when your group has an odd number of people so you do not have to have an unbalanced seating arrangement.

The other strategy for expansion is to have a table with leaves you can put in the middle to make it longer. This works both with rectangular tables, which get longer, and with round tables, which become ovals. Most leaves are 24 inches, and tables often come with two or three leaves so you can add one leaf for each pair of people you need to seat beyond the table's usual capacity.

If a rectangular table is at least 48 inches wide, you can actually fit two people on each end of the table in a pinch. However, keep in mind that this slightly reduces the number of people you can fit on each long edge or makes the people sitting along the edges more cramped. In addition, this strategy does not work well if the table's legs are at the corners because it is difficult to fit two people comfortably between the legs on the end. If you want more flexibility with seating, choose a table that is supported by one or two pedestals in the center of the table. This allows you to seat people without worrying about fitting the chairs in between the legs.

Shopping for Bedroom Furniture

Your bedroom is your personal space to kick back and get a good night's rest. It also serves to store many of your personal items, including clothing and reading material. Therefore, choose your bedroom furniture carefully to find pieces that are attractive, functional and meet your storage needs. At the bare minimum, you need a bed, dresser and nightstand, but you can also fill out the set with other pieces.

Bed Size

The right bed size depends on your bedroom size, whether you sleep alone or with someone else, and how much space you want. Most adults opt for at least a double bed, which is 54 inches wide and 75 inches long, allowing it to fit comfortably in almost any bedroom. However, it is quite small for two adults to sleep in, and tall people will find that their feet hang off the end. A queen bed is the most common type for two people to share, and at 60 inches wide and 80 inches long, offers enough length and width for most people to sleep comfortably. If you want extra space and have a large bedroom, you can get a king bed that is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. Allow at least 3 feet of clearance on every side of the bed, and consider other furniture as well when calculating clearance.

Bed Frame

The most prominent piece in your bedroom will likely be your bed frame, so this is where to start when picking a bedroom furniture set. Most frames have a headboard, which goes up against the wall, and a footboard in the center of your room. If you want a low-profile design, opt for a platform bed, which does not extend above the box spring. Platform beds often have storage drawers built into them, whereas traditional bed frames leave the space under the bed empty. Some fun styles of bed frames to consider include antique four-poster beds, canopy beds, and wrought-iron beds with an old-world European style.

Nightstand

You generally want a separate nightstand for each person who will use the bed. If you don't share the room, you can put the bed against the wall to save space and have a nightstand on one side. Look for a design that puts the stand at approximately the height of the top of the mattress so you can easily reach your alarm clock and reading material. If you want extra storage, get a nightstand with shelves or drawers below. Even if you have a small bedroom, you should be able to fit nightstands in because you need to have that much space on the side of the bed for getting in and out anyway.

Dresser

The last major piece to complete your bedroom furniture set is a dresser. Many sets come with his and hers dressers, one of which is longer and the other that is taller. This allows you to place the longer one under a window and fit the taller one into a small space. If you don't need that much space for folded clothing, opt to get just one dresser, which makes space in your room for other pieces of furniture. Dressers are generally about 18 inches deep, so factor this in when deciding how large of a bed you can fit in your bedroom.

Armoire

An armoire or wardrobe provides more hanging space for your clothing and often has several drawers below as well. If you don't need the hanging space but want to hide your bedroom television, put it in the armoire instead of having clothes there.

Vanity

A vanity is an old-fashioned piece of furniture that usually has small storage drawers for a woman to store her jewelry and makeup and space on the surface to lay out the supplies for the day. A vanity also comes with a mirror. If you don't get a vanity, you can purchase a mirror to go over a dresser and use the top of that as a vanity instead.

5 Most Dangerous Household Items

Keep your family safe by doing a check around your home for dangerous household items. Here are a few tips on what to look for.

 

1. Wood Burning Stoves and Fireplaces

 

Burning wood in a stove or fireplace can give off dangerous fumes such as carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is practically undetectable to most people, because the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are non-specific. The best way to detect any dangerous levels is to have electronic detectors. Make sure to have carbon monoxide and home security detectors throughout your home to alert you if these fumes accumulate to dangerous levels.

 

2. Area Rugs

rug

Tripping and falling on an area rug is a common household occurrence. A fall can be especially dangerous for an elderly person. Throw rugs, like large area rugs or runners, are among the most hazardous household items. Throw rugs can be even more dangerous than stairs, since people walk across rugs more frequently than going up and down staircases. Remove any unnecessary area rugs from the home or secure them onto the floor firmly. Check the rugs periodically to make sure they're still firmly secured.

 

3. Extension Cords

 

Overloaded, outdated or poorly made extension cords are a leading cause of fire and injury. Purchase only cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory. For outdoor projects, use only extension cords marked for outdoor use. Never load an extension cord beyond its capacity, which should be clearly printed on its label. Be sure to replace cords that appear worn, frayed or burnt. Don't run extension cords under carpets or throw rugs where they can overheat.

 

4. Clothes Dryers

 

Clothes dryers present a double threat. One is a source of potential fire, the other child entrapment. Always be sure to keep the lint trap free of excess materials to avoid a fire starting. Make it a habit of checking the lint trap before using the dryer. Also, always supervise young children around the dryer.

 

5. Space Heaters

heater

Space heaters are one of the most common origins of household fires. Never leave a space heater unsupervised. If you're leaving the room for more than a few minutes, turn it off. Always place heaters at least three feet from beds, furniture, curtains or anything else that's flammable. Also, always be sure to turn off space heaters when sleeping.

 

Keeping your family safe in your home is always a top priority. Taking extra precautions with household items helps keep you and your family safer.

 

Bench Seating Ideas

If you’re looking for a way to modernize your home, bench seating may be the answer. This trendy piece of furniture can transform your kitchen, living room and dining room into ultra-cool hangout spaces. We share bench seating ideas so you can choose what’s best for your home, benches or chairs.

Living room bench ideas

Living room benches are a great way to accommodate more people. To make benches more comfortable, place them against a wall and add large pillows and cushions. Benches are also great as window seats, so place them under large windows to highlight the beautiful natural light in your living room. We recommend adding bright prints and colors to your benches so they stand out in your space. Beautiful blankets and throws are a great finishing touch – lay them along your bench to make it extra homey.

Kitchen & dining room bench ideas

For dining spaces, benches are a great way to seat more people at the table. You can mix chairs and benches – look for slightly mismatched styles that share a color pattern for a fashionable look. Try combining benches for a breakfast nook - place your table in the corner and put two benches in a right angle to maximize space. Adding pillows and cushions can make the benches feel like a kitchen window seat. For dining rooms and kitchens, we highly recommend adding cushions to make benches more comfortable for guests.

Storage bench ideas

Bench seating is a great opportunity to add storage! Many benches come with storage compartments, but you can also add decorative storage bins underneath the bench for a pretty storage solution. Another awesome idea - use a large ottoman as a storage bench and store items inside of the ottoman. Ottomans are comfortable with cushioned padding, and adding extra pillows and blankets will make it cozy.

We carry a wide variety of contemporary benches, dining room chairs and recliners so you can seat all of your guests in style. Find great coffee tables and dining tables to complement your new seating and complete the look. Our wide selection of home furniture extends beyond tables and chairs – check out our bed frames, office desks and accent cabinets for more great furniture to add to your home. hhgregg has everything you need at great prices – shop for home furniture today.

Furnishing a New Home

Need to furnish a new home or apartment? Worried about the prices? Fear not! Furnishing a new home is much easier than you think. There are many reliable retailers out there that provide durable, affordable furniture. If you’re moving into an apartment rather than a new house, there are plenty of ways to go about furnishing an apartment inexpensively. Here, we’ll provide tips for furnishing a new home or apartment.

Cost to furnish a house

While there is no guarantee that you’ll get the best deal on every piece of furniture, there are numerous steps that can be made to ensure that you make the most cost-efficient decision. Here are some steps on how to furnish a house on a budget:

1. Make a budget

You most likely have a picture of what you want your home to look like. So, to accomplish this perfect image, start by making a list of each room you want to furnish and what furniture you want in each room. Be realistic about the cost by also including any lighting, wall décor or floor detail. Be realistic with your budget. While you may end up going over slightly, try not to exceed your budget too much.

2. Know where to spend more/less

To start, buy the best mattress and sofas you can afford. These are meant for comfort and will be used the most, so you’ll want to find the top possible versions of both. Finding a quality dining room table can also be a smart investment. You can save by spending less on any decorative pieces, rugs or lighting. While these are all aesthetically pleasing, it will be better in the long run to spend more on the furniture you’ll use more often.

3. Consider how long you’ll live there

While this can be a tough question to answer, consider the long term when buying furniture. If you plan on staying at this new home for over ten years, plan on buying reliable, long lasting furniture. If you feel you may move soon, buy more durable furniture knowing that there may be some damage when the move occurs. Change does occur so the best option is to anticipate either and search for the most reliable and durable furniture.

Where to find affordable furniture

Aside from the name brand furniture outlet stores, there are plenty of other resources to find a way to furnish a home or even go about furnishing an apartment inexpensively. Some examples of these resources are:

  • Online retailers – Here you can find used furniture for good prices. Sometimes name brands will offer online deals for your convenience.
  • Craigslist – While this may seem a little unordinary or a somewhat bold place to find furniture, you might be surprised to find some great deals.
  • hhgregg – hhgregg has all the furniture you need at great prices. Browse through our wide selection of furniture online.

How to furnish an apartment

Furnishing an apartment inexpensively is a bit easier of a task than that of furnishing a new home. Remember to take into consideration the fact that it is an apartment which means that you may not be living there quite as long as you would a new house. You may have to move sooner than you anticipate so, when buying furniture, remember that moving may take a toll on its overall quality. This should be more motivation to buy used, affordable furniture.

KITCHEN INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS

How is your renovation going? Have you finished your planning and shopping stages? If you did, let's move on to the next step which is decorating.What is there to learn about arranging pillows and a few nick nacks that you have since when? Nobody can remember. My first and biggest advice to start clean and get rid of everything you don't actually need.  Now when you have a fresh canvas to work on let's go room by room and figure out how to make your area special. This week we are going to talk about the heart of any home which is the kitchen.

Add statement wall or splashback

It's especially important if you have otherwise plain kitchen. You need to create some interest in the room to make it feel more welcoming. And a really easy way to this is to switch up your splashback with amazing tiles or maybe marble. It depends on your budget. Another really easy way to make an impact is to use wallpaper on one of the walls. It's cheap, quick and makes a huge impact. It adds some texture to kitchen's all sleek vibe and instantly makes it feel warmer. I don't know who and when decided to banish wallpaper out of the kitchens but it made its' come back in 2015 and is here to stay.

Add different textures

It also creates interest and breaks apart that sterile look. Use some wood accents, leave it in its' natural form, raw. If you are afraid  about longevity of  untreated wood in your kitchen use stone instead. It also became extremely popular this year. Granite and marble are perfect choices for you. Basically your goal here is to make any person that comes into you kitchen want to touch those surfaces and never want to leave.

 Add some bling with metals

You had to live under the rock not to notice that copper is a huge trend right know. Although, metals are not new materials for kitchen space but for a long time stainless steel, chrome and silver were reining in this home area. Now the table has turned and all warm metals such as copper, brass, gold and bronze are welcome to shine.

 Use open shelving

I know, I know you want to hide your clutter and ugly kitchen appliances. Choose specific places that don't get that messy and make your kitchen more personal and user-friendly by exposing some of your cupboard spaces to light. More and more people are doing this and displaying their incredible collections of spices, cooking books or in some cases serial boxes.

 Use furniture like design features

It's great for merging your kitchen with the rest of your home, making it feel warmer, more casual and inviting. It will transform your kitchen out of a strictly functional area to the hub of the home and place where everybody wants to hang out. This trend is more and more noticeable in modern kitchen designs.

 Marry modern with traditional

It's the recipe that will bring you success. Moder will make your space cool and quite  timeless. Traditional will add warmth and  make it more welcoming. It's a perfect blend for cozy feeling and memorable appearance.

 

HOW TO MAKE A FLOOR PLAN

Last time we figured out how to tame your inspiration flow and stay on top of your creative game. This time let's talk about how to transfer your ideas onto paper. Why should you do that? Why can't you just repaint your bedroom brown, go on an IKEA spree and buy some random furniture that you liked at the moment or got discount for and try to cram everything into your little room? Because that would be the worst decision ever and you would end up with a bunch of stuff that you don't like, don't need and that does not fit into your room. We are friends here and I don't want my friends to make these kind of mistakes. The right way to do that is to make a floor plan and make smaller versions of your ideas, make them live.

Measure everything 

This is probably the only part of floor plan making that you might need some help with because measuring long distances with a tape measure can get a bit tricky. It is not impossible to do it alone but let's just say that a certain someone somewhere lost a fingernail and got her fingers slammed a few times while doing so. The tip I find very helpful is to roughly draw out your space on paper with all angles, doorways and windows. Then you only need to add the numbers. It will be much easier than to make an awkward list of "wall nr.1 , wall nr.2 ...." (been there, done that).

 Transfer your drawings to graph paper

Usually interior plans are drawn one to quarter-inch (or 1cm:1m) scale. If you are drawing more than one room keep in mind that interior walls are usually around 5" (~13cm) thick, add this measurement to your plan if needed.

Create miniature furniture models

I bet it sounds really exciting and you just got a few flashbacks of your little doll house from your childhood but you actually have to be quite accurate with this part. For these furniture models to be useful they have to be up to scale.By now you probably already have at least a rough idea of how you want your room to turn out. You may want to use some furniture that you already own (measure it) or get a few new gems (try to find their measurements online). Either way draw them up to scale on your graph paper and cut them out. It is useful to draw all the furnishings with moving parts, like doors and drawers, with marked spaces while they are open so you would be able to see if they could be opened in the place you will position them.

 Arrange your furniture

Place your miniature couch, chairs and other interior pieces where you imagined them. Keep in mind that: furniture spacing is 18 inches (~45cm) recommended, minor pathways are 24-36 inches (~60-90cm) wide, these pathways are kept around seating areas and places where only one person would be at a time, major pathways where two people need to bypass each other are often 30-48 inches (~76-120cm) wide.

And you are done! You can color your floor plan if you feel the need. Play around with it and test new possibilities, it's easier to shuffle around paper furniture than real life couches. Believe me. You can also upload this floor plan to Planner5d and add all the furnishing and other design details for 3D experience

How to Match Landscaping to Unique Home Designs

The outside of your home reflects your tastes, visually expressing who you are. Front yard landscaping; creating curb appeal and first impressions is an important means of making a statement. Your outdoor design is part of the bigger picture. Plan and design with professionals for Landscaping to uniquely match the style of your home.

Get Creative with Landscape Design

landscaping

Some homes have a variety of custom features on the outside and may be similar to other homes in the neighborhood. Find a designer who will get creative with Landscaping design ideas. A professional provides unique plans to match the style of your home, not copy, nor a repeat of other yards nearby.

Not that we shouldn't benefit from some of their ideas. Sometimes just a few details make the difference in your unique Landscaping plan. Open communication with your landscape professional is necessary. Voice your wishes as you plan and design with professionals to avoid the look of duplication.

Simple is More

Sometimes simply repeating a few kinds of plant material works effectively with custom features in the home. Simple yard designs impact your outdoor space with coordinating colors, long-lasting blooms, and continuous color. The right plant in the right place offers a sense of continuity that delights the eye.

Pruning or Planting?

Older homes of various styles may still include the original design which often is a problem. Trees and shrubs are overgrown and take up more than their fair share of available space in the yard or flower beds. Limbs may be out-of-bounds, and bushes long ago lost their shape. Trust professionals to advise if the overgrown specimens still have a practical place in your yard and will benefit from renewal pruning or if new plantings are in order.

Greening the Grass

grass2

Of course, you'll want an immaculate lawn to match your colorful blossoms. Seasonal feeding of the grass helps get it greened up. In fact, according to landscapers in Utah, early fertilizing of the lawn between a snow melt and a new snowstorm can be just the boon a mature lawn needs. Regular mowing with sharp blades on equipment improves the look of your yard. The right lawn care quickly gets your lawn in shape for the season.

Ask your professional about reseeding those brown patches or aeration for the entire lawn. Ask to identify pests and disease that might make lawn care more difficult.

Contact your professional landscape company and set a time to get together and discuss your lawn care and plantings for this year. Spring will be here before you know it; their schedules will fill quickly. Reserve your slot to keep the lawn and flowerbeds looking their best as you plant and design with professionals.

 

References

The Landscape Design Site

Utah Landscaping

5 Ways to Conserve Water

Water is one of the main components in the sustenance of daily life. It's valuable to the environment and because of this importance, water must be effectively managed as a resource. Many cities throughout the U.S. have implemented policies aimed at the conservation of water. There are numerous ways you can conserve water and contribute to sustainability. We'll cover five such ways.

 

Deep-Soak The Lawn

grass

Since the times of ancient civilization, irrigation technology has been very beneficial for many purposes. In modern times many of us strive to keep a nice lawn to maintain a beautiful property. This maintenance includes watering the lawn, which is common enough. Lawn irrigation may done with a sprinkler system or with a hose. If you're using a hose, conserve some water when watering the lawn by watering it long enough for the water to soak down to the roots where it will be the most effective. Light sprinkling tends to evaporate quickly and encourages shallow root systems. Advanced sprinkler systems such as the Smart Controller can even time watering hours responsively to minimize premature evaporation.

 

Avoid Running The Hose While Washing Your Vehicle

car wash

When washing your car you should use a pail of soapy water. Use the hose only for rinsing. Doing this simple practice can conserve as much as 150 gallons of water when washing a car. Even better for saving water, there are waterless car washing systems on the market.

 

Install Water-Saving Shower Heads

You can easily install an inexpensive water-saving shower head. It's also a smart idea to cutt your shower time down to only the time necessary to soap up, wash down, and rinse off. A long, hot shower can use five to ten gallons of water for every unneeded minute.

 

Wash Only Full Loads When Using Your Dishwasher or Clothes Washer

washing machine

Automatic dishwashers and washing machines for clothes should be loaded for optimum water conservation. Avoid the permanent press cycle, as this adds 5 gallons for the extra rinse.

 

Keep A Bottle of Drinking Water in The Fridge

It is wasteful to run tap water to cool it off. Keep some drinking water in the fridge in a safe drinking bottle. Consider buying a personal water filter if you're into outdoor hiking, that way you can drink safely from rivers, lakes or any available body of water nearby.

 

Conserving water can be good for both the environment and your water. It can be quite fulfilling to practice such responsibility when it comes to resources. Using water-saving features can bring you a 35% reduction in your in-home water use. Keep this in mind and put some of these practices and features to use.

Cleaning and Caring for Outdoor Furniture

Patios and decks are great places to entertain family and guests. They also make wonderful quiet spots to just sit outside to sunbathe and listen to the radio while reading a book.

Your outdoor furniture can last for years if you give it the proper care and attention. Most cushioned patio furniture is made with vinyl-coated polyesters or polyacrylics that are mildew resistant and repels water. So you can keep the cushions outside during rain or sun. Just give the furniture an occasionally cleaning when it gets dirt or stained on the surface.

When buying the outdoor furniture, take the time to read the manufacturer's cleaning and care instructions. Decide by how much care is needed for the furniture, and if you have that time to invest in the upkeep, on whether you should purchase the furniture.

Refrain from bringing out your indoor furniture to use as outdoor furniture. It may seem cost-effective for you to use your old furniture, but the material has not been treated or made with weather-proof materials. Any cushion or cover that you bring outside to give yourself a cushy seat cannot withstand multiple saturations of rain. Mold and mildew is likely to form, rotting the cushion. Always take those back inside the house when you are done enjoying your patio or deck.

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture
For metal, plastic, aluminum and painted furniture, use a mild soap and water solution along chair legs and seats to scrub away dirt on the surface. Soak the solution in a soft sponge or cloth. The sponge or cloth won't scratch up the surfaces of metal, plastic or painted surfaces. If you want to clean wicker, wood or teak furniture, substitute an oil-based soap for the mild detergent soap. Always hose down the furniture with clean water.

Although a rarity, some outdoor furniture features wood. It's important to keep outdoor wood well stained and sealed to prevent it from swelling, cracking, and splitting. For routine maintenance, we recommend polishing wood with Rustic Touch furniture polish from Melaleuca.com. It can also help shine, strengthen, and protect your vinyl outdoor furniture.

When treating the cushions, read the label instructions to give you the best information on cleaning the surfaces. Again, use mild detergent soap and water. Wash off with a hose and allow the cushions to fully dry in the sun.

If you are performing a deep cleaning, you can treat cushions with a solution of laundry detergent and chlorine bleach. Place a cup of each into a bucket filled with 3 gallons of warm water. Set out the furniture on a paved surface and thoroughly soak the cushions. Leave the solution on for half an hour so that the solution can completely penetrate the filling to destroy any mold or mildew that may have developed inside.

Do not use this treatment or apply water to cushions that have a urethane foam inside. These are not weatherproof and should not be used as outdoor furniture. If you do use cushions containing this material, place furniture tarps over the cushion to stop rain from penetrating or bring the furniture inside during rainy weather.

Caring for Outdoor Furniture
You can take certain precautions to prevent staining and soiling of outdoor cushions. Drape fabric covers on the cushions during outside meals. If you plan to do a little sunbathing, cover the furniture in a towel to prevent the suntan lotion from creating a stain on the cushion fabric.

Remember to bring furniture in during the wintertime if you live in areas with heavy snowfall. The weight of the snow in the seat of the furniture will eventually damage plastic and wooden furniture. If you do leave furniture out during harsh weather, use special furniture covers that are weatherproof. You should also bring cushions inside for storage during wet and snowy weather.

Cushions that have been out in heavy rains need to be thoroughly dried before you place them into storage. Remove them from frames and set the cushions out into the full sun for several days. Bring the cushions inside to dry during cooler temperatures. Place the cushions into plastic and store in a dry, cool place to prevent mold or mildew developing.

Enjoy Your Outdoor furniture
Taking these simple cleaning and care steps will ensure your furniture will last for many enjoyable years. Never overcomplicate the cleaning with special cleansers that are expensive. Stick with simple soap and water. Your furniture with shine with just a little care.

How to Choose Your Furniture Style

Before beginning to furnish your home for the first time or for a furniture overhaul, take some time to select the style of furniture you want. Although the pieces themselves do not have to be from exactly the same set, your house will have a much more polished look if you stick to a major style and buy only furniture that fits within that style. Consider your favorite pieces of furniture and look at pictures of homes fully decorated in particular styles to help you decide which one suits you best.

Victorian
Perhaps the most formal style of furniture readily available today is Victorian furniture. Items in this category have a gothic look and usually have a lot of carving and ornamentation. Chairs often combine an elaborately carved wooden frame with patterned upholstery. These pieces have a formal appearance and sometimes look like they should remain untouched rather than actually using them. Therefore, if you choose to go for Victorian furniture, you might want to opt for pieces that look worn or take extra steps to ensure that guests feel comfortable in your home even though the furniture is so formal.

Mission
Mission style furniture is also sometimes called Arts and Craft furniture, and it is characterized by simple construction and a design focused more on effective use than on looking especially fancy. You will find most pieces have straight lines and do not contain much, if any ornamentation. This style of furniture is readily available and can be easy to piece together a collection that matches well even though they do not come from the same set.

Retro
Think of diner-style furniture when going for the retro style. You will find a lot of shiny metal, vinyl upholstery, bright colors, stripes, and bold pieces. Because retro style furniture can be a little overwhelming, when decorating, be sure that your pieces match somewhat in color scheme and materials. You also might want to have white walls so your rooms aren't overwhelmed by color. One of the major benefits of retro furniture is that you can find plenty of it for good prices at antique malls, thrift stores and garage sales.

Modern
The modern style of furniture focuses more on geometric shapes and crisp lines than on comfort and craftsmanship. You will see little wood in modern furniture, and the wood you find is usually painted. Instead, look for leather, plastic, glass and metal in modern furniture. Some styles of modern furniture are very boxy, whereas others incorporate unexpected curves and look more like artwork than furniture. Use a variety of pieces to create an eclectic feel and balance the starkness of some pieces with the warmth of others.

Cottage
Cottage-style furniture often has an unfinished appearance and a color scheme reminiscent of a beach cottage. You will find pieces with pale blue, lilac and yellow tones and rustic materials, such as denim and wicker. A home decorated with cottage-style furniture has a casual appearance and usually feels very welcoming. It is easy to add decorations that match cottage furniture, such as seashells, rope accents and nautical photos.

Traditional
As the name sounds, traditional furniture has a classic look that has been in style for decades and will continue to stay in style. Furniture items in the traditional style generally have basic shapes, smooth curves, minimal ornamentation and understated fabrics and patterns. Traditional furnishings don't necessarily draw attention to themselves, but they are still pretty when you look more closely at them. Traditional furniture is a good choice if you want people to see your home as comfortable and relaxing. It is easy to find traditional items that work well with one another, even though they are not from the same designer.

Ethnic
The last major category of furniture to consider is ethnic. These items all come from a particular country, such as Japan, China, or Morocco, or are based on designs you would find there. Ethnic designs generally appeal to people who have traveled to that country or whose families are from there, because the pieces feel familiar. Although it can be expensive to decorate in an ethnic look, your home will likely look much different from that of your neighbors, which can be an asset if you are trying to stand out.

Once you find a furniture style that you think you like, start shopping for pieces in that style. Before buying any, make sure you can find items you like in each major category. For example, you will need living room furniture, a dining table, bedroom furniture and accent pieces that all fit your budget and form a cohesive style.