This week read FURNITURE: Part 3 – PRACTICALITY & FINISH of my latest blog for tips on selecting furniture.

For practicality, as previously mentioned, shiny glossy surfaces are higher maintenance as they attract dust particles easily and show scratches more noticeably than a matt or satin finish causing you to spend hours of your precious time dusting and maintaining the item of furniture. The same applies to glass-topped pieces.

Mixing natural materials such as a wood base and a stone top is a great way to make a piece of furniture more interesting, practical and beautiful. There is nothing better than using natural materials in the home, and when sympathetically designed can look outstanding, be more easily up styled, and will not have as great an impact on the health of the home and household, other than the surface finishes.

If possible, take into consideration the health and welfare of the workers employed during the manufacturing process as this can be easily missed when there are already so many factors to take into consideration. In many industries manufacturing is done overseas due to costs, and this means Health and Safety laws are either not in place or not adhered to, putting livelihoods and lives at risk. Often we have no idea where a piece has originated from and the only way to know this is if the supplier tells the story of the origins of a range and it has a documentation trail to support it.

Voiles on a window can help protect furniture from fading, which is especially important in south facing rooms, by reducing and softening direct sunlight rather than blocking it completely as blinds would. Sun damage will create problems from reducing an item’s desirability and thereby de-valuing it, to prematurely ageing the piece perhaps even beyond repair. Furniture is easily damaged so take care when moving items around and use correct lifting techniques – bend the knees and avoid stooping – to prevent damage to your body no matter how lightweight the piece may be.

Remember to add finishing touches which can really make a difference to a room. For instance, hang pictures at eye level so they can be properly appreciated, and make sure ornaments are cleverly grouped with a common theme bonding them together rather than dotting them around individually which only creates a cluttering effect.

Finally, remember that small details contribute to the overall scheme, such as the style of knobs on a cupboard and the quality of the finish on a cabinet. Stick to the style you have chosen for the room as this is the common theme on which everything is based.  Style also helps to pull the scheme together in a cohesive way and can make the outcome truly a success.  It is also the outcome that requires the most planning from the outset to ensure its successful execution.


Thank you for reading my 3 part blog on selecting furniture – over the coming months read my blogs about kitchens and bedrooms in my next 2 series.