by Lisa Peck
Futons, catalog furnishing, knock-down DIY furniture…we’ve all been there, done that and then felt the disappointment as these things look shabby, breakdown and have to be replaced. How to graduate to grown-up furniture…what to do?
The hallmarks of making an adult decision is to be informed! Do some research and decide the quality of furnishings you would like to be in your home. What’s best suited to your architecture, your personality and your budget? I always encourage people to consider the level of use that a piece will have and the length of time they would like to own a piece of furniture. Like building a wardrobe, you may decide that certain things are the basic building blocks of your home and others are things that will move on to another home in the future…budget accordingly.
In terms of construction, visit furniture showrooms and retail locations and I recommend knowing the quality differences between bench-made, high end factory built, and mass appeal catalog furnishings. You wouldn’t make a decision to buy a Mercedes, Jaguar, Ford, Cadillac, Honda, Kia, Scion or Chevy without knowing something about where you want to be in the range of cars available. I will tell you a little secret, unless you look at bench-made and high-end furniture, you may not understand the difference in quality. Visit International Market Square in Minneapolis or the Merchandise Mart in Chicago…even if you are not currently working with a designer you can take a look around. Don’t buy anything until you know what the range of quality on the market place looks like. Then you can make the best informed decision. Visit retail showrooms. Ask questions and “look under the hood”. Lift cushions, sit down, open drawers.
In terms of aesthetics, for large pieces think about purchasing furniture with lines that please you and that you imagine you would like to look at for years. Furnishings that suit your personality…traditional, modern classic, antiques, they can all be good choices if they fit you like a glove.
Enjoy a peek at some furniture that I believe could last a life-time.