Choosing a Relaxing Recliner Set

No matter how you look at it, incorporating a recliner set into your home décor is a good idea (think comfort, style and extra seating space all in one!). Whether you are just starting to decorate your living room or are thinking of that perfect chair for your home office, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when picking out the perfect recliner set. So do your research and get ready to kick back and relax!

You can enjoy your recliner by yourself, or kick back and relax while having a cold drink with a friend.

You can enjoy your recliner by yourself, or kick back and relax while having a cold drink with a friend.

Material

Recliners come in a variety of fabrics, ranging from plaid to floral to basic stripes. If you’re looking for a fabric recliner, use it to your advantage by having the design complement or enhance the rest of your home décor. If you prefer traditional décor, opt for a clean pinstriped recliner; if your home is black-and-white contemporary, perhaps a bright red recliner is the burst of color that the room needs. Feel free to think of your recliner as a major accent piece that will enrich your home’s overall ambiance.

According to eBay, more people prefer leather recliners because the material is easy to clean (especially important if you have kids who love to spill), fashionable and durable. Plus, while leather recliners are generally more expensive, they usually last longer and will not fade from years of wear-and-tear. Just make sure to find out if the leather needs to be treated occasionally in order to keep it in good condition.

This Merlot recliner is great for both contemporary and traditional home decor.

This Merlot recliner is great for both contemporary and traditional home decor.

Function

There are many different types of recliners out there, so it is important to know what role a recliner is going to play in your home. If you are looking for a comfortable office chair, your recliner should be able to swivel for maximum comfort and productivity. If you are looking for a recliner for your baby’s nursery, it should be roomy enough for you to rest comfortably with an ottoman to help you rock your newborn easily.

Another factor to keep in mind when thinking about your recliner’s function in your home is size. Recliners can take up more room than you might think, especially when they are fully extended. Confirm the recliner’s measurements beforehand, plus the measurements of the room where it will go. A recliner is a major purchase, so you want to make sure that you get what you are looking for the first time around.

This  chocolate brown recliner fits comfortably with any office environment.

This chocolate brown recliner fits comfortably with any office environment.

Construction

According to Good Housekeeping, it’s usually the unmoving parts that break on a recliner. In other words, a recliner’s structure is just as important as the leather or fabric that you will sit on. It is important to confirm that the underside of the chair has heavy-duty screws and a strong wooden base, whether you check out the recliner in person or ask for photos or sample cutaways from the e-commerce site. Also make sure to confirm the type of wood making up the base of the recliner; hardwood is a superior but more expensive choice (prices can run up to $1,000 or more), while plywood is a viable second option. With any recliner, you should check the manufacturer’s guarantee; brands like Mac Motion offer a one-year manufacturer parts warranty for their recliners.

The large screws under this recliner are a good indicator that this woman will enjoy her new favorite seat in the house for a very long time.

The large screws under this recliner are a good indicator that this woman will enjoy her new favorite seat in the house for a very long time.

Top 10 Interior Design Mistakes

Whether you’re moving into a new apartment or want to give your living room a seasonal boost, there are many opportunities in your life to design your home. But before you start rolling up your sleeves, make sure you don’t fall into one of these interior design traps! We have polled the experts, and these are their top interior design mistakes that you should keep in mind before starting your next home décor project.

1. Leaving Windows for Last

According to HGTV designer Karl Lohnes and custom window fashions manufacturer Hunter Douglas (hunterdouglas.com), windows play a much bigger role in defining our living spaces that many would think. Windows can create illusions of depth of height in a room, plus Lohnes and Douglas reference “scientific studies[, which] have shown that the quality of natural light in a space actually affects our moods and health”. While your window décor may not be as important as your sofa, keep your windows as a priority in helping you create your home’s desired ambiance.

2. Purchasing New Furniture Before Measuring the Room

This is pretty self-explanatory. Save yourself the trouble of buying a huge bookcase that you can’t even fit through your front door. Don’t make any major purchases until you have spent time in the physical space, and when you finally get inside measure, measure, measure! The extra effort you put in now will pay off tenfold later.

For long sectionals like this one, it is so important to measure the room so it will fit!

For long sectionals like this one, it is so important to measure the room so it will fit!

3. Area Rugs that are the Wrong Size

Tori Toth of Stylish Stagers and author of the new book, Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell says that a good area rug is “not too big, not too small, but just right”. There are few things that will make interior designers cry more than a dish towel-sized area rug that do absolutely nothing for a room. Our experts recommend that area rugs be large enough to leave only a 12- to 16-inch border of flooring around the room’s perimeter. Anything smaller will look insignificant.

4. Rooms that are Too Matchy

Just because you have a Swedish pine armoire does not mean that you need to buy an antique pine side table. Eric Fulwiler of Danish Country assures all of the perfectionists out there that it is okay to mix and match styles – good design is good design! He says instead to “pick pieces that bring warmth, beauty and soul to your home – you can’t go wrong”.

The variety of pieces in this living room, along with the mixture of indoor and outdoor furniture, give the room a heck of a lot more personality! As seen on Apartment Therapy.

The variety of pieces in this living room, along with the mixture of indoor and outdoor furniture, give the room a heck of a lot more personality! As seen on Apartment Therapy.

5. Furniture of Different Heights

According to Lauri Ward from Redecorate.com, you should avoid having a combination of high and low seating pieces mixed together, which creates a roller coaster effect. Instead, she recommends to keep seating height aligned as much as possible – no more than 3”-5” apart.

6. Ineffective Use of Artwork

Too much artwork hanging on your walls can make your home feel messy or claustrophobic, so it’s better to be selective with your wall décor. But no need to worry about that random piece of wall art that you picked up at the flea market collecting dust in your attic! Beverly Solomon suggests that you can use the extra artwork to change up your home décor every few months.

The wall art framing this dining room set is strategically placed to tie the rest of the room together.

The wall art framing this dining room set is strategically placed to tie the rest of the room together.

7. Clutter

This can happen not only with artwork, but also with just about any home accessory. Clutter is a much more common interior design problem, but can be solved easily when you focus on sticking with your favorite things to display. As for keeping your home neat and tidy, furniture with storage components or cute storage baskets can do the trick.

8. Ignoring Your Room’s Focal Point

Every room has its focal point, around which everything else in that room revolves. Lohnes and Douglas remind us that the bedroom’s focal point is the headboard, the bathroom’s focal point is the vanity area and the living room’s focal point can be the television, fireplace or window, depending on what you use most. Design the rest of your room around the focal point to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

9. Badly Lit Rooms

Just like windows, a room’s lighting can have a big effect on its spatial ambiance. Ward suggests using two lamps on either side of the sofa or bed to make the room look more balanced. But be careful – overdone lighting or light fixtures can have a negative effect on a room as well. In Solomon’s words: “Palace-sized chandeliers in a one bedroom apartment is too theatrical”. If you keep proportion and balance in mind when you start figuring out your room’s lighting, you’re probably headed in the right direction.

A statement buffet lamp can not only give the room a greater sense of balance, but also work as a great accent piece.

A statement buffet lamp can not only give the room a greater sense of balance, but also work as a great accent piece.

10. Getting It All Done in a Day

As much as we all love browsing Pottery Barn catalogs, turning our homes into one is both unoriginal and impersonal. In the words of Lohnes and Dougles, “It’s not fun to rush”. Remember, this is your home that should be shaped by your vision, goals, budget and timeline. This will achieve a layered décor process that will not only make your home look more tailored to your personality, but will also make interior design that much more enjoyable!

Trendy vs. Classic Furniture: Which is Right for You?

With every season, magazines and interior design blogs come out with the latest home décor trends, ranging from funky coffee tables to illusion pieces that help make a smaller room look bigger. Yet there are some days when you just want to step back from the magazines and enjoy the furniture that you already have, not to mention that most people don’t have the budget to revamp their homes every few months. Balancing the urge to stay on trend versus investing in (and enjoying) more classic pieces of furniture can be tough; luckily, we have a few tips to help you decide which option works for you!

Balancing a room to incorporate both trendy and timeless pieces can be difficult, but this dining room makes it look easy!  As seen on The Nest.

Balancing a room to incorporate both trendy and timeless pieces can be difficult, but this dining room makes it look easy! As seen on The Nest.

Function

One way you can decide whether you should buy a trendy or classic piece of furniture is to think about what role the piece of furniture will have in your home. If you’re looking for a dining room set for your family’s future holiday dinners or an entertainment center for movie nights and the Superbowl, investing in classic pieces may seem more worthwhile. On the other hand, if you want to update your wall décor or take your home up a notch with the perfect accent piece, it makes more sense to pick out something more on-trend. As a general rule of thumb, central pieces should lean more to the classic side while secondary accent pieces or accessories can stay more up-to-date with new trends. This strategy will keep your home upgrades budget-friendly, as well as keep your home looking fresh and stylistically savvy.

Try to look for a classic sofa set to create a warm and cozy foundation for your living room.

Try to look for a classic sofa set to create a warm and cozy foundation for your living room.

Price and Quality

Of course, price is always a factor when buying something new for your home. But what is more important to think about when deciding between trendier or more classic furniture is whether or not you’re getting more bang for your buck. While you may be tempted to buy that really cool-looking chaise lounge or take on that recent celebrity home design trend, you should make sure that your furniture is high-quality enough to stand the tests of time.

It is not worth it to splurge on something that will come apart by the end of next year. When you’re looking to make a major furniture purchase, you should make sure that the piece is a) high quality enough to last you for the foreseeable future (even longer!) and b) reasonably priced in relation to its quality. This is especially important for more timeless pieces, since they will set the stage in your home for an extended period of time. If you’re looking for more inexpensive pieces – maybe you’re living in a rental apartment short-term – you can feel more flexible to buy pieces that may look trendier, even if they are lower quality. After all, you’ll only be using those pieces for a few years at most anyway.

You can look to brands like Bassett Mirror Company for both high-quality and stylish furniture, like this coffee table set.

You can look to brands like Bassett Mirror Company for both high-quality and stylish furniture, like this coffee table set.

Versatility

Add dimension to any room with a mirror like this one. Extra points for mirrors with cool borders!

Add dimension to any room with a mirror like this one. Extra points for mirrors with cool borders!

Something else to think about when deciding between a trendy or classic piece of furniture is its versatility. Is this piece a one-hit wonder, or can you incorporate it into many different home designs? Even if the furniture is trendy, you can give yourself the green light to take the plunge if you can find multiple ways to use the piece (think a mirrored accent chest for a contemporary look with drawers for extra storage space!). Consider investing in a good mirror or wall bench that you will always find a spot for in your home, even if you are rearranging it for the umpteenth time. Plus, you can upgrade a central part of your home without the hassle of thinking long-term.

Designing a Kid’s Room That Your Child Won’t Outgrow

If there’s one thing more frustrating – and costly – than your kids constantly outgrowing their clothing, it’s outgrowing their furniture. It probably felt like just yesterday when you designed the perfect nursery before your little one was born, but if that child is running around now, it’s already time for upgrades and changes. To furnish and design a kid’s room that won’t need constant changes and additions as your child grows, keep these simple tips in mind.

Keep it Classy

Classic colors in this bedroom set make it appropriate for kids from 8 to 18 years old.

Classic colors in this bedroom set make it appropriate for kids from 8 to 18 years old.

It’s tempting to drench your little girl’s room in princess pink and sparkles, but that sweetness will wear off more quickly than you think. Since children’s brains are growing and developing, it’s easier for them to get bored with things they might have found fascinating just last week. The best bet is to keep everything in a child’s room as timeless as possible by avoiding gimmicky furniture. Invest in classic bedroom furniture early on; find pieces like dressers, nightstands, and desks in solid colors or wood that can be easily styled with whatever additions you might bring into the room in the future. While painting walls is a cheap redecorating option, avoid the hassle of constantly clearing out your kid’s furniture by choosing classic colors from the start. Frosty grays, bold blues, pale pinks, and neutral taupes play well with children of all ages and compliment just about any theme you may want to incorporate in the future.

Get Smart with Furniture

This smart storage shelf unit easily turns into a book or display case as your child grows.

This smart storage shelf unit easily turns into a book or display case as your child grows.

Having classic-colored furniture won’t do much good if your child can’t use it. Investing in multi-purpose and cross-functional furniture is the way to go. For children’s beds, a terrific option is a bed system that transforms from crib to toddler bed to a regular adolescent bed; it’s a bed that essentially grows with your child. With a little ingenuity and some bins, items like bookcases can be used for storage and display while your child is young and eventually be used to store school books as s/he grows. For other pieces, think about how you can make double-duty uses of them; remember that not every item an older child might need is suitable for a younger kid’s room. Hold off on purchases like student desks until your child is a bit older and you don’t need to worry about replacing a kid-sized chair and desk with a roomier one for when your kids are in grade school. Chances are your kindergartner can get his/her homework done on a less expensive and more useful kid’s table with a set of children’s chairs that will also come in handy during playdates.

Keep the room kid-friendly with affordable interchangeable elements like posters and bed sheets. As seen on Pinterest.

Keep the room kid-friendly with affordable interchangeable elements like posters and bed sheets. As seen on Pinterest.

Play with Accents

At the end of the day, your child’s room is his/her haven, so it needs to be kid-friendly. While the more expensive mainstays of the room shouldn’t change, you can and should play with accents and interchangeable elements. Wall decor, decals, and other decorative elements are easy and affordable ways to decorate a child’s room with whatever flavor of the month s/he is feeling. You can also affordably give in to your child’s Disney character impulses by purchasing elements like pillow covers, sheets, duvet covers, or window treatments instead of themed bed frames or furniture. Add bursts of your child’s favorite at-the-moment color in affordable elements like wastebaskets, window panels, accent rugs, and storage cube bins.

Picking the Perfect Coffee Table

The quest for the perfect coffee table can be a complicated one. After all, there are so many functions your coffee table performs and so many styles from which to choose. Do you go edgy and modern? Classic and chic? Ditch the table altogether in favor of an ottoman (we’ll get to that)? All your options and questions can feel overwhelming, that’s why we’re here to help you sort it all out and choose the best coffee table for your needs.

Function and Form

Before investing in any piece of furniture, you’ll want to ask yourself what you need the function of that piece to be. Coffee tables are generally the living room workhorse and are used for a wide range of purposes, from acting as the design focal point of a living room to hosting coloring activities for the kids to acting as a resting place for coffee cups while lounging. Figuring out what you want its primary function to be will help narrow down the list. For example, in a household filled with children where the living room acts as a playroom during the day, a glass top table can be immediately crossed off the list. You’ll want to stick with a sturdier, easily cleanable table that’s lower to the ground; think wood or acrylic. Is your coffee table where you’ll be stuffing magazines, books, throws, the remote, and any other odds and ends lying around? Go for a storage table that will allow you to save space while keeping the room neat and organized.

Modern, multi-tiered coffee table for living rooms with space to spare.

Modern, multi-tiered coffee table for living rooms with space to spare.

Design Considerations

A sophisticated living space will have a balance of neutral, basic elements and colors with one or two design-heavy pieces, and a splash of accents. Think about your coffee table’s design in proportion to the rest of the room. A basic black or white color scheme will beg for a more dramatic table that teeters on the trendier side atop a colorful accent rug, while an extravagantly designed sofa set or brightly colored sectional would get more attention with a glass-top, entirely glass, or see-through acrylic table.

The perfect minimalist coffee table for small spaces with major style.

The perfect minimalist coffee table for small spaces with major style.

Sizing Matters

Along with design considerations, you’ll want to think about how much space you have to devote to a coffee table. For small living rooms, a typically sized coffee table will take up too much space; think about narrower tables with bare legs and tables that are low to the ground to avoid a cluttered look in an already small space. If you’re blessed with too much space, an intricate coffee table with movable elements or a box-like structure (the polar opposite of a bare-legged table) will make a highly functional addition that will also bring the room to a smaller scale.

A smart storage coffee table that ties a larger room together.

A smart storage coffee table that ties a larger room together.

Coffee Table Alternatives

This incredibly stylish and unique coffee table isn't one at all - it's a trunk! Up your room's wow factor with this trunk table-alternative from Jene's Collection.

This incredibly stylish and unique coffee table isn’t one at all – it’s a trunk! Up your room’s wow factor with this trunk table-alternative from Jene’s Collection.

If you haven’t been able to find a table that fits your style and space needs, a coffee table might not be what you’re after. Instead, think about narrower console or sofa tables that take up less space and can be placed in a wider range of areas, against the wall or whatever seating your space has. Console tables are also great alternatives if you’re tight on space and don’t want to sacrifice style. Accent or nesting tables are also a small-scale, space-saving option that allows for more freedom in terms of placement. Other fantastic and fashionable alternatives we love are trunks, benches, and ottomans. Benches, like console tables, are narrower and also lend a more interesting design element than a typical table. Trunks also make for a dynamic design element, while providing hidden storage and flat tops, so you can still use it to put your coffee cup down.