Not quite to the ‘forever home’ stage but desire a look that can transition from home to home?
Until you get to your forever home we’re giving you the pieces to invest in, how not to fall prey to “trendy spendy” and what pieces truly give you a sense of home no matter how often you’re moving.
Purchase “good bones” quality furniture in neutral colors that can be reupholstered over time but that is high quality enough to withstand moves, children, pets and life. This could include older pieces as well as excellent American-made brands such as Lexington, Hooker, Thomasville, Ethan Allen and Hickory Furniture. Consider taking your quality older pieces to an upholsterer for a refresh with new fabric!
Another option for “good bones” pieces include period furniture that is known for quality and timeless lines that play well with today’s “modern” furniture, such as Louis XVI chairs or chaise loungers, slipper chairs, 19th century and early-mid 20th century made pieces from England, Italy and France.
Upholstery isn’t necessarily the least expensive option but it keeps “disposable” furniture out of landfills and cuts down on carbon dioxide emissions from said disposable furniture. While several retail-ready brands are composed of chipped wood (aka plywood), antique furniture is made from solid wood with time-tested joinery and hardware that has stood the test of time. Your investment in fabric and upholstery services will be well spent on a vintage or antique furniture piece. It’s also a wonderfully sentimental way to update a piece of furniture from a grandmother or your favorite relative, while also making it work in your home.
Are you unsure of how to find a quality upholsterer in your area? We strongly recommend avoiding sites like Thumbtack and Bark, as the businesses on there have to pay for leads (often times leading to unrealistic reviews and shoddy service) and instead ask around at local fabric stores, antique stores, or your friendly interior designer who has multiple industry connections across the country (hyperlink: Ask us!)
The same goes for upholstery fabric, curtain trim, custom pillows, bedding, and so much more! We offer The Fabric Mix, an independent service where you receive up to 6 fabric and 3 trim selections to coordinate with your existing (or future) décor. Once you’re ready to order, we coordinate with the manufacturer and bring you fabrics below MSRP, shipping directly to your door.
Maybe you’re overwhelmed by the idea of working with an upholsterer alone? We’re happy to offer design and management of fabrication with one of our local workrooms and the finished product will be shipped to you (hourly design rates apply).
Versatile & Multi-Use Pieces are Key!
Versatile pieces offer to play well within any room in your home, from accent chairs to loveseats, skirted and accent tables, benches to armoires, all of these pieces can provide storage in homes with limited closet space, create additional seating that can be moved from room to room when entertaining, use sideboards and buffets as console tables in an entry or behind a sofa, offer additional storage in a dining room and even a media console (depending on height). Accent tables can be tucked in between an armchair and a wall, skirted tables moved from living room to the bedroom, and easily interchangeable depending on your current décor.
Performance Fabrics: Stylish, Sofa & Stain Resistant
We always recommend to clients to purchase a sofa / loveseat in a performance fabric that is considered neutral with their own home style and color palette. This may be white, navy, tan or even green, depending on your home style. And a performance fabric is non-negotiable these days. Gone are the days of scratchy and rough Sunbrella outdoor fabric, today’s performance fabrics resist, repel and even block liquids, UV rays and dog hair. With the technology woven into the fabric, there’s no need to spray toxic chemicals onto your upholstery, nor does it wear out. Some of our favorite performance brand fabrics are InsideOut, Krypton, Bella Dura, Allegro and Sunbrella. Many retail-ready stores are also offering sofas, loveseats and accent chairs in their own performance fabrics. Either way, be sure to ask for a sample of the fabric and recommended cleaning products to use on it. (With that said, we also LOVE Folex stain remover, and believe every home needs a bottle or two!)
The point is, a sofa & loveseat offers flexibility in where you are able to place it while you’re in the transitional home stage of life. What may work in an open-concept home will not work in a 1970s ranch home, so being able to split up the sofas / loveseat into different rooms may be necessary.
Selecting a neutral (for your home), you can easily update your accent colors with pillows and a throw blanket. We’re also huge proponents of anything with a zippered (fitted) slipcover, as we also live with a husband and a dog!
An easy update to versatile pieces is to have them painted and / or lacquered in a color that coordinates with your home’s décor and style . Try selecting a custom paint color from Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams and have a test pot made up in store for you based on 2-3 of your favorite shades of a particular color. Adding unique hardware easily modernizes or personalizes an antique piece of furniture (we love Etsy shops we love: Mae Love Crafts, Best Hardware Store, Dream Chinese & Hi Amazing August
Skip the Trendy Spendy Trap!
Save the trending decor for holidays and build on it each year, keeping it cohesive with your overall style so that it blends with your everyday decor.
Great trends to look for in holiday décor are metallic, seasonally appropriate textures (chunky cable knit pillows and throws, faux fur throw, wool-look accents) and timeless patterns (holiday colored plaids like Blackwatch, tartan, red and green Christmas plaid)
Small spending here & there on trendy pieces from a random Homegoods or Target run eventually adds up and is suggested to be minimized if you’re eyeing a larger piece that has greater potential in your home.
How to invest in pieces that create a sense of home – and will move well with you:
- Rugs – if you’re in the transitional home stage of life you may not be ripping up flooring and carpet for just a few year’s stay. Area rugs are the answer to any less-than-desirable floors in your current home. While we love the look of antique Persian and Oushak rugs, we don’t necessarily recommend buying them in the largest size possible, due to the fact that they may not fit in the room you had in mind. Instead, buy a smaller Persian or Oushak rug (5×7, 6×9, 8×10) which will fit in most every room and layer them on top of a textured larger rug (which are almost always going to be less expensive than Persian or Oushak rugs.) Smaller antique rugs also serve well in adding color and personality to your kitchen or bath as a runner!
- Going back to our love for all things upholstered furniture, a custom selected fabric print in colors that you decorate with, will always make a room feel finished since they’re likely to coordinate with other pieces you own. Even in a home where you cannot paint the Agreeable Grey or Snowbound White walls, your furniture will be cohesive!
- Lighting – again, one of the most impactful ways to create a sense of home while you’re moving every few years is to invest in lighting fixtures that you take with you, but that also give a finished look to your rooms. Just be sure that you remove all lighting fixtures that you take with you prior to listing photos!
Tips & Tricks:
- Find a local upholstery workroom or contact us to help you find a reputable one
- Find a few favorite antique stores where you call home or use Etsy and Chairish for vintage and antique finds, from hardware to furniture
- Make a list of reputable vintage & antique furniture brands to keep on hand while shopping for quality furniture
- Buy a couple bottles of Folex (not sponsored, we just love the stuff!) for those accidentals that aren’t on performance fabrics
“We are available on a consultation basis to discuss any design dilemmas in your new or current home, whether you’re local to North Florida or beyond.”
Brittany “Bee” Zimmerman