Archive for December, 2010

The subtle art of furniture arrangement

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Today, our television screens are filled with home design and decoration programs in which professionals come in and help redesign people’s homes. But you don’t need to be a self-proclaimed expert to arrange your furniture attractively, effectively and in a way that makes the best use of whatever space you have. All it takes is a little careful planning and innovative thinking.

When starting out, it’s a good idea to put everything down on paper before even laying a fingertip on an item of furniture or reaching for your wallet to buy that new oak table. Draw a plan of each room you’re planning on re-organising, to scale. Next take detailed measurements of each piece of furniture you plan to put in the room, and translate each measurement into the same scale as your plan. You will then be able to sketch in potential locations for each piece of furniture.

This will enable you to see exactly how much space particular furniture configurations will leave you, and to check that everything will fit where you want it, before you start any heavy lifting or careful shuffling. It will also help you to visualise exactly how everything will look, and to easily experiment with different designs.

Here are a few general tips for arranging your furniture:

  • Ensure there is enough space to move around easily
  • Don’t place large furniture items where they will block out the light
  • Mix things up- furniture arranged in straight lines can be very dull
  • Consider what you use each piece for and how frequently when deciding where to place them
  • Remember that, as in art, the spaces in-between furniture are as important as the furniture itself in defining the design of the room

Donating your old furniture to charity

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

If you’re planning on replacing your furniture in the new year and are wondering what to do with your old furniture, donating it to charity could do someone else the world of good. Moreover, it will prevent useful oak and pine furniture from having its life cut short festering away on a rubbish tip, and conserve natural resources.

According to the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN), 10 million furniture items are thrown away each year by people in the UK. Of these, it estimates that 3 million could be re-used, and many more repaired to be useful once more.

 The FRN is a non-profit organisation which helps to coordinate and promote the efforts of 400 furniture reuse and recycling organisations across the UK. Many of these organisations collect oak and pine furniture and other household items that are no longer needed, and pass them on to low income families in the UK who cannot afford to buy new furniture. According to Department of Work and Pensions statistics from 2007, four million children in the UK live in homes that cannot afford to replace old or broken furniture.

If you have old furniture which you are planning to get rid of and want it to go to a good cause, visit http://www.frn.org.uk/donate.asp , where you will find an interactive map detailing the nearest furniture re-use charities in your area.

New year, new furniture

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Come January 1st many people seek to make changes and revitalise their lives. For some it’s ridding themselves of a bad habit, taking up a new hobby or getting fit. For other’s a new year is a chance to change things around in their home. If you’re planning on giving your house a makeover this January, here are a few tips for purchasing new furniture.

Choose your materials wisely - Not all woods are created equal. When choosing your new furniture it’s important to think about the unique qualities of each type of wood and how they fit into your overall ambitions and plans for your new layout. Oak for example is a little more expensive than other types of wood, but it is extremely long lasting and generally looks great aesthetically. Pine furniture on the other hand is much cheaper, but not as durable, so is perfect for anyone on a budget who may be planning on upgrading at a later point.

Measure up accurately - When buying new furniture for your home it is essential to accurately measure the available space you have and take note of the sizes of individual furniture pieces which you plan to buy. It can help to draw up a plan of your room to scale, and then pencil in furniture items which you are thinking of buying, to ensure that everything fits comfortably and that you will have enough space left over.

Coordinate - Think about how different shades and grains of wood furniture will compliment or clash with each other. If you’re planning on redecorating entirely, it may be helpful to compare colour swatches with pictures of the wood grains you are thinking of for your furniture.