Furniture is a quintessential part of every home, regardless of its size, design style, or occupants. It contributes to the comfort, functionality and aesthetics of your space, and should not be overlooked. Why is that so?
A carefully curated set of furniture strategically placed throughout your home enhances the space, dictates the flow of movement within your home, balances visual weight, illustrates your personal style, creates a practical and functional environment, all while remaining cosy and suitable for rest and relaxation. Each piece's textures, colours, and design style elevates the appearance of your home and breathes life into an otherwise bare space, sprucing up the interior to deliver an atmosphere that may put you at ease.
This optimal living environment will be impossible to achieve if your home is sparsely furnished with items that do not bring you joy or comfort.
While furniture is an essential component of any home, it should not be chosen hastily. Simply filling your home and not considering the elements of a piece of furniture will not result in the ideal space you desire. Here's a guide to help you learn more.
FURNISHING EACH LIVING SPACE
1.1. Living Room
The living room is a place where you can relax and/or socialise with your guests. Many of us also spend long periods of time unwinding on a comfortable couch, watching television or scrolling through social media. Some of the basic living room furniture you should include a sofa, TV console, coffee table, and/or side table.
Choosing a Sofa
Types of Sofas
Sofas generally fall into four main categories and the amount of space in your living room will determine which type of sofa is best for you.
- Traditional: A standard three-seater sofa
- Sectional: One that can be divided into different sections and arranged to fit your space
- Sofa Bed: A sofa that converts into a bed for studio apartments or homes without bedrooms
- Loveseat: A two-seater sofa for small spaces
Aside from the four main types of sofas, there are also numerous sofa styles that were developed from various time periods, featuring design elements unique to each era. The sofa style most suitable for your home will depend on the interior design style you're going for. Here are some basic styles to know.
- Mid-Century Modern: A sofa design from the ‘60s, this style sports clean lines, a rectangular shape and a tufted back.
- Lawson: A classic sofa style from the early 20th century, Lawson sofa styles feature short, rolled or square armrests.
- English Roll Arm: A versatile style with tucked arms, bare legs and soft curves around it.
- Chaise: A long sofa seat with a short backrest and a singular arm.
- Tuxedo: Streamlined sofa with a box-like shape, the arms extend from the backrest to create a uniformed build with no back cushions.
- Chesterfield: A style similar to the tuxedo sofa, with rolled arms, tufted accents and occasionally some nailhead detailing.
Your sofa's upholstery is just as important as its shape and style. It has an impact on the sofa's durability and longevity, as well as its appearance. Here are some common options.
- Leather: A great choice for families with pets and children, and for modern or contemporary interiors. Full grain and top grain leather sofas are the most durable but the lower grade leathers are highly susceptible to damage.
- Polyester: A strong synthetic fibre that repels moisture and does not tear easily. It can be easier to prevent stains but pet owners may struggle with fur becoming stuck in between fabric weaves.
- Velvet: A fabric made of different materials such as silk, polyester or rayon to create a luxurious textile that often comes in rich jewel tones such as emerald.
- Linen: A natural fabric with a pretty aesthetic. Some linen sofas may be strong but others are susceptible to stains, wrinkles and pilling.
When finding the perfect sofa, one of the most important factors to consider is size. After all, what's the point of buying a sofa if it doesn't fit in your living room?
The general rule of thumb is to select a sofa that is approximately 152 cm long to comfortably seat at least 2 people. If you enjoy sneaking in an afternoon nap on your sofa on occasion, you may want to get a longer sofa with about 220 cm of space to lie down comfortably. You could also purchase a sofa bed.
A TV console not only displays your television in your living space, but it also helps to beautify the entire section of your living room while holding your TV at an optimal viewing height. It can even be used as an extra storage unit for your entertainment devices and daily necessities.
The Size of your Space
Small TV consoles should be used in small living spaces to keep your home from looking cramped and cluttered, while larger TV consoles should be used in large living spaces to avoid visual imbalance.
One easy way to choose the right size is to get a TV console that matches the length of your sofa and leave enough space on both sides of the TV consoles to reduce clutter. Large living rooms will benefit from a TV console 150 cm to 200 cm long, while smaller ones can accommodate those 130 cm to 140 cm long.
Size of your TV
Your TV console must be proportionate to the size of your TV as it could pose a safety risk and negatively impact visual weight. One thing to keep in mind is that advertised TV sizes are usually measured diagonally, which means that even if a TV is advertised as 30 inches, its actual horizontal size is not 30 inches.
A 40-inch TV should ideally be supported by a TV console measuring 80 cm to 85 cm, a 50-inch TV by a 110 cm to 120 cm TV console, and a 60-inch TV by a 135 cm to 140 cm TV console.
Your viewing experience will be affected by the height of your TV console; the centre of your TV screen should measure just below your eye level when you're seated directly opposite it. Take this into consideration and pick a TV console that allows you to view your TV from the best possible angle.
Storage space is an important feature to have in your TV console, especially if your home is small and you want an uncluttered living room. TV consoles may include built-in storage such as shelves, pull-out drawers, or open door cabinets to help you organise your belongings. It's also a great place to keep frequently used items.
TV consoles are also available in a variety of styles and designs, including traditional wooden and glass varieties for Japanese, minimalist or muji interior styles, and sleek ones with crisp lines and neutral colours for modern or contemporary interiors. The TV and TV console may be the focal point of your living room at times, and its design should complement your home decor style to create a cohesive look.
Coffee Table/Side Table
A coffee table or side table is more than just a piece of decorative furniture; it contributes to the aesthetic appearance of your home while also serving multiple functions to make your life easier. Here are some things to think about when looking for one.
- Coffee Table: Your coffee table should not extend beyond the length of any other living room furniture, as this disrupts the visual balance. The ideal size should be about two-thirds the size of your sofa, or even smaller, leaving about 45 cm between the sofa and the coffee table for your legs and not be too far for you to pick things up from the table. If a coffee table is too big for your space but you require an extra surface for styling or utility, you may consider a side table instead.
- Side Table: A side table should fit nicely next to your sofa or armchair, with enough space for a cup of tea, a lamp, or a book. However, it should be smaller than the width of any one seated section of your sofa.
- Coffee Table: The height of your coffee table should match the height of your sofa's seat. Although there is no hard and fast rule, it is best to choose something that is neither too low nor too high to avoid having your coffee table look out of place. When it's the same height as your seat, it's easier to reach for the items you decide to put on your coffee table.
- Side Table: There are many different heights and styles of side tables to choose from. For easier access, side tables should be the same height as the arm of your sofa. If your seat has low or no arms, simply ensure that the side table height is within a 5 cm range of the seated cushion height.
- Coffee Table: The shape of your coffee table should vary according to the size and style of your sofa. L-shaped sofas work well with an oval or rectangular coffee table that fits within the elongated space and does not extend into the chaise section. For standard three-seater sofas or loveseats, any shape is acceptable as long as it is within two-thirds of the length of your sofa.
- Side Table: Oval and round shaped side tables are better suited to smaller living rooms because they take up less space; they are also the preferred choice if you have toddlers. If you have a larger living room, rectangular and square side tables are excellent choices because they can work alongside your sofa to create a unique focal point; simply adorn them with large vases of flowers or hang artwork above the side tables to produce an alluring living room.
1.2. Dining Room
Friends and family gather in the dining room to eat and catch up with one another. It should have a great atmosphere for fun and bonding, as well as everything you need to dine effortlessly.
The best dining table is one that is stable and long-lasting enough to withstand potential damage from spills, sharp cutlery, or hot and cold items. Another important criterion is that it must fit into your dining area and provide enough clearance for movement and your guests to remain comfortably seated.
Square and rectangular tables are the most common choices, and there are even extendable dining tables for those who have small spaces but want to host guests with a larger table from time to time. Round or oval dining tables provide more space for movement and are ideal for conversation.
Wooden dining tables are extremely durable and aesthetically pleasing, adding a splash of nature to your home. They do, however, require more effort to maintain. Sintered stone dining tables, on the other hand, come in a vast selection of styles and designs. They are also much more durable than wooden ones because of the way they were built, making them resistant to scratches, chips, dents, heat damage, and moisture damage. They are even hypoallergenic and food safe.
To decide on the style and aesthetics for your dining chairs, first ask yourself these questions:
Are you looking at something simple or more ornamented?
What is the overall look and feel you’re looking for?
Can your dining table fit large dining chairs with armrests or simple chairs with a smaller frame?
Simple wooden dining chairs complement light-colored wooden dining tables to create a light and airy interior and are ideal for quick family dinners, whereas upholstered chairs with ornate detailing pair well with dark-colored dining tables and may be more comfortable to sit in for extended periods of time.
Mismatched Dining Chairs
Mixing different types of dining chairs is a way to elevate your dining experience and improve the overall atmosphere of your space. However, it needs to be done carefully to avoid turning your dining room into a cluttered mess.
One method of mixing different chairs is to select those with a similar design style. For example, chairs designed for industrial, modern or eclectic interiors. Despite the differences, the inclusion of elements from the same "family" of styles help to harmonise the pieces.
Another important rule to remember is to keep all your dining chair heights consistent. Not only is this crucial for aesthetics, it can help to eliminate possible awkwardness during meal times as having people seated in different heights can be uncomfortable.
Also, other furniture pieces that are good to have in your dining room include dining benches and a buffet table. The dining bench serves as a space-saving alternative to regular dining chairs while the buffet can be used as an extra storage unit or provide additional surface for serving food.
Because the bedroom is where you'll spend the majority of your time sleeping and resting, it should provide a relaxing and comfortable environment for you to unwind and recharge before the new day. Your bed, a good mattress, and some storage units for your personal belongings are some of the most important pieces to have.
The bed frame keeps your mattress in good condition and gives greater support for your body. It also contributes to the decor of your room. Without a proper bed frame, your mattress loses stability and may be more prone to damage.
Many factors must be considered when selecting a bed frame, including mattress size, type of bed base, bed height, and bed frame material. For example, if you prefer a king size mattress, you must purchase a king size bed frame to properly fit your mattress.
Chest of Drawers
Ample storage is essential for maintaining a fresh and clean bedroom environment, which makes a chest of drawers one of the most versatile and practical pieces of furniture you can have in your home. Here's how to pick the best one.
The size of your chosen chest of drawers should depend on the size of your room, what you need it for, and how many items you need to store in it. If space limitation is an issue, opt for a tall and slim unit that makes good use of vertical space. If you’re shopping for one for your child, look for one with a shorter height for easy access. One thing to keep in mind though, is that drawers require additional space in front of them to be able to pull outwards. So, keep that in mind when furnishing the room.
As for the visual appearance of your chest of drawers, consider the colours and style of other furniture items you’ve already chosen for your room. Those with metallic accents work well in modern luxury or modern interiors, fully wooden chests of drawers go well in industrial, muji, or eclectic interiors, and those with a mix of whites and woods suit the Scandinavian, minimalist, or contemporary home interiors.
Night tables, or bedside tables, are the most efficient way to turn any bedroom into a fashionable and practical area. Especially if you like having your favourite items next to your bed, functional night tables are a necessity.
Bedside tables should be at the same height as your mattress. A table that is too low or too high can be uncomfortable to use and can lead to accidents throughout the night, such as bumping your head or arm against the table's edge.
Some of us use the bedside table to store our phones, alarm clocks, and a small table lamp. It should have enough surface area to safely hold all of these items without them falling over. If you intend to store more items, you can get a bedside table with built-in storage drawers or a larger chest of drawers. However, do keep in mind that one that is significantly larger may appear out of proportion to your bed and throw off your interior design.
1.4. Home Office
Your home office should be a pleasant place to work and/or study, with the right furniture to ensure comfort even after long hours of sitting. Ergonomic chairs and a proper study desk are two essential pieces of furniture for a home office.
A good and affordable ergonomic chair should have a few basic adjustable sections — the seat height, lumbar support, and backrest. Although it’s ideal to have a chair that can have the seat depth, arm rest and even the recline adjusted, the three basic parts mentioned above will suffice. This will assist in keeping your body in the best position and posture to avoid bodily aches. The material is also an important aspect of the chair; while leather is comfortable, some types are not as breathable and may even peel over time, especially in Singapore's heat and humidity. Mesh office chairs are recommended for maximum ventilation and comfort even on hot days.
Are you looking for a study desk for your home office? Size, height, adjustability, and storage space are all important factors to consider. If it is a table for children to revise their schoolwork, a small table with a depth of 40 to 50 cm should be sufficient. However, if you intend to use it for work and have many gadgets and items to place on it, such as display monitors, speakers, and work documents, choose a desk with at least a 70 cm depth.
Some desks allow you to adjust its height so that you can work while standing whenever you are tired or want to avoid being too sedentary. These are great for a healthier lifestyle. They also allow you to adjust your desk to your seating height for better posture. Alternatively, you may get a desk that is at least 26 to 30 inches tall for a comfortable seating position.
If you need to keep stationery, tech accessories, and other belongings close to you while you work, it may be a good idea to get a desk with built-in drawers or shelves.
INTERIOR STYLING AND FURNISHING TIPS
Now that you know what furniture you need for your home and what factors to consider when purchasing each piece, let us walk you through some interior design tips. But first, here are some things to think about if you have pets, young children, or the elderly in your home.
2.1. Shopping Pet-Friendly, Kid-Friendly & Elderly-Friendly Furniture
You want to make sure that the materials you choose for your pet-friendly home are smooth and less likely to attract fur. Pets, particularly dogs and cats, may shed excessively at certain times of the year, and the fur can be difficult to remove. If you have pets, choose polyurethane, leather, denim, or silk. However, some of these fabrics may be prone to tearing and pilling, so carefully consider your options and decide which is more important to you: strong materials that don't tear easily or materials that don't attract fur.
Consider purchasing dark-coloured furniture to prevent stains and dirt from showing, or invest in some slipcovers or throw blankets to cover your furniture.
Additionally, if your dogs chew on furniture, we recommend getting those with metal legs to prevent chips and scratches because metal can withstand chewing better than wood.
Consider introducing bright and cheerful colours to your home with vibrant furniture pieces for a kid-friendly interior. Colours stimulate your child's brain and may aid in their development. In addition, select furniture with extra storage compartments for toys, books, and other items, round furniture to prevent injuries, and easy-to-clean furniture like a leather sofa or a sintered stone dining table.
When selecting furniture for an elderly-friendly home, keep your elderly family members' comfort and safety in mind. Furniture such as sofas and beds must be at a comfortable height that allows them to stand or sit without difficulty. Make sure there is enough lighting in your home and use brightly coloured furniture, such as cream colours, to reflect light. Also, avoid purchasing furniture with casters or sharp corners.
2.2. How to Mix & Match Furniture
Limit your colour palette
The simplest way to ensure that your room looks uniform, even if it contains a mix of styles, is to limit the colour palette to one main colour, up to two secondary colours, and up to two accent colours. For example, a warm white backdrop, coupled with grey and pale yellow cabinetry, then topped off with a hint of brown and green through potted plants.
Pay attention to scale
Scale refers to how the size of one object relates to the size of other objects within a space and the way the proportions balance out. Repetition is a great way to ensure a balanced visual weight throughout the house. For example, if you have a tall bookcase in one part of your home, you might echo that with tall furniture in other areas of your space.
Select a piece of furniture to be your focal point, then build the rest of your home decor based on this furniture. For example, if you want your sofa to be the focus of the room, furnish it first with a sofa, then add in your coffee tables and small ornaments accordingly.
Also ensure that you leave enough negative space (empty space) in your home design to keep your room from looking too cluttered.
Stick to one interior design style
Stick to a specific interior design style and shop accordingly to make mixing and matching furniture pieces easier. Most furniture stores in Singapore offer a wide range of furniture pieces that are classified into different styles to make it easier to find pieces that complement one another. For example, industrial-style pieces of furniture may have darker colours, wooden grains, and raw appearances, whereas modern luxury furniture may all boast a clean, sleek and polished look with gold and metal accents.
2.3. Interior Design Trends of 2023
As humans seek a closer connection to nature, biophilic design will continue to remain popular in 2023. Wooden furniture, fibre materials such as cotton and wool, and the use of plants will create a relaxing and organic environment.
In 2023, digital decor elements such as neon lights and RGB colours commonly found on gaming devices will be popular. They add visual interest and vibrancy to the space, resulting in a home with a strong personality.
Arches, curves, round shapes, and other raw, organic shapes will remain in trend in 2023 They create soft, mellow interiors that are unlike typical residential interior design. You can achieve the same effect by purchasing rounded furniture and ornaments with fluid shapes.
Everyone desires a home that appears to be luxurious. Luxury monochromatic design elements will be popular in 2023. Consider metallic accents like gold, sleek and polished surfaces like glass, and monochromatic colours in furniture.
Setting boundaries and zones in your home is no longer the trend, and multifunctional furniture is rising in popularity. Flexible solutions in your home refers to creating spaces that can transform to serve different purposes, such as a study room for work days and a lounge room for relaxing after work.
Shopping for furniture is a fun experience because you can explore different styles to find one that fits your interior. However, a lot of research is required to put together the perfect home interior that reflects your personality, and yet produce a fully functional home for your convenience. Now that you've gathered all of the necessary information you need for interior styling, visit Star Living, your one-stop online furniture shop in Singapore, to browse a wide selection of designer furniture for your home.