A comprehensive guide to buying furniture for your home
A common struggle faced by many new homeowners in Singapore is trying to create their dream home with the limited space available. But, don’t let the small space deter you from having the house of your dreams. Instead, you can fill it up with functional and stylish furniture to bring out your personal sense of style, all while keeping the space homey and comfortable.
Having the right furniture is the most important element of interior design, and here are three reasons why.
1. Defines function
Furniture plays an important role in providing a room with essential information about its purpose. For instance, a bookshelf to section the living room might open up a space for rest and quiet relaxation.
Before you pick out furniture for your new home, it is important to ask yourself the intentions you have for the space, as this allows you to decide the necessary furnishings. For example, if you are someone who likes to have guests over regularly, you can get an L-shaped sofa or corner sofa to seat more people.
2. Facilitates the flow of movement
Besides selecting the right kind of furniture for your living space, you should also consider their size and placement. The position of your furniture visualises the movement in the room; a good design can help you create an unimpeded flow. For instance, the dining table is placed in the centre of the dining room to encourage families to gather around it, and it should not be too wide to block the path between your kitchen and living room.
3. Defines your style
Lastly, the furniture you choose to fill your rooms can express your unique sense of style. While some of us may gravitate towards a Scandinavian interior, others may prefer a pop of colour with more eclectic designs.
With so much to consider before investing in furniture, it's a good idea to get inspiration from furniture shops in Singapore, or even visit their online store for regular updates!
Part II: Choosing the ideal furniture for your home
Choosing the right furniture may be daunting for some, especially when you have to consider your style whilst keeping to your budget. No matter your situation or the available space you have, here are some helpful tips to get you started on your decision-making process.
- Pick an overarching theme
By deciding on a theme for your home, it makes it easier for you to choose furniture that complements it. For example, if you would like a contemporary feel to your home, then metallic and angular pieces are perfect for you. Or if you prefer your home to look eclectic then you can pick out unique Bohemian-designed fabric sofas.
- Identify your needs
A frequent mistake that many new homeowners make when furnishing their houses is doing what everyone does: having a standard living room with a fabric sofa, TV console, and a dining table set. While this gives you an idea of what a home looks like, it may not fit your lifestyle.
For example, if you are someone who always eats out, then allocating half your living room to a dining area may not be feasible. Or if you have children and pets, then a fabric sofa may be less ideal compared to a leather one. Essentially, you need to identify your household’s needs before deciding on the placement of furniture.
- Consider the layout of the room
Every room in your home has unique dimensions that you may need to work around. Aside from deciding on the style, you also need to identify the size and scale of each space to bring your dream home to life.
A helpful tip is to always build your foundation first by identifying the anchoring pieces you want. From there, you can work your way around the signature piece. It is not necessary to choose matching sets of furniture, instead, you can always mix things up a bit. The most important thing is to choose pieces that you will still love in the future.
2.1 Designing Your Living Room
Whether you are living in an HDB or a condo, a living room is a must when it comes to entertaining your guests, or relaxing on your couch after a long day at work. As the living room is one of the biggest areas in your home, you should ensure all the furniture in the room complements each other. Here we share some furniture placement ideas to maximise the space of your living room.
1. Arrangement of furniture
A well-designed living room creates a comfortable space for all who use it, hence your choice of furniture is important in terms of creating a relaxing vibe as well as visual appeal. The first step to picking out furniture for your living room is to plan out the area.
Planning helps you to efficiently utilise all the available space whilst avoiding clutter. It also helps you to visualise and include room for walkways around your furniture. One thing that you can do is to measure your space accurately so that you can determine the size of furniture to get. You can also identify the focal point of the room, for instance, if it is your TV console, then you can arrange your sofa and coffee table such that they complement the console.
If your living room is small, it is not recommended to buy furniture that is too huge. or it is recommended that you buy smaller pieces of furniture to create a spacious living space.
2.Choosing the type of furniture
When it comes to choosing upholstered furniture, it is best to decide on the sofa configuration to suit the space. A corner sofa helps create a zone between the seating area of open-plan living space. If you add on an L-shaped sofa or recliner sofa, it immediately fashions a relaxing spot.
Having a pair of sofas that are placed at a right-angle to one another provides you with a more sociable arrangement whilst giving everyone a good view of the TV. However, if you arrange a pair of sofas to face each other, it creates a semi-formal feel that is ideal for frequent entertaining of guests. Should you find yourself falling asleep on the couch often, then it is best to get yourself a sofa bed or recliner sofa for maximum comfort.
Apart from the layout and arrangement of sofas, the upholstery you choose is also dependent on your household’s needs and lifestyle. Upholstery refers to the attachment of padding, cushion, fabric, or leather textile covers onto furniture like a sofa. Some of the factors that will help you make a better decision are the presence of children, pets, as well as sunlight exposure. Leather sofas are a popular choice amongst many households in Singapore, and for good reason. Leather is considered a durable material from tanning hide and animal skin and is mostly derived from cattle. Cowhide is known to be versatile with abrasion resistance properties, making it a good choice for sofas. Furthermore, leather sofas are also easy to maintain compared to fabric sofas like velvet.
Fabric sofas such as cotton and linen ones are ideal for Singapore’s hot and humid climate. However one of the downsides of fabric sofas is that it has very low stain resistance, thus most sofa specialists do not recommend cotton sofas to big households with children or pets. There are fabric sofas with a mix of cotton and polyester to make them more stain-resistant whilst maintaining the breathability of the material in Singapore’s weather.
- Coffee Table
Besides the sofa, the coffee table also offers endless design possibilities for your living room. Usually overlooked, the coffee table typically holds personal items, decor accents that reflect the personalities of homeowners in Singapore, overall giving the living room its character.
The coffee table you pick should be dependent on the type of sofa you have. An oval or rectangular coffee table is perfect for a standard horizontal sofa, whereas a round or square-shaped coffee table fits best with your L-shaped recliner sofa. Coffee tables come in a range of materials, with the common ones being marble, glass, wood, and mirrored glass.
Marble coffee tables add a touch of elegance to your living room, while wood provides a warm, rustic feel. Not only do glass coffee tables provide a minimalist approach to interior design, it also draws more attention to the sofa.
- TV Console
TV consoles do more than just act as a platform for your television set. Having a TV console helps conceal the wires of your television, gaming, or even audio sets, keeping the overall look of the area sleek and clean.
3. Identifying a colour palette and style
Holding your interior design is more than just furniture and accent pieces. Instead, your colour palette is just as important. Whether you are aware of it or not, your home already has a style, especially if you noticed that your furniture has a theme. By understanding your style and theme, you will be able to get an overall idea of the colours that you want to add to your decor.
Having a colour scheme is also handy when it comes to picking out large furniture and accent pieces. Instead of using the same colours as your wall, you can expand your search into different tones that complement the main colours. We recommend picking mid-tones for large furniture pieces such as your sofa and using bright tones for accessories such as cushions and frames.
2.2 Furniture for your dining area
Be it a stand-alone room or part of an open-plan zone, the dining area should have a balance between functionality and style. This can be achieved through the placement of dining furniture like a dining table and chairs. Apart from being a table for mealtimes, dining tables have also become a place to work, gather, and entertain guests.
The best dining table for you will be the one that works within your budget, is solidly constructed, fits into your space, and has a style that you will love for the years to come. Here are some core factors to consider when picking out your next dining table.
A dining table is a deceptively large piece of furniture, hence many homeowners often choose a size that is smaller than what they need. For instance, a couple often chooses a dining table that sits two instead of getting a larger one to accommodate guests. This may result in buyer’s remorse from the limitations that come with a small table. While it is always good to “size up” your dining table, you should also account for space around it and ensure that there is sufficient space to sit comfortably and move around.
Square and rectangular dining tables are the most common shapes, as such, you will find a wide variety of styles, sizes, as well as extendable options available in furniture shops or online stores. But a round or oval table has the advantage of giving you more room to move around since the corners are cut off. Hence, an oval table is a better option for tighter, rectangular spaces. Furthermore, round or oval tables are great for conversations since there is no head of the table.
- Leg supports
The legs, or base of the dining table also play a role in how many people you can fit at the table. Pay attention to the leg width and the placement of legs if you have guests over frequently. Having a dining table with thinner legs, or legs at the corner will make it easier to squeeze an additional chair in.
Choosing the right material for your dining table may be difficult, so here are some of the most common materials and things to consider when making your choice:
Wood - Solid wood or hardwood is a classic material for dining tables due to its sturdiness, durability, and ease of maintenance.
Veneer - A more affordable alternative to solid wood, wood veneer is a combination of thin solid wood that’s glued to plywood or other wood core. To identify quality veneer, look for tables with clearly-labeled core interiors such as kiln-dried hardwood.
Stone/marble - Stone tabletops include marble, quartz composite, or cast-stone such as cement. While stone is a durable material, it is porous and tends to absorb stains more easily.
Glass - Glass dining tables include clear, frosted, or tinted versions and are generally inexpensive. Glass tables are ideal for smaller dining spaces as they create a feeling of openness. However, one major disadvantage is this material is more susceptible to chips, cracks, and scratches.
Plastic - An inexpensive option, plastic is resistant to stains and requires very little upkeep. However, it may not be as sturdy as wood or stone options.
A standard dining chair height is around 19 inches, whereas a dining table is 30 inches tall. Choosing a dining chair that is too tall will cause you to slouch during mealtimes, and a chair that is too low may make it uncomfortable for you to dine on.
You also need to consider the shape and style of your dining chair - chairs without arms are ideal for smaller, round tables, while benches and chairs with arms are best for longer, rectangular tables. Furthermore, it is also important to ensure that your dining chair matches the overall look of your dining table. As it may be hard to find a matching chair, we recommend checking out the range of dining table sets offered by retailers like Novena Furniture Singapore.
2.3 Designing your bedroom
A bedroom should be a comfortable and calming place to rest your body, hence it is essential to keep the design simple, regardless of the style you choose. Some of the must-have furniture to include in your bedroom are:
Your wardrobe should be of an ideal size, fitting into the space allotted to it in the bedroom. It is best to not have a wardrobe that is too big, as it may overshadow the rest of the furniture in your bedroom. However, you also need to ensure that it is big enough for your needs.
Choosing the material that complements the overall look and feel of the room is also an important consideration. For instance, a child’s room can have a colourful, acrylic wardrobe, whereas a light-coloured wooden wardrobe fits well in a room with muted tones.
The door of the wardrobe is just as important, and you can choose swing doors, sliding doors, or even automatic doors. Sliding door wardrobes work well for the BTO flats in Singapore as its design helps save on space, whereas a swing door is a great choice if you have a room that is large enough for the doors to open, without blocking your path.
Most of us spend a third of our time asleep, so understanding what goes into choosing a new bed is important. The wrong bed may lead to sore muscles, a bad back, and also lack of sleep. From hidden storages to bed frames designed for specific mattress types and sleepers, there is more to choosing a good bed than how it looks.
The overall bedroom size has to be taken into account when choosing a bed. To relax properly, you need to have a reasonable amount of space around your bed. If you are looking to improve a multifunctional space, such as a living room, you can consider sofa beds or recliner sofas that offer more space when you are not sleeping in them.
Getting a good night’s sleep is attributed to mattress quality, however, a bed frame that the mattress sits upon also plays an equally important role. The bed frame provides a foundation for the mattress, and without a quality frame to place your mattress, you may experience disturbed sleep with all the squeaking and creaking noises. Bed frames are also designed to evenly support the weight of your mattress. A weak bed frame is susceptible to mechanical deterioration, increasing the risks of your mattress sagging.
Bed frames are also handy in the sense that they create extra storage. Some bed frames come with built-in storage drawers for you to store your items, and have more space to move around the room.
Part III: Tips To Buying Furniture Online
Buying furniture for your new home can be a stressful and expensive process. To prevent being stuck with pieces that do not work in a room, here are some common blunders you should steer clear of:
- The wrong fit
You need to measure the area that you want to place your new furniture in to ensure that it fits appropriately in the room. From there, you can either head to a furniture store or visit an online furniture site in Singapore to find a piece that you love, with the right dimensions. Many new homeowners often purchase furniture by estimating the available space, resulting in the purchased product being unable to fit in the room with the other pieces of furniture.
- Making impractical choices
You have to always consider both functional and aesthetical aspects of the desired furniture you are about to get. Many people often choose furniture based on its looks alone without considering the other pieces, colour palette, theme, as well as functionality. One example would be getting a dining chair that is the wrong height for your dining table or a corner sofa that is too big for your living space. Avoid such situations by measuring the dimensions, and doing up a floor plan to better visualise the layout.
- Not thinking ahead
Most homeowners only think of the furniture that is right for them now but not in the years to come. Hence, it is essential to choose the right furniture for the future. For instance, a fabric sofa may look good for your home now, but if you are planning to have children or a pet in the near future, then leather may be more suitable.
With the ongoing pandemic, stores in Singapore often do not allow you to touch and feel the displayed furniture before coming to a decision or making your purchase. This has seen many people in Singapore ordering and buying their furniture online. There are many advantages in buying furniture online, but here we have shortlisted a few:
- A wide array of choices: When buying furniture in the physical store itself, you are only limited to pieces that are available or displayed there. Online furniture stores on the other hand offer a wider variety of products. This allows you to shop any time during the day in the comfort of your home.
- Price and comparison: Shopping for furniture online allows you to compare prices and product offerings. Instead of having to drive from one outlet to another, you can simply open a few tabs, or even check out product reviews with just one click.
- Hassle-free shopping: Apart from being able to compare prices and product offerings easily, the checkout process is also much easier. You no longer have to wait in line, or for a customer service officer to assist you with the delivery of your product. Everything can be done simultaneously when you shop for your furniture online!
Despite the advantages of buying online, sometimes what you see may not be what you get as there may be some disparity in product appearance. While you can easily check customer reviews online, some of these reviews may be misleading. Hence, it is always best to get your furniture from a reliable and trusted retailer.
Part IV: Conclusion
Having the right furniture is necessary to create a cohesive and comfortable space for your home. Aside from price, other factors such as style, design, and materials, as well as your lifestyle comes into play when deciding your furniture. Get all your furniture from a reliable and brand like Novena Furniture today, and rest assured knowing that we deliver quality and excellent service with every piece that you choose.
Are you looking for aesthetically pleasing and functional furniture to furnish your home with? Novena Furniture is a reliable furniture brand that has been providing home solutions since 1984. Let us help you turn your dream home into reality with our wide range of furniture. Visit our online store or head down to our showroom today!