I’ve had this on my mind for while – if you’re just tuning in here, you’ll soon discover that I’m a proponent of attainable style. I believe that everyone deserves a home that speaks to them and with a style that encompasses an atmosphere that provides comfort. I know not everyone can afford to drop $5k on a sofa, and furnishing your home should never feel like a financial burden.
Today, we’re going to tackle the main pieces needed to get what you want style-wise, as well as the important aspects to look for when shopping for items for your home. I’ll offer a wallet-friendly option, as well as a splurge option for the most commonly shopped items.
Just a heads-up, this post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission in the event that you choose to make a purchase.
Ready to dive in? Let’s get started.
So, you have guests over to your home for the first time (or the first time in forever) – where are they going to sit? Here we will discuss seating options and how to work with your floorplan based on space, ideal layout, and budget.
A common layout that works well in a variety of spaces, is the combination of a sofa with two separate matching accent chairs. Alternatively, a small scale sectional like those from Inside Weather or Floyd are a great pet and family-friendly option here. What matters most, is a comfortable space for you to relax. If you enjoy Netflix marathons or movie nights, choose something that’s comfortable and functional for facing the TV.
When you prefer to have a group of friends over and relax on the couch while entertaining, then a layout for TV-watching may matter less to you. It’s always a good idea to use tape on the floor to get an idea of how much space an item will take up, and to get an idea of the clearance around the furniture as well. A good rule of thumb for sofa/sectional placement with regards to the coffee table is a clearance of at least 14”-18” to allow enough room to pass without having to strain to reach the table from a seated position.
Let’s talk about what your needs are; do you like to entertain? Would you like to have a large space for elaborate dinner parties? Prefer a bar table with stools? Do you need to squeeze in extra storage? These are the questions you want to ask when searching for these important aspects of your home. Check out some of these stylish (and affordable) options below:
One of the most important aspects of any home is the lighting pieces used and the color temperature of the bulbs used in that lighting.
- Aim for lighting that is lower to the ground, such as a floor lamp or table lamp.
- Make good use of up lighting, such a set of wall sconces (there are so many plug-in options nowadays if you’re renting).
- Switch out the fluorescent bulbs for more energy-efficient LED bulbs! This is one of the lower-cost swaps you can do that will transform the lighting in your space and give you a truer color to your walls as well. Fluorescent bulbs emit a strong yellow/orange hue that can be quite the downer. Switch it out! You’ll be happier.
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Let’s look at an example using a 3D render. Do you see how the smaller sized rug lends a crunched-up look to the room? What causes this, is a breakdown in the scale of the items used. In using a smaller rug, the table takes center stage and causes the eye to notice the other misgivings. Notice the difference and moreover, the balance in the second 3d render.
For some of my favorite affordable rug picks, check out this blog post.
If you’re just starting out – start with the essentials. What do I mean by that? It means buy what you need for comfort, and span out from there. It looks like complementary pillows, throws that coordinate with your main pieces and the color scheme, and accent pieces like trays for drinks or for a sturdy flat surface on an upholstered ottoman that does double duty as a coffee table. You’ll want to focus on the items you actually need that can double as décor before splurging on anything that’s not functional.
The first décor piece to splurge on that can also offer more energy-efficiency is a great set of window panels – with quality craftsmanship at a fraction of the custom price, this is a great place to look for panels that are both beautiful and functional.