Choosing the Right Furniture

Katie Thomas, Design Director of KTM Design and Regional Director of the Society of British and International Design (SBID)

When choosing furniture it is important to consider far more than its initial aesthetic appeal. The style and construction of the furniture needs to last for a long time, so by considering the distinct details and quality of the construction you are able to make a more informed decision before purchasing. As a little bit of professional guidance never hurts, please see some of my tips below.

Construction: A good rule of thumb is looking for furniture pieces that feel solid and heavy. If you are looking for quality, avoid particleboard and aluminium frames. Solid wood frames generally last a lot longer and is the standard for fine furniture. It is also important to consider the cushion when looking at the construction, so before purchasing anything give it the sit test. Regardless of how beautiful it is, if it’s not comfortable, you won’t enjoy it.

Form: As a piece of furniture is an investment and says a lot about you, choose a style that you will love now and in the future. The form and silhouette of the piece should stand the test of time. However, this doesn’t mean that you should choose something shapeless or without style, and whether your preferences are contemporary or traditional, there are many updated options available on the market.

Fabric: Lighter coloured fabrics can be appropriate for a formal living room, foyer, or bedroom. However, it is suggested to choose a slightly darker fabric if it is a piece of furniture that will be used frequently.

Finish: The stain or finish colour is an important point to consider if your piece of furniture has exposed wood. Many pieces of furniture can be altered dramatically by the colour of the finish. For example, you can very easily transform the chair from traditional to contemporary by changing a cherry stain to a black paint. Painting a mahogany piece white will make it look more feminine and delicate.

Look for furniture that has some personality or an element of the unexpected. Perhaps there are some interesting features such as nail head details or some unique tufting, or the overall shape is slightly unconventional.  If you would like some advice or are thinking about making changes to your home or commercial space in the upcoming months, do get in touch.

For more information or to book your complimentary design consultation, please call 01202 069499 or email

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