Fine Home Furnishings

Written by Serena Berger
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Fine home furnishings can turn interior design into a lifelong love affair for you and your family. Finding them can also be a truly daunting task, especially for a first time decorator or home-owner. You have no idea how much to budget, where to look, how much to buy, or how to install some of the beautiful pieces you find.

Don't give up and go to a furniture store with boxes of identical partially-assembled furniture stacked from floor to ceiling. That might be okay for a college dorm or your first apartment. When you have the space and time available, however, you should seek out furnishings that really reflect your taste, passions, and personality.

It's the details that elevate an interior design from good to exceptional. You can always find a furniture set that was designed to go together and give you the feel that you want. What you do to personalize that set with additional pieces is what will make your home truly beautiful, and truly yours.

Fine Home Furnishings Focus on the Details

Think about the areas of your home that get the least attention. Ceilings, hallways, and little niches are often neglected entirely when people are thinking about interior design. It is precisely these areas that allow you to introduce elegant and striking features to a room--and if you notice in pictorials about decorating, there are almost always delightful architectural accents to bring these areas to life.

Lighting is an essential part of any interior design. There are a number of things that you want to consider when selecting your lighting fixtures and their location. First, you need to think about hard and soft light. Soft light is typically diffused and not as bright. Hard light is not diffused, often focused, and brighter. Each of these types of light has its place, depending on the mood you want and the architectural and design elements that you want to highlight.

For example, diffused light with a warm undertone is the best way to make a room more romantic. Enhance the effect with a crystal chandelier or hurricane sconces which are elegant and romantic in and of themselves, while also providing you the quality of light you want. Too much diffused light, however, can make a room seem washed out, and can undermine the effect of charming architectural elements like corbels or medallions which rely on your perception of depth and detail to be fully appreciated.

Balance Form and Function, Beauty and Practicality

If you've ever visited a home where there were beautifully decorated rooms that no one actually used, you probably thought that was such a shame. In some cases, people are simply paranoid about something happening to their fine furniture. In other cases, however, the room may have any number of gorgeous pieces in it, but somehow the effect was not as welcoming as the decorator intended. This may be a result of over-designing, or of neglecting the elements that make a room livable.

It is possible to have both comfort and beauty, but this is the greatest challenge of design. If you keep in mind, however, that all pieces should be chosen for both form and function, you will make better furniture buying decisions. Think about what you want to highlight, what you want to hide, what you want to disguise or transform, and how you want to balance a room as a whole. When in doubt, consult a professional about colors, texture, issues of caring for your furniture and decorations, and the mechanical or electrical prowess that will be required to install various items.

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