How To: Style a Dining Room

For as much as we love summer and hate to see it go, it’s hard to not get excited about Fall and all the upcoming holidays. We’ve already started collection pins of pumpkin decorations and new recipes to add to Thanksgiving dinner, which just lead us to thinking about how our dining rooms need some serious TLC. Whether you just need a few new accessories, a fresh coat of paint, or a whole new dining set we’re going to give you some tips on how to make your dining room one you’ll want to show off for the upcoming holiday season. 

Image

7-pc La Tourelle Dining Room Table Set

Who: Little kids versus just the adults? Cream linen chairs probably aren’t the best idea if tiny hands (or very clumsy grown-ups) are going to be smearing cranberry sauce on them at Thanksgiving. General rule of thumb when deciding on chair and table materials is to know your audience (and how much you want to spend on dry cleaning). You can also invest in a table cover or protective pad to ensure your dining table stays in pristine condition.

ImageWhile stunning, silver leafing and light upholstery where scratches and stains will easily show (and aren’t easily repaired) probably isn’t the most kid-friendly look. 7-pc Jessica McClintock Couture Silver Leaf Dining Set

Image 

Adding fun lighting and curtains prove you can still have a chic dining room even if you do need to more contentious of using materials, like metal and plastic, which can be wiped down easily.

 

How many: Decide the number of people who are going to be using your dining room frequently and that is going to be the best indicator of the table size and seating options best for you. Benches, side chairs, Parsons chairs, and arm chairs can all be combined to help you fit the most people in the size you have to work with.

ImageBenches work especially well if you are planning on several little kids being at the dinner table; they take up less space and don’t mind being bunched together. 7-pc Sundance Lake Trestle Table Dining Set

 

Size: Now that you’ve decided how many people are going to need to be accounted for, you have to know what size table to buy. Here are some general guidelines for rectangular and round dining tables.

Rectangular table

  • 4′ long seats 4
  • 5-6′ long seats 6
  • 7′ long seats 8
  • 8-9′ long seats 10
  • 10-11′ seats 12

Round table

  • 3′ with a pedestal base seats 4
  • 4′ with legs seats 4
  • 5′ with a pedestal base seats 6
  • 5′ with legs seats 4
  • 6′ with pedestal base or legs seats 8
  • 7′ with pedestal base or legs seats 9

Remember these are guidelines – you absolutely must measure your dining room and know how much space you have to accommodate a table and chairs. Also think about if you are going to want to add a buffet, china cabinet, curio cabinet, or bar to your dining room and how much space you have to play with.

 ImageIf you have the space, this traditional dining room for six looks beautiful paired with the china cabinet and buffet for a classic look. 7-pc Capri Double Pedestal Dining Set

 

Types of leaves: Or if you only need a large table a few times a year, consider buying one with a leaf.

A butterfly leaf is a hinged leaf that is kept stored in the table and when stored, folded in half to resemble a resting butterfly. To reveal the leaf, you must pull open the table top and a gap will open to where the leaf is stored. Then the leaf can be opened at the center hinge to create the extra space that you need. The length of your table will vary but a typical butterfly leaf is 18 inches wide. A table with a drop leaf is a good option for people who frequently use need the extra space but do not want the hassle of having to assemble and un-assemble their table.

A drop leaf table has a hinge on the side, so that the leaf can easily be propped up when needed or hang down when you need the extra space.

ImageA drop leaf can be just as helpful for large spaces as it can for opening up small areas. 3-pc Waverly Place Drop Leaf Pedestal Table Dining Set

The most common type of leaf is a removable leaf; while it may be a little more inconvenient for those who are lacking storage space, it is a great option for those who need to be able to sit many additional people. A table with a removable leaf requires you to physically lift the whole table (not just table top like a butterfly leaf) to expand and create the gap where the leaf must be inserted. Depending on the brand, some dining tables can include multiple removable leafs of different sizes.

Dining room tables with a self-storing leaf are a good option for those who particularly need space in their dining room when the table is not in use. A self-storing leaf is very easy to use – simply pull the leaf out from the side of the table. Depending on the table, there can be up to four leafs, one for each side, making it a great option if you typically just need a small table but like having the extra room.

 

Tablescape: Get a quality tablecloth since this is your canvas for the rest of the items. White and cream are great bases because you can use them year round and they are the most easily updated with place settings. But don’t be afraid to get a color or pattern as well for when you want to mix it up. Glassware and dinner plates should be kept simple, think oversize white plates and crystal goblets. The napkins, flatware, salad plates, and centerpieces are where you can bring in different materials, colors, and design elements to reflect the season or occasion.

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Style: Traditional, formal dining room sets aren’t the only options anymore. Mix materials, textures, and colors for something unique. By adding paint, lighting fixtures, window treatments, and any other decorative elements to make the dining room truly “yours”. Here are some totally different styles of dining rooms to give you a little inspiration.

 ImageCoastal style isn’t necessarily about seashells and white washed wood. Tan upholstered chairs and the light Bali finish gives this set an easy, casual oceanside feel. 11-pc Tommy Bahama Ocean Club Dining Set

 

 Image

Not everything has to be perfectly matched. We love the white bamboo chairs paired with dark wood, the gray console table, and mixed metals.

 ImageContemporary doesn’t have to mean futuristic.  The blue paint and rug make this dining room still feel homey white the clean lines and minimal details of the table and chairs still feels modern. 8-pc Delano Dining Set

If you have questions about dining room table sets or styles, please contact one of the Home Gallery Stores Design Consultants by calling 804-249-4444 and they would be happy to assist you. 

 

 

How to Style a Home Office

It’s that time of year again…back to school. Even if you aren’t going back to school yourself nor have kids that you are prepping, this time of year always seems to bring a sense of renewed energy to organize and start fresh. But with the increased use of laptops/smart phones/tablets, work is always with you, so who really needs a home office? We have to politely disagree. It’s not just about having your work, you need a designated space to get into a work mindset and be able to think. Plus, believe or not, there are still some things that need to be kept analog – you can’t exactly keep just an electronic file of your birth certificate, passport, taxes, etc. so it’s important to have a dedicated space for these things.

But the first thing you have to do is create a space you’ll actually want to spend time in. We’ve pulled together some examples of our favorite home offices and give you tips on how to personalize your space.

1)      Practicality: Know what you are going to be using your home office for and build around that purpose. Whether you are writing the next great American novel, running a small business, or just paying your bills your office needs to work for you. Have plenty of space, storage, and electrical outlets.

 Image

 Plenty of drawers and baskets to keep everything in place. 2-pc Down Home Desk Set

Image

Even if your desk doesn’t have lots of drawers, it’s easy to build storage around you with floating shelves and bookcases. 

 

2)      Choose your style: The last thing you want is a sterile office. If it looks like a cubicle and talks like a cubicle…well you know the saying (or something like that). Offices don’t have to be boring; there are tons of styles, colors, and materials to choose from to help inspire creative thinking.

 Image

A traditional, executive style home office. Mayor’s Office Desk

Image

A home office doesn’t need to be a whole room; this is a great example of a small space with lots of feminine style.

Image

A great example of sleek industrial style. 5-pc Structure Home Office Set 

 

3)      Lighting: You’ve heard plenty of times before that lighting helps create a mood. In your home office, you’ll want a bright space so that you can stay alert and want to continue working. Natural lighting is best but if that’s not an option choose a compact fluorescent lightbulb in a warm or neutral color. Be sure you don’t choose a lightbulb with a higher wattage than your lamp can handle.

 Image

 Plenty of windows and overhead lights make this office good for working during the day or late at night. 7-pc Camden Light Desk Set

ImageLamps, overhead lighting, windows, and a desk lamp allow you to choose the right setting for the time of day. 

 

4)      Personal Touches: Remind yourself of your goals. Whether it’s keeping books of authors who you admire, hanging photos of places you want to travel, or going full-on inspiration board, choose objects that you are going to want to be around. 

ImageSimple desk and chair but brightened up with lots of artwork.

Image

Don’t be afraid to use unconventional accessories – if it’s what you like, you’ll be more apt to actually use your office. 

Image

Or use a cork board wall so it’s easy to continuously change out what you display because inspiration is constantly evolving.

Turning a Pin Into Reality

If you are anything like us, you are obsessed with the Home Décor section of Pinterest. We’ve noticed a ton of great shots of colorful and chic living rooms and can’t help but get the urge to redecorate our own homes. One example that we fell in love with is this image from the blog Mikaela Rae (check her out, she has tons of great ideas). It’s sophisticated, fun, and glamorous, yet it still looks totally comfortable and somewhere we would want to hang out. It looks complicated but we’re breaking it down with our favorite key pieces and ways to make this totally your own.

Image

 

Area 1: We all know the basis for a living room is a comfortable sofa. The neutral color and plushness of the pictured sofa is what keeps this room from being too stuffy. You could easily pick a loveseat, sofa, or sectional to use for this look as long as you stick to whites, creams, beige, or even light gray to allow the other colors to really stand out. Then add colorful pillows and a throw in whatever color scheme you choose.

Image

1 – 18” x 18” Accent Pillows (Set of 2) 

2 – India Sofa 

3 – 18” x 18” Accent Pillows (Set of 2) 

4 – Ariana 2 Over 2 Sofa 

5 – 18” x 18” Accent Pillows (Set of 2) 

6 – Emma 3 Over 3 Sofa

7 – 18” x 18” Accent Pillows (Set of 2) 

 

Area 2: Occasional tables are an absolute must in creating this look. There are four different tables in this small space but all serve important purposes. First is the coffee table which serves as the main focal point for accessories. There is also a lamp table and two accent tables. One accent table is decorated with lots of accessories and the other is totally bare to act as a drink/book/whatever holder. You’ll want to keep your tables in neutral colors as well, since they are going to be the vehicles for displaying accessories.

Image

1 – Delacourt Rectangular Cocktail Table 

2 – Cocktail Table 

3 – Cocktail Table 

4 – Moroccan Tray Table 

5 – Accent Table 

6 – Onyx Lamp Table 

7 – 3-pc Nesting Table Set 

 

Area 3: This is the really fun part – accessories! So, there’s a lot going on in this picture, which is great, because it gives you lots of ideas and then you can tailor it to your tastes. The key pieces for us are the ottoman, chandelier, and coffee table accents. The ottoman acts as a nice sophisticated accent that is also functional as extra seating when you have an overflow of guests.  On the coffee table, consider having several areas that work together. In the photo, height is a huge piece of creating this look. Blocks are stacked on cake platters, mismatched white candle holders surround a tall bowl, and the tray and flowers add some dimension.

Image

1 – Cristal De Lisbon, 9+2 Lt Chandelier 

2 – Fascination, Crystal Mini Pendant 

3 – “Bling” Table Lamp 

4 – Kaho, Perfume Bottle (Set of 3) 

5 – Adventure in Color Wall Art 

6 – Alanna Box 

7 – Banner Ottoman 

8 – Jefferson Ottoman 

9 – Fiona Ottoman 

Happy Presidents’ Day (Savings)!

We hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.To celebrate, we decided to pass on some great deals on two of our favorite brands. Get 15% off Broyhill Furniture through Feb. 22, 2013 and 10% off Hillsdale Furniture through Feb. 28, 2013.

We’re going to keep this short and sweet, so you can get out and enjoy the rest of your “weekend” but we couldn’t resist showing you some of our favorite Broyhill products and hopefully give you some inspiration for your home.

Veronica 4-Piece Sectional

Image

This sectional has a classic design and comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors to match any current decor. It can comfortably seat up to six people and would look great in any living or entertainment room, so it’s perfect for those who like to always have company. Broyhill uses DuraCoil™ seat cushions, which are super comfortable and durable, so it is definitely an investment worth making for your home.

 

7-Piece Antiquity Oval Pedestal Table Dining Room Set

Image

This dining set features four Antiquity Upholstered Side Chairs, two Antiquity Upholstered Dining Arm Chairs and the Antiquity Oval Pedestal Dining Table. The Antiquity Collection is definitely traditional but is more elegant than stuffy. This table was designed by GlucksteinHome and has a sophisticated deep-velvet finish. It also comes with an 18″ removable leaf and seats up to 8, making this another great piece for the hostess with the most-ess. 

 

Andrina King Fabric Bed

Image

Lately we have been seeing so many beautiful fabric beds in design blogs and magazines and think the Andrina Bed is a great choice if you are looking for this style. The nailhead trim on the headboard gives a subtle modern touch and the fabric has been hand tailored to ensure smooth corners and straight seams. This can also be ordered in a variety of colors and prints, so there is definitely one that will fit your style.

 

Bryson Curio/China Cabinet 

Image

The Bryson collection blends cottage, southwest, and country styles to create a unique and homey look that will complement many decors. The sliding glass doors, tough lights and mirror back allow for all angles of items to be on display and the 3 adjustable glass shelves mean that you can feature items of varying heights. We especially love that a multi-step process ensures that the wood will retain the beautiful finish for many years.

 

Make sure you check out all of Broyhill’s products at Home Gallery Stores and take advantage of an extra 15% off using code PRES15 at the checkout. 

10% Off Hillsdale Furniture

If you’ve seen our emails or been to the Home Gallery Stores homepage recently, you’ve probably noticed we have a great deal going on. Now through the end of February, you can get an extra 10% off of one of our favorite brands, Hillsdale Furniture. If you aren’t familiar with Hillsdale, we thought it would be helpful to give you a brief rundown of all the reasons why we love them and think you will too.

Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Take Advantage of Ten Percent Off Hillsdale

1)      Good design is at the heart of Hillsdale’s business – in fact, the owners of Hillsdale are the designers. They consistently come up with collections that are forward thinking and set the tone for the next big trends. There’s a style to fit everyone. With Hillsdale designs, there isn’t a focus on just one type of look. They understand that all people want innovative furnishings but do not all have the same taste, so in their designs you will find a range from traditional to contemporary and everything in between.

2)      On all of Hillsdale pieces, the shipping is free! Plus, everything is Quick Ship. That means for smaller items, such as accent chairs or bar stools, they will be delivered via standard shipping and take around 10 days. Or for larger items, expect a 3 week wait period for delivery,

3)      One item Hillsdale is particularly known for is their bar stools – there are a wide variety of sizes, heights, shapes and styles, so you are definitely sure to find a set to suit your needs. Take a look at all of the bar stool options here. 

4)      Size does matter – Hillsdale understands that not everybody has a huge dining room but that shouldn’t stop you from entertaining. Dining tables from Hillsdale come in a variety of sizes and many have a leaf to help accommodate all of your guests. One of our favorite tables is the Arbor Hill Rectangular Leg Counter Height Table with an 18” self-storing butterfly leaf that seats up to six. 

Image

5)      We are big fans of furnishings that can blend with a variety of styles and spaces. One aspect of Hillsdale design is that many of their pieces blend materials, such as wood and metal, which allows it to fit just as easily in a rustic décor as it would in an industrial setting.

6)      This bed is exactly what we’ve been searching for. We are always looking for ways to be more organized (or at least find an attractive solution to hide the mess). This bed from the Wilshire Collection has drawers underneath to keep the clutter contained and a bookcase as the headboard, making it an ultimate in space saving design.

Image

Queen Wilshire Bookcase Bed w/ Storage- White

7)      The prices – you would think with all the effort put into great design, it would mean sky-high prices. Hillsdale understands that everyone deserves quality furniture and creates pieces to fit all budgets.

8)      Hillsdale makes furniture for every member of the family – they make great pieces for kids and teens that have all the same great design features but suited more for their needs and taste.

9)      It’s made for living – not just showing. Not only are Hillsdale designs great from a style perspective but they are also smart. The durability and functionality is taken into account just as much as the look when Hillsdale creates their furnishings. Hillsdale wants your pieces to last and fit your lifestyle for many years to come.

10)   The 10% off discount is only good through February 28th – with so many good reasons to choose Hillsdale, now is the perfect time to purchase new pieces for your home.

Check out all of the Hillsdale offerings at Home Gallery Stores.

Las Vegas Winter Market 2013 Trends

Last week, some of the Home Gallery Stores team had the privilege of attending the Las Vegas Winter 2013 Market to see the new collections from our brands and check out a few new ones. Las Vegas Market is an international furnishings showcase that combines style, inspiration and functionality and features a comprehensive array of new product from thousands of leading manufacturers and lines in furniture, mattress, lighting, decorative accessories, floor coverings, home textiles and more. We wanted to break down some of the trends that we noticed, so you can get a head start on planning your home décor for the spring.

Midcentury Revival: Midcentury Modern is an architectural, graphic, and interior design that marks the early 30’s through early 60’s – think Frank Lloyd Wright and Mad Men. The marks of midcentury design are clean, simple lines and a “less is more” style.  The standout furnishings of the look are wood (typically teak) pieces that let the natural beauty of the wood show through. This is not an overly ornate style; it is about investing in quality furnishings that allow the quality craftsmanship be the focal point. For upholstery and accessories, colors to look for are Mustard, Avocado and Tangerine and don’t be afraid of mixing in graphic retro patterns.

How to Get the Look:

  • Keep the walls white – It’s good to keep a neutral palette to let the quality of each piece shine through and balance out the richness of such bold colors.
  • Add a few accent pieces – Since Midcentury design is about keeping things simple, many of the wood pieces will effortlessly blend in with your current décor. Or add an accent chair in a bold color to give an otherwise neutral room new life.
  • Mix textures – If your home has a more industrial look, Midcentury Modern is the perfect juxtaposition. The clean, simples lines will be a great contrast to the harsher, rough look that is the trademark of an industrial look.

Some new collections we saw this trend in were Somerton’s “Soho” and Broyhill’s “Mardella”, which was inspired by the 1960’s “Brasilia” collection.

While these collections will not be available until Spring2013, here are a few pieces you can get now to get a head start on the trend:

ImageThomas Exposed Wood Chair by Sam Moore

Image5-piece Casey Round Leg Table Dining Room Set by Chintaly Imports

ImageZoe Group A Home Bar Cabinet by Howard Miller

 

 

ImageDarby Correlating Wood Trim Accent Chair by Ashley 

Blain TV Unit, Star International, Blain Cleo

 

Blain TV Unit by Star International

Image

Rafael Wall Mirror by Bassett Mirror Company

Glamour and Romance: Another trend that was seen in many of the showrooms had furnishings that were luxe and feminine but not overtly girly. Pieces that fit in this category featured soft, curvy lines, luxurious fabrics, and tufted details. One of Pantone’s trending color palettes’ for 2013 was “Connoisseur”, which was characterized by cool neutrals like alyssum white and beechnut green, contrasted with warmer tones of violets and orchids, liquid pink, and deep mahogany, all set against accents of champagne beige and silver.

Image

How to Get the Look:

  • Look for little details – A few subtly placed crystals or beautifully carved edges will help make a bold statement and achieve this look without it overwhelming your current décor.
  • Choose classic silhouettes in a key fabric such as velvet or beautiful color, like violet. This way the piece will can be used for many years to come – even after you are ready to try a new look.

“Classics” by A.R.T. and “Arrondissement” by Stanley were two new collections we saw that were great examples of this look.  

If you can’t wait until Spring, here are a few pieces you can get now:

Image

 

Jessica McClintock Couture Queen Leather Low Profile Bed by American Drew

Image

 

Felicia Curio Cabinet by Howard Miller

ImageLavelle Tufted Sofa by AICO

Image

 

Gray Swing Rug by Rizzy Rugs

Image

7-pc Rhapsody Rectangular Trestle Dining Room Set by Hooker Furniture

ImageVelvet Tufted Chaise Lounge – Aubergine by Skyline Furniture

 

Art Deco: Popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s, Art Deco is characterized by bold geometric patterns, luxurious finishes and materials. Sharp color contrasts like beige and black lacquer with bold reds, blues, yellows, greens were used. Chrome was very popular during this time, so you will see this used frequently for accents and lighting. Pantone’s 2013“Glamour” palette is inspired by Art Deco design and features Rio Red, Monaco Blue, Tap Shoe Black, Chinchilla, Ethereal Gray, Moonmist, and Jasper Teal.

Image

How to get the look:

  • Texture and Materials – One of the main ingredients for this style is the look and feel of your pieces. Heavy lacquer, marble, mirrored finishes, and glass were all popular materials during this time and trademarks of this design.
  • Go Bold – Art Deco design is not about holding back or going simple. Mix it in your current décor by investing in one great accent piece, like a marble top server with chrome details. Or get a few great accessories, like an oversize, geometric mirror or gold and black pillows to add some interest to a room.

Lexington’s “Aquarius” collection and Star International “Void Dining Table – Krystal Collection” paired with “Forma Red Dining Chair – Regis Collection” are new for 2013 and are reminiscent of Art Deco design.

Here are pieces you can get now that can bring Art Deco to your home:

ImageHampton Server by Bassett Mirror Company

ImageMarlene Exposed Wood Chair by Sam Moore

ImageMirror Cabinet by AICO

 

 

Image

 

Tervon Mirrored Home Bar Cabinet by Sherrill Occasional 

Image

 

Black Floral Bevelled Mirror by Sedgefield

ImageDiscoveries Console Table by AICO

 

 

 

 

What to Consider when Buying a Chaise Lounge

Image

Coaster Chaise Lounge in Cream Fabric

 

With the beginning of a new year, many people are looking for ways to refresh. We want to refresh our lifestyle through diet and exercise or giving up bad habits. Or maybe we have vowed to refresh our minds by learning a new skill or picking up a new hobby. Another way to refresh is by sprucing up your home surroundings. Why not give your living room a new look by adding an unexpected focal point? A chaise lounge is great way to refresh your décor. Chaise lounges provide the ultimate in form and functionality; they come in many different styles and are made for stretching out and relaxing.

Type

For most people, when they hear the words ‘chaise lounge’, the first image that comes to mind is a more formal, traditional style for use in a living or sitting room. However, chaise lounges come in a variety of styles for both indoor and outdoor use.

Indoor chaise lounges can be used in a family room, living room, study, or bedroom for a variety of purposes from serving as a stately accent piece or to be a place to relax and read the Sunday paper with a cup of coffee. 

With spring right around the corner, now is a great time to look for an outdoor chaise lounge to spruce up the look of your patio or add more lounging options for around the pool.

Style

Chaise lounges do not have to be formal – there are a range of options to fit many different looks and match the current furnishings in your home. There are those that can add a more chic, vintage feel or ones that are sleek and modern. Chaise lounges also come in a variety of fabrics from leather to plush microfibers and can be found in a mix of colors or patterns. Check out The Chaise Lounge Store by Home Gallery Stores to see all the options and find one that fits your fancy.

Function

Once you have decided on the type and style think about what purpose your chaise lounge will serve. If you have decided on an indoor chaise lounge, what room will it be used in? Is it more for mid-day naps or to be additional seating for guests?

 If it will be placed in the family room, look for options that are going to be comfortable to stretch out on but also stand up to wear-and-tear. You want to find one that you are going to enjoy cozying up in, not one that will be just another piece of uncomfortable furniture. One great option is the Kylee style from Ashley Furniture with a plush pillow back and seat, http://homegallerystores.com/shop/58_chaise_lounges/kylee_goldenrod_chaise.html.

Or maybe you are looking for a chaise lounge to use as extra seating during entertaining? While this is not impossible to find, there are more features to take into account. Inherently, a chaise lounge is made for lounging and (depending on your company) many guests may feel a little awkward stretching out. Look for options that have a back and can function more like a sofa, such as the Melrose style from Fairmont Seating, http://homegallerystores.com/shop/58_chaise_lounges/melrose_laf_1_arm_chaise.html.

Size

Even though it is last on the list, size is arguably the main concern to consider once you have decided on the type of chaise lounge you are looking for. Once you have picked an area for your chaise lounge, think about the style that will best fit that space. Will it be sitting facing out and taking up more depth? Or will it be flush and taking up more length? Make sure to measure the area because many people are surprised to find the variety of sizes chaise lounges come in.   

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge to choose a chaise lounge, check out The Chaise Lounge Store by Home Gallery Stores to find one perfect for you at http://homegallerystores.com/shop/58_chaise_lounges

How to buy a Sofa

How to buy a Sofa from HomeGalleryStores.com:

Couch, settee, chesterfield, divan, davenport, canapé, oh my! No wonder choosing a sofa can seem intimidating! Never mind how many choices may come with selecting just the right piece for your home. Never fear, Home Gallery Stores is here to help!

Here are a few pointers to get you started:

How will you use it and who will use the sofa?
Will you be purchasing a sofa for a family room or a living room setting? Is it the focal point? Will you use it for everyday activities in a family room such as watching TV, relaxing, sharing a cup of coffee with friends? Will the sofa be a launching pad for active kids and pets? Or will the sofa be the center piece of a more formal living room which seldom has visitors? Do you need space for a coffee table or end tables?

Style: Choose a sofa that echoes your personal style as well as the overall theme of your home. Is your style hip, traditional, contemporary or somewhere in between? Remember the simpler, the more lasting the style.

Shape: Have paint chips and a measuring tape in hand. Measure your space and make a diagram of the room. Be sure to allow for flow of traffic around the pieces you select. If you are having a hard time fitting in enough pieces to seat the entire family, consider a sectional sofa which you can often configure to fit your space.

Size & Scale: Choose deep seating, and good size arms for lounging and for family members with longer legs. For older folks who may have a difficult time climbing off a large sofa, consider a smaller scale, more shallow sofa with a tight back.

Fabric: Consider color and pattern. Are there pieces in the room you need to work around? Would you prefer a color statement or a neutral? To get the patterns and trends of the season into your décor, consider using them on an ottoman or as a pillow pattern rather than an allover fabric. A pattern may hide stains more easily and should be scaled to match the size of the sofa as well as the scale of the room. Choose the type of fabric for its durability, cleanability or for its tactile nature. For instance a chenille may be soft and durable and great for day to day living. Leather is consistently in style and just gets better with age. The Mayo Clinic has suggested leather furniture for folks with allergy issues. Kid and pet friendly options are microfibers, polyesters, performance leathers and leather alternatives such as polyurethane.

Cushions: Attached back cushions will require fluffing or rearranging. Loose back cushions allow for flipping pillows over. Seat cushions may be constructed differently from manufacturer to manufacturer. Coils and foam seat cushions are the most common. Down cushions will make for a softer seat.

Arm Styles: Arms may vary from contemporary pleated to English, to square with nailheads. If you like to use the arms as a headrest perhaps you would enjoy a pillow style arm.

Base Styles: Skirted or exposed wood legs – the choice is yours. Exposed wood legs can range from delicate Queen Anne or delicately carved to chunky bun feet or more tapered modern. Wood finishes run the gammit. Skirts may be fabric or made of trim such as bullion.

Function: A sleeper sofa can change any room into a guest room in minutes. Perhaps you would like to recline while watching the big game – look for selections that include drink holders, iPod docking stations and massage!
Construction: A trait of a well-made sofa is the frame itself. A good quality sofa will be constructed of kiln-dried hardwood. Also, check the warranty offered by the manufacturer.

Budget: buy the best quality sofa that you can afford. A good sofa may last you 10 or more years if well taken care of.

The best tip of all: enjoy the process! In the end you will have a piece of furniture that reflects your lifestyle and makes you smile every time you enter the room.  www.HomeGalleryStores.com