Friday, March 30, 2012

Furniture, Function and Order

If you’ve missed the first three parts to this series, How I Decorate Without Debt, go here to start at the beginning of the series.

So far, we have done a ton of thinking, but no purchasing. This is where the purchasing begins, but not without putting thought into each and every purchase. I couldn’t really separate these three topics because they blend so very much. If you get beautiful furniture but miss the function, then later you might put everything back into the room only to find that you need a bookshelf (and where is that supposed to go?). If you think about getting a bookshelf without organizing and purging your books, you might couldv’e bought a more practical size…or maybe you already had a good one now that you have less books. We have to look at all of these together before spending money that we really don’t want to waste.

First thing to consider is seating.

There are a few questions you need to ask yourself before spending any time even looking at couches or chairs (or other forms of seating). Here are a few questions and how I answered them:

How many people sit in this room on a daily basis?

[My husband and I, two children of our own, one 12 year old sis-in-law, and a baby. That’s 6 total people, two of which need adult seating most of the time.]

How many people, on average sit in this room on a monthly or regular basis?

[Same as above with the addition of often visiting family/friends. I’d say on average, around 8-12 people can be in the room at once about every 2 months or so, some of which are kids.]

What are the activities that happen concerning the furniture?

[Mostly tv watching and conversation, drinking cola and adults eating snacks.]

Considering these things, how much seating would be practical?

[It would be nice to have a comfortable place for 8 people and some extra seating for the kids on the floor—possibly large pillows.]

Considering the function of the room, is it more important for the furniture to be beautiful (party entertainment where you want people to mingle and not sit for hours on end), or to be cozy?

[I want extremely comfortable furniture and I would love for Josh to have a recliner and me a rocker. I want people to sit, stay a while and really enjoy themselves when they’re here.]

Proportional to your room, does the furniture need to be large, small, or average?

[Average to large.]

Considering the function of your room, the number of seating wanted, and the theme of the room you desire, what furniture best meets this criteria?

[Big leather furniture with a matching recliner and extra seating to coordinate.]

Does your current furniture come close to matching this criteria?

[Yes, except that it’s becoming very uncomfortable and dingy.]

Just a note here: Please don't take this as an excuse to go right out and buy that perfect furniture! (Unless of course you have the money saved up just for that--then, by all means). Over the years I just kept certain things in mind and sorta traded up. I only recently, after 12 years of marriage, bought brand new just-what-I-wanted furniture. But these things should be firmly planted in your mind so that when deals of a life time come around, you know what will work and what to pass up on.

Next, lets look at the function of your room and how to determine what else you will need.

First, take the questions you answered from Part 3, and list the functions of your room.

·         Watch tv and movies

·         Conversation/visiting

·         Drinking and eating, adults only

·         Reading

·         Lounging, resting, and napping

·         Blogging

·         Kids horse-play with Daddy

·         Diaper changing

Now, list all the stuff you’ll need to engage in these particular activities that would be best kept in this room for those purposes.

·         Watch tv and movies

o   Tv, duh

o   Dvd player

o   Cables and other misc cords

o   Dvds galore

o   Remote controls

o   Netflix dvd

·         Conersation/visiting

o   Small tables to set drinks

o   Something to set drinks on

o   Lighting

·         Drinking and eating, adults only

o   Same as above

·         Reading

o   My ipad, since most of the reading and books are stored in the school room

o   Lighting for a few real books

o   Place to store a hideaway book or two

o   Bible and study materials

·         Lounging, resting, napping

o   Pillows

o   Recliner/s

o   Blankets in winter and somewhere to store them otherwise

o   Place to set glasses

·         Blogging

o   Hideaway for laptop and plug when it’s not on my desk

o   Place to tuck blogging file when not at my desk

·         Horse-play with Daddy

o   Plenty of floor space and not any sharp corners

·         Diapering Baby

o   Diapers

o   Wipes

o   Toys

o   Changing blanket for floor

o   Spit up rags

o   Change of clothes

o   Hideaway for these things

Do I have anything I can condense to use my space more wisely?

[I could put all of my dvds in sleeves and throw most all of my dvd cases away. I could also do nearly all of my reading in here on my ipad. Even my bible can be on my ipad.]

What furniture will I need for these all to happen? Think mult-function. Think condense.

[Other than seating, I will need several hideaway drawers, a few small tables to set drinks and lamps, and I need for any tables exposed to the middle to be rounded so that no one gets hurt in horse-play. I also need storage for our t.v. If this had several drawers, that could multi-function. I also need something (maybe a basket) to store blankets.]

So, what did I come up with for all of these things?

In my t.v. hutch, I have all the dvds stored in 2 matching cd sleeve holders. I keep some sets, like all of the 007 movies in the cases and threw the rest away. The ones I couldn't let go of belong in the middle drawer. The little black box holds cleaning stuff for the living room--windex, dusting liquid, and cloths. In the bottom drawer, I put all of the baby stuff needed for this room.
Well, folks...that's it. That's how I decide what furniture goes into a room and what all I'll need. How I declutter is probably an enormous ongoing series that I may eventually start, but that's what I do here in this step as well. I declutter everything I can. I go as far down to bare bones as we can comfortably live with. 
Thank you all for sticking with me through this series. It's almost over and then the reveal! I can't wait!!

Linking this up to:

A Bowl Full of Lemons


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