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Should everything in your room match?

11 Mar

The answer is no. Contrasting colors and design are very popular. It’s nice to have a single color couch and then spice it up with some bright pillows. It’s also pretty cool to introduce a few antique or classic pieces into a very modern home. For me it’s a reflection of the modern culture where our style is unique and individual as opposed to predetermined like it was for our parents.

I am laying down on Sunday morning as I’m typing this and I see a lot of the above in my living room. I have a restored cast iron chandelier in the same hallway as 2 more very modern chandeliers accented by an Indian mask and a console table with antiqued finish. In the same space there is also a very modern floor mirror with sharp corners finished in silver.

Another very popular trend is natural wood and I am not talking about the kind where you a buy a chest and apply the finish yourself to match the rest of the furniture. I am referring to a cocktail table that looks like a tree trunk. This design is also used in dining room tables where a table top is made from reclaimed wood planks that are assembled into a rectangle. I am seeing this in a lot of modern homes.


Trends in Furniture

8 Feb

This past week I attended a very popular trade show for the furniture industry. It was held in Las Vegas and featured many of the very top vendors in the US. I still can’t believe that going to Vegas for the weekend can be called work. This particular show is held at a place called World Market Center and consists of 3 buildings, each with at least 10 floors. Think of a very large mall with 50 department stores and a few hundred smaller stores that all sell furniture or accessories. Yes, furniture overload. Original design called for 7 of these enormous buildings but the poor economy only allowed for 3 buildings before the owner had to file for bankruptcy.

I noticed 2 very interesting trends that seemed to spread across many showrooms and wanted to share.

Adjustable Beds – I always associated adjustable beds with either older people or something you see at a hospital but with new technology trends more and more people are either working in bed with a laptop, checking their phones and ipads, reading books, or watching tv and so all the smart companies re-branded the adjustable bed into something very cool that’s for everyone, young and old. Even now lying in bed as I type this with my head resting uncomfortably against a flat headboard I wish I had an adjustable bed. Basic models feature adjustable fronts where you can only raise your back and head while premium models give you total control of every part of the bed and include a massage feature. If you watch TV or use a laptop in bed this is for you.

Contemporary Furniture – this is becoming a very hot sector. These styles feature very clean lines and solid colors such as black, white, and grey. Although, long popular in places such as NYC, LA, and Miami these items are becoming mainstream. It’s a European influence and about time that the US caught up to the rest of the world. Europe has had contemporary furniture for what seems like eternity and I am happy that more and more vendors are selling it here. A lot of times its style over quality as contemporary manufacturers usually use inexpensive materials and don’t worry about how many t-shirts can fit into a drawer or how long will the drawer tracks last for. Not really a big deal for me as the new generation of furniture buyers will change their bedroom set or living room set in less than 10 years anyway and don’t have to worry about the furniture breaking by the time they decide to give it to their kids

2 months salary that lasts forever. How much to spend on new furniture?

10 Jan

Our home is our castle and most of us spend a lot of time there with our families and with our guests.  We also care about how people judge us so furniture should support the image that we want to portray.

How much to spend on new furniture? This is a question that is often asked, especially by first time furniture buyers.   Of course, the first question is what can we afford?  If you are on a very tight budget and spending everything you have or money is not an issue there are clear constraints or lack thereof.     At my old store we used to run a promotion that included a bedroom, living room, and a dining set – all for only $999.99.  These still exist today but are not recommended as the quality is not very good.  Also, on the high end there are many premium furniture collections where you can spend $20,000+ just to furnish one room.

For most of us buying furniture is less expensive than a diamond ring and one month salary should be sufficient.  This is taking into account that those with big salaries usually have bigger homes in more expensive neighborhoods.  If you have an entry level job making $30k and live in a small apartment, then $2,500 should cover you and if you are a family with $150k in income living in a 3 bedroom home then $12,500 should also be enough.

I suggest the following budgets:

$2,500 – 1 Bedroom Apartment

Bedroom – $1000 – $1200
Living Room – $700 – $900
Dinette – $400 – $600
Misc – $50 – $150


$12,500 – 3 Bedroom Home

Master Bedroom – $3,000 – $4,000
Guest Bedroom – $1500 – $1,800
Children’s Room/Home Office – $1,500 – $1,800
Living Room – $2,000 – $2,400
Dining Room – $2,000 – $2,400
Dinette – $700 – $900
Misc – $300 – $500

What does your mattress tell me about your personality?

12 Nov

I was inspired to write this blog by a group of women who thought it might have been a deal breaker to have a bad mattress.  So to answer that question a mattress is never a deal breaker especially if you already know each other that wellJ

As a furniture guy I have been designing rooms and selling furniture for many years and I developed a habit to instantly assess furniture in a home when I walk in.  I look at furniture, usually dining tables and couches, but sometimes the bedroom stuff as well.  Especially, I like the mattress part.  The mattress is where we spend a third of our lives and I like to know what kind of choices my friends make. Sorry ladies and gents, but its true, I often check what’s under your sheets.

There are several non-traditional options in bedding aka mattresses such as air mattresses and foam only mattresses.  I consider owners of these to be risk takers.  The odds are that you did not have this kind of mattress growing up and you decided to try something new and unusual.  To me this means that you are more likely to take risks at work and in personal life and you are the kind of person who would try anything once.

Traditional or old fashioned mattresses are made like a very simple sandwich with a spring unit in the center and identical layers of foam and fiber on both sides so you can flip them over in case one side sags a little.  These are hard to find these days and if you have one it’s either you never bothered to buy a new mattress since you were a teenager or you had your parents help with the buying decision.  This tells me that you are a big picture person and don’t pay attention to detail.  You are too busy and have way too much going on to think about something as trivial as a mattress.

The new kid on the block is the premium pillow top mattress.  There are many varieties and many models that use advanced materials and provide unparalleled comfort.  If you have one of these it tells me that health and comfort are important to you and you take time when making buying decisions,  not just buying the first thing that you use.  You are also more likely to get a massage and eat healthy.

Interesting mattress facts:

  1. All mattresses sold in the USA are fire retardant, it’s the law!
  2. You should change your mattress every 8-10 years.