‘Furniture’ refers to any items placed in a home or working space to make it suitable for a particular purpose. A home might have luxurious sofas, attractive lamps, nice beds and soft rugs to make it comfortable and feel ‘homely’. Working spaces might have desks, office chairs and smart storage units to make it more suitable for working in.
Furniture is all around us and it’s extremely important in our day to day lives. Many people say furniture isn’t important to them and ‘any items will do’ in their working or living space.
These are often the same people who become uninspired in their homes, who can’t work to the best of their ability, who become disorganised and often lose things. The list goes on. How we choose to furnish our homes and offices is a crucial part of life.
In this article, we’ll discover exactly why furniture is so important and why you should be aware of these factors when refurbishing any space. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, sit back and enjoy!
1. Furniture gives life to space
Have you ever viewed a house, flat or apartment which had no furniture in whatsoever? You were probably lead around by an enthusiastic agent who tried to drum up excitement for the empty property but you just weren’t inspired by it. The reason? A lack of furniture is probably why you felt like this.
Furniture is a creative way to add flair, character and unique feeling to space. Seeing a space with carefully selected sofas, lamps, cupboards, rugs and so on, can help bring it alive. Think of the building as the bones and the furniture as the organs & blood, the important details which make all the difference.
Don’t underestimate the importance of furniture for giving life to space. Imagine if you had run down, broken, tatty and worn furniture from the 1970s. This would be unappealing to the eye, dangerous and sap the life out of you. Not helpful in the slightest.
However, If space is well-furnished it will give you good vibes and inspire you to be productive, happy and enthusiastic. Lively furniture truly can make a difference in your day to day life, so it’s worth investing in some.
2. Makes you comfortable
Imagine a living room in a house. What could make it comfortable? A comfy, well-cushioned sofa. A lovely coffee table to easily hold beverages. Perhaps a set of storage shelves so items can be conveniently stored and accessed when needed. There could be a comforting quote from an inspirational figure on a wall canvas. This living room would be most people’s idea of comfort, and for good reason; it is comfortable!
A well-furnished home or office can be the difference between being relaxed and comfortable, or tense and anxious. If the sofa, chairs, pillows, lighting, digital devices, bed and desks, are all properly selected then you feel much more comfortable.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your furniture, you’ll just get anxious and tense all the time. Not ideal for a home or office environment. Don’t underestimate the importance of comfort in furniture.
Spend time during the purchase phase.
Make sure you’re happy with everything you sit and lie on. Ensure lamps and canvases induce a state of relaxation, not tension. Read reviews on cushions, rugs and lighting to see if others think these items induce comfort. Make sure the furniture you get makes you comfortable.
3. Makes you happier
Believe it or not, the design of your environment can influence your mood.
A 2016 study by Office Genie found office furniture made the most difference to staff satisfaction levels. Of the 2,000 UK office workers who were asked, 12% were deeply stressed by furniture in their environment whereas 16% said theirs could be improved. The results showed workers who were content with their office design were reportedly 33% happier as a result. I don’t know about you, but these figures are incredible.
If happiness is important to you (which it is for most people!), have well-selected furniture that you like in place to make sure you’re not down in the dumps!
4. Furniture can improve productivity
Everybody wants to do a good job. Whatever you’re working on, proper furniture is key to improving productivity and allowing you to achieve the results you want.
If you have no working furniture, you work with a laptop on your lap and have nowhere to store stationery or papers, you won’t be as productive as you could be. Instead, invest in a decent work desk, office chair and some storage space, and your productivity will soar through the roof.
Having separate ‘work’ furniture has the bonus of making you subconsciously get into ‘work mode’ so you’re more likely to be motivated to get more done to a higher standard. This can make all the difference to our work as trying to work in a living room or another home space can be incredibly distracting whilst we’re trying to get important things done.
5. Furniture can make or break social situations
We don’t consciously think about it but furniture can influence social situations in homes and offices. Sofas, tables, footrests and chairs guide you through an environment and can dictate social settings.
Have you ever been in somebody’s house and thought their front room was a great social hub? If the answer is yes, I bet they had some large sofas and smaller chairs set up around the sides of the room. The placement of the furniture made is easy to interact with one another which is why the social experience was memorable.
Have you ever been to somebody’s house and they have two small armchairs in their front room but 10 people present? The armchairs are also facing directly towards the TV so not set up for socialising.
I think we’ve all been in the situation before. We awkwardly sit on the floor or squeeze in on an already occupied chair to ‘make ourselves comfortable’. Then we realise the armchairs aren’t positioned for conversation so we shuffle the chair into the general direction of the group. As a result, the social interaction feels a bit awkward, squished and nobody can get comfortable. Not ideal
The positioning and type of furniture in homes and offices can make a huge difference in the quality of social scenarios.
Take the social factor into consideration when you’re deciding which furniture to buy and where to position it.
6. Furniture defines your standard
You can tell a lot about someone by the type, quality and style of furniture they have and use.
The first thing someone notices when entering a house is the look and design of your home. Furniture is the main thing which stands out. The quality, type and style of furniture can reveal a lot about your standards and taste for quality.
If your furniture was found in an old skip and has mould growing in it, your guests will assume your standards aren’t high and might be put off you. I know this doesn’t sound nice and a bit shallow from people but believe me, this is what happens.
On the other hand, nice and tidy, well-kept furniture, will show high standards of cleanliness and pride which will reflect positively on you.
I am not saying you need to have designer luxury furniture. You can define a high standard with furniture within any budget, low or high. It’s more about what style you pick, whether you keep it clean and how you position it which makes most of the difference. You don’t have to spend a fortune to define high furniture standards.
7. Furniture can be expensive
Dependant on your preferences, furnishing your home or working space can be incredibly expensive. As you’ll potentially be spending lots of money on these goods, it’s important you treat furnishing a home with a degree of seriousness.
Not to take all the fun away from it, but just be aware that a lot of money can be spent very quickly. It can be easy to get swept up in excitement and go on a furniture spending spree, racking up a big bill in the process.
I know a couple who purchased overly luxurious sofas they didn’t even need, often struggling to pay for them on a long finance plan, without knowing what they had signed up for. They rushed into the purchase, didn’t consider alternatives, didn’t analyse their budget and now they are paying for that by struggling and occasionally missing payments (not good for mental health or credit score). Don’t let this be you
Furniture is a fun, exciting and life-changing topic but just be aware that it can be costly. My advice is to work out what your budget before you search for new furniture items and stick to it within an inch of your life. It’s no good saying ‘I can go over by £20 on this reclining chair’ because this poor discipline will soon cross into other pieces you’re looking to purchase.
Make sure you’re aware of the financial aspect of purchasing furniture and don’t commit to paying something before being certain you can afford it and it’s within your budget.
8. Furniture accommodates the needs of your children
Your child will need furniture to address their needs in the early stages of life. Babies need cribs, changing tables and storage furniture. Perhaps the mother needs a comfortable seat for the child’s playroom when the child gets older. When your children get older it might be time for additional sofa seating and more chairs at the dinner table.
It’s also important to make your furniture safe for toddlers and young children. Hundreds of children sadly die each year due to unsuitable furniture tipping over and injuring them.
These are extreme cases but make sure your little one is protected by purchasing furniture with wide legs and solid bases, strapping furniture to the wall with safety straps or L-brackets and always supervising play near sofas and shelves.
Get the right furniture to accommodate the needs of your child through the early stages of their life and you will have an amazing experience watching them grow.
9. Furniture is good for storage
As we go through our lives, we tend to find that we accumulate a lot of stuff. Books, technology, clothes, sports accessories, financial records, jewellery and musical equipment are all examples of things we can accumulate.
Unless we have good storage facilities, we’re usually unable to store all of these items and may need to sell or dispose of some of them even though this might not be convenient or a preferred option. It doesn’t have to be this way, this is where furniture comes in.
Lots of furniture items are built with storage capability, allowing storage for all our many items. Wardrobes, beds & work desks with drawers, shelves, cupboards and footstools with folding lid are all examples of everyday furniture items with great storage capacity.
Furniture and its storage capability make storing our things easier, more manageable and less stressful. A definite win for most people, who have things they need to store somewhere.
10. Furniture can lead to a sense of pride
Researching, purchasing and organising furniture into a home of office can be a large project in itself which leads to a huge of pride.
When you recognise a need for furniture, then take proactive steps to source it and organise it how you see fit, you can derive a sense of satisfaction at your achievement.
This is particularly powerful when others compliment the furniture in your home, as it reinforces the notion you should be proud of yourself. I’m not saying everyone who deals with furniture is big-headed or egotistical, but every now and then a sensation of achievement is just what we need to stay motivated in our lives.
Take ownership of your furniture projects throughout life. Embrace the challenges of each stage and see it through to completion. You’ll get a massive sense of pride when you see your furniture vision come to life.