Home Living Rental Series #3 Furniture

9:00:00 AM

renting, furniture tips, furniture dimensions, home living, rental

T A K E   A   S E A T

Furniture tips that will work for your space.


Choosing furniture can be quite a challenge, especially when you're renting. Most rentals have small scale rooms and are not very open-concept. This means that you can't just go into a store and pick out what you like. You've got to be intentional!


5  F U R N I T U R E
F A C T O R S
T O   C O N S I D E R

  • comfort
  • style
  • quality
  • price
  • size
Comfort can vary between pieces, style varies between people. It's always good to go for the best quality you can--particle board does not move well. Price is an obvious consideration, and size...we'll get into that later.


S H O P P I N G   P R E P

Once you've narrowed down your picks (comfort, style, quality, price), size is the next thing to look at. AAAND it can be a deal breaker. If furniture is too big, it will completely overpower a room!

I have found that most warehouse furniture stores are full of furniture that is just plain too big! I can't understand why oversized is such a big deal in those stores. There are plenty of people that need smaller scale furniture to fit in their space.

Another thing to remember about places that sell furniture is that they have really high ceilings and large spaces. This makes all the furniture seem smaller, so it tricks you into thinking it will fit in your space. Beware!

It's best to go shopping with a plan. You can play with different apps that help you arrange furniture virtually, or use the old pencil and grid paper to see what would work best. Then you can decide on the size that would work best for your space.


W H E R E   T O
S H O P  

( O N   A   B U D G E T )

Since I don't have an endless budget for furniture and I was taught to thrift growing up, that is what I usually do in the furniture department. I'm not going to say this is the easiest or fastest route, because it's not. It does, however get me small scale furniture, in a style I like that is usually solid wood.

Check out classifieds, thrift stores, flea markets and antique stores for what you need. I keep a running list of things I need so when I drop into one of these places, I remember what I'm looking for.

I will say that IKEA is probably the next most common place I shop--scale, price and style fit well. However, most pieces have only made it through about 2 moves.

I have bought furniture at warehouse furniture and discount stores, but I've been careful and strategic. You can find things like nicer folding chairs and tables, good mattresses, metal shelves, occasional chairs, and even couches. 


H O W   B I G   I S   T O O   B I G ?

So, as you start your search, here are some dimensions that can help you know if the scale is small enough for a small space. Be aware that the depth measurement is important as it is usually the sneakiest stealer of space.
Measurements should be no bigger than:
  • Couch: 37"h x 90"w x 37"d
    • Follow similar measurements if opting for a sectional
  • Loveseat: 37"h x 60"w x 37"d
  • Occasional/Accent Chair: 40"h x 30"w x 30"d
  • Kitchen Chair: 40"h x 22"w x 20"d
  • Round Kitchen Table: 50"w
  • Rectangular Kitchen Table: 40"w x 65"l
  • Tall Dresser: 45"h x 32"w x 22"d
  • Long Dresser: 34"h x 60"w x 22"d
  • Desk: 30"h x 50"w x 26"d
  • Bookshelves: 40"h x 50"w x 20"d
    • I strongly recommend NOT using tall bookshelves. They easily tip over and anchoring them into the wall is often not an option.
    • Multiple small bookshelves of the same size can be very useful and fit well in different set ups.
  • Coffee tables, nightstands and ottomans are all fairly small scale. Just look for a light look rather than heavy and legs showing is always good.
  • Bed frames are fairly standard, but going for a lighter look rather than heavy/bulky is best.
    *This list of furniture is not meant to suggest that each piece is needed. For example a sofa and loveseat and a coffee table in a small room will feel like furniture is taking over. Opting for two of the three or using an accent chair or two instead of a loveseat would be better.


    U N E X P E C T E D
    E S S E N T I A L S

    There are a few furniture items that I never thought I could use. They didn't fit my style and I don't like extra stuff. We have kept them every time we move and somehow, ALWAYS find a use for them. What could these magical multi-use items be? Ultra simple small-scale bar stools and wooden TV trays! Ha, We've used them for night stands, makeshift tables, side tables, hobby tables, lamp stands, actual bar stools... . I've really been surprised that we use them so much!


    F I N A L  T H O U G H T S

    So, look around your place--determine if there are any furniture pieces that you kind of wish you wouldn't have bought. It may not be comfy enough or could be pretty beat up. Try to look around with a fresh perspective to see if any piece of furniture is completely overpowering the room. While you're at it, see if the style of your furniture is in line with what your style actually is.

    Prioritize your list and start searching! It will lead to a more comfortable space that you love to be in. Oh, and be patient. It may take years to find everything you want...and that's okay.

    Good luck!

    -Rachel

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