I have no doubt that the living room is one of the key areas of use in your home. Often entertaining as well as spending family moments with each other happens in that important space. The majority of homes choose casual living room furniture. I will be discussing what to look for when you make your choice.
We all have different views about our personal likes when it comes to furnishing our homes. What’s your comfort level with the type of look that is being sought? Are instincts suggesting to make choices that will satisfy your dream furniture? Do your choices fit present decor or will changes to the decor be made for a fresh, inspiring, feel-good look? Using an online room planner is one way to see what your ideas will look like before you purchase your furniture.
My experience in the furniture market has shown that casual living room furniture has to be very comfortable. This is true in particular when looking for sofas, love seats, sectionals, recliners and the like. This furniture is where friends and family plop down and enjoy their time together. Comfort, once again, is the primary key in almost all furniture choices and purchases.
Of course, relaxing when neighbors, family and guests come for a visit is important. The decisions made in regard to furniture purchases has a lot to do with this. Yet, be sure the choices reflect your personal desires as well. After all, the family will be spending more time on the furniture than anyone else.
There are many areas of interest to think about before making final decisions. For instance, fabric choice is of high priority. Perhaps leather is your go-to but you just adopted a chihuahua with sharp claws that likes to jump up on the furniture – perhaps now that is not a good choice. That white microfiber that feels like suede could be just the “pop” that your family room needs … until your preschooler drops their sippy cup filled with grape juice! Durability and cleanability are just two factors in making the relevant fabric choice for your living environment.
What about warranties from the manufacturer?
What’s the quality of the product?
There is much to consider when purchasing living room furniture, isn’t there? Coming up is what I suggest looking for.
Let’s delve into important areas to consider as decisions are made. As an example, we’ll take a look at choices of furniture including upholstered as well as end tables, etc. Then we’ll consider wood construction, and solid wood compared to particleboard and MDF products.
All of this is important when looking for casual living room furniture.
Choices for Casual Living Room Furniture
There are so many opportunities when it comes to the choices made for the living room. Let’s take a peek at possibilities. A simple plan is to look at the usual necessities for the room.
Most items searched for by a family include sofas, love seats, recliners, and coffee or end tables. From there, depending on space availability, could also be a sofa table, armchair or ottoman. These are typically the primary focuses to begin with.
Without a doubt, the choices would usually be coordinated, except in unusual circumstances (eclectic, perhaps). Simply stated, all items should look good together. If a plan has been made to entertain, the casual living room furniture should set the tone for the atmosphere you may be trying to achieve. However, the most important key is choosing for yourself, not guests.
What about comfort? In almost all decision-making, when it comes to upholstered products, comfort is key. There are many types of fabrics which result in numerous comfort levels. Resistance to stain is also important as decisions are made.
Excellent fabric allows for more comfort and longer life. With children, this is very important to consider.
There are choices in leather, cotton, polyester, nylon; all fabrics allow for different comfort levels.
Some folks look for choices to replace items every few years. Others look at furniture as a long-term investment. This certainly is something to take into consideration. As we all know, budget is often the biggest determining factor.
Wood Construction of Your Casual Living Room Furniture
What about the wood construction of coffee, end, and sofa tables? There are many factors to consider. Let’s take a look.
When first shopping, the wood looks beautiful, doesn’t it? Nice texture, finish, shine. You name it. It looks good.
What about the choice of wood furniture? There’s solid wood, particleboard, and MDF.
By a long shot, solid wood will always be a great choice. Like me, it ages well. The quality is unsurpassed. There are even different strengths of wood. For example, oak and pine are two woods commonly used to make furniture. Oak versus pine – both are great. Each brings its own look and feel.
Oak is a hardwood which is heavier and and more wear-resistant. Pine, being in the soft wood family, is lighter than oak but resists or absorbs shock well. Oak tends to be darker in hue than pine, which is more in the white or creamy yellow hue. Oak is used primarily for making traditional furniture while pine is often used for modern light furniture.
Solid wood, whatever your choice, will last for many, many years.
Example of Oak Wood
Example of pinewood
Guess what? You’ll never see two pieces of solid wood that look alike. Each has its own character. Where it grew and how old it is adds to its “One of a Kind” look!
What a great way to show off quality in casual living room furniture. A home with real, solid wood!
Particleboard and What to Look For
You’ve seen it, perhaps experienced it. Looks pretty darn good from way off. Get closer and you’ll start seeing easy quality comparisons. However, this can be a good product for a considerably inexpensive price.
Particleboard is basically left-over wood, a waste-based product. It’s sealed together with resin. After that, it will have veneer placed on top of it or it will be painted.
Particleboard is a very light material. Compared to solid wood, this will become very evident. If the veneer gets bumped and chips off, it is harder to repair when compared to solid wood. The veneer is gone and you’re just looking at particleboard.
If particleboard gets wet, it absorbs the moisture. When it does get wet, the particleboard tends to expand and break apart over time. It’s very difficult to repair, as I mentioned earlier.
MDF Compared to Particleboard
Hearing a salesperson say “It’s all wood”, is not quite accurate when they refer to MDF. Be aware that the only “all wood” is solid wood. However, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is much thicker(denser) than particle board. MDF is often used instead of manufactured particleboard or solid wood.
In actuality, MDF is also a wood-based composite material. It isn’t all wood however. The MDF is comprised of the composite material, pressed from polyurethane resins, residual wood fibers and wax.
MDF is superior to particleboard, however it can also expand if it gets wet or damp. This means it could crack.
Thoughts to Consider for Casual Living Room Furniture
In considering living room furniture, serious evaluation is always important. We’ve touched upon comfort and what to look for in specific fabrics. There is a great range of possibilities.
We looked at choices such as sofas, love seats, recliners, end tables, coffee tables and more. This covered some basics in a great search for the perfect addition(s) for the home.
Wood construction is, as mentioned, something to look at closely. What fits your needs and wants? We have looked at solid wood and its advantages, particleboard and MDF.
I trust that I have given you some useful insights into making living room choices. What’s considered today can be possible tomorrow.
Carson Dane, Founder