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Want to turn your living space from blah to bedazzling? A new piece of furniture might just be the answer. To help, the designers at Gary Riggs Home offer five guidelines for finding and buying just the right piece.

1. Consider if the piece fits your individual style.

Your home is an expression of you, and what’s trendy right now won’t always match your personal tastes. Just because that lime green ottoman looks great in the showroom or magazine spread doesn’t mean it will jibe with the rest of your furniture.

To ensure you’re purchasing the right piece, evaluate your own personal style using these exercises:

– Take an in-depth look at the furniture you already own. Are there one or two certain pieces you could never part with? What makes you hold on to those pieces?

– Next, examine what you have on the walls. Family photos? Inherited treasures? Framed prints of famous museum paintings? Obscure canvas artwork?

– Is there one room in you home you love more than any other? Do the pieces and designs in this room relax you and make you feel more comfortable?

– Ponder if there’s a certain color, texture or shape you see repeated throughout your house. Are there related collections or objects from room to room?

– Think about your favorite clothing store. Your tastes in furnishings typically mirror your fashion sense.

Once you have a good hold on your individual style, you’re more likely to buy furniture that is truly your own, making your living space a reflection of you, your passions and your lifestyle.

2. Remember to measure your room and other furniture. 

Before buying a new piece, you need to measure your room and other furniture to ensure it will fit.

A sofa that looks fantastic in designer showroom might be too big (or not big enough) for the room it’s intended for. Knowing the sizes of the furniture you already have also helps you make sure the new piece matches the scale of the rest of the furniture in the room.

Also, take into account doors, hallways, stairs and other potential obstacles that might prevent a new piece from getting into your home or a room.

3. Contemplate the visual weight of the new piece.

Just because the piece wasn’t overpowering in the showroom doesn’t mean it won’t be in your home. It might throw your entire design scheme out of balance, making for a disorienting space.

There are many ways a new piece can offset the harmony of a living space. Darker shades, bulky textures, intricately shaped objects or patterns, high-intensity colors and warm hues project heaviness compared to the “light” feel of softer shades, delicate textures, uncomplicated shapes or patterns, low-intensity colors and cool hues.

Determine the visual weight of the room the new piece will reside in, and then ask yourself if it will it complement or throw off the room’s equilibrium.

4. Resist buying a new piece on impulse.

A hasty, ill-conceived purchase can quickly turn into buyer’s remorse. Sometimes a deeply discounted price is to blame, while other purchases can be spurred by peer pressure or the status you think an item may project.

Whatever compelling reason is telling you to “buy it now,” resist that temptation or you might end up with a piece that not only doesn’t complement your individual style, but also isn’t what you originally envisioned.

Before you make that impulse purchase, stop and ask yourself if it’s a piece that will enhance your home for years to come. Then walk away from it. If in a few days (or weeks) you find it’s impossible to get the piece out of your head, then it’s probably right for you after all.

5. Don’t forget to ask for help.

Buying a new piece of furniture isn’t always as easy as you think. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The designers at Gary Riggs Home are always happy to give advice to help you make a better buying decision.



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