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furniture interior design Shopping

Six pieces of furniture you should invest in

Whether you’re moving into your first home or tenth home, it’s important for some of your furniture purchases to stand the test of time. Resisting the temptation to fill your rooms with every piece you may need at a low price is tough though and it may end up costing you more money in the long run. While a less expensive option will often make a fine choice for a few years, there are six critical items that really are worth the investment.

Sofa-It’s possible to find a well made sofa in many price points as many frames are crafted in the same way. It’s often the fabric selection that bumps the cost up. A sofa built to last will feature a solid hardwood frame with the legs and arms built into the frame versus attached separately. The seat and back cushion construction will effect both the comfort and the price. My first choice is spring down seat cushions with foam blend down backs which offer comfort and support. High-resilient foam wrapped in a down and feather is a good option too.

Tomlinson Sofa
Tomlinson Furniture

Dining Table-A quality dining table is a must have regardless of your of your lifestyle. Purchase a table that’s durable and will withstand the daily use from your family. A solid wood table with clean lines will last for decades and can be refinished down the road. A table with one or two leaves is also worth the extra money as it allows for flexible seating of additional guests.

Saloom Dining Table
Saloom Furniture

Dining Chairs-While your table top will take a lot of abuse, the chairs you choose will be the dining space work horse. From being pulled in and out, sat on and even stood on, it’s a must that your chairs be of solid wood construction that can hold the weight of your family. Make clean up of spills and other accidents easy with a performance fabric that will keep your seating looking great for years.

Bernhardt Furniture

Upholstered bed-A queen size (or king if you have the space) upholstered bed in a neutral fabric can start out in a master bedroom and migrate to a guest room if you upgrade. Select a classic design, with a solid wood frame that can work with a variety of design styles. I prefer a complete bed with upholstered side and foot boards eliminating the need for a dust skirt. Bonus tip: Invest in a high quality mattress. We spend a lot of time in bed and it’s important that your mattress lasts for a good seven to eight years.

Kravet Furniture Bed
Kravet Furniture

Chest of Drawers-A solid wood chest of drawers can be used in a myriad of places. A simple, classic design can be repurposed to hold clothes in the bedroom, linens in the dining room or be used as a TV center in the family room. Look for dovetail joints on the drawers, with sanded and finished edges. Wood on wood glides and a center rail support will help keep your drawers from sagging.

Swaim Furniture Burton Chest
Swaim Furniture

Accent Piece-Your home is a reflection of your personality and lifestyle. Investing in a piece you truly love like a painted desk, an antique mirror, or anything else that strikes the can’t live without emotion is worth the money.

Rattan writing desk
Chairish

Mr. H says: Your home should be a collection of what you love-Enjoy!

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furniture interior design

Interior design done virtually

With many of us stuck at home these last few weeks, you may be coming to realize that your spaces aren’t working for you and your family. It’s been proven that how your home functions affects your productivity, mood and even your health. Now is the ideal time to solve some of your space dilemmas without leaving the sofa.

Bernhardt

The most requested design advice, regardless of the size of the project, is furniture arrangement. Most clients know how they want to use the room but struggled with exactly how to achieve it. With virtual space planning, we practice social distancing, since I never come to your home. I’ll have you complete a questionnaire, take some photos and send your room measurements. 

Get started with your E-Design here

In a few days, we’ll send you a detailed E-Plan with an ideal layout that includes furniture dimensions.

Let’s get started on your dream home today.

Mr. H says: Your home should be a collection of what you love-Enjoy!

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design trends furniture

Four High Point Market Trends

Straight from the source-these four top interior design trends were everywhere at this Spring’s High Point Furniture Market.

Macrame

Fur textures were still on display however macrame emerged as the hottest new look.  It makes sense that this fringed trend found a second wind in this era of handmade globalism.

Artesia

Selamat Designs

Agate

This colorful, crystallized rock is in big demand appearing in a range of home design products.  With it’s gemstone quality, agate items add a touch of glamour and luxury.

Bradburn Home

Zodax

Even images of agate made an appearance

 

 

 

 

 

Wendover Art Group

Acrylic

Another retro design trend, Lucite acrylic, is enjoying resurgence in home furnishings and for good reason.  This chic plastic material is real furniture workhorse and translucent pieces don’t take up visual space in a room.

Interlude Home

Notice the subtle acrylic legs on the Swaim sofa

Swaim

Curves

The severe industrial look from years past has been replaced with a welcoming curvilinear vibe. The shapes are undeniably inviting and studies have shown that curvy furniture evokes feelings of relaxation.

Tomlinson

ParishCo

Baker

Mr. H says: The best way to change your future is design it-Enjoy!

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furniture interior design lighting

Seven Essential Interior Design Rules

While interior design trends are ever evolving there are some fundamental design rules that are worth adhering to for an interior that performs beautifully.

Live With It

The key to a well designed space is to have a well defined plan.  Part of that plan, especially when on a budget, is to make decisions once you have used the room for awhile.  Taking the time to amass the different elements of a space gives you time to evaluate each piece and how the next one will fit into the scheme.

photo by Camylla Battani

Measure-Measure-Measure

I repeat-measure.  Before you buy the first piece of furniture measure your space and your doorway openings.  The last thing you need is for that luxurious sectional sofa to not have any circulation space around it or worse not fit through the front door.

Swaim

Form Follows Function

It’s a decades old concept that still rings true today.  Decide on the function of a space first, concentrating on how it will be used, who will use it, special storage needs, and lighting.  Craft your design, including the aesthetics after those objectives have been established. 

Never Buy a Set

While it’s tempting to buy the whole bedroom set off the showroom floor and calling it “done” it is not in your best interest to do so.  People respond best to spaces that have an acquired, blended style.   Pairs are fine, like nightstands and lamps, which create symmetry in a room.

Invest in Quality

The adage “you get what you pay” holds true when purchasing furnishings.   Hunting down that deal is not a valid design strategy and is often, in the long term, the least budget friendly.  Cheaply made, inexpensive pieces will break down quickly requiring replacement that much faster.  Buy from a quality retailer or experienced interior designer for the best value.


Layer Lighting

While an over sized fixture fixture can add drama to a space, lamps and other ambient lighting like sconces or cove lighting are important to a room’s design.  Overhead lighting alone can wreak havoc on even the most well designed room, throwing shadows on the furniture and the room’s occupants that are terribly unflattering.

Avoid Clutter

Lastly, keeping your space tidy is vital to good design.  Having a place for everything by incorporating unique storage solutions and keeping surfaces clear of non essential items will make your design stand out.

J. Rhodes Interior Design, Inc. Photo: Holger Obenaus

Mr. H (posthumously) says: An empty room is a story waiting for you to be the author-Enjoy!

Hampton 2006-2017

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furniture interior design Shopping

J. Rhodes Interior Design presents Hampton Home

Mr. H says: We are looking forward to seeing you in two weeks-Enjoy!

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accessories design trends furniture

Top Three Spring 2016 High Point Market Trends

The Spring 2016 High Point market featured the best new products and ideas for the home.  These are three of the biggest trends spotted at this season’s furniture market.

The Color Blue

So many of the showrooms were awash in shades of blue.  Indigo, cobalt and cerulean made appearances in fabrics, lighting and accessories.

The very blue Duralee showroom

Duralee High Point Showroom

Capel Rugs “Flash” rug in indigo

Capel Rugs "Flash" Indigo

Taylor Burke Home navy pendant light

Taylor Burke Home Navy Pendant

Lacquer Furniture

Straddling the line between traditional and modern, lacquer furniture adds instant glamour to any decor.

Worlds Away orange lacquer desk

Worlds Away orange lacquer desk

Moes Home Collection black lacquer cabinet

Moes Home Collection black lacquer cabinet

John Richard red lacquer cabinet

John Richard red lacquer cabinet

Fur!

Both faux and real was the biggest trend at this Spring’s market.   Providing deep texture, fur is playful yet sophisticated.

Moe’s Home Collection fur pillows

Moe's Home Collection fur pillows

Fur backed chairs chairs from Currey and Company

Currey and Company fur backed chairs

Interlude Hone featured luxe acrylic and fur benches

Interlude acrylic and fur stools

Not sure whether to sit or pet this luxurious Glassimo fur and glass chair

Glassimo fur and glass chair

High Point Furniture Market can be tiring to even the most seasoned visitor!

High Point Furniture Market dog

Mr. H says:  The best trends are the ones that make you look and feel great-Enjoy!

Categories
design trends furniture

Painted Furniture

Brown furniture has it’s place in most interiors however a painted piece can add pizzazz to the look of any space.

Red retro chairs pop out on in this exterior room.

Red painted porch chairs
Dishfunctional Designs

Kelly green and coral create a knock out setting against the print wallpaper.

Kenian Home

The cobalt painted etagere stands in contrast to the coral wall color.

Fancycrave.com

A distressed pedestal dining table adds interest in a white breakfast room.

Design Authentic Interior Design

Even though black is a neutral, the painted end table provides strength that a stained piece would not.

Hammary

A few coats of paint can give new life to any piece of furniture.  This stodgy wing chair is revitalized with bright yellow legs by makeover maven, Martha Stewart.

Painted chair legs
Martha Stewart

Tips and advice abound on the internet for those seeking to transform their own relic.

painted dresser
The Wits Blog

Mr. H says: Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions-Enjoy!

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design history furniture

History of the Sofa

In many homes, the upholstered sofa is the central figure of the family or living room.  It’s the comfortable spot to relax, watch TV, or catch an afternoon nap.  We can’t imagine living in a space without one, but prior to its modern innovation in France during the late 1680s nothing like it existed. While lounging pieces could be found around the world, mostly for royal use, the general population sat on straight-backed wood chairs that could be ported to a dining table or near a warming fire.

Jacobean chair style

At the turn of the 18th Century, with the enrichment of a bourgeois working class, along with new found leisure time the desire for privacy and comfort increased.  It was at that time that padded furniture became an invitation to lounge.

18th Century sofa

During the advent of the industrial revolution, new furniture manufacturing processes evolved allowing for the mass production of most any item.  It was here that the modern sofa was born.

Late Victorian Sofa

Along with the invention of the sewing machine, the basic techniques developed nearly 200 years ago, are still in use today for the manufacturing of sofas.

Sofa construction

Other terms synonymous to a sofa are settee, chesterfield, divan, davenport, canape and a designer’s least favorite “couch”.   Styles today run the gamut from traditional and modern to even the very extreme.

Southwood Sofa
Southwood

Swaim 413 sofa
Swaim

Nina Edwards twisted sofa
Nea Studio

Even our dogs get to enjoy their naps on a comfortable sofa.

Dog sofa bed
BioMedic Modern Dog Sofa Bed

Mr. H says: There is nothing like being at home for real comfort-Enjoy!

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design history furniture

Wonderful Wing Chairs

Developed in the 1600s as a means of protecting those sitting fireside of drafts or flying embers, the English born wing chair remains a beloved chair style and is a stylish addition to any interior.

Early wing chair designs were constructed entirely from wood with flat, broad arms.

Antique wood wing chair

During the late 17th Century, demand for an extra level of comfort in seating pieces led to the upholstering of the wood frames.  By the 19th Century, chairs were generously padded, mostly with a very firm horsehair stuffing, and upholstered in luxurious velvet or damask fabrics.

Antique upholstered wing chair

The familiar, Queen Anne style wing back, with its rounded and scrolled lines, crossed the Atlantic to the American Colonies and remains the major influence in traditional wing chair design today.

Queen Anne wingback chair

Antique and vintage wing chairs have an enjoyed a resurgence of sorts thanks to companies like Chairloom’s who repurpose old chairs into a fresh work of art.

Chairloom before and after wing chair

Bold, colorful textiles breathe new life into a common chair form

Duralee fabric wing chair    Print fabric wing chair

Don’t despair if granny didn’t leave you her antique wing chair as reproductions abound such as the Baron’s Court Wing Chair from Baker Furniture

Baker Furniture Barons Court Wing Chair

If your aesthetic leans more modern, many manufactures craft their own contemporary spin on the classic wing chairs lines.   Swaim Narly Wing Chair

Swaim Narly modern wing chair

Kravet Navarre Tall Chair

Kravet Navarre wingback chair

Mr. H says: A house without at least one comfy chair is soulless-Enjoy!

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charleston design history furniture

Charleston Rice Beds

Unique to Charleston in the late 18th century, the carved rice bed was distinct symbol of a plantation owner’s wealth.  The original design is often attributed to Charleston cabinetmaker, Thomas Elfe, who on commission crafted a bed whose four posts were carved with a depiction of a ripe grain of the rice plant.  Carolina Gold rice, along with tobacco and cotton, created immense wealth for Lowcountry plantation owners during the 18th Century.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Beds of the era were typically made by a team of artisans such as carpenters, lathe turners, and carvers.  Mahogany was the wood of choice for the wealthy planter, however cherry wood was used as well.  Rice beds were designed for a cooler sleeping environment during Charleston’s humid summers.  With the frame high off the ground and removable headboard, beds were moved to the center of the room to allow for better air circulation.   The tester, or top frame, was hung with mosquito netting in warmer months and heavier drapery in the winter, keeping the occupant warm.

Charleston Rice Bed with mosquito netting photo:  Jim Steinhart

In the Heyward-Washington house on Church Street, the Heyward family’s rice bed may have been the place that George Washington slept during the President’s week-long Charleston stay in 1791.

Heyward-Washington House Charleston Rice Bed

While locating an antique Charleston rice bed may be both difficult and costly, (one just sold at auction for $45,000) there are several mass production furniture makers such as American Drew and Kincaid that feature rice bed styles.

Estate worthy handmade rice beds can be found however at Mack S. Headley & Sons, a fourth generation, Virginia furniture maker.

Mack S. Headley & Sons Rice Bed

Theodore Alexander also produces an exquisite hand crafted rice bed in finely carved and figured mahogany

Theodore Alexander Middleton Rice Bed

Mr. H says: The most valuable antique is an old friend-Enjoy!