Sometimes the best-looking furniture isn’t exactly comfortable. On the flip side, cozy furniture tends to look a little less stylish. If you’re trying to maintain a certain style in your home, it can be challenging to find the happy medium between comfort and style. After all, you live in your home and need to use your furniture.
The good news is you don’t need to sacrifice comfort for beauty and style. You just need to look a little harder to find designs that match your design preferences and your need for comfort.
Look for style ideas online
The internet is truly your best friend when you’re looking for stylish furniture. However, be selective with the furniture you buy online. For instance, don’t buy your family room couch online. Your family room should be as comfortable as possible and you really need to test out your couch in person before you buy it.
On the other hand, there are plenty of furniture pieces you can buy online. For instance, say you use one room solely to entertain guests or hold meetings. You don’t want your couches or chairs to be so comfortable that people fall asleep during a presentation.
For this type of room, the design is a priority over comfort, which means you don’t need to drive to a store to test everything out. You just need to browse around on a site like Chairish.com to find your ideal style online. Online, it’s easier to find comfortable furniture that will create the intended atmosphere for your guests without making them fall asleep.
The right thrift store can be a treasure trove
Thrift stores can be a wonderful source of furniture if you know what to look for. Depending on where you live, you might need to head out to another city to go thrift store hunting. For instance, some cities have thrift stores with large spaces for furniture while others don’t have much to offer. Some areas get poor quality furniture donations while others get high-quality items regularly.
Visit thrift stores in areas where residents have a decent income. When people in upper-class areas move or someone dies, their donated furniture will be of good quality.
Keep an eye out for wooden furniture you can rehab. For instance, a dresser might be in perfect shape but have a bad paint job. Wooden furniture is easy to sand down and repaint. However, be wary of Ikea furniture. While Ikea has been a wonderful source for cheap furniture, many people have found Ikea furniture tends to fall apart easily during the moving process. If you get these pieces second hand, they may not last long as you’d like.
Keep an eye out for comfortable furniture you can have reupholstered. No matter how ugly the fabric is, sit in all the chairs and couches you can find. When you find something comfortable and ugly, picture it with new upholstery that matches your interior design.
Focus on quality first
Finding furniture that meets your style, comfort, and durability needs is possible only when you know how to identify quality furniture. You might end up buying what seems like the perfect chair that falls apart after a few months due to poor construction.
Although wood furniture is better than other materials, not all of it is durable enough to last for any length of time. For example, an article on Forbes.com points out several differences in wood composition to be aware of:
Plywood needs to have at least 9 layers
Knots in any kind of wood are susceptible to cracks
Pine is more likely to have knots
Particleboard, pressed wood, and fiberboard aren’t durable
Staples, glue, and nails are signs of poor construction
The article also explains how to identify properly constructed corners and joints, which indicate how long you can expect your furniture to last.
You don’t need to sacrifice comfort for style
Comfort and style do exist at the same time. You just need to keep looking and remember that you can buy comfortable furniture and have it reupholstered and refinished to match your design preferences.
If you can’t find stylish furniture right away, keep looking, especially if you have a specific style in mind. You’ll probably need to scour the internet and several thrift stores multiple times to get what you need. In the end, having a nice-looking home is worth the effort.
I’m a single mother of 2 living in Utah writing about startups, business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and health. I also write for Inc, Score, Manta, and Newsblaze