Choosing Furniture for Common Living Spaces

While shared spaces, or coliving spaces, are an innovative way to collaborate and save money, as well as a host of other benefits, when it comes to furnishing your shared space, you need to be a little more creative than usual in order to ensure that you accommodate everyone. Your shared areas need to be functional, but that doesn’t mean that you should compromise on style; you want the space to be inviting enough to make everyone who uses the space, as well as their visitors, feel at home.

Setting the Stage

The first thing you need to to in order to set an intimate and neutral tone, is to choose a color palette and coordinate your decor and furnishings in a cohesive way, causing a cosy and effect. If you stick with neutral tones, then the area won’t look too cluttered or busy with a few unique or vibrant throws, rugs and cushions scattered around.

Furnishing the Space

Deciding on furniture pieces for a shared living space can be tricky, when you try to pick pieces which suit everyone’s taste while keeping functionality in mind. Since you need to accommodate several people, it’s vital that you have ample seating space – and extra, for when company comes over. Besides your sofas, you should have as many ottomans and small benches as you can fit, preferably tucked away when not in use so as to not make the area claustrophobic. When you are deciding on a dining room and coffee table, choose shapes that best complement the room they will be placed in. A round table in the corner is a great way to maximise space, as well as a rectangular or oblong central coffee table.

The Finishing Touches

Once you have chosen your major pieces, and you have draped and decorated your area according to your color scheme, then it’s time to tackle the finer details. Allocate a common area where all the members of the house can chuck their keys into when they enter the front door. Find a pretty basket which fits in with your color scheme, as well as a hat and coat rack, if your house doesn’t have an entry closet.

While neutral tones and furniture helps you keep the mood uncluttered, there are still plenty of ways to add a personal touch to the decor, make everyone feel at home by including their input. Get everyone to choose a style of throw pillow, and designate one wall to a photo gallery which features all the members of the house (past and present, if the dynamics are prone to be short-term). Use photo frames that echo your selected color scheme, and the overall effect is of an inviting space with character and warmth.

Last but not least, set the right mood in your shared spaces by using the right lighting. Your kitchen area will need functional lighting, whereas your living and dining rooms provide a cosier ambience when you use low lighting and freestanding lamps.

About the contributor

Looking for a room for rent in New York? Co-living is your reasonable choose, browse through the big choice of houses available to you and find the one that best suits your needs.  Just bring your suitcase and enjoy co-living with great people.

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A Brief History of the Mattress

Mattresses are a key component of bedding.  Because most humans spend over a third of their lives sleeping, finding a quality mattress is important for a high quality of life.  Normally comprised of foam and fibers, with metal springs on a wooden frame, mattresses help ensure a restful sleep.

Serta, Sealy, and Simmons are the three largest, most popular mattress brands in the USA.

Standard USA mattress sizes are Twin/Single (39” X 75”), Double/Full (54” X 75”), Queen (60” X 80”), King (78” X 80”).  Other USA mattress sizes include Olympic Queen (66” X 80”), California Queen (60” X 84”), and California King (72” X 80”).

Mattresses typically require replacement after seven to fifteen years of use, or sooner, if the coils or frame have experienced noticeable wear and tear.

A Brief History of the Mattress

In the Neolithic period (8,000-6,000 B.C.), people migrated from sleeping on the ground to simple man-made beds and mattresses.  These first resting structures were constructed of leaves and grass, held together with animal skin.  Around 3,500 B.C., Persians invented the first “waterbeds,” made of goatskins filled with water.  The more affluent inhabitants of the Roman Empire, circa 200 B.C., slept on mattresses filled with feathers.  Steel coils, which now support the vast majority of mattresses, were not patented for this purpose until 1865.

Mattresses have enjoyed many advances in the past few decades, including the advent of air mattresses, foam mattresses, and “memory foam” mattresses.  Increasingly, mattresses are being constructed from modern materials such as latex foam and polyurethane foam.  In addition, those consumers seeking affordability and convenience have chosen futons and futon mattresses to ensure their good night’s sleep.  And there has long been a core of waterbed enthusiasts who remain committed to waterbed mattresses, at least I think there are.

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5 Ways To Help You Remember Your Loved Ones

Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy. It is a process that can extend beyond the person’s death, and whilst it can be difficult to find the right words, there are several meaningful ways to remember your loved ones by. Memorial benches, for example, are just one way you can honour the life and memory of a deceased individual. Below, we explore popular ways to remember a lost loved one, and cherish the memories you made for a lifetime.

  1. Memorial Benches

If you know someone who is grieving a loved one, memorial benches make an ideal gift for remembering a loved one. It can be heart-breaking watching someone you care about grieve over a lost someone, and watching them try to accept the mourning can be somewhat saddening. Whilst you can send a bunch of flowers or a card, memorial benches have even more meaning. Complete with a plaque or inscription, a memorial bench is an effective way to help pay tribute to someone.

  1. Create A Memorial Garden

Memorial gardens have been a popular way to honour and remember people by, offering a physical place for loved ones to visit to remember those lost. Creating a memorial garden is easy when you know how. Once you have chosen your space, create a boundary to make the section of garden feel more special. Then, begin decorating your space. A decorative water feature, for example, can help create a relaxing atmosphere.

  1. Commission A Piece Of Art

An increasingly popular way people choose to help them remember their loved ones is to commission a piece of art. Today, there are several artists who offer to create decorative glass pieces using a loved one’s ashes that can be placed inside or outside the home, and is a comforting way to keep your loved ones near after they have passed away. Other forms of commemorative art include sculptures and paintings.

  1. Shine A Light

Something as simple as lighting a candle can be an incredibly powerful way to remember a loved one, particularly when several people gather for the occasion. Whilst long held candlelight vigils remain a popular choice amongst those celebrating the life of a loved one, numerous churches and cathedrals alike hold their own candlelight vigils whereby people gather in their masses to remember a lost family or friend as one.

  1. Preserve Your Memories

For a down-to-earth memorial, preserve the memories you have. A loved one’s passing doesn’t end the relationship, and thus you can use memories of the special person you lost to help you grieve. Going through memorabilia is healthy, and can help you to heal. Talking to others who knew the person can help you to preserve your memories, and you should be eternally grateful for the memories you were lucky enough to have made. Whilst it can be hard to accept, you should let yourself enjoy life the best you can, and wear a smile just like your deceased loved one would love you to wear.

7 Tips For Choosing A Rocking Chair

Do you sometimes find yourself wishing that your favorite TV chair can also be a rocking chair?  Is there a new baby in the family that you wish you can sing to sleep in your arms while sitting comfortably yourself?  Does your idea of unwinding after a long day’s work include reading a book by the fire in the winter or just contemplating the outside scenery in the summer?

American fondness for rocking chairs

If you answer yes to any one of these questions, then you are not alone.  A growing number of Americans either own a rocking chair which has become a member of the family or think of buying one.

Rocking chairs began to appear in the late 1700s when someone ingeniously thought of adding skates or rockers to the bottoms of adult furniture, similar to a child’s rocking cradle or rocking horse.

Since then, owning a rocking chair has become a distinctly American proccupation, with most Americans, including some of America’s famous presidents, showing great fondness for their rocking chairs – whether they be the elegant American designer Sam Maloof creations with the elongated curved runners or the homely white wicker rocking chair that usually has been with the family for more than 30 years.

But how do you choose a good rocking chair. Below are some tips on how to choose a rocking chair that is right for you.

Tips on how to choose a rocking chair

The first thing to ask yourself is where are you going to put your rocking chair? If indoors by the fireplace or the family room, you can choose a cushioned or timber rocking chair made of light maple or yellowish oak. Or if outdoors in your garden or front porch, you can choose a sweetly-scented cedar, a painted brazilian cherry wood or teakwood durable enough to withstand the elements.

A very important priority in rocking chairs is comfort. Rocking chairs have been used for therapeutic purposes – John F Kennedy’s rocking chair being a famous example. It is said that President Kennedy found hours and hours of relief for his bad back from this Appalachian oak rocker which has a steam-bent curved backrest and woven seat made of Malaysian rattan.

Answering the following questions may help you to judge whether the rocking chair you are choosing will give you the level of comfort that you need.

–  Does the rocking chair provide seating comfort and support?

–  Is the chair set low enough for comfortable elbow support?

–  Are the armrests wide enough to rest your arms and provide the right balance?

–  Do the seat and back offer both firmness and flexibility?

–  Do the seats slant downward to fit the whole back while supporting the lower back?

Is the rocker pitched correctly? In layman’s terms, does the rocking chair provide a smooth and even rocking motion without tipping, even when you are in the reclining position? Or does it feel like you are about to flip backwards when you are rocking? Does a single push keep the rocking chair rocking for a few minutes or does it stop after only a few seconds?

Was the rocking chair constructed using techniques that have been proven to result in stronger and more durable rocking chairs that can withstand everyday use? Some of these techniques include construction without glue, interlocking joinery and the famous Maloof technique of using seven laminated strips of wood to strengthen each of the long, elegant skis that are used in his rocking chair designs.

What style of rocking chair will fit your decor? Do you want an upholstered rocking chair or do you want to see the timber’s natural wood grain enlivened by an oil finish? Do you want charming white wicker chair or casual rattan? How do you want the back of your rocking chair – traditional ladder back horizontal slats, vertical slats or woven cane?  Do you want it stained, oiled, varnished or painted?

How much do you want to spend for your rocking chair? Whatever your budget, there seems to be a rocking chair for everyone’s fancy – whether its the $20,000 Sam Maloof with a two-year waiting list for the ultimate in rocking chair experience or the vintage white wicker rocking chair you’ve just bid successfully on ebay for $20, or somewhere in between. And we usually have a few  in different styles at Furniture Works.

And last but not least, do you want your rocking chair shipped to you assembled or are you handy with tools and don’t mind assembling it yourself if you can save some money?

I hope these tips will make it easier to find the rocking chair that’s just right for you – whether you’re the couch potato looking for a more comfortable seat in front of your favorite TV sitcom, the delighted parent of a newly-born baby or the urban worker trying to relax in the evening after dinner with a book or the quietness of the night by the front porch.

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3 Steps To Arranging Home Décor Accessories

One of the biggest home decorating dilemmas is how to arrange your accessories, whether it be a bookcase, shelf, or tabletop. Here is a three step system that will transform your boring or cluttered spaces into charming vignettes!

Harmony and Contrast

When arranging a space with accessories, one has to keep in mind that the most important thing to avoid here is boredom! This has a lot less to do with the objects you choose than how you choose to display them. To keep an arrangement from putting the neighbors down for their afternoon nap, remember to keep a balance of harmony (things that feel like they go together, like similar colors or styles) and contrast (things that spice things up by being different…smooth against texture, round against straight line, et…) You want a bit of both in your arrangement. Perhaps you could create harmony by repeating a square shape or the color purple, and then add contrast by sitting a smooth candlestick next to a rough basket.

Scale and Shape

Make sure that the items you are using fit into their new homes scale…you don’t want one tiny paperweight on a large kitchen table, and you want to steer clear of using a huge ceiling high arrangement of flowers on a tiny end table. Most people tend to use things that are too small for their surroundings however. If you have small accessories you would like to display, but need to give them more oomph in the arrangement, try grouping them on a plate or a fabric covered box. You can also give them height by perching them atop stacked books or baskets.

Layer and Soften

Once you’ve chosen your objects for the space following the design principles above, now it’s time to layer and soften. Start with a larger, taller piece slightly off center…this will be the defining piece in your arrangement. Now work to the outer edges in layers…Add a taller background layer, a middle sized medium height layer, and your tiniest objects in the front. Keep the eye moving up and down as it purveys the arrangement from left to right for interest. Add some fabric or twisted ribbon to soften the edges of the shelf or table, to bring in color, and to highlight certain objects.

Above all, keep trying new combinations of items until you find an arrangement that works for you. Use things in unusual ways. Tuck flowers or a live plant into an arrangement that seems too static. Even professional designers will occasionally be surprised by trying things in a new way! And remember, if your arrangement still looks cluttered and lost, chances are you are trying to display too much. Develop a prop box or closet where you can keep some of your treasures, and switch them out a couple of times a year for a fresh new look without spending a dime! We arrange our furniture in vignettes and you’re encouraged to stop by Furniture Works to pick up new decorating ideas.  We have several books available for your use to show you some new ways to make your home more comfortable and interesting.

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