Choosing Your Perfect Sofa by Kimberly Reuther

A colleague of mine at a furniture store used to cajole customers with a spin on an used car salesman pitch, “What’s it going to take to get you in that sofa today?”  It was a nice, light-hearted approach to a process that some may equate to buying a car.  A sofa should be an investment and if chosen wisely, will continue to serve its purpose far longer than it is worth.  But how do you know what is right for you?

My approach to buying a sofa is to think of it like buying a good pair of jeans or the perfect little black dress.  You shouldn’t settle for something that doesn’t flatter you and it should be able to work in many situations.  Here are a few key criteria for my clients:

1.  Fit – This is different than what you might imagine.  I am seriously asking you to make sure it fits through the door/opening/stairs into the room you want.  You would be surprised how many people purchase a large sectional or even deep sofa and can’t get it into the house.  So, make sure you bring your measurements before you fall in love with something!

2.  Function – Consider how you like to use your sofa along with the other members of your household.  Does you husband like to put his feet up on an ottoman, could you do a chaise or sectional?  Do you need a sleeper sofa to accommodate guests? Can your whole family snuggle up to watch a movie?

3.  Fabric – This is important because the fabric often wears out before the sofa does.  Do you want easy maintenance but a soft feel?  Most people love the properties of leather but don’t like the “coldness” or how it feels agains their skin.  How do you feel about slipcovers?  They look better than you think!  Make sure to consult your husband or partner on this as I’ve seen very strong opinions on fabric selection that were unexpected.

4.  Form – Research the construction of the sofa and make sure you have customized the options to your specifications.  We all know 8 way hand-tied, kiln-dried frames are the industry standard for a quality product but there is a lot of variance in the cushions.  There are down and down-blend options and thankfully, a lot of eco-friendly alternative fills on the market today.

 5.  Flattery – Just as with the search for the perfect jeans, what works on your friend doesn’t always flatter your figure.  Evaluate the overall shape and scale of the sofa against other furniture pieces and architectural details in your home.  Does it blend nicely or stand out in a purposeful way?  Is it something you will like for the next 10-20 years or does it feel too trendy?

 Hopefully, that helps you narrow down your options and make an informed purchase that you will love and enjoy for many years!

Happy Designing!

This was previously posted on AT HOME’s website. View the original post here.  You can view more of Kimberly’s work by visiting her website.

Color Scheme 101: When to Select Paint Colors by Kimberly Reuther

One of the first thing most of my clients ask for is help in selecting paint colors for their home.  As anyone who has painted the same room several times over can attest, finding the right color is tricky!  It makes sense to call in a professional and we’re happy to jump in!

However, choosing a paint color for your walls is actually the last thing in a long process of determining finishes and materials that will go in your space.

What?  A good majority of people think just the opposite.  Since, paint is relatively inexpensive and easy to do yourself, most choose this route as a weekend project.  I had a part time job a few years ago at a retail bedding/furniture store.  So many people would come in with a paint swatch and tell me how much they loved their new bedroom color.  However, they had been searching for 6 months trying to find bedding to match.

There are hundreds of thousands of paint colors, so starting with a paint color is kind of a backward approach.  You will find that it is easier to select a color from an object you already have, such as bedding or an area rug.

My advice is to start with an overall color palette for your home so that it all “flows” together.

Here are the key steps in selecting a color palette:

1.  Find an inspiration for your color scheme.  It could be nature, an area rug, an article of clothing, a piece of art, or a room you saw in a magazine.  Use it as a jumping off place to pull together a few colors you love.  I always find it helps to pull a bunch of fabrics and textures.  Consider elements you cannot change such as existing wallpaper or fabrics in your scheme.

2.  Create a color board to help you with the selection process. Choose finishes/materials with the least amount of options first (ie. cabinets, countertops, furniture).  This will help you narrow down so many choices.

3.  Consider the amount of each color you want to incorporate into your space.  Some rooms may be more saturated than others.  You may choose to eliminate one color entirely from a room in order to let it stand out in another space.  As you pull together your options, you see which colors naturally makes sense as wall colors.  If your original choices didn’t work, you can now revisit paint colors specifically for your walls.  It is often helpful to get large paint swatches and tape them up on the walls so you can see them in different lighting.

4.  Now that the walls are chosen, you can bring in the other elements to pull the whole scheme together.  Accent colors play a big role in your overall scheme.  Notice the deep colors of the art and accessories that tie back to our original paint palette scheme.

This was previously published on AT HOME’s website.  View the original post here.  You can view more of Kimberly’s work here.

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