Thursday, February 25, 2010

Top 10 Furniture Trends of the Decade

1. Furniture going green. Green furniture has always been available, but now it seems to be going mainstream.

2. Furniture with a smaller profile. Since our living spaces are shrinking, this decade has seen furniture with a smaller profile.

3. Multifunctional Furniture. When space is at a premium, you need furniture that can perform multiple tasks.

4. Technology Driven Furniture Design. The use of modern technology has determined furniture design as well. It is most apparent in the design of entertainment centers.

5. Popularity of Vintage Furniture. Vintage furniture has really come into it’s own. Vintage furniture is green on many counts.

6. Globally Inspired Furniture. The globe seems to be shrinking, and other cultures no longer seem as distant. The idea of bringing the world to our homes is catching on.

7. The Growing Importance Outdoor Furniture. Casual furniture or outdoor furniture has made leaps and bounds in the last decade or more.

8. Custom-made Furniture. Customization of furniture seems to be a trend that continues to develop and evolve.

9. Specialty Sleep Surfaces. An interest in specialty sleep surfaces began with waterbeds and has grown and developed over the years.

10. Leather Furniture. Leather furniture has a newfound popularity because now it comes in different shapes and colors.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Designing your Media Room

Home theater is all the rage now, especially with fuel costs and inflation in general keeping people at home more. Although this sort of luxury had previously been popular among those with more disposable income, families of more modest means now find that with a few changes they can make an existing room into a home theater without shattering their budget.

A home theater, after all, is an area that is optimized for movie viewing, with comfortable seating and good-quality equipment arranged according to a simple formula that allows every viewer to see and hear the feature fully without strain. Ideally your home theater will include a wide-screen TV and surround sound, but if you don’t have those big-ticket items yet you can start with what you have and then upgrade, as you’re ready to. If you feel your room is too small to accommodate a home theater set-up, you may be surprised. Consider the extra flexibility that a corner media unit will afford you as it helps to maximize the available space.

Situate the television against the wall where it works best according to this simple formula: your seating should begin at a distance that is twice the horizontal width of the TV screen. The back row of seating should not be farther back than five times the screen’s horizontal width. Leather is the ultimate upholstery choice for home theater seating, but microfiber also works well and can handle the spills that are bound to happen sooner or later.

If square footage allows, you can also set aside a corner of your newly transformed media room with a comfortable chair for listening to music. A pleasant but not too busy piece of art on the wall or a small sculpture on a table will contribute to the relaxing atmosphere, allowing for fuller enjoyment of the songs.