4 Things to look for when purchasing high-quality furniture

4 Things to look for when purchasing high-quality furniture

Not all furniture available on the market will match up to the expectations you have for your home’s interior. Therefore, it’s essential to ascertain if the pieces you intend to acquire have the desired quality and features required.  After all, in addition to providing function, furniture does an exceptional job of reflecting your personality. Here are 4 things to look for when purchasing new furniture.

Walnut extending dining table

  1. Quality of materials

The quality of materials used is an essential consideration – whether it be wood, metal, plastic – or a combination. Wood options can be made of solid timber, composites or veneers. Solid timber is generally the most expensive. Veneers are often a cheaper alternative as the core or carcass is made from less expensive woods. Composite refers to wood mixed with several other materials including plastics, resin and wood pulp. Composite furniture is often the material used for cheaper, mass-produced products and often don’t fare well in the durability or longevity departments. Good-quality wooden furniture looks great and ages well, it offers a range of colours, grains and texture – and can add real warmth to a space.

Metal furniture and fittings have been very much in vogue over recent years providing shimmer and sheen to interior décor – copper, brass and steel being the most widely used. As with wood there are noticeable variations in quality of metal products. This goes for main structural elements of a piece, but also the incorporated fixtures such as screws and brackets. Look for good weight and a nice surface patina.

Plastics are often much maligned but offer great flexibility in colour and form. Modern plastics can provide real quality of finish that should overcome any doubts – and good design will utilise the material to its greatest potential.

Sideboard drawers

  1. Quality of workmanship and finish

Before purchasing furniture, you should assess the workmanship and quality of finish. Pay attention to the drawers, cabinets and so on – a good indicator of quality. The drawer should pull out completely and smoothly, latch properly and shut evenly. Joints should be fitted, stable and secure – and preferably not just simply glued into place. Joints should be neat and flush – as should borders between different materials when used in combination. Also, check furniture edges and corners for a smooth, well finished appearance. When doors are opened, check they remain fixed in that position until you shut them again. In addition to checking the drawers and cabinets, you should also ensure that the handles and knobs feel secure and built to last – they shouldn’t feel loose or jiggle around – and you should feel confident that they’ll stay that way despite heavy use. If you’re purchasing a chair, sofa or bed in particular, you must ensure that the legs are secure and joined properly to the frame; legs roughly nailed on might not be the best sign! You should also make sure that the legs or feet are made of materials that won’t damage your floor surface.

Occasional table in front of a fire

  1.  Size and proportion

The furniture you buy will need to depend on the size of the room in which it is to be located. If you’re buying a sofa for a small box room, an oversized 4-seater example would look out of place and swamp the space. Conversely, an expansive, open-plan living space calls for large sofas, tables and chairs. Otherwise pieces get lost in the space and rooms feel sparse and ‘echoey’. Consider marking out the outline of various furniture options using chalk or masking tape – this really can help you visualise the finished room.

It’s not just the size of the rooms that you need to take into consideration. Always measure furniture before you buy to make sure that it can fit through the front door, around corners, up stairways and through internal doors. It can become a very expensive and time-consuming task having to remove doors and windows to get furniture indoors. Some have to resort to hoisting over-large pieces of furniture up through upstairs windows to get them where they were intended to go.

Corner of a cream leather sofa

  1. What’s already in your home?

Consider the furniture that you already own – will your new piece compliment or clash with it? Some very successful decorating schemes are quite eclectic when it comes to age and style, but this requires care and skill. You can’t just throw objects into a space and hope for the best! And then there’s the age and fabric of the building to consider. Will it suit a traditional, vintage industrial, country or contemporary style?

Read interior magazines or browse websites such as Pinterest for inspiration. Check out the results other people have achieved who live in buildings similar to yours – or have incorporated furniture pieces that you love too.

Hopefully these pointers will help with your choices. For a wide range of attractive, high-quality furniture, danetti.com is the perfect site to visit.

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Forthcoming Attractions: Mid July 2017

Collection of vintage homewares

We put loads of new items in the web shop last week – one of our a ‘Forthcoming Attractions‘ posts would have been very much in order, but we didn’t get round to it – slapped wrists! We vowed to do one soon though – so here it is! It’s a much smaller selection this week, but some nice pieces all the same.

Collection of vintage art glass | H is for Home

For starters, a lovely selection of glass. Various sizes, shapes and colourways – and some famous designers such as Per Lutken and Otto Brauer.

Set of cream & green vintage spice tins with rack | H is for Home

Next up we have a very cute little spice rack. There’s a wall-mountable metal shelf with six labelled metal tin pots. It dates from the 1950s era and is in very good condition – the perfect vintage touch for any kitchen.

Vintage Mills Moore soup spoons and dessert spoons | H is for Home

We don’t normally pick up part sets of cutlery, but we had good reason this time. We had some of this walnut-handled Mills Moore cutlery in our web shop a couple of years ago – and so many people have enquired about it since it sold that we vowed to keep an eye out for more. Perhaps someone out there would like to add these soup and dessert spoons to their collection. It’s very stylish and beautifully made.

Vintage Hornsea Pottery witch birthday mug | H is for Home

One of last weeks item’s was a Hornsea ‘Birthday Mug’ by John Clappison. We’ve decided to add another example from our collection this week – a magnificent spooky witch design. The sweet verse underneath reads:

If I but had THREE WISHES
And only one came true,
I’d ride with these THREE WITCHES
Upon their broom to YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Orange vintage fondue set | H is for Home

From monochrome to eye-popping colour! This fab orange fondue set looks like the perfect thing for a cold winter’s evening. Log fire, glass of wine, melting cheese – bliss!

Vintage Esquire Drink Book | H is for Home

…and finally a late arrival (today in fact) – the Esquire Drink Book dating from the 1950s. It’s interesting, informative and funny… and is packed with the most gorgeous illustrations by renowned artist (and one of our personal favourites) Bill Charmatz. We already own a copy, so this one’s for sale.

Illustrations from the vintage Esquire Drink Book | H is for Home

As usual, these pieces will be split between web shop and physical shop, but blog readers will have first dibs – so let us know if anything catches your eye!

Get their look: Design-led monochrome work room

Design-led monochrome work roomcredit

This design-led monochrome work room is in the home of Italian-born, Madrid-based architect, Teresa Sapey. Her apartment is situated opposite the entrance to Buen Retiro Park – one of the largest in the city – and occupying the top floor, views must be stunning. The trees change form and colour throughout the year – and light them hits in different ways – so the vista is an ever changing experience.

This space, as with the whole house, has design classic furniture such as the Panton chairs dotted throughout – along with some fabulous art; some of it the designer’s own, and many inherited family pieces. It’s actually filled with many objects numerically, but doesn’t look cluttered in any way. That requires real skill and an eye for detail… but Teresa doesn’t consider it an interior design project – more an ever-evolving life project!

You can see further photographs of the rest of her lovely home here.

  1. Glo-Ball floor lamp by Jasper Morrison for Flos
  2. Vondom Adan planter – white, small
  3. Clear acrylic book stand by Taschen
  4. Fornasetti Buongiorno/Buonanotte vase
  5. Vitra Panton chairs
  6. Superstudio Abs Ballon Abs armchair, black
  7. Superstudio Sillón Ballon Abs armchair, white
  8. Charles & Ray Eames La Chaise

Click here for more of our ‘Get their look‘ features.

Get their look: Design-led monochrome work room | H is for Home

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Winter Wisdom – 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter

Winter Wisdom - 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter

Winter is a wonderful time of year for those of us not so keen on extreme heat and having bugs everywhere. In fact, many good things happen in winter. It’s the perfect season for hot food, woolly socks and crackling fires. The key to a good winter is to make sure your home is ready for it. For suggestions on how to get your house in good order for the cold months, read this list of 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter.

Bathroom shower

Household maintenance

Your house maintenance should be taken care of before winter gets its icy grip on your house, because when things suddenly or catastrophically go wrong it can take much longer to fix. It’s essential that your house is completely watertight – and pipes, drains and gutters are clear and free flowing. The endless torrential rain that often falls in winter and early spring can set back work on neglected pipes or other work that needs excavation…and bad weather can also prevent work being done on roofs or outdoor electrical appliances like water heaters. Imagine not having hot showers for a week in winter. No thank you!

Many companies clear blocked drains in Melbourne, for instance, and getting that done prior to winter’s arrival is a good idea, as some nights can get downright frosty. The last thing you need in the middle of a freezing night is a burst drainpipe.

Slippered feet up with a hot drink in front of an open fire

Light a fire

First and foremost, if your house has a real fire, then it’s time to break out the firewood! Make sure coal stores or log piles are well stocked during late summer and autumn. Organise deliveries early or get some wood chopped in readiness! Fires are a great, economical way to warm a house, and they can provide hours of entertainment. They give a room a real sense of drama and atmosphere. The additional burst of heat will also cut out any need for appliances such fan heaters.

Woollen blanket and patterned pottery mug

Scatter some blankets

Winter is a great time for snuggling up with some blankets. The best thing about blankets is that they not only keep you warm, but they can be dotted around your house and over the backs of sofas as decoration, then easily grabbed if you feel the chill. Distributing blankets around rooms in your home will mean you’re never far from a warm, cosy blanket in the dead of winter.

Bowl of meat stew

Roast away!

Arguably one of the best things about winter is the food that you begin to crave. When it’s 4ºC and raining outside, nothing satisfies hunger like a good roast dinner. Warming food like roasts, stews and hearty soups are perfect for not only warming you and dinner guests, but also make the whole house smell amazing.

Pair of thick, pale-coloured curtains

Heavy curtains

One thing that many people forget when winter-proofing their houses is how much heat is lost through the windows, even when the curtains or blinds are closed. If your house is freezing cold at night and you have large windows, consider buying thicker or lined curtains or blinds for them. This will keep more of the heat in and save you money through lowering electricity and gas bills.

Over the knee winter socks

Dress for the occasion

What will keep you warm in winter, no matter where you go? Woollens and waterproofs are the obvious choice for the cold season, but even within the protected environment of your own home there are things you can wear to keep the chill at bay. Thick socks on your feet will keep cold, tiled floors from freezing your toes off – and a quilted robe can mean the perfect combination of comfort and warmth.

Blue fleece electric blanketcredit

Warm the bed

Your bed will likely be too cold at night before you hop in, and even with pyjamas on this can cool you down before your body heat manages to warm up the bed and duvet. An electric blanket is the perfect addition to a winter bedding ensemble, and all you need to do is switch it on an hour or so before you hop into bed to ensure a nice, toasty night’s sleep.

Radiator thermostat

Radiate heat

Finally, there are ways of keeping heat in the less used rooms, like your bedroom.

While most of the evening might be spent in the common areas of your house, your bedroom will be where you retire to and unless you have put something in place to heat that room, it will likely be freezing cold. A radiator heater can be a great option for this, as it uses very little electricity and stays warm for long periods of time. Turn in on when you get home from work and your room will be toasty by the time you get to bed that night. Or perhaps fit timer switches that can activate heating systems precisely in specific areas.

With these tips in mind, the cold of winter doesn’t stand a chance at infiltrating your abode – so get out there and start winter-proofing your house today.

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Designer Desire: Raija Uosikkinen

Mosaic of Raija Uosikkinen designs | H is for Home

There’s such a goldmine of vintage Scandinavian designers from which to choose, we’ve decided upon yet another this week – Raija Uosikkinen (1923-2004).

She is probably most well-known for her fruity Pomona and folk art Emilia patterns for Arabia, where she worked from 1947 to 1986. She also designed annual Christmas commemorative collectors’ plates for the company between 1978 and 1983.

The Finnish designer’s work is most easy to find on Tradera (the Scandi version of eBay), Etsy and to a lesser extent on eBay.

Portrait of Raija Uosikkinen

Image credits:

Bukowskis | Dishware Heaven | Flickr | Retronomi

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Price Points: Multi-functional furniture

Doc sofa bunk bed unitStompa European single high sleeper bed with storage

Convertible sofa concept

If indoor space is at a premium, then multi-functional furniture can be a godsend. And if it looks as good as these pieces then so much the better. This is when great design really comes to the fore. We’ve chosen three pieces suitable for lounge, dining or bedroom spaces. Although concept piece #3 would have definite camper van potential too!

  1. Doc sofa bunk bed unit: (p.o.a.)
  2. Stompa European single high sleeper bed with storage: £1,079.99
  3. Convertible sofa (concept piece)

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