What To Do When “It Won’t Work”
Have you ever looked at furniture, and thought, boy I wish I had ‘that kind of house?’
Last week, I was at a yard sale, picking through some of the odds and ends our generation seems to have an endless amount of which to rid themselves, and I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on a couple who were scouting furniture for a new residence.
They seemed to know well enough what they wanted, or at least why they wanted it (i.e. “it would be nice not to have drawers on the left side of the desk…we could keep a waste bin underneath to hide it from the door.”). The problem they kept coming up against was that none of the pieces they saw was something they thought would “work with the room.”
Want Some Help?
Here’s a hint, from someone who not only loves wood furniture, but makes it: if you like a piece of furniture, but it doesn’t go perfectly with the room you’d put it in, change the room! It doesn’t take a complete makeover to create a niche for your furniture. All it takes are a few subtle changes in atmosphere… in pressure if you will.
Flatter Your Furniture
The first thing to do is analyze the light falling on and around your furniture. Wood is wood, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you’re in love with something wooden, your goal isn’t to cover it up; people are going to see the wood, and wood reacts in many, many unpredictable ways to varying light, so play with it.
Do some minor rearranging, and swap the new furniture out with other items, experimenting with how the existing light can be utilized. If there are lamps or overhead lights nearby, buy a few light bulbs that throw slightly differing color-corrections and diffusions in their illumination. A little change in hue can go a long way.
Next, it’s not a bad idea to consider reconsidering some decoration. No one’s asking you to take grandma’s photos off the piano.
The runner underneath the photo, however, could probably be swapped for something else, to accent the tripod lamp stand you just bought to keep your metronome on. It’s easy to think that you’ve reached the end-all of decorative layouts, but if you take a step back, there are almost always large-scale basics that can be scrapped in favor of better-for-you, better-for-all replacements.
There’s also decor to be added without subtraction. Larger furniture like coffee tables and media centers allow space for all sorts of new eye-catching material.
Back To the Yard Sale
When shuffling through rows of new or used furniture, it’s important to keep your critical eye open and in focus. I’ve already blogged before about the routes you can take to avoid accidentally buying junk. If furniture isn’t junk, though, don’t shy away from it just because the place you have for it isn’t just right, just now. The furniture has been built. It’s finished. The room? The room is never finished. That’s the joy of nesting, after all.
Your Woodworking Expert,