A Guide to Modular Furniture Shopping

When people hear the term “modular” a few things come to mind. Standardized, easy to assemble, minimalist, and modern. When you hear the words “modular furniture” there’s probably only one thing that comes to mind: Ikea.

There are, however, a wide selection of stores (online and brick & mortar) that offer furniture to fit your minimalist lifestyle.

Reasons to go modular

Form follows function. This statement should be as true in the world of decorating as it is throughout the sciences. However, many times we buy items that are large and bulky; mistaking quantity for quality. In the world of modular furniture, form is everything. Here are some reasons you may want to start buying minimal furniture:

  • If you move often. Do you relocate for work every few years? Are you a student or young professional who does a lot of jumping around apartments? In a workforce that is increasingly freelance and online in nature, there are fewer bindings holding us back from moving.
  • If you like low-maintenance. Modular furniture is perfect the the person who likes to set something up easily out of the box. You won’t have to worry about complicated maintenance or difficulty finding parts because modular furniture tends to be highly standardized.
  • If you’re a space-saver. Are you the type to try to take advantage of every inch of free space in your home? Alternatively, do you like to give your home a spacious atmosphere through smart decorating? Modular furniture is intelligently designed to take advantage of space. Modular furniture pieces like sofas are often able to be reconfigured or rearranged in different pieces so you can place them in corners or sparsely around the room to open up space. Similarly, they often contain interior storage space for things like blankets and pillows.
  • If you have a refined taste for space. Modular furniture is at the cutting edge of home technology. Therefore it often boasts visually-appealing, minimalist form and modern color schemes. Like any industry, style varies between makers. But generally modular furniture companies tend to stay current with trends.

The biggest names, the best prices

Since modular furniture is an up-and-coming industry, there are a number of stores to choose from, some even with brick & mortal locations. Here are some of our favorites.

ikea

Not much needs to be said about IKEA. They started with one man in Sweden and now have locations in over 40 countries. IKEA is the standard by which all other modern furniture stores are weighed against.

vitsoe

Vitsoe keeps it simple with three basic modular “systems.” Chairs, tables, and shelves. One of each system could easily fill a room. Their designs are minimalist and space-saving, which is evident by the “nesting” tables which fit into one another.

way basics

If you’re looking for simple, lightweight and affordable storage and shelving, Way Basics is where you should start your search. They specialize in storage cubes and they take the humanitarian and environmentalist approach to doing business.

urban outfitters

They may seem like a strange addition to this list, but Urban Outfitters–the paragon of urban hipsterdom–has a surprisingly great selection of modular furniture items in their online shop. They do an excellent job of fusing vintage style with modern function.

 

Decorating With Children In The Home

When you have kids, it’s difficult to keep a spotless home. Your home will undoubtedly be “lived in,” as the saying goes. There’s ways that you can keep nice things and make those things accident-proof and kid-proof at the same time. Kids can spill things, cause dirt build-up, and even sustain minor injuries from certain pieces of furniture.

Slip Covers Work Wonders

Slip covers are really amazing assets to any home with children. Most of these covers are washable. You can fit them tightly around your furniture for a smooth look. Guests won’t even know that you’re using slip covers! The bonus is that you’ll be able to keep your nicer furniture fresh and clean.

Substitute The Coffee Table

Instead of a coffee table, try an ottoman with a new purpose. Ottomans will help keep kids from hurting themselves on the sometimes sharp corners of the coffee table. It will also give you somewhere to prop your feet up after a long day. This tactic will save you from the grief of many bumped heads, since ottomans are soft. You can use your ottoman to place books and other items on and around.

Showcase An Art Wall

Dedicate a space for kids’ art. This will make for a colorful addition to your home and give the sense to guests that your home is indeed family friendly. It’s also just plain fun to showcase the art that your children create. It will give the kids a sense of pride and joy! Whether it’s a wall or a hallway, this idea is always perfect for a home with kids.

When In Doubt, Buy Washable

There are plenty of things that come in washable form from throw pillows to paint. Some sofas even come with removable, washable cushion covers. These will all be a blessing to you when cleaning up after your children.

Incorporate Extra Storage

With all of the extra toys around your home, you’ll need extra storage to keep them in. Think about using pretty storage pieces like baskets, which are easy for kids to manage and easy for you to store.

While your home won’t need to be childproof forever, doing it now will save you from ruining expensive things. However, if there’s items that you really love, don’t sacrifice. Take the safety measures and precautions that you feel are necessary and don’t worry about the rest. A house is meant to be lived in. Remember that it’s not a museum!

Basic Decorating Idea

Is your home a restful and relaxing retreat from the hustle and bustle of the work-a-day world? Or is it dark, dreary, and certainly not a place where you would want to “hang-out” 24/7?

If you acknowledge that your habitat could use a facelift, but the thought of choosing colors and making decisions on décor items paralyzes you, not to worry. Interior decorating can be simple and easy if you follow a few basic principles.

Let There Be Light

Sometimes all it takes to make a room look inviting and warm is a change in lighting. You may be considering a major remodel such as installing larger, eco-friendly windows or a skylight or perhaps all it takes is a new light fixture to change the dynamics of the room.

Hang Artwork At Eye Level

To achieve a harmonious feeling in any given room, hang your primary pieces of artwork at eye level. When “eye-catching” items are hung too high or too low on a wall, it can make the room seem off-balance or give the illusion of disorder and diminished space.

No matter if you are tall or short, hang art items at your eye-level, you are the one that lives here and will see it daily. However, if you share your space with others, it is best to hang at an average height of approximately 5’8” from the floor.

Decorate To Please You – Not The Public

Avoid getting caught up in trends that are soon dated. This is your home, your space, so decorate it in a way that is pleasing to your eye and compliments your personality. Unless you are preparing the property for sale, keep in mind that you are creating a space where you will feel comfortable; forget about impressing “The Jones.”

Enliven Rooms With Mirrors

If you are working with a small space, consider install or mounting mirrors to reflect interest aspects of the room and to provide a feeling of spaciousness. Strategically placed mirrors make any room look larger. To add visual interest, consider mirrors with different styles and colors of frames. Make a collage, hang a mirror from the ceiling: you are only limited by your imagination.

Take Your Time

When planning to redecorate or remodel a room in your home, spend some time considering the room’s intended purpose. If you plan to use the space as a home office, you will want adequate lighting, mood-uplifting colors, a well-planned work center, bookshelves, and lots of electrical outlets. On the other hand, if redecorating a bedroom, you may want plush rugs, a four-poster bed adorned with handmade quilts or a modern, streamlined contemporary décor featuring glass and chrome furniture and recessed light with a ceiling fan. Take your time finding a “look” that feels right to you. Visit home and garden show, open houses, designer showrooms for ideas and inspiration.

Avoid Pointing All Your Furniture Towards The Entertainment Center

How often have you walked into someone’s family room, living room, entertainment center, or den and noted that all the furniture was pointed at the television? Doesn’t anyone talk to each other anymore? Create a conversation grouping, or install a window set where you can curl up with a good book.

The Art of Feng Shui

Feng Shui is an ancient art and science developed over 3000 years ago in China. It is a complex body of knowledge that reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to promise the health and good fortune of the people living there.

The basic principles of Feng Shui is the principle of five elements, which are Wood, Fire Earth, Metal and Water. These are the basic building blocks of nature and environment in Feng Shui. The five elements theory is one of the main theories in Feng Shui. You can bring life changing results in to your home by knowing how to apply these Feng Shui elements to your home.

The best way to begin to make your home a Feng Shui home is to clean out the clutter. This is a good way to clear out some negative energy. Another important Feng Shui aspect is to have good quality air and quality light. This is to help the energy in your home, this can be done by opening the windows often and have lots of air purifying plants. Then you need to define your Baqua, the Feng Shui energy map of your home. There are 8 areas and you will need a compass to do a reading in your home .Each area of your home is connected to different life area. For example the southeast area of your house is connected to the flow of money and energy in your house.

If you are looking to increase prosperity to your home you need to increase wood and water in the southeast area of your home. You need to use the element wood and the colors green and brown to bring about abundance in this life area. The east is connected to family and health and the use of the wood element and lush plants will help bring about health.

It is also in to important to bring in the five elements of Feng Shui into your home to create balance and energy in all areas of your home. It is best to express Feng Shiu elements in a subtle way that is visually pleasing and will go well with your home.