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8 Autumn makeover tips

Shorter days and cooler weather – Autumn has arrived and it is the ideal season to give your home’s interior a bit of TLC. This Autumn we’re coming back home and inviting the outside in. We’re looking to nature for inspiration in our interiors, adding layers of depth to our spaces and finding ways to allow movement to flow through each room. Given you’re likely to spend more time indoors, freshening up your interior will make the cooler days in, all the more enjoyable.

Here we share our top trending 8 Autumn makeover tips to reconnect and breathe new life into your space this season.

1. Cosy up your abode this Autumn – Texture on texture

Layering is key this season, so that you can combine and pare back where needed. Create warmth through colour and tactile patterns that can be draped and layered over furnishings. A cohesive mix between layers of texture that exude warmth and depth will make a living room feel cosier whilst also adding an eccentric touch. For example, consider styling your sofa with a wool throw and opulent velvet cushions. Heavy curtains and faux furs will also help channel an extra dimension to your interior. Visit our Trend Report for more inspiration.

2. Dress your floor – An easy, subtle touch

Whether you have timber flooring, carpet or tiles, you can always add warmth and depth to your living room through the use of rugs. Choose a rug of a size that will help ground your furniture that will unify your design, like those on display at DecoRug.

3. Overhaul your lighting – An easy switch

With the shorter days and lack of natural light, enhance the atmosphere of your living room by overhauling your lighting. Rather than rely on your overhead lights, warm up the mood with floor or table lights. You’ll find a wide collection of modern lights to choose from at Koala & Tree.

4. Play with Muted Tones – Inspired by nature

Muted tones are trending this Autumn and suit almost every design style. We’re talking natural and soft swatches inspired by fibres such as linen and wool. Use pastels in a varied tonal range and strengths to add depth to the room, bringing it to life. Visit our Trend Report for more inspiration.

5. Reconsider your heating – Feel warmth

If you are prepared for a more significant makeover, you may want heating to be up the top of your priority list. Nothing beats a wood fire during the cooler months heading into Winter, but if you want to look at a more energy-efficient solution such as reverse-cycle air conditioning. For a quick solution to keep you warm this season, portable panel heaters can give you the warmth you need and be discrete for your modern design style.

6. Find tranquillity – Immerse yourself

Seek inspiration from nature this Autumn and introduce a sense of calm, returning to nature. This season, consider pairing with linens, natural textures and emanating a softness that relaxes the space, switching off from the stress of everyday life. You can achieve this natural cohesion and depth by layering different tones and shades of green in varying degrees injecting the outside in with texture and richness. Visit our Trend Report for more inspiration.

7. Reconfigure your furniture layout – New season, new purpose

How do you use your living room during Autumn? Do you like to snuggle up with a book, play family board games or binge on Netflix? Think about how your behaviour changes as you spend cold days and nights inside and rearrange your furniture layout to accommodate these activities.

8. Introduce Harmony – Flowing and graceful pieces

Contrast round and organic shapes by incorporating different patterns and textures in a space. This allows movement to carry through the room and appear more welcoming and inviting. It disrupts yet compliments the geometric furnishings we’ve become accustomed to. Visit our Trend Report for more inspiration.

Fun kids’ bedroom design tips

School holidays have arrived, so why not tackle a project as a team and refresh their bedrooms together! The perfect place to unleash yours and their creativity whilst having some fun. The best bedrooms are the ones that captivate a child’s imagination and encourage them to play, whilst still being a comfortable place to sleep.

Here, we share our top design tips and ideas to achieve a fun kid’s bedroom that will impress and delight your child.

1. Get the layout right

As with any room, start by working your layout around the largest pieces such as the bed and wardrobes.

If your space is restrictive, consider a bunk or fun loft bed that does double duty; you’ll find different styles at leading bedroom stores like Focus On Furniture or Bevmarks. Avoid the urge to overfill the bedroom by mapping out the pieces to ensure there is enough space to move around and play.

2. Go bold with colour

A kid’s room is one space where you can relax a little and be bold with colour. Paint is one decorating move that can be relatively easy to change as your child grows, but sticking with timeless colours such as deep blues, earthy greens, and pastel pinks may help your effort last. If you’re not feeling too brave, an accent wall or painting halfway up the wall may be enough of a visual impact for your child’s space.

3. Frame up art

Gone are the days of bedroom walls and ceilings lined posters stuck up by Blu Tac. Today’s children are much more sophisticated! Framed artwork, posters and photos can make an affordable designer statement.

4. Go vintage

Mix and match your new furniture pieces with vintage items for an aged feel. Style with an old-school lamp, a classic designed occasional chair or a vintage-inspired bookshelf. Rustic timbers and brushed metal can help enhance that authentic aged feel.

5. Be unique with wallpaper

Wallpaper can create a fun visual backdrop for your child’s bed or a bold feature wall. Keep it mature with a simple texture, go girly with a floral print or be worldly with an expansive map. If wallpaper is out of the question try exploring the many decals and removable wallpaper options for something more temporary. You’ll find plenty of designs suitable for young ones at Adairs.

6. Add a sense of play

If you don’t have a playroom or a large backyard, why not create an indoor playground?
Items like swings, hanging egg chairs and rope ladders can be woven into a bedroom design. Indoor basketball rings, soccer goals and comfy bean bags can ensure the games just continue and are perfect for kids who can’t sit still!

Family-friendly Storage Solutions

Adequate storage is a fundamental challenge of many family homes. Organising the never-ending, children’s clutter and finding practical solutions for all the “stuff” can seem overwhelming. But living in a clutter-free home can be achieved with practical storage solutions in every room.

The key to tackling family clutter is to incorporate a generous amount of storage that makes picking up and putting away easy. Think a combination of stylish furniture pieces with built-in storage, utilising incidental spaces and having smaller storage options such as containers and baskets on hand for a quick clean-up.

Thankfully, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly storage ideas all in the one place at Nunawading Homemaker HQ!

1. Invest in furniture with storage

There is ample choice these days for family-friendly furniture with built-in storage. From entertainment units and bookcases to coffee tables and ottomans, there are options to suit any home and room. Explore the ample storage solutions at Provincial Home Living, House or Howards Storage World for ideas to your family’s clutter.

2. Containers, containers, containers

You can never have too many containers! Containers offer a solution to organise toys, bathroom items and pantry products. Beyond your typical Tupperware options, you can find containers of all sorts of styles. For maximum organisation, spend a weekend labelling your containers so your family can see clearly what goes where. No excuses for putting things away incorrectly!

3. Make use of underutilised walls

Hooks, coat racks and wall-hung, slim-lined shelves are a great way to store family clutter especially where space is tight. It also can be a cost-effective solution for adding personality and interest to your home.

4. Utilise the space under beds

The space under your bed isn’t just for losing socks and collecting dust. It’s a great spot to store items such as toys or out-of-season clothing. Some bed designs like those you’ll find at Nunawading Homemaker HQ stores’ Bevmarks and Focus On Furniture, are designed with built-in storage. However, you can also find low-height baskets and boxes that will hide away easily under a raised bed.

5. Decorate with baskets

Baskets are a great way to hide clutter and add texture and warmth to any room. For kids’ rooms and nurseries look at age-appropriate baskets and storage options like these at Adairs. For other rooms in your home, consider the basket designs at Bed Bath N’ Table, which are not only functional but will look stylish in any space.

6. Embrace open shelving

Open shelving where everything is on display may not sound like a family-friendly storage solution. But this style actually makes you be more conscious and mindful of how items are put away and how much clutter you gather. With open shelving, there is no place to hide! Style your favourite pieces on display furniture like you’ll find at Fair Price Gallery and it becomes an artwork for your interior.

How to add warmth to your interior

The end of a season creates a desire to change up our interior furnishings to bring a different feeling to our home. As summer ends and the temperatures drop, adding some warmth and homeliness to our interiors will make spending more time indoors and snuggling up all the more inviting.

There are many quick and easy ways to add warmth to your interior without an entire overhaul. This allows you to interchange furnishings depending on the season or your mood. For those with more time and who are looking for permanent ways to create that hygge-like feel in your space, we’ve also got you covered.

1. Choose earthy, neutral tones

Neutral tones are trending regardless of your interior style and time of year. However, when adding warmth, neutral colours are an effective way to embrace the seasonal change Autumn brings.
Opt for rich, earthy tones that emphasise the feeling of hibernation. For a quick solution, think cushions and throws in rusts, mustards, plums and burgundy like those you’d find on the sofas of Bed Bath N’ Table. For something more permanent, consider shifting your attention to the walls by replacing the stark white to a warm paint colour or installing a neutral, textural wallpaper.

2. Vary your textures

Layering textures is a decorating approach that can elevate your interior and easily inject more warmth into your rooms. Timbers, terracotta, woven products, wool, leather, cork and exposed brick are all textures of choice as we enter the cooler months. These can be incorporated in the form of furniture like a well-crafted oak dining table or a leather occasional chair for your living room. Small accessories such as ornamental bowls, a wool throw or terracotta interior pots can all be used to bring texture into a bland interior space.

3. Pay close attention to your lighting

One of the most effective ways to make an interior feel warm is through beautiful lighting. Lighting gives you the ability to set the mood, it makes people feel good and it improves the appearance of your interior.
When adding warmth to your home, think about incorporating multiple sources of light rather than just relying on your ceiling fixtures. Floor or table lamps are a great way to add ambient light and highlight areas of your room. Consider also the globe type as this will greatly affect the feel of your room. Swapping out a cool light for a warm bulb may be all you need to embrace the seasonal change. This is where speaking with lighting experts, like the team at Furn House, becomes invaluable.

4. Play with wall art

Dressing your walls with artwork is a great way to add visual warmth to your space and make it more interesting. And the good thing is you don’t need to spend a fortune at your local gallery to create impact.
In fact, wall art that is personally curated and tells a story is often the best way to make the home welcoming and homely. Play with a combination of purchased pieces and your children’s artwork. Get creative with the layout and combinations of frames to create an intentional, yet unique, look.

5. Go on a scavenger hunt

An interior furnished with new pieces can provide you with a fresh and luxurious feel. And who doesn’t love sitting on a brand new sofa? However, in order to add warmth to your rooms, consider finishing your space with some old pieces you’ve picked up at a flea market or antiques that have been passed down in the family. If you’re not fond of going on a scavenger hunt, look for classic furniture pieces that reflect an earlier era or accessories that tell a story like those you may find on the shelves of Adairs. These are also great conversational pieces for when you’re entertaining guests.

6. Consider what’s underfoot

There’s nothing quite like walking barefoot on a thick, textural rug even in the cooler months. Layering textural rugs is an effective way to add a sense of warmth and cosiness to any space. It’s also a great solution for renters or those who like to redecorate their homes seasonally.
If your home is naturally cold and you’re planning a more substantial renovation, opting for rich, deep timber floorboards will instantly enhance the feeling of warmth and make your space more inviting.

7. Dress your windows

Hanging curtains or installing blinds can be a quick decorating fix to overcoming drafts and achieving that snug Autumn feel. There are many options you can consider from blinds and shutters to curtains depending on your decorating style and the architecture of your home.
Thick velvet drapes can inject a little drama into your space and help with insulating. Soft, flowy linen curtains won’t help much with blocking out any cool draft but they will add an element of luxury and homeliness to your interior. This may be just what’s needed to invite you to spend more time indoors this Autumn.

Tips to create your own interior design mood board

Planning an interior design project or just dreaming about redecorating your home? A mood board is an ideal tool to collate your ideas and visualise how your space will look and feel. This can help ensure everything works in harmony and help you avoid costly mistakes when it comes time to implement your vision.

When it comes to making an interior design mood board, you have several options whether you choose to create it as a digital or physical product. Here, we explain the options so you can decide what best works for you and share some tips to help your mood board come to life.

Interior design mood board options

There are two main options you can choose from when you create your own interior design mood board. Depending on your project, you might like to choose one or a combination of these to design your dream interior.

1. Digital

Digital mood boards are one of the easiest and more effective ways to plan your renovation or decorating project. There are many ways you can do this depending on your skillset and individual preference. We have a free and very easy to use Digital Mood Board Tool right here that allows you to drag, drop and organise your desired products. Alternatively, you could use other platforms like Pinterest and Houzz Interior Design Ideas. These tools help you create a digital scrapbook with a collection of ideas and products you’ve found online.
There are also other digital tools that can help you design and decorate your interior spaces such as Dulux MyColour App or Style Source Book.

For those a little more complete literate, you may like to have a play on Adobe Illustrator or even the free platform Canva to pull your ideas together and make a visual mood board.

2. Physical

If you are an avid collector of interior design and decorating magazines and have a stack in your living room, a physical mood board might be your best option. Simply cut out images of interiors or products you love and pin away! A physical mood board is also ideal if you have material, paint or finish samples that you want to layer into your vision. Just like with the digital option, you can create a physical mood board in many ways including:

  • A pinboard
  • A foam board
  • In a draw or tray
  • In a scrapbook

Find yourself getting lost online collecting interior design inspiration but also have samples? Create a digital pinboard, print it out and then use it as a backdrop for layering your samples and magazine cuttings on top.

Tips when creating your own interior design mood board

Creating a mood board might seem a simple thing to do but when you have hundreds of images you like and a growing collection of samples, the task can quickly become overwhelming. To nail your mood board so that you can create your dream-worthy space, take a look at these tips.

1. Gather your inspiration
There are so many places to source inspiration for your interior design projects including Instagram, Pinterest, blogs and interior design websites. You can also browse through magazines, scroll on real estate websites or look at the catalogues of homewares and furniture stores or our very own Trend Report.

But don’t forget to get a dose of inspiration from outside influences such as browsing shops, visiting your local gardens or walking your neighbourhood streets. You can simply take photos to add to your digital board or to print out to pin up on your corkboard.

When collecting inspiring images, look for common links in the images. These could be colours, textures, layouts or the feeling of the space. This will help you develop a look for your interior.

2. Collect samples
Once you have your images, start collecting samples of materials and finishes you’re keen to use in your space. This might be a fabric sample of a Urban Rhythm sofa you love or a tile you love to use as your kitchen splashback. You may have a wood stain sample for your living room flooring or a sample of a fabric you’ll use for curtains.

Samples are not only helpful when pulling together your design, it also helps add life and dimension to your mood board.

3. Organise your images and samples
If you’re decorating more than one space, organise your images and samples in groups for each room. This gives you the ability to ensure your whole interior speaks one language or play on the personality of one or two particular spaces.

You may choose to make a different mood boards for each room or simply organise the layout so that they’re divided upon an oversized pinboard.

4. Start curating your look
As a golden rule, when you’re decorating you remove one or two pieces before your space is officially done’. This is also the case when creating a mood board for your interior. You need to think about balance and refinement.

Is there enough variation in colours and textures or is it all blurring into one? Is the design cohesive or too busy? Is the furniture too matchy like a showroom display?
Step away from your mood board and come back to it in a day or two with fresh eyes so you can edit.

5. Don’t neglect your floor plan
When designing multiple rooms, it’s important not to neglect your floor plan as you start compiling your mood boards. The last thing you want is to find out your favourite Provincial Home Living chair that you’ve been visualising all these months doesn’t fit in your living room design.
Put together your mood board in relation to your floor plan; it’s dimensions and layout. Try to collate inspirational interior images that are reflective of your space and keep the samples and up-close shots to the details such as the kitchen cabinetry. You don’t want to buy into a look you can’t realise.

Top tips to style your home office

As we find ourselves making the permanent shift to working from home the need for a home office has never been greater. Some of you may have set up a make-shift workspace that needs some TLC, or you may have the luxury of a designated workspace.

Regardless, of size or location, a home office can often become a neglected space with all the functionality but lacks aesthetic. If you’re suffering from cabin fever and your home office is looking a little drab, it’s time to give it a lift.

We share our top tips for styling your home office so you can find working from home more inspiring and productive.

10 tips for styling a home office

1. Assess the position of your desk

Positioning your desk against a wall is often the go-to, but does it best suit your space and working style?
You may find the space feels larger and flows better with the desk positioned in the middle of your room. Relocating your desk so that it faces a window can create a more appealing workspace. Simply playing with the position of your desk can reinvigorate your home office.

2. Look behind you

When arranging or rearranging your home office layout, it’s worth looking at what’s behind you.
In this current climate, online meetings are the way of the norm. Consider what your colleagues and clients are looking at during a video call. You can style it professionally with artwork from stores like Adairs or curated shelving – much more interesting than a blank wall!

3. Declutter

Decluttering your home office gives you a clean slate to style. It also creates a sense of order and calm, allowing the creative thoughts to flow.
Tidy up those piles of papers, organise any cables and wires and clean out your bookcases.

4. Optimise your lighting

If your home office is looking a little drab, consider how you illuminate the space. Instead of relying solely on your overhead lighting, introduce a task or table lamp to add warmth to your study and light up your work area. Koala & Tree has plenty of options for your office space.

5. Incorporate colour and texture

Is your home office looking a little bland and utilitarian? If the minimalist approach isn’t your jam, don’t be afraid to go bold and style with colour, texture and pattern.
Experiment with the on-trend stripes or spring colours such as earthy tones, warm oranges and bright pops of yellow. Add richness to the space through textured furniture such as a rattan occasional chair or a timber bookcase. Our tip is to find these at home furniture stores rather than your typical office supplier.

6. Layer with greenery

Being stuck in front of a computer all day is much more pleasurable when there are living plants in the space. Indoor plants also have added health benefits of purifying the air to reduce stress. If you can’t be out there enjoying nature, you might as well bring it indoors.

7. Embrace ergonomics

It may not be a glamourous tip, but styling your home office with ergonomics in mind is important. Considering working from home is here to stay for a while, choosing a chair that is supportive and a desk that allows you to sit in the right position is imperative.

8. Step up your storage game

Storage not only allows you to organise your work and stationary but also enhances your styling ability.
A well-styled shelf with books and a pot plant can lift the look and feel of your workspace. Smaller office storage can leave your desk feeling organised and clean while keeping you focused on the task at hand.

9. Decorate with your favourites

Showcase decor pieces that reflect your personality or have deep meaning to you. Think family photos, travel mementoes or favourite artworks. A beautiful rug can enhance the overall appeal of your workspace. Take a look at the extensive range at DecoRug.

10. Keep Inspired

If you’re running your own business or keen to tick off some goals, styling your home office with a vision board can be a game-changer. We’re fans of an oversized pinboard with magazine cutouts, inspirational quotes and photos to help keep you aligned with your priorities.

How to choose the right mattress

Getting a good night’s sleep has an incredible impact on your overall health and wellbeing. And a mattress is a huge determining factor in your ability to achieve a quality night’s sleep or wake up feeling unrefreshed and lousy.

Generally, a good quality mattress should last you about 8 years, so taking the time to research the right mattress is important to ensure years of great sleep!

1. Determine your sleep position

Did you know your sleep position will give you an insight into what type of mattress may be most suitable?

  • Back sleepers – look for a medium-firm to firm mattress that features moderate contouring to support your lower back.
  • Tummy sleepers – a firm or memory foam mattress may be the best option to reduce pressure on your lumbar spine
  • Side sleepers – you’ll be more comfortable on a soft-medium firm mattress.
  • Toss and turner – a medium-firm mattress will suit those who change positions throughout the night.

2. Consider the mattress design and material

There are a variety of mattress types and materials that can indicate the quality and suitability of the product for you. Some of the most popular include innerspring, memory foam, latex, hybrid or adjustable mattresses.

Exploring all the options available at Nunawading Homemaker HQ in stores such as Adairs, Focus On Furniture and Regal Sleep Solutions will help you find the right mattress for you and your budget.

3. Decide on the firmness

The right firmness for you will depend on how you sleep, whether you suffer from pain, if you need more support and your body type.

Firmness is subjective and can vary from brand and product, even if they are using the same firmness scale. We recommend you choose the firmest mattress that still enables you to get quality sleep. And remember, it can take a few weeks for your body to adjust to a new mattress.

4. Identify your body type

Time to get up close and personal and check in with your body weight and shape. This profile will help you decide which mattress provides you with the best spinal support and comfort.

Those individuals with a lighter frame are best suited to soft-medium. Heavier people are recommended to look for firmer mattress types. If you’re purchasing for a child, it is recommended you consider a larger mattress to accommodate their growth.

5. Determine your budget

Lastly, your budget is going to influence the range you have to choose from, the quality, durability and the level of support they offer.
Buying a mattress from an online brand may seem the most cost-effective option, but checking the suitability for your individual body type and the quality of construction is imperative to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Likewise, the priciest mattress in the showroom may not be the best option for you.

Living room planning tips

The living room is often the hub of the home. It’s where you relax, spend time with family or entertain guests. It should be a space that functions well and reflects your personal style.

But planning an inviting living room isn’t just about choosing a sofa or where to hang your TV. There are lots of moving parts and things to consider that will impact how functional and aesthetically pleasing your living room space is.

To help you create a living room you want to spend time in, try these 6 living room planning tips.

1. Identify your needs

When designing any room in your home, it’s important to identify your needs within the space. This is especially relevant when planning a living room as it often needs to be multi-functional and is one of the hardest spaces to get right.

Think about the purpose of your living room. Is it purely for sitting back and watching TV? Are you big entertainers? Do you have a young family and need to accommodate play as well as relaxing? Would you like to house overnight guests or integrate a workspace?

Once you identify all the functions of your living room, you can start planning the details like whether you want to embrace open-plan living or need to zone the space. Do you need to have additional power points or some room dividers? How many people do you need to seat?

Working through these details will also help to inform your living room furniture layout and shopping list.

2. Find a focal point

A well-designed living room will have a focal point. For many, this is the TV or a fireplace. You may be blessed with a beautiful view that you want to highlight or an eye-catching piece of art.

The focal point can inform your living room layout and design. Decide what you want yours to be and then continue your living room planning from this point.

3. Start with large furniture pieces

The most dominating piece of furniture in a living room tends to be the sofa. Using the sofa as a starting point can help you ensure you have the living room layout right in order to accommodate your needs and suit the dimensions of your space.

You may choose a modular lounge for ultimate comfort like those found at Adairs or a sofa bed from Urban Rhythm for greater flexibility. If your space is limited, something more petite, yet still inviting, such as those in the 2-seater range from Provincial Home Living may be more suitable.

Once you’ve found your perfect sofa, work through the other large pieces you need to house in your living room for comfort, aesthetics and functionality.

4. Consider the scale

What is the scale of your living room? Have you got the luxury of tall ceilings and a large amount of floor space? Or is your living room a little tighter with low ceilings and not much room to circulate?

If space is not an issue, selecting living room furniture and accessories varying in heights can help emphasise the amount of space. Think tall bookshelves, large artwork and floor standing lamps. Whereas, choosing low-line furniture pieces, such as your sofa or television cabinet, can help to give the illusion of more living space and room to breathe.

5. Embrace negative space

Talking space, it’s important to decorate your living room with intention and restraint, particularly for smaller homes. Embracing the negative space surrounding your furniture pieces and objects is just as important as the pieces themselves.

Rather than fill the interior with bulky items and over accessorise, consider how much space there is to circulate around the pieces. For example, choosing a sofa that sits off the floor will create the illusion of more space. Leaving visible gaps within a bookcase rather than filling it entirely with your library collection will lighten the interior.

Likewise, using a restrained colour palette, whether it’s of neutral tones or splashes of bright colours, will also help create the feeling of balance rather than over or underwhelm.

6. Spend on big-ticket items

Budget plays a big role in living room planning as it can affect the look and useability of your home. When planning your living room, it’s important to invest your money wisely especially if you’re working with a tight budget.

Think about the items that you use often or have the greatest impact on your living space – both visually and functionally. Flooring, rugs and sofas often endure the most wear and tear so you don’t want to skimp on quality here.

A guide to choosing the right sofa for your living room

Buying a sofa for a living room is complicated. Sofas are one of the biggest investment pieces and take up a large amount of floor space so getting it right is essential.

Not only do you need to consider the size, when shopping for a sofa shape, format, versatility, upholstery, style all come into play. And when you start to consider all these aspects picking the right sofa for your space and lifestyle just got a whole lot more difficult than choosing the most comfortable option.

To help you find your dream sofa, we’ve outlined the most important things you need to consider and what you need to ask yourself before you make your investment.

1. Size

It might seem obvious, but one of the key mistakes people make when choosing a sofa for their living space is buying one that’s disproportionate to the room. Our desire for comfort and the ability to stretch out to enjoy Netflix can come at a cost with a sofa squished awkwardly into a living room.

When determining the right sized sofa for your space, measure your living room. Allow enough space to walk past or around the sofa. If you’re working with a blank space, it pays to lay out some newspaper to help visualise a sofa. Also take into consideration other furniture, such as a coffee table, and your window heights.

If you’re short on space, consider a sofa that is raised off the floor with narrow arms to create the illusion that your living room is larger than it actually is.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget to measure the doorway! The last thing you want is to have to return your dream sofa because it can’t fit through the door.

2. Shape

Do you want a sofa you can stretch out on? Does it need to accommodate several people? Is it for a formal or family living room?

The shape of your sofa will likely be dictated by the size of your living room, but you also need to ensure it meets your style and lifestyle needs. Think about the overall concept of your interior as you explore the different shapes. If you simply walk into furniture stores like Fair Price Furniture, Provincial Home Living and Urban Rhythm to see the array of different shaped sofas available, doing some homework will make the purchasing process a whole lot easier and successful.

One of the more popular shapes is a modular sofa as it offers both comfort and flexibility. But it’s also worth considering two smaller sofas that can easily be adapted to any living space.

3. Upholstery

It’s easy to fall in love with a crisp white sofa you’ve found in the showroom, but the reality may not look so pretty once your 8-year-old jumps all over it! When considering the upholstery of your sofa, you have two main options: leather or fabric.

Leather sofas may have a higher price tag but are easy to clean and durable. It does require maintenance and will show signs of age from some staining to scratches and creases, however in a more appealing way than the wear and tear of the fabric.

Fabric can give a cosier feel and you have a much wider range of colours, patterns and textures. Fabric is also cooler in summer and warmer in winter than leather. Fabric sofas can be more difficult to clean and are less forgiving of food and dirt stains.

If choosing a fabric sofa, consider a textured fabric that will hide the dirt, especially if you’re shopping for a family home. Consider whether the sofa has removable covers that you can wash or get it Scotchguarded before it’s delivered for added protection.

Bonus tip: purchase the highest quality fabric you can afford. Look at the rub-test to get an indication of how well it’s going to stand the test of time.

4. Price

Sofas can range from $200 to $20,000 with some designer or bespoke pieces topping this. In the case of buying the right sofa for your living room and budget, the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is very fitting.

Sofas are one of the most used items of furniture in the home. They often have to survive against jumping, long periods of sitting, spills and moving from house to house. If you’re looking to purchase a ‘forever’ sofa, you’ll want to buy the best you can afford.

Think about the quality of the fabric, the craftsmanship, the internal cushioning, springs, webbing and stitching.

To help with your budget, look for sofas that are on sale or discounted showroom display stock.

Choosing a dining table

A dining table plays host to numerous activities in the home from entertaining friends and family to providing a family workspace. As a valuable piece of furniture, taking your time to choose a dining table that suits your space and lifestyle is a must.

We share our 7 top tips when choosing a dining table for your home so you can ensure it meets your needs and withstands the test of time.

1. Determine your size

Determining your desired size of dining table is your first point of call before you go shopping. Taking a guess will always backfire in the long run.

An insider’s tip is to measure your entire space, including features such as doors, windows, cupboards and power points. Measure existing chairs also, allowing 20-30cm from the chair seat to the tabletop.

Once you have your room size, tape out different dining table sizes, ensuring you accommodate your dining chairs. We recommend you allow about 60cm behind each chair. This will help you visualise different dining table options within your space.

Take your plan and ideal table size options with you to Nunawading Homemaker HQ so you can find the perfect dining table.

2. Identify your needs

How you use your dining table may inform the size and shape you need. Does your dining table need to provide space for homework, crafting or playing board games, as well as dining? Do you entertain large crowds or just a few people?

3. Consider shape options

It’s easy to default to a rectangle table, and generally speaking, there are more dining tables of this shape on the market to choose from.

However, don’t discount other shapes. A round, oval or square dining table may suit your room size and style as well as your needs. Small spaces, for example, can benefit from a round dining table. Ovals can also be a great option if you need to squeeze a lot of people around the table.

4. Judge the materiality

When choosing a dining table, be judgmental of the materials as not all materials are equal. Consider how durable the material is and how easily it is to clean. Your budget will influence the options you have, but you want to aim for the best quality your money can buy.

Hardwood dining tables such as those made of teak or oak will withstand the test of time. Engineered or composite timber dining tables are more economical and durable but are not as strong as hardwood.

Glass is another durable option for a dining tabletop and a great choice for small or dark spaces.

5. Take note of its transportability

When shopping for a dining table, it’s easy to get lost in choosing one that looks great and forgetting exactly how you are going to get it in and out of your home.

If you’re renting or plan to move within the next five years, considering a table that is easily transportable would make life easier.

A heavy hardwood or metal table may prove a challenge when moving. An engineered table or one that can be dismantled would be a much better option for apartment living or those who want to be able to easily transport it.

6. Think about your chairs

If you’re using chairs you already own, measure them using the tips above and take photos to help you visualise them alongside the new table.

If you’re struggling to choose between table designs, we recommend you take one of your chairs with you on your shopping trip. This is particularly important if you’re looking to match your timbers.

7. Check the quality

Finally, when buying a dining table assess the quality of the workmanship and componentry by taking a look underneath the table. Give the table a good wobble to test the stability and check any moving parts.

This is particularly important if you’re choosing a dining table second hand. There is nothing more annoying than realising the tread has gone in a screw fitting or the metal parts are jammed on an extendable table

If this is your first time buying a dining table or you’re making a substantial investment, take your time and seek further advice. We can help you find your ideal dining table that will suit your design tastes, lifestyle needs and interior.