Ultimate Home Furniture: Our Complete Guide

Ultimate Home Furniture: Our Complete Guide

Mar 20, 2023

The perfect piece of furniture can totally transform a space. Design and material are two integral components of what makes a specific piece of furniture so wonderful and unique.

From visual impact to refining functionality and flow, the influence furniture has on an overall design cannot be understated.

Whether you’re designing custom furniture or shopping for store-bought or vintage pieces, choosing the right furniture material for your home is crucial.

There are so many considerations when it comes to choosing the right materials for each piece of individual furniture.

Sometimes it can be tempting to opt for whatever material looks or feels good to you, but in reality, many factors can present as potential problems down the line.

Between balancing style and functionality, cost and durability, it can sometimes feel like an impossible task.

With years of professional experience designing and sourcing furniture, we’ve put together our ultimate guide to help you find the best furniture material to make the right choices for your home.

Types of Furniture Material

One of the most exciting parts of furniture design is playing with the many different types of materials available. Whatever your style and personal preferences, you have many options, so you can find the perfect piece to complement any room in your home.

Let’s look at some of the most common materials used in furniture making, outlining what makes them a good home furniture choice and what can make them difficult to work with. 

Hardwood furniture

There are several uses for hardwood in the home, and furniture is no exception. Hardwood is a classic option for many types of furniture, from impressive tables to solid bed frames.

Pros: Extremely durable, attractive, and timeless 

Cons: Heavy, prone to stains and water damage

Plastic furniture

As a result of mass-produced materials and products, we have seen a rise in plastic furniture in modern home designs. Plastic furniture pieces are useful for high-traffic areas and as outdoor furniture.

Pros: Affordable, durable, and versatile

Cons: Often looks and feels cheap

Ultimate Home Furniture: Our Complete Guide

Steel and other metal furniture

Metal makes the perfect choice of material for outdoor furniture and folding chairs. It also works well as a structural element for tables and bed frames.

Pros: Durable, weather resistant, and affordable

Cons: Can cause damage to other surfaces

Leather furniture

Both real leather and faux leather have been favored materials for sofas and chairs for a long time. It’s a versatile choice that works well in any room and for various interior design styles.

Pros: Comfortable, easy to maintain

Cons: Expensive, reacts to temperatures, not vegan or environmentally friendly

Glass furniture 

Glass has become one of contemporary interior design's most popular furniture materials. It can bring a degree of elegance to a room that’s difficult to achieve with other materials.

Pros: Sleek, elegant, easy to clean

Cons: Delicate, easily damaged

MDF/plywood furniture 

MDF and plywood are very popular materials in kitchens, especially in kitchen units and cabinetry.

Pros: Affordable, durable, easy to paint

Cons: Can’t bear as much weight as natural wood

Acrylic furniture 

Acrylic furniture is a great way to bring a modern touch to any room. Its clear appearance adds brightness to dull spaces and lends itself to a clean aesthetic. 

Pros: Durable, easy to maintain

Cons: Shows up dirt and fingerprints easily, fewer styles available 

Fabric and upholstered furniture 

Selecting your furniture upholstery can be a super fun task! With so many different furniture fabric options to upholster chairs, it allows for great creativity and freedom to explore different fabrics.

Pros: Endless options for colors, patterns, and textures

Cons: Difficult to clean

How to choose the right furniture for your home 

So, now that we’ve outlined some of the primary types of materials, how do you use this information to find the perfect solution for your home?

Let’s look at the main factors to consider when choosing furniture material.

Make sure it suits your lifestyle

Every home is different. Your home should reflect your unique lifestyle and needs, and your furniture plays a key role in this.

You’d be surprised at how significantly furniture will change your experience of your home. If you have young kids or excitable pets, perhaps a glass coffee table paired with a pristine white linen sofa might not be the best option for your living room furniture.

Cost of material

Especially when you’re designing on a budget, it can sometimes be tempting to opt for the cheapest option out there to help get you over the line and under budget.

However, it’s always better to invest in high-quality, well-made materials. Cheap, poorly produced materials will need to be replaced more frequently, costing you more money in the long run.

Creating a healthy home

With increased awareness of creating a healthy home, it’s important to note the impact certain materials can have on your environment.

When using synthetic materials for your furniture, you must consider the off-gassing that comes with certain plastics and other artificial materials. While these materials are often the more affordable option, it’s wise to consider if they’re right for your home in the long term.

Ultimate Home Furniture: Our Complete Guide

Consider durable furniture for the long run

Whether you’re designing your first home or remodeling it for the last time, it’s still vital to introduce durable materials into your home that will stand the test of time. 

We all have different needs, but however you live your life, wear and tear of your furniture is inevitable. We recommend always investing in durable materials for regularly used and weight-bearing furniture so you can enjoy pieces that look and feel better for longer.

Material maintenance requirements

Certain materials may look or feel attractive, but in reality, maintaining them can be a bit of a nightmare.

Materials like acrylic can require regular cleaning to keep them looking fresh. Soft fabrics such as velvet can be difficult to keep clean altogether and difficult to bring back from stains and scratches.

Find the perfect material for your style

It’s always smart to opt for timeless, classic interiors to ensure you get the most out of your home designs. Some materials go in and out of fashion, while others remain in style, regardless of current trends.

For example, black leather sofas can feel a bit dated, whereas brown is still considered a sophisticated style. Hardwood and other natural woods are a classic furniture material that have always remained a consistent favorite in design.

What is the most important thing when choosing furniture material?

You’re taking the right steps by educating yourself on the available materials options, so you know what you’re bringing into your home and make professionally informed choices.

Try to avoid jumping for the cheapest or most convenient option in the moment. Remember to consider whether or not a specific material is durable, of high quality, and suits your unique taste and lifestyle.

Still unsure as to what material to choose?

Leave it up to the professionals! Get in touch with our wonderful team of skilled professionals to discuss your options and help you choose furniture material you'll love.

Schedule a discovery call today to begin your journey.


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"Design Lifestyles helped us with our flooring. Kim gave us many different options to consider and helped us make the best decision for our home. She and her team are very professional and communicated throughout the entire process.  She definitely delivered with everything she promised. Her installers were right on time and did an amazing job. They were detail oriented and tidy. I would totally recommend using Kim Bailey Interiors for all of your decorating and remodeling needs."

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"We’ve hired Design Lifestyles for two rooms in our house now, and are very happy with both results. In each case, they were very receptive and responsive to our inputs and worked to be sure we got the design just right and to a place where we were comfortable with it. They also manage the procurement and install of furniture for one of our rooms and did an excellent job making that process easy and fun for us."

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"We enlisted KBI's help for our project- remodeling 6 different rooms in our house: Formal living room/entry, family room, kitchen/laundry, dining room, hall bath, and office. We came into a house that needed a lot of help and now have a beautiful home that we're proud to call our own. They are have been extremely thoughtful, accommodating, and professional. They are definitely your advocates throughout the process and make themselves available if you ever have questions.

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"Kim Bailey has the qualities an interior designer is supposed to have - artistic ability, creativity, and visualization.  But she and her team at Design Lifestyles have more than that -  they are passionate, caring, problem solvers too.  We simply could not be more pleased with the result of our collaboration with Kim and her team.  But the process is important too.  We engaged Kim Bailey interiors in February of this year. From the beginning Kim and her team worked with us to understand what we wanted. They worked diligently to present ideas to bring it all together. They were responsive to our many questions and  comments often sent at odd times of days, nights, and weekends. And, when we started this project, there was not a pandemic, but it hit while we were underway.  Kim and  her  team managed it all – from changes in orders, to receivers to movers and installers - all with uncanny precision and a sense of calm.

In the end, our new contemporary home is stylish, fitting of our desires and our personality and within the budget we outlined at the start. I checked all 5 stars and every box above because Design Lifestyles is deserving of it."

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