Sunday, April 1, 2012

Amish Originals Furniture Co: Comfortable Seating

The current edition of Amish Originals Furniture Co.'s eNews is about upholstery.

Amish Originals Furniture Co. features a selection of upholstered furniture inspired by the finished-wood-frame Arts and Crafts era Shaker and Mission and French-Empire Sleigh styles: sofas, love seats, chairs, recliners, ottomans, rockers, and gliders.

Depending on the era of the architecture, modern home-environments can range from houses built with cathedral ceilings and great rooms to lofts to standard apartments to cozy bungalows.  So, what do you consider when you invest in the big ticket furniture pieces that help make your house a home no matter the size of the room?

Looking at the universal basics of interior design, if you are going to focus on anything, make it an awareness of scale and proportion.

Scale is essentially the size of something as it refers to everything else, and proportion is the harmony in scale.

In her blog, Positively Beauty, designer Christine Colli defines proportion as "the relationship of one part to another, or to the whole, or between one object and another, in magnitude, quantity, or degree." The size of the object is influenced by the relative sizes of the other objects in the environment and by the environment.

Spacious rooms with high ceilings seem to suggest the need for oversized sofas or sectionals and accompanying seating and tables, which is an option, but not the only option.

As long as a room suits your purposes, and looks and feels balanced, standard furniture sizes can work in any room.  For example, consider an overstuffed chair with an ottoman and keep the sofa simple.  Accents and furnishings, like large-scale time pieces, art, lighting, drapery panels, tapestries, bookcases, ottomans, area rugs, and color can bring visual height and balance to a room with ample space.

In her article, The Search is on for the Perfect Sofa, designer Linda Yu offers suggestions for fitting a sofa not only to the room, but to you.

▪ Your feet should touch the ground when you are sitting on a sofa.  Your knees should bend at 90 degrees from your thighs.

▪ When you sit back, there should be no strain on your back, but you can ease out of your seat; you don't want the back cushion to push you too far back.

▪ If you have longer legs, higher, deeper seating will be a better fit.  If you are shorter and curl your feet up, choose a sofa with a lower seat height so when you want to put your feet on the floor, they'll reach.

Got a mixure of tall and short people in the house? Add a back cushion for shorter statures or purchase a sofa with mulitple loose cushions.

(The one thing you don't want to do with deep seating is have to send a search party out because friends and family have gotten lost in an oversized sofa, so keep that in mind.)

▪ Arm height should be relative to seat height.  Your elbow should rest comfortably on the arm without your having to bend at the waist to reach down or angle your arm high to reach up to the armrest.

Would you feel comfortable reading a book with your arm in that position? It's either going to feel right or not - you'll know.

▪ Know the distance from the floor to the crook of your knees to your back to determine seat depth.

▪ If you have a piece of furniture that is already comfortable (it fits well), measure that.

▪ The fill of the seat and back is important, make sure you like both the feel and the look.

Most importantly, when all is said in done, your upholstered furniture has to be something you love and no matter the size or style, has to fit not only in the room, but into your life and lifestyle.

Stop by Amish Originals Furniture Co. to visit, browse, sit, and shop.

To learn more:

Designer Christine Collie on Proportion.

Designer Linda Yu on The Search is on for the Perfect Sofa.

Designer Laura Barnett on Choosing the Perfect Chair.

Your Decorating Hotline explains Proportion and Scale.

Amish Originals Furniture Co. Upholstered Online.

Amish Originals Furniture Co. Upholstered Rockers and Gliders Online.

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