Importance of Furniture in Interior Design - Video & Lesson Transcript


Furniture is an industrial or craft-based design used to support human activities. Interior designers use existing or new, built-in, custom designed, or ready-made furniture. Every piece of furniture is made the with user's needs in mind. Function determines what a piece of furniture should do, like sleeping (beds), eating (tables), or seating (chairs).

Function determines what a space should do, too. Analyzing how a space will be used and what activities will take place in that space marks the programming phase of interior design where furniture is involved. Function determines which furniture and furnishings (like appliances, fittings, and accessories) are necessary for the usage of space.

Furniture matters the most when a design is implemented as furniture brings function to a space. A good example of how furniture defines and dictates a space would be airports. How would you know where to sit and wait in an airport? You'd look around for seating elements, right? This is because furniture clearly states the intended function of the lounge area.

Space Planning

Furniture and functionality work together in the space planning phase of interior design. By definition, space planning is the allocation and division of interior space for a client's needs and activities. How to place the furniture is an essential part of space planning, where maximum usage is considered in the arrangement of furniture.

Space planning also involves circulation. Circulation refers to leaving enough space for human flow. For the best utilization of space, furniture is placed to allow free movement. This makes the space around furniture as important as its arrangement. Thus, furniture works as a functional and circulatory element in interior design.

Interior designers use furniture to establish a pleasing sense of order. They consider two-dimensional and three-dimensional design in the arrangement of furniture along with the elements of design such as shape, form, color, and texture.

The principles of design can be applied to furniture, too. For instance, pieces are arranged by size, scale, and proportion; rhythm is employed by repeating furniture; unity by harmonizing furniture with other spatial features like a fireplace; or emphasis by using a furniture grouping as focal point.

Balance becomes the primary consideration in arranging furniture because furniture affects the sense of equilibrium and stability in a space. Let's imagine a hotel lobby where all the furniture is placed on one side of the space only. How does this arrangement make you feel? Like standing on a sinking boat, right? Instead, interior designers aim for a well-distributed visual weight in a space.


Like arrangement, the selection and specification of furniture and furnishings is an important job duty of interior designers. This is known as FF&E (furniture, fixture, and equipment), the stage of the process where interior designers make furniture selections and provide a detailed written description of the selected items called a specification.

In furniture selection, the users and activities are considered first. Interior designers focus on the purpose of the furniture, the need for adjustability, flexibility, finish requirements, durability, and size. They accommodate emotional, social, or cultural values of their clients, too. This is because furniture arrangement is as much an expression of personal styles as it's an expression of function.

Additionally, interior designers select furniture that complements their design concepts, which requires that the furniture be aligned with the spatial characteristics of the project. Thus, furniture is an important part of the concept (or mood) board where the design idea is visually presented to the client.

DIY: Easily Interior Design Your Own Home

Not everyone can afford to hire an interior designer to come into their home and put together a fabulous and coordinated design. Many homeowners actually want to be the one who makes the design decisions and incorporate their own style.

So while we have a lot of respect for interior designers and all of the hard work they put into their designed spaces, we also know there’s a lot of you out there who would love a designer look, without the designer expense. We’re confident these tips on how to interior design your home can make that happen.

Let’s take a closer look at how to interior design your home by organizing and designing your rooms into a space that, until now, you thought only an interior designer could create. Whether you want your interiors to look like a luxury hotel or just to jazz them up a little, these tips will help. Shhhh… your DIY interior design is our little secret.

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Magazines and websites are full of home interior design inspiration

There is a reason for all the avid “Pinners” on Pinterest — people crave an amazing home interior. As most of us have already discovered, decor websites can spark a flame of creativity that we never knew we had.

If you have not already begun to create inspiration boards for your home’s decor, then begin now — this is the first step to creating the home you desire.

Go onto Pinterest to search for home styles that appeal to you, or go onto MYMOVE and use the “Collect This Idea” button to gather design images that excite you, or simply grab some design magazines and cut out pictures that speak to you.

After hunting and gathering for creative DIY interior design images that inspire you, step back and look at all that you have collected — this should tell the story of your design style. You may be surprised at the style you crave to create.

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Color schemes: use three colors or shades

Now that you have a good idea of a style that you hope to call yours, you need to choose a color scheme. This is the tough part. Color is so personal and creates moods within us that inspire.

No matter what, choose the colors that call to you when you revamp your home interior design. Look at your inspiration boards — what colors are prominent in the rooms you saved?

We won’t tell you what colors to choose, but we will tell you to try for a mix of three colors or shades. One main color for walls, another color for larger accents such as couches and chairs, and then a third color that pops in smaller accessories such as flowers, pillows and knick knacks. Remember color is influenced by how much light you bring into your home. Consider using floor-to-ceiling windows to enhance your interiors to bring out color too!

Let’s say you choose a color combination of brown, teal and tangerine. A shade of brown would probably be the wall color, teal may be the color you choose for accent chairs or an accent wall, and tangerine could be the color you pull out in pillows and accessories.

This formula of three colors works in any combination. Just remember, three is better than one or two, as a room done in one color is boring. Yes, you can have an all-white room but with three shades of white.

Add texture to your home

Equally as important to color, is texture — especially if you crave a single color scheme such as all-white or all-grey. A room at first glance can seem like a single color scheme, but if you look closely you will notice shades within the same color and plenty of texture via fabrics/textiles.

An all-white room may have linen draperies, a plush velvet chair, shiny silk cushions, rattan chairs and woven baskets, and a nubby cotton sofa with a faux fur blanket tossed on the side. All of these elements add texture and please the eye, creating a warm, rich environment.

Design can describe the personality of the owner, so by using textures, patterns and varying colors can bring a dull room into sophistication with ease.

Consider the textiles that suit your lifestyle. If you have kids and dogs, then you may not want a light cotton sofa; rather, a darker leather or mohair sofa may better suit your needs. If you crave luxury, then consider high-end silk draperies and pillows.

Whatever your style, try to add plenty of texture by bringing together numerous textiles into your DIY interior design.

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Add big statement furniture pieces

This is a common mistake most homeowners make —too many small, spindly pieces in one room. A room with leggy chairs, leggy tables and lots of small knick knacks only serve to clutter the room and confuse the eye.

Instead, try for a room that is well mixed. Have a large sofa, some skirted club chairs (so you can’t see the legs) and then one or two slender arm chairs with attractive carved legs (depending on space). This is just one example, but it gives you the idea of mixing furniture styles and sizes so that the room looks balanced —not too bulky and not too spindly.

Even if you are decorating a small apartment, there are plenty of decorating ideas to try. Most designers will recommend that even the smallest of rooms have one large statement piece, such as a large armoire or cabinet. A mixture of big and little is key to a successful home interior design. This rule goes with accessories, too.

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Use trays, decorative bowls and baskets

Designers love to use trays, decorative bowls and sometimes baskets, to arrange collections or loose items that need a home. For a hint of glamour, try adding a glitzy gold tray to your coffee table, ottoman or side table. On top of the tray, place a pretty candle, a couple of books and a small bowl of colored stones. Little vistas such as this seem frivolous, but they are imperative to a layered, decorated aesthetic.

If you desire a more rustic approach, then try woven baskets in your home. Baskets are fabulous decorative tools that can hide a lot of clutter. Try to create these little niches throughout your home.

You will love how a tray or basket can collect bathroom soaps and perfumes, as you arrange these everyday items into a piece of displayed art.

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Add flowers to every room

Go back and look over all your inspiration boards — what do you see? Do you see flowers or plants in almost every room? We bet you do.

It seems like a simple tip, but adding floral arrangements, live plants and natural items such as vases of shells or rocks, can really add that final touch to your home interior design.

There are numerous easy-care plants that you can purchase for your home that will last years if properly fed and watered. Most designers will tell you to avoid fake floral arrangements.

If flowers or plants are not what you desire, then try other natural elements such as twigs or feathers placed in a large urn. Natural arrangements add the final touch to a room — the final touch that says, ‘An interior designer has been here’.

If you can’t hire an interior designer, you can still have a home that looks like you did. All of these little tips and tricks work together to create a warm, well-designed home interior. Try adding texture, color, statement furniture and elements of nature to your home today.

If you are unsure of the final outcome or arrangements that you have made, then snap a photo. Pictures of a room will allow you to see the design from a different viewpoint, helping to see if you went wrong somewhere along the way.

Remember, it’s your home and you are the one who has to live in it, so create a home that you love— a home that portrays who you are.

The bottom line

Now that you know how to interior design your home, it’s time to put these tips into action. With a little help from sites like Pinterest and MYMOVE, you can confidently take your home interior design into your own hands. Whether you prefer a style that’s vintage, rustic, or minimalistic, you can use these tips to add interesting touches to your home and make it uniquely yours.

Complete the Interior Design of Your House With Key Details

The saying “it’s all in the details” is especially relevant when it comes to interior design, where the details make all the difference. From filling those often-overlooked spaces, to solving the challenge of a blank wall, we’ve got you covered with creative decorating tips that will help you put the perfect finishing touches on your décor.

Filling the Gaps

Every home seems to have an awkward area or two that beckons to be filled. There are some beautiful ways you can add interest to these empty spaces and tie them in with the rest of your décor. Some of the most common challenges include:


No matter its size, a decorated hallway can add so much to a home. Since the hallway is an area of transition from one space to another, it should all visually connect. A neutral paint and elegant lighting go a long way in brightening up the space, while a sideboard and a mirror or wall art add interest. You can use furniture that is simple and unassuming or grand and elaborate. Just be sure to keep the look in-line with the rest of your décor and maintain the balance of the space.

Under the Stairs

Some staircases are open underneath, creating an area that can often be unique in size and shape. If the space is small, an interesting chair and side table might fill it, but a larger area creates more opportunity. Storage is a functional way to utilize this alcove. Custom-sized drawers and closet doors can be made to accommodate the items your family uses most. Another option is to create a home office area with built-in bookshelves and a desk. A reading nook can be a stunning solution that transforms an empty recess into an intimate and unexpected space. Pinterest is full of more clever ways to make the most of your unused staircase surroundings.

Dressing Blank Walls

Staring at a blank wall can put decorating fear in the hearts of many. But you don’t need to feel intimidated. Start by looking for a favorite painting that can maximize the impact of your space. If you have a large wall, consider two-piece artwork. You can also adorn a wall with a large statement mirror or an assortment of smaller mirrors to add depth and interest to a room. A grid gallery of photographs is a popular option that lends itself to both modern and traditional decors. The trick here is to display your images in a perfect grid of identical frames.

Accessorizing Your Space

Accessories are the ultimate finishing touch for the interior design of a house, and the options are endless. One of our favorite accessory trends is adding plants to your space, including a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree or succulents. Lighting is also an impactful, double-duty accessory that brightens a space in all kinds of ways. Find some of our top lighting picks at Progress Lighting, including floor lamps, track lighting, table lamps, sconces, and chandeliers. Finally, of all the accessory options, one of the best for personalizing a space is a beautiful rug. We especially love the options from Karastan.

When it comes to your interior design, finishing touches are never final. You can always switch out rugs, pillows, plants, artwork, and other accessories with the colors and textures of each season, or just because. Changing out your accessories is also an easy way to keep your look up-to-date. For more decorating ideas, check out Toll Brothers Pinterest page.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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