Beautiful Design Without Sacrificing Comfort

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Let's be honest for a minute: sometimes the furniture and accessories recommended by designers is a little less than comfortable. Maybe the dining room chairs look fantastic, but if you can't sit in them for more than five minutes, they aren't serving their purpose. If you have to polish your couch during your housekeeping, it might be a bit uncomfortable!

You don't have to give up design for comfort, though. By playing it smart and finding the comfortable elements that fit into your space, you can have both.

Can I Sit There?

The best thing you can do for yourself is sit in any furniture you might buy. Try to imagine sitting there for 10 minutes, 20, an hour—at what point is it going to get uncomfortable? The good news is, there are plenty of great-looking pieces that won't make you feel like you're being tortured. Some things to try:

  • A soft, comfortable chair like the one in the image above.

  • Upholstered dining room chairs.

  • Dining room chairs with slightly reclined backs.

  • Couches or sectionals with rolled arms.

  • A futon with cushioned arms.

Touchable Surfaces

People are generally sensitive to sensory input—simply put, we like to touch things! As you decide on designs and accessories for your house, keep that in mind. You can make your room more interesting with textures, but keep the harder textures to walls and functional furniture, like coffee tables and shelves.

For comfort, look for softer textures. It will be worth it when your company not only comments on how marvelous your house looks, but also says, “Oh, wow, that's comfy!” Here are a few ideas for bringing softness to your living room or dining room:

  • Soft, plush rugs (only if you don't have young kids or pets!).

  • Comfortable throws.

  • Fluffy, nice-to-touch throw pillows.

  • Smooth placemats.

Lighting

Finally, don't forget the lighting. Bright light can be exhausting on your eyes, but so can a dark room. Hook your lights up to dimmer switches, or replace overhead lights with softer lamps and candles with enough light to see easily but not too much.

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