Furniture Design

Furniture buying and interior design: quality, intelligent lighting design and consumer advice

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Practical tips and tricks for optimal interior design

The furniture purchase: helpful hints

For many people, having their own home is not just a place to sleep, but also an oasis of well-being. According to a survey, for 90 percent of 1336 respondents, this is above all a matter of “security”. Furniture and lighting design can enhance this feeling, or even generate it.

But what characterizes the “feel-good furniture” as particularly durable and comfortable – what quality features are there? And how can your own four walls simply and comfortably be bathed in relaxing light?

Get an overview and check the sales contract

Before new furniture is purchased, some formalities should be clarified and quality features checked.

  • Compare prices to different furniture stores

So that the price and the quality of the furniture are satisfactory, a price comparison is recommended.

In order to filter out the suitable offer, a search offers itself. Different furniture stores of different price ranges were to be compared. Many furniture stores have the same suppliers and some identical pieces. If an offer seems too high, a cheaper offer from the competition can be mentioned directly in the sales talk. So discounts may be negotiable.

And if a large order is given up, for example, for a complete bedroom – closet, bed and bedside table – is usually a discount in it. The questions: “Is there anything left to be done on the final price?” Or “How much could you still go down?”, But should be mentioned only at the end of the entire billing process. Because with a high total, the dealer is more likely to talk to himself, as opposed to a rather low price for a single piece of furniture.

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  • When buying an Internet: Check reliability

In addition to the furniture comparison, it is worthwhile to browse the Internet. Because some online retailers often offer furniture cheaper.

When choosing the shop, make sure that it is a “trusted shop”. A seal of quality awarded to various shops after examining individual criteria. The quality criteria include, among other things, data protection or the returns regulation.

There is also the possibility to conclude a buyer’s guarantee. This guarantees, for example, in the case of a non-delivery, the refund of the purchase amount. The “classic” guarantee variant can be activated directly after purchase, so that a hedge up to a height of 2,500 euros is possible. Which shops are labeled with the seal of approval, is using this search out.

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  • Purchase contract and down payment

After setting up the purchase contract, in addition to the prices and discounts granted, the general terms and conditions should be observed. The furniture dealer usually guarantees only a right of return within a period of 14 days. If it happens that the buyer wants to cancel the contract after the withdrawal period, the dealer has the right to demand a cancellation fee. This is usually at least ten percent of the purchase price. All verbal agreements are to be fixed in writing in each case.

If a down payment is a prerequisite for the contract, the buyer is not required by law to provide it. A down payment is rather foreseeable and if, this should make up at most ten percent of the purchase price. Because in the insolvency case, the buyer often does not get the deposit back.

Recognition of a quality piece of furniture

Beautiful and robust look is not necessarily an indication of a quality piece of furniture. Anyone who values ​​it can be guided by a uniform quality seal.

On some foods, for example, emblazoned the “organic label”, which makes the quality and the sustainable production of the same recognizable for the consumer. More and more consumers are attaching importance to high-quality products. This trend has also been followed by the furniture industry. The German Quality Association Furniture E.V. (DGM) has launched the “Golden M” on the market. Furniture bearing this quality mark has been put through its paces – in terms of functionality, workmanship and freedom from harmful substances. Doors and drawers, for example, are opened and closed about 80,000 times, or a weight dropped onto a sofa several times. The pollutant test is carried out in a special climate chamber.

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The emission label of the DGM also provides consumers with information on the pollutant emissions of a piece of furniture, such as a sofa, cupboard, table or mattress. The furniture is tested and divided into different emission classes (classes A-D). Where the class A, the least pollution means. Harmful substances may be pesticides in upholstery trimmings or flame retardants in fabrics.

Characteristic of real wood and imitation

Just like synthetic leather-look shoes, there are also some wood imitations on the furniture market that are often indistinguishable from the real wood variant for the layman.

Characteristics of different furniture materials

There are some differences between the individual materials used for manufacturing. Consumers should pay attention to this to make sure that it is not a faux, which is sold as real wood.

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Furniture made of solid wood often shows irregularities due to the fact that they are made of natural material. And so two tables that look identical at first glance, on closer inspection, by cracks, resin residues and differences in color or grain stand out from each other. These irregularities are unmistakable characteristics of a real wood or solid wood furniture.

The descriptions “solid wood” or “solid wood” are printed on the labels of furniture complying with DIN 68871. This standard for furniture designation stands for the fact that all parts except the rear wall and the drawer bottoms are made of a type of wood and are not veneered. Because with a piece of furniture that is veneered, only the surface consists of wood. This is glued, for example, on a chipboard.

Whether the surface is now real wood or just a faux is usually not visible to the consumer. Real wood veneers are often photographed and printed on chipboard. These imitations are referred to as “oak decor” or “maple laminate”. In order to rule out that it is an imitation of a real wood surface, the veneer + nature initiative introduced the description “veneer – real wood” in 2003 for marking a solid wood surface.

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In order to put the quality furniture in the right light and to make the room atmosphere comfortable, the lighting design can be adapted to the premises and the individual use of space.

  • Electric light and light sources

Before the electric light was invented, the sun was the main source of light. Later, the Neanderthals discovered the fire as a source of light that also gave them warmth. This type of fire-generated light is still found in some living rooms in the form of candles or a fireplace. However, electric light sources dominate the living spaces.

  • Emergence of the light bulb

It was started by the electrically generated light in the invention of the incandescent lamp. This happened in 1879 by Thomas Alva Edison. This technically implemented the first beginnings of artificially produced light.

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  • Modern lamps and their differences

Today, the light bulb has been taken off the market and replaced with some more modern and energy efficient lamps.

The halogen lamp works similar to the incandescent lamp. The formation of light also happens by heating a tungsten filament. This is in contrast to the energy and LED lamp low energy efficient.

The energy saving lamp contains no tungsten filament, but fluorescent tubes that are filled with gas and generate light. Due to their toxic mercury content, the lamps must be disposed of properly. For example, about a recycling center.

In the case of the LED lamps, small LEDs are responsible for the reproduction of the light. These lamps do not contain mercury. However, these are still not to throw in the household waste, because they are recyclable.

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Impact, planning and control of lighting concepts

The planning and use of various light sources can be accomplished in different ways. For example, light influences the human biorhythm. Thus, light sources affect human well-being and can be used to promote it.

As you know, light has a decisive influence on the biorhythms of humans. When it is light and the sun is shining, the body releases serotonin (happiness hormone), the body is active. The activating and relaxing effect of light can also be generated in the home using various lighting systems.

Room or mood light: Lighting design in the living area

Artificial light sources can be used, inter alia, as room or mood lighting. The room light serves, so to speak, the basic illumination. On the ceiling or on the floor lights are attached, which illuminate the room to all sides. Thus, the eye perceives a uniform illumination and fatigues less.

In contrast to the room light, the mood light in the living rooms provides less for a light flood, but rather for a relaxing mood. Especially in the evenings, when the body is about to calm down, mood lights are a good alternative to room lighting. However, the luminaires should not be too bright and can be placed on a dresser, the floor or the windowsill.

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Control light sources intelligently

So that the room and mood lighting can be coordinated, or regulated according to the time of day and the senses, the light sources should be dimmable. The regulation not only ensures uniform lighting, but also lighting accents that can enhance the feel-good factor.

In addition, it is possible to adjust the lighting conditions to different situations: when watching TV or reading a dimmed lighting is usually pleasant and while working a uniform room lighting. The flexible control can be done by means of timers, dimmer switches or motion detectors. Here You will find useful information on the functioning of the control elements and their best possible spatial planning and energy efficiency.

The sofa: relaxing in the living area

Not only a variable lighting, which is adapted to the room and your own needs, provides a sense of relaxation. Additional rest after a stressful day can provide a comfortable sofa.

  • Sofá variants and quality test

From small or XXL to the version with sleeping function – the sofa market is wide-ranging. Therefore, it is important not only to adapt the sofa to your own needs and space, but also to check the quality.

  • XXL, modular or with sleep function?

The so-called XXL or Big sofas are particularly suitable for people who like to “spread” on the sofa. Because this is automatically a lying posture taken, as the seat is relatively deep. For people who like sitting in front of the living room table and working, this sofa variant will be rather unsuitable. In advance, the room dimensions have to be taken for an XXL sofa and at least one meter has to be added per side of the sofa, so that the piece of furniture can easily be passed by.

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On the other hand, if you do not just want to sit on the sofa but also want to sleep comfortably on it, you can choose a sofa bed. Before buying, it should be tested if the pull-out function is easy to handle. In addition, “dormouse” is more likely to have a function that makes it possible to extend a lying surface forwards or downwards. For people who prefer to raise or sleep on the side, sofas where the back or armrests can be unfolded may be more appropriate.

If space is limited, or if the space has some corners, modular sofas made up of single “seat cubes” are beneficial. The individual parts are available with or without armrests and in different sizes and shapes. This allows them to be integrated into any room. A cube can also be used as a shelf for the legs or as a coffee table.

  • To test the quality of the sofa

Before the choice falls on a sofa, sample should be located and sat. So it can be determined which material – spring core or foam – and which seat height is most comfortable, or whether the armrest / backrest are adjustable. In addition, there are different upholstery: the casual and tight upholstery.

The cover should also be taken to ensure that it does not discolour in the sun. If a fabric cover is chosen, pay attention to its abrasion resistance and dirt-repellent surface.

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To maintain the quality and appearance, the upper of the sofa should be cleaned and maintained regularly. In some cases, a care instruction is already described on the label. Leather and textile covers are each to be specially cleaned.

Sofas made of leather are particularly robust and durable due to the material. This is also evident in the cleaning. Dirt is best suctioned with a cushion nozzle and wipe off any leftovers with a damp cloth. And because it’s a natural material that loses shine and suppleness, for example, through loss of moisture, the leather can be treated about twice a year with moisturizing leather milk. Only rough or nubuck leather should not be treated with a cream or lotion. Fat-free sprays are suitable for this leather.

Unlike a leather cover, a fabric cover is often removable and can be cleaned in the washing machine. If it is only an occasional soiling, they can be treated in the first step with the upholstery nozzle. Afterwards, remove the stain with lukewarm water and mild detergent. To remove the detergent residue, wipe with a wet cloth – so do not create unsightly white edges.

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  • Stain removal: From chocolate to coffee

On the sofa is not only located or sat, but often eaten. The traces of chocolate and co. Can be eliminated quickly with a few tips. Chocolate, egg or urine stains are best removed with cold water. Whereas, coffee, blood or lipstick residue can be treated with lukewarm distilled water added with a mild shampoo. Grease stains are usually the most persistent. These are solved with soda water.

Comfortable bed

Also, when buying and handling the mattress, there are some things that can be considered regarding quality and care.

The right pad

Especially crucial for a restful sleep is the mattress. There are, especially in terms of the degree of hardness or the price, many differences.

  • Quality features of mattresses

The quality of a mattress depends, among other things, on the volume weight. The higher the weight of the foam, the higher the quality of the mattress. How the volumetric weight is calculated is shown in the diagram below.

Whether a hard or a soft mattress is better for the back is often discussed. However, the selection of the degree of hardness is not based on “prescribed” criteria, but mostly on one’s own sleeping habits, body weight or height.

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In any case, should be located on different mattresses sample. If no decision can be taken then, some mattresses offer the option of taking the mattress home for a week. If they do not like this, there is no purchase commitment. This is especially suitable for mattresses, which give way only by the body temperature.

The price does not necessarily say something about the quality of the mattress. The Stiftung Warentest has the results , the since 2009 on their sleeping comfort and price tested mattresses, summarized. It has been found that expensive mattresses can not necessarily be graded “very good”. These have often lain in the satisfactory range along with cheaper models. In addition, roll mattresses have been rated better by discounters than models for around 1,000 euros, which have received only a “sufficient” in terms of their reclining comfort.

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The right mattress care

To be able to sleep comfortably on the mattress for a long time and, above all, as free of mites as possible, it must be cleaned regularly.

The mattress can be cleaned in between with a vacuum cleaner, dust mites are avoided. If coarser stains or stains have arisen, they can be removed with a padding or enzyme cleaner.

To avoid mold, the mattress should be turned regularly. Initially, mold stains should be vacuumed with a vacuum cleaner to remove the mold spores. Thereafter, a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water can be applied. After a short reaction time, remove with lukewarm water and disinfect the mattress.

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Despite cleaning, dust mites can quickly form in the mattress. The small animals are only between 0.1 and 0.5 millimeters in size and not visible to the naked eye. However, these trigger an allergy in almost one in seven people. This manifests itself by coughing or even by shortness of breath. 75 percent of all house dust mites are to be found especially in the mattresses of German households, because the mites particularly like moist and warm environments and feed on dander. To remove are the little animals with special sprays.

Allergy sufferers should follow this SWR report Also make sure that the mattress cover is washable. Tests have shown that the mites are almost 100 percent killed at 60 degrees. While a wash at 40 degrees only removes about 6 percent of it from the mattress cover. A wash should be done once a year. In addition to a washable mattress cover allergy sufferers should use a so-called “Encasing” (mattress cover). These catch the dust mite and dander.

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Consumer rights: faulty furniture and contract termination

  • Defects on the furniture: demand repair or subsequent delivery

If the furniture is defective on delivery, the consumer has a right to repair or even subsequent delivery. The repair has to be fulfilled by the dealer free of charge and to bear any material or delivery costs incurred. If the defects can not be remedied by a rework, a subsequent delivery takes place.

  • Possibilities of contract withdrawal

If the damage is also found in the subsequent goods, the buyer has the opportunity to withdraw completely from the contract or to reduce the purchase price. The customer also has the right to withdraw from the contract in the event of a delivery delay. The Consumer Center advises, in case of complaints or breaches of contract prefabricated sample letters which may be used to communicate late deliveries, defects or returns to the dealer.


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