Living & dining room furniture buying guide

At Caseys we know that furniture can be a major investment. Whatever look you’re trying to create, our guide will help you ensure you find the perfect fit for your style and your home.

Choosing your new furniture

Getting new furniture can be exciting! But we do want you to make sure that it will fit before you order, so please take a little time to determine if your new furniture of choice will fit your room, and have the right proportions. See our Measuring up for Furniture buying guide for more information.

When you shop online, you’ll notice that some items of furniture are “Available to order” rather than in stock – these made to order pieces are customisable across fabrics and styles. For these pieces you should come instore and speak to our experts to order the prefect piece for your home. However, if you need your new furniture quickly, many pieces are in stock can be delivered within days (or even less if you buy instore).

Some style notes

  • Darker woods look bigger, heavier, and more dramatic, thus suit larger rooms.
  • Glass and mirrored, polypropylene and clear acrylic furniture give the illusion of light and space in smaller rooms, and they can leave you free to change the colour of your room décor.
  • Less is more – the more furniture you have, the smaller a room can appear. Aim for unity if you’ve got a small room, as co-ordinating furniture is more sympathetic in compact spaces.
  • Clutter also diminishes the size of a room, so calculate a generous amount of the storage furniture you’ll need, such as cupboards, shelves, and drawers.
  • If you work from home, we have an extensive collection of stylish home office furniture.
  • Wood combined with leather can have a fairly minimal, masculine, “bachelor pad” look sometimes which suits modern styling. It’s best matched with different textures and plain or geometric textiles and backgrounds. Soften the look with a choice of soft furnishing accessories, rugs and curtains.
  • Most living spaces will need a small occasional table or two, and your choice will naturally depend on the space available and whether or not you want them for decoration, entertaining, or storage.

How our wooden furniture is made

Some of our ranges are crafted from solid wood, and some are made from an inner board covered with real wood veneer. We have a few ranges that combine both.

Solid Wood

Solid wood is beautiful, considered more desirable and tends to have the more upmarket reputation, though it’s not always more expensive than veneered products. Buy all your furniture in one batch if you want the colours to be as close as possible, but individual trees will have varying characteristics. Some woods display different grain patterns, and blemishes, knots or burrs are just part of the natural and individual beauty of the wood.

Veneers

Veneers are thin slivers of real wood, cut straight from the log to cover the inner board (usually MDF, particle board or another, cheaper, wood). Veneers are much lighter in weight and so easier to move around than solid wood and are stronger than solid wood, thanks to technology and modern adhesive. They are at less at risk of twisting or warping and allow distinctive patterns and effects to be created on flat surfaces, such as tabletops and drawer fronts, by the way the slivers are arranged. The carefully-considered use of solids and veneers reduces the demand on natural resources and the impact on the environment.

Caring for your furniture

Your furniture may have a lacquered or oiled finish, or if the wood is untreated, it may just be finished with a colourless wax. Furniture with a hard lacquer or wax polish finish should just be dusted with a soft dry cloth but waxed furniture needs a coat of beeswax a couple of times a year to help maintain its lustre. Spray polishes are quick and easy to use, but those containing silicones may spoil the furniture’s surface by building up over time and so are best avoided. Protect surfaces from heat and liquids by placemats and coasters and wipe up any spills immediately. Having a pad underneath if you write on a sheet of paper on your furniture’s surface is recommended, in order to avoid the pen making impressions.

It is important to move or turn a piece if it is in direct sunlight. Over time, natural light will mellow the colour of wood, and placing furniture next to heat sources such as radiators or fires should be avoided. The lack of humidity caused by central heating or air conditioning can warp solid wood and cause other changes.  Never drag furniture as it weakens the joints; always 
lift it.

Glass and plastic

Simply use glass cleaner or soapy water (on plastics) for cleaning, but don’t use anything abrasive.

Wood and leather

Protect leather from spillage and heat. A slightly damp cloth is the best cleaning agent for both materials.