Category Archives: Terri’s Tips

buying fabrics

The Basics of Buying Fabric Furniture

Before you buy fabric furniture it’s important to determine what fabric is best for your lifestyle. Knowing what to expect from a fabric will help you decide what’s best for your home. 

The Basics of Buying Fabric Furniture

  • Cotton is widely used, versatile, and economical. It does soil easily, so consider having your cotton furniture treated with a soil protector. 
  • Linen us not widely used as an upholstered fabric because it tends to wrinkle, but it is seen in prints and contemporary fabrics. 
  • Silk is luxurious but relatively fragile. Silk can be long-wearing but is not a good choice for high-traffic homes. 
  • Wool is versatile and a high-quality, good-wearing fabric that cleans and wears well. It is often blended with other fabrics to increase the design opportunities. 


Terri's Consign and Design Furnishings
7440 S. Priest Dr. TempeAZ85283 USA 
 • 480-289-4121
ways to use an armoire

5 Ways To Use An Armoire

There is no such thing as too much storage space. Especially when it comes in the form of a beautifully crafted armoire or hutch. Here are 5 great things they can do:

1. Hide linens and bedding. The wide shelves of an armoire are perfect for storing blankets and linens. Consider using one in your spare bedroom so guests don’t have to hunt or ask for extra towels etc. 

2. Store you favorite serving pieces. Sometimes cabinets aren’t tall enough for pitchers and vases. And it’s nice to have a separate area for your most beloved trays, pitchers, bowels, etc. 

3. Replace a closet. Large wardrobes are a beautiful alternative to a closet – or an extension of a painfully small closet. 

4. Store your best clothes. Having a specific area for your Sunday best can be useful. Keep your day to day clothes in your closet and your special occasion outfits in your armoire. 

5. Add warmth to a room. A beautifully stained wooden armoire will instantly add warmth and charm to any room. 

console table

5 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Console Table

Since they are most often seen in entryways, console tables set the tone for your home. They are also incredibly functional pieces that can be arranged a variety of ways. Check out our 5 ways to make the most out of your console table. 

1. Pair it with a mirror. This is not only visibly appealing but gives you a great spot to check your face before you head out the door. 

2. Use the space underneath. You can keep baskets, a stool, an ottoman, a stack of books, or whatever you desire under your console table to add depth and character to a room. 

3. Light up the area with a pair of lamps or wall sconces on either end. This adds light to the space and creates symmetry for you to place something in the middle, like a statue, piece of art, or tray for keys and mail. 

4. Put chairs on either side. This is a great place for keeping those extra formal dinning room chairs that doubles as a place to put your shoes on or throw your purse when you walk in the door. 

5. Think beyond the traditional usage. Don’t actually have an entryway? Not a problem. A console looks great against any empty wall space. Want to add some storage? Find one with drawers or cabinets. 

How To Choose The Right Rug

How To Choose The Right Rug

Area rugs can instantaneously change the feel of a room and make or break a space. Choosing the right rug is just as much about the texture of the rug as the look. It’s also important to consider care and practicality in your home.

Tips on How to Choose the Right Rug

  • Consider your lifestyle. Do you have young kids or pets? A pure while rug may not be best for you.
  • Where will the rug go and what is it’s purpose? Is the rug a focal point in a more formal room, or will people be sitting on it while playing games in the family room?
  • What is the rooms style? An area rug doesn’t need to be matchy matchy with everything else in the room, but you should consider the rooms overall tone, color patterns, and style.
  • How easy is it to take care of? Expensive antique rugs will probably have to go to a professional for cleaning at least once a year. Moving to and from the cleaners can be a pain, will it need to be picked up? These are all things to consider before purchasing,
  • Does it feel good? Don’t buy a rug you will hate walking on. This is entirely based on personal preference. 
  • Timelessness. Are you going to want to use this rug after you replace the furniture? Or if you move?
  • Pricing. Sometimes spending a bit more on a quality rug is worth it in the long run. If you don’t have the budget – try looking at some of the gently used quality rugs at Terri’s Consign and Design. 
Picking Traditional Living Room Furniture

Tips On Picking Traditional Living Room Furniture

Simple palettes, comfortable upholstery, sturdy materials, and timeless silhouettes are all upsides of picking traditional decor for your living room. Here are several pointers on picking traditional living room furniture. 

Picking Traditional Living Room Furniture

  • When decorating around a view – be sure not to use furniture that will block your view. This common sense advice is often forgotten until after furniture is picked and it arrives at your home. Keep your view in mind while you shop!
  • Consol tables behind sofas should be slightly lower than the back of the sofa to maintain clean lines of sight. 
  • A pair of lamps on the consul  behind a sofa works well to illuminate the space. 
  • For larger rooms, consider creating two separate seating areas. Distinguish the two separate spaces from each other by incorporating different but complementary patterns or colors in the two areas. 
  • End tables should either be the same height as or only slightly lower or higher than the arm of the chair or sofa they are next to.
  • A pair of comfortable club chairs work well facing a sofa or for a more intimate seating arrangement have four club chairs facing each other  around a coffee table in lieu of a couch.
plant vs animal fibers

Upholstry: Plant vs Animal Fibers

One of the biggest concerns when picking upholstered pieces of furniture is: how will this fabric wear? Often times that can only be answered by knowing how the fabric will be used. Your lifestyle will have a great effect on the longevity of your upholstered furniture, and knowing what to expect from a fabric can help. Here is a brief overview of the most common natural fibers: plant fibers and animal fibers. 

Plant vs Animal Fibers

Plant Fibers

1. Cotton: Widely used, very economical and versatile. It will soil easily, so it’s important to have your cotton treated with a soil protector. 

2. Linen: Linen in not widely used as an upholstery fabric because of its tendency to wrinkle. It can however be seen in prints and contemporary fabrics. 

Animal Fibers

1. Silk: Silk is luxurious and fairly fragile. While silk can be long-wearing, it definitely should not be a fabric of choice for high traffic homes.

2. Wool: This fabric is becoming more and more popular. Wool is extremely versatile and high quality. Wool wears well and cleans well. It’s often blended with other types of fibers to improve the “hand” and expand the design possibilities. it can often be seen on contemporary furniture of Scandinavian design.  

Things That Destroy Wood Furniture

Three Things That Destroy Wood Furniture

As a consumer, you should be aware of the factors that will cause the finish on your wood furniture to deteriorate. You can either use a little common care to protect the pieces you love or come to terms with having to replace or refinish pieces. 

Three Things That Destroy Wood Furniture 

1. Sunlight: The long term effects of sunlight on wooden furniture can be extremely destructive, although it’s not often noticeable while happening. All finishes will fade in sunlight. Short of completely covering your tables and chairs there’s not much you can do to keep this from happening. But trying to keep your drapes closed whenever possible will help some, especially during the brightest time of the day and try not to have wooden furniture in direct sunlight for long periods of time. 

2. Chemicals: The chemicals we use in our homes on a day to day basis will wear down and strip wood finishes. Even if you don’t think you use a lot of chemicals, you probably use more than you think. Cleaning products, wine, vinegar, salad dressings, smoke, and so many other things contain chemicals harmful to wood. Our homes are awash in chemicals – natural and synthetics.  A regular maintenance and care routine can go a long way combating the effects of chemicals on wood. Waxes and polishes are great for maintaining a finish and protecting a piece. 

3. Physical Wear and Tear: All finishes will be damaged by rough objects, heat, water, and solvents. Even something as simple as the jewelry you wear can damage the surface of a table. The accessories you place on wooden furniture, picture frames, candle sticks, etc can all damage a wood finish. Be aware of what you’re setting on your wood. A thousands things you place around your home can mess up the surface of your furniture. 



what to look for in metal furniture

What To Look For In Metal Furniture

A piece of metal furniture can make a great asset to any room. Whether it’s a iron bed for a brass-plated table. When purchasing a piece of metal furniture, you should be aware of a few things. That’s why we came up with a list of what to look for in metal furniture. 

What To Look For In Metal Furniture

  • Rate the costliness and intrinsic value of the metal used to construct the piece. 
  • Examine the craftsmanship and bending of the frame parts. 
  • Look closely at the joints. They should be solid, secure, and without rough edges. 
  • Check the overall quality of the construction. Metal furniture should feel solid and not shake, rattle, or sway.
  • Evaluate the quality of any welds. These should be smooth, uniform, and inconspicuous. Poor welds are obvious, may crack, and may look like bubble gum. 
  • Examine the quality and number of castings or stampings. Castings are more expensive than stampings or spinnings and can help steady the furniture.
  • Look at the overall dimensions, examining specifically t the beauty of the lines and scale of the piece.
  • Check to see all nonmetal parts are solidly and expertly attached to the frame.
  • Evaluate the overall durability of the piece.  
tips for arranging furniture

15 Tips for Arranging Furniture

A well-designed room is not an accident. It takes a lot of thought and pre-planing to achieve the look you desire. That’s why we’ve identified 15 easy tips for arranging furniture. 

15 Tips for Arranging Furniture

1. Consider traffic patterns BEFORE you arrange furniture. 

2. Consider the use and appearance of furniture before you arrange it. When use and appearance are in conflict, use wins. 

3. An under-furnished room is better than an over-furnished room. 

4. Place furniture together in natural groupings 

5. Decide where your large groupings are and where they must go (couches, etc), then arrange smaller groupings accordingly (end tables, etc).

6. Avoid crowding furniture too close together – if you can’t easily walk around, it’ not working.

7. Conversation areas generally work best in an “L”, “H”, or “U” shape.

8. Avoid placing large pieces of furniture across the corner of a room.

9. Leave 12-18 inches of space between a sofa/love seat and a coffee table.

10. Leave 24-36 inches of space between behind dining room chairs and furniture or wall.

11. Leave 24-36 inches of space in front of drawers for ease in opening.

12. A table surface should be handy to every seat in a room.

13. Unless a room is very small, have a minor conversation area somewhere. Even if it’s just two chairs angled towards each other on either side of a lamp table.

14. Leave enough space so the beauty of each item can be appreciated.

15. Try to place large chairs at an angle rather than flat against a wall.  

tips on using color

Tips on Using Color

Most rooms can benefit from the use of a print or color somewhere in the décor. Whether that be in the form of a painting, rug, or print on the furniture. You can use that print as a road map to creating your color scheme. Use the most dominate color and then choose 2-3 additional colors as accent colors. Try to keep the number down to 3-4 colors, as more than that can make a room seem busy and inharmonious.

The dominant hue should cover up to 2/3 of the area, and the accent colors should cover the remaining 1/3. Because color so greatly effects the balance of a room, try to avoid using intense colors and lively contrasts on large pieces for rooms, it may be overwhelming.

Here are some tips on using color:

Blue: Blue is cool and soothing, but varies greatly under different lighting conditions. Blue is also greatly affected by the material of the item. If the item is lacquer, it will intensify the hue. In a deep pile carpet, the hue will darken and have great depth.

Green: Green is serene, friendly, and the color of nature. Use green with white to bring out its best qualities. Green makes an excellent background color.

Red: Use red with cautions because it stands out so vibrantly. It is a stimulating color and many rooms could benefit from a small amount of a red tone.

Yellow: Yellow is one of the most reflective colors you can use in a room. Gray-yellow works well with pink, blue, and pale green. A warmer yellow works well with warm woods.

Orange:  Orange mixes well with other warm colors, from yellow to red. White makes orange stand out and gives it a modern feeling.

Brown: Brown is the color of the earth. The warm, comfortable tones of brown range from pale cream to deep chocolate. They work well with most other colors.