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  • Writer's pictureHeather Holcombe

What pieces should you own, if you move a lot?

Our family is in the throes of building a house. It's an exciting time, if not a bit busy! As I make selections like tile, paint colors, and so forth, I've been giving a lot of thought to which pieces of our furniture will work well in the new house. That got me thinking about a question someone posted recently on our Facebook page. She asked what type of items are suitable to own when you move around a lot. Great question!

When you move frequently, it's a good idea to have furniture which is more likely to look good and remain functional in different settings. In other words, you're more likely to get more use as you move around from standard pieces such as an average-sized sofa and a dining table which extends.

Moving is expensive - and time-consuming enough that the more of your things which work as you move from place to place, the better. You shouldn't need to buy all new furniture each time you move - unless you want to, of course! (If you do, contact me! I'll be happy to help you select new furniture!)


Here are a few rules to consider about furniture if you plan on moving and, let's face it, most of us will live in several houses throughout our lifetimes.

Average sizes:

Stick to standard sizes rather than oversized or bulky pieces which might not fit in a future home. If you end up moving into a bigger house and have room for more furniture, you can consider adding several pieces. For example, if you have a standard size sofa (6 to 8 feet long and 32 to 40 inches deep), but find yourself with a large living room, you can always add a few armchairs. The other option is to put the old sofa in a different place like a family room and purchase a bigger sofa to accommodate the new living room's size better.


Whether you move frequently or not, selecting neutral fabrics and colors for more substantial pieces is always a smart decision. That beautiful teal velvet sofa you're seeing in a lot of decorating magazines these days? It's trendy and gorgeous this year. However, next year? It could go out of style, or you might find that it doesn't look good in a new house because it's so style-specific. Not to mention that you might also get tired of looking at a bold color every day - and on a large piece of furniture like a sofa, that's a lot of color!

Smaller items:

If you stick with smaller items that you love, you'll be more likely to find a place for them. For example, you can usually find somewhere to put cabinets, lamps, and small tables.  Knick-knacks are another item which can generally transfer well from house to house. 


Other items that generally tend to work well in a variety of spaces are good bedding, trays, serving pieces, dinnerware, ottomans, and small benches. Keep in mind that most smaller pieces aren't going to cost the same as, let's say, a sofa. So, even if they don't work in your new home, you're not out a lot of money! Donate or sell them and buy new pieces.

Wall art:

Most, but maybe not all, wall art can travel with you as you move houses. You may have to get creative with placement. For example, paintings you once had in the living room might work in the dining room or a bedroom in your new house. The key to knowing where to place things in a new home is to think outside the box and get creative.

Paint color:

One quick note about paint color: just because a color worked well in one house does NOT mean it will work well in your next place. It's critical to put up several samples before you repaint. There are too many factors which affect the appearance of color.

If you live in the Triangle area of North Carolina and would like some assistance with interior design, please contact me. I would love to work with you on your next project.



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