Living & dining room furniture buying guide

Furniture is a major investment, whichever room you're shopping for. Whatever look you’re trying to create, our guide's intended to help you find the perfect fit for your style and your living or dining rooms.

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.

Some smaller items, such as occasional tables and chairs, may be available to buy and take away from our shop collection points. 

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 take longer to be delivered but will be worth the wait. These pieces are often delivered directly to you by our suppliers.

If you need your new furniture quickly, many pieces can be delivered within 14 days (or even less if you buy in our shops). We also offer some beds for 48-hour express delivery - perfect for unexpected guests.

Please note: conditions apply to made to order furniture on returns.

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 you’re free  to change the colour of your 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’ve an extensive collection of stylish home office furniture, and if you need more than just a desk and a chair, we also offer a fitted bedroom service. See also our buying guide to office chairs.

Wood, combined with  leather and faux leather, has a  fairly minimal, masculine “bachelor pad” look which demands 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 accessoriesrugs 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, entertaning, or storage

For more style inspiration, take a look at our home design trends and stories.

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. Ardennes dining furniture perfect for the rustic look.

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 and blemishes, knots or burrs are just part of the natural and individual beauty of the wood


  • Are thin slivers of real wood cut straight from the log to cover the inner board (usually MDF, particle board or another, cheaper, wood)
  • Are much lighter in weight and so easier to move around than solid wood
  • Are stronger than solid wood, thanks to technology and modern adhesives; less risk of twisting or warping
  • Allow distinctive patterns and effectsto be created on flat surfaces, such as table tops and drawer fronts, by the way the slivers are arranged
  • Carefully considered use of solids and veneers reduces the demand on natural resources

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
  • 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 – they’re best avoided
  • Protect surfaces from heat and liquids by placemats and coasters. Wipe up any spills immediately
  • Have a pad underneath if you write on a sheet of paper on your furniture’s surface, to avoid the pen making impressions
  • Move or turn the piece if it’s in sunlight. Over time, natural light will will mellow the colour of wood or wood Avoid placing furniture next to heat sources such as radiators or fires
  • The lack of humidity caused by central heating or air conditioning can warp solid wood and cause other changes
  • Never drag furniture - to avoid weakening 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.