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How to feather your first nest. (Your Life).

Newlyweds are getting a head start on their new lives together by furnishing their homes early. Twenty-eight percent of married couples bought their first piece of furniture together before they stepped over the threshold, and 32% bought furniture within the first six months of marriage, according to a survey conducted by the American Furniture Manufacturers Association.

It's not only when they buy their furniture that helps couples create their beginning, but also how they shop. "Furniture shopping is a very exciting experience for couples who are decorating their new home," says interior designer Catherine Bailly Dunne, author of Interior Design for All Five Senses. "They can follow a few basic guidelines to ensure the process is as easy and fun as it should be."

Dunne suggests crafting a master plan based on your dreams and demands. "Every couple has a list of furnishings they need and a longer list of pieces they want. Begin in the room that needs the most furniture or where you spend the most time, and build from there. And don't forget to treat yourselves every once in a while to a piece of furniture you've been dreaming about."

Finding the ideal starting point is easier than saying "I do." First, she counsels, learn what kinds of furniture you both like. Pick up various decorating books or browse at a local retailer to see what is available.

Dunne emphasizes the power of accessories. Items such as lamps, picture frames, vases, and area rugs are simple ways to add detail and style to a room. Because most honeymooners' homes are filled with wedding gifts, pieces such as bookshelves, curio cabinets, and coffee tables are perfect for displaying new treasures.

To keep the honeymoon everlasting, Dunne provides a blueprint for couples wanting to get the most from furniture buying:

His and hers. Just as wedding rings symbolize life as one, the furnishings you select as a couple should represent your personalities, interests, and tastes. Visit a few furniture retailers to find styles that appeal to both husband and wife. If you don't agree on everything, assign husband and wife each a room of their own to decorate.

Start with a good foundation. Get to know the layout of your residence, including measurements, and decide where you want to start creating your dream home. Begin with a few pieces for the room you spend the most time in or where you need the most furniture. Remember that you don't have to fill one room completely before starting on another.

Kiss old habits goodbye. As you find furniture that reflects your new life as husband and wife, don't be afraid to replace pieces that no longer fit your lifestyle.

Explore your fantasies. Keep the post-nuptial bliss alive by letting your imagination run wild. Dream of how you would furnish your home if you had no limitations, and from there, begin to create the look you both love.
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Title Annotation:home furnishing for newlyweds
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:487
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