A rental home may not be a forever home. But that’s not to say it shouldn’t be brought to life with forever furniture.
There are interior pieces with proven staying power – statement furniture that not only transcends current fads but stands the test of time in terms of quality, sustainability and our evolving style.
It’s something that’s close to the heart of Melissa Giuffrida, founder of Collécte – an Australian marketplace offering authentic, pre-owned designer furniture and accessories.
“I started Collécte in April 2020 because, when it comes to authentic designer pieces, the market is flooded with cheap replicas and low-quality pieces,” she says. “[These] are damaging design integrity, designers’ livelihoods and the environment.
“When considering the investment over a lifetime, buying quality offers a much better outcome. Not only do you experience the joy of authentic design, but you also support the designers of the product, the environment, and save money.”
It’s an ethos that should be put into effect, Giuffrida believes, even in a home that is technically not your own.
“It’s important to make your home feel comfortable, warm and inviting, regardless of whether you own it or it’s a rental,” she says. “By investing in statement or timeless furniture pieces, you’re investing in interesting, well-made pieces you can use for a lifetime.”
But how can we be confident that we’re doing just that?
“The best advice I can offer is, buy what you love and buy quality,” Giuffrida says. “When looking at furniture, try and buy original designer furniture – no replicas. Try and buy the more expensive items, such as sofas, in a neutral colour palette – you can always add colour to a room through accessories and art – as you are less likely to tire of it.”
In 2015, Don Garvan founded Totem Road – a furniture brand that embraces timeless design, respects the natural environment and has become synonymous with the sustainable living movement.
“I’d spent some time involved in property marketing, and it became clear there was a need for timeless furniture that stepped away from mass-consumerism,” he says. “I set out to create a brand committed to sustainability in all aspects of its operations.”
Garvan’s firm belief is that made-to-last statement furniture has a place in a rental home.
“By investing in timeless furniture designed for longevity, you’ll be able to style your home with pieces that will serve you well into the future, even as you transition into new spaces,” he says.
“[If you make] sustainable-design decisions now, you’ll be creating a positive impact for future generations and the environment by investing in pieces that won’t end up in landfill in a short period due to poor quality or design obsolescence.”
So, what are the big-ticket items on which to focus both our attention and budget?
“The furniture pieces that are worth investing in are your dining table, a great bed and mattress, functional storage and a coffee table,” Garvan says. “These are the main pieces you’ll use in your home every day, which is why it’s important that they’re both a timeless and functional addition to your home.
“Statement furniture pieces, such as your dining table and bed frame, should lay the foundations for your space and allow you to effortlessly evolve your interior style over the years.”
Meanwhile, Giuffrida offers one final, particularly sage piece of advice: “Always check your room measurements. There’s nothing worse than furniture that’s too big or too small for a room.”