descriptors / writers resources

10 Ways to Describe Furnishings

kitchenFor the next few months, weekly writing tips will include word choice suggestions. That includes:

  • colorful and original descriptions
  • pithy words and phrases
  • picture nouns and action verbs
  • writing that draws a reader in and addicts them to your voice

I keep a  collection of descriptions that have pulled me into the books. I’m fascinated how authors can–in just a few words–put me in the middle of their story and make me want to stay there. This one’s on how to describe furnishings.

A note: These are for inspiration only. They can’t be copied because they’ve been pulled directly from an author’s copyrighted manuscript (intellectual property is immediately copyrighted when published).


  1. Rolling his chair across  the dais, casters echoing lightly upon the wood
  2. Old, beat-up gray chair that looked to be one fat guy away from total collapse
  3. Trestle table
  4. Decoration was dated and more feminine than Drago had expected—no doubt the deceased wife’s touch. Hardwood floors showed signes of recent work, the varnish fresh and shiny and
  5. An empty flower vase, and a pair of matching hand-painted ceramic bowls
  6. The drape on one side of the window hung crookedly. Shepherd straightened it.
  7. Managed to be both Spartan and cluttered
  8. Shaving scum lined the sink bowl
  9. I sat on something amazingly uncomfortable that someone had disguised as a couch
  10. The heater recognized only two settings—off and Tropic of Cancer

Click for the complete list of 69 writer’s themed descriptions.

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy and To Hunt a Sub, her debut fiction. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her nonfiction books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

43 thoughts on “10 Ways to Describe Furnishings

  1. Pingback: 17 Ways to Describe Offices | WordDreams...

  2. Love those examples–especially the first one. There really is an art to a concise yet evocative description. Truthfully, that’s why I think all authors should engage in Flash Fiction at some point–learning how to truly focus on only the best words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I chuckled over most of these – very creative descriptions.
    Describing furnishings says a lot about the way people live – time period, location, financial situation, amount of pride. Can be an important asset in a story.
    Thanks for reminding us, Jacqui

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well I dispute that ‘trestle table’ is copyrighted – it’s an object like ‘armchair’, ‘dressing table’, ‘sofa’, ‘stool’; same for ‘hardwood floor’, if we went allowed to say hardwood floor then what else is excluded, ’tile floor’, ‘floorboards’, ‘lino’, ‘packed earth’? And what about rooms? If one author has used ‘kitchen’ can no other writer have a scene in a kitchen? Copyright has to apply to more than a single word or a couple of words next to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

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