Whether you’re moving into a new place or you’re just tired of your old décor, buying new furniture is an exciting prospect that can totally transform the look of your space. However, there is a bit of strategy involved in buying furniture beyond simply picking out what you like. Before you head to the furniture and start buying big piece, make note of a few important considerations.
Measure your space. Start out on the right foot by measuring your room and the ideal size of the furniture you’re looking for. Although you may think that you can just ‘eye’ it, you may end up making a colossal purchasing mistake and buying something much too large or too small. When you have your exact measurements, you’ll be more focused in your search and less likely to purchase something that won’t really work.
Determine the style you’re looking for. In recent years, more styles of furniture have been available than ever before. Whether you’re looking for something modern, traditional, antique, or unique, there’s something on the market for you. When you’re out shopping, though, it can be easy to be persuaded by a salesperson to buy something outside of your typical style. Therefore, go shopping with a specific look in mind. You’ll be able to easily sort out what works and what doesn’t, and make narrowing down your options much easier.
Keep color in mind. Although bright colors and fun patterns may sound great in theory, you should look for colors and patterns that will stand the test of time. When you are in the market for furniture, look for items that will last you many years and won’t need replacing – especially with color. Choose a good neutral tone for the majority of your furniture, and then opt to have one or two pieces in a color or pattern you enjoy. This way, you’ll stand a better chance of still loving your furniture years down the road as your style changes.
Consider your lifestyle. Although you may have always wanted an antique cream velvet couch, if you are the proud owner of several pets and a few children, that couch probably won’t last long. Be sure to buy high quality furniture that will be used the most often, and lower quality (if you are trying to save money) on items that will get less use. Look for fabric that will stand up to a busy household if necessary, and pay attention to your color choices as well.
Pay attention to quality. If you’re heading to Ikea, you are probably focused on low prices more than high quality. If, however, you are investing in a solid piece(s) of furniture you hope to last many years, then you should pay close attention to the quality. Wood furniture comes in three makes: solid, veneer, and plywood/particleboard. Solid wood is what you want; it may cost a bit more but, as the name suggest, it is 100% good quality, solid wood. Veneer is a core of plywood coated in higher quality wood, while plywood is compressed sawdust and wood bits. If you’re looking for upholstered furniture, check the quality of the springs in the base, the substance of the stuffing, and the structure of the support system.
If you can, look for sofas with a fifth leg in the center to give better support.
Hardwoods come from deciduous trees, while softwoods come from coniferous trees; the name has no bearing on the actual hardness or softness of the wood.
If the furniture squeaks or makes noise, it’s not very good quality and should be avoided.
If the furniture is primarily assembled with nails and glue, avoid it. Screws and dowels are the best for good quality furniture.
Price doesn’t always dictate the quality of an item of furniture, so make sure to check it out thoroughly before committing to purchasing.
Don’t buy all your furniture at once. A common mistake of zealous new home owners is to purchase all your furniture in a single sitting. Unfortunately, this could cause two problems: you pay a higher price for bulk furniture when you think you’re paying less, and you may purchase something that you don’t truly love just to fill your space. Spread out your furniture purchases over the course of several months. Unless you know the price of each individual piece of furniture you’re getting, don’t fall for the trap of buying a whole set for a single rate; break it down to see if it’s truly fair first.
Avoid 0% financing. Furniture companies will often advertise 0% financing as an incentive to bring in customers, but what you may or may not know is that they tack the interest they would normally charge onto the floor price. Therefore, you think you’re getting a good deal when you’re really paying the same amount (or more) as you normally would for the same piece of furniture. Although you can find good deals with 0% financing offered, don’t let that be the main guide in judging and selecting furniture to add to your home.
Don’t be afraid to haggle. Although it is uncomfortable for many people to haggle in a store setting, furniture is one of the common goods that can be haggled for. Furniture stores greatly increase the price on furniture to make a profit, so you don’t have to settle for the advertised price. If you’re good, you should be able to knock off 10%-20% on the original price, while the supplier will still make a profit. If you’re not comfortable about haggling for the price, try haggling for free add-ons like delivery, set up, or additional décor items.
Look into buying used. Used furniture doesn’t necessarily mean it is poor quality, it just means that someone no longer is interested in owning it. Look for used furniture online in your area and in local thrift and antique stores. You’ll likely be able to find something that’s good quality, albeit a bit worn, for a much lower price than you would in a department store. Keep in mind that even if the used furniture isn’t in the best shape, you can update and clean it up a bit on your own at home.
Look into buying floor models. Floor model furniture is that that is placed out for buyers to test and admire before purchasing. As a result, it may have mild wear and tear, but is typically in good shape. The best part about purchasing floor models? You can often get them for 50% off the advertised price. Ask a salesperson about the floor models available for sale, or just point one out that you really love and start haggling.