A house is not a home without furniture, but not just any furniture will do. It has to be the right furniture for you and your space. In this post we’ll take a look at some handy furniture buying tips and advice to help make the process of furniture buying easier and not stressful.
#1 – Work Out a Furniture Spending Budget
Even if you’re only planning on buying the one piece of furniture, it’s always a good idea to have some sort of price or budget in mind. That way you can search within your boundaries.
If you are going to be buying more than one piece, or numerous furniture items, sit down and write out the highest price you’re willing to spend on each piece. If your total budget ends up being over what you were thinking of spending, prioritise which furniture pieces are most important, and allocate less cash to those that are least important until you arrive at a total figure that works.
Budgeting helps you plan better, and you are less likely to make any mistakes, such as spending way too much on one thing, and then leaving yourself with no money to buy something else you need.
#2 – Should You Buy New Or Used Furniture?
Anything new is always awesome. It’s nice to know that an item has no damage whatsoever and that you’re the first one to use it.
The problem with furniture is that some pieces can be quite expensive. Let’s say you really wanted a lounge covered in genuine leather. To buy it new will cost a small fortune, but you could likely find a good used one for a fraction of the new price.
It really depends on your budget and the quality you’re after whether you should buy new or second hand.
If money is a little tight, there’s no reason why you couldn’t buy some furniture items brand new and some used. Maybe used items could be things that are less personal, like a TV cabinet or a coffee table, and when it comes to sofas and beds, you could buy these new.
#3 – Always Measure Up Your Space and the Furniture
Sometimes people forget to do this when they spot something they really like, whether it’s online or in a store.
Before shopping for any specific piece of furniture, if you don’t have a lot of available space in your home or apartment, be sure to remember to measure up the area where you plan to situate your new couch, dining table or whatever.
Take a tape measure into stores with you and measure any item you’re interested in to see if it will fit.
The same goes for online purchases. Most furniture listings on Amazon, Walmart and so on will include the item’s dimensions, so check to see if they match up with your measurements of available space.
It’s not just whether the furniture piece will fit exactly either. You also need room around it. As an example, a dining table will require enough space around it for diners to be able to pull the chairs out. You also want to be able to comfortably walk around it when passing through too.
The same goes for just about every piece of furniture you will buy.
#4 – What Kind of Style Do Your Prefer?
Style is more about things like:
- And so on…
Modern and contemporary are very similar. Modern tends to be on the minimalistic side of things with not much detail, clean, straight lines and solid, often neutral colours. The good thing about modern is it’s relatively easy to match up modern furniture pieces with other modern furniture pieces.
Traditional is more old fashioned and is often referred to as a “mid-century” furniture style. There is more detail, including things like turned legs on tables and lounges, and when it comes to sofas, lots of tufted and rounded cushioning.
Rustic is more natural and organic, with lots of genuine timber and sometimes wrought iron.
Retro furniture will include throwbacks to the 1970s and 80s.
What style you choose really just depends on what you like, and what kind of furniture you already have in your home. You don’t want things to clash by combining modern and traditional in the same room, such as the living room.
#5 – Buying Online VS Buying In a Store
The are advantages and disadvantages to both. One advantage of buying online is you can search through various retailers to find the best price, and you can do this from the comfort of home. Sometimes you’ll find a cheaper price than what the retailers offer, as many online stores have lower overheads, such as selling through Amazon FBA or drop shipping.
Obviously the biggest plus to buying in store is you can see the item in real life and don’t have to be concerned with what it’ll be like when it arrives via a courier, like with online purchases. You can even test out in store furniture, something you can’t do online.
It’s really up to you which way you go. You might find something you really like online that you just can’t buy in a store near you.
It’s very safe buying online furniture these days, particularly if you go through a retailer like Amazon, which very much looks after its customers.
#6 – How Many People Will Be Using the Furniture?
It may sound like an odd question to ask yourself in some ways, but it’s very important.
If you’re buying a lounge, how many people will regularly be sitting on it at the same time? Do you need a 3 seater, or will a 2 seater love seat do the job?
And what about the dining setting? Does it need to be a 3 piece, 5 piece, 7 piece?
Even the size of your coffee table might be dictated by how many people will use it at once. If there are 6 people in the living room, all huddled around the coffee table with a beverage and snacks, you’ll need a table that’s big enough to accommodate this.
You’ll also want to take into account how big the people are in your household and whether something like smaller sized dining chairs will be too small for the biggest person.
It’s always better to ask and answer these questions first rather than later.
#7 – Does the Retailer Deliver?
Most retailers, online of offline, will offer some form of delivery service when it comes to having your furniture delivered to your door. Usually this will incur an extra fee, as it’s rather hard to offer free shipping on big, heavy items. Sometimes the cost of delivery might be included in the price, but not usually.
If you’re buying from a store, you might be able to fit the piece in your car, van or truck and save on delivery costs, but if not, you’ll have to remember to include delivery fees in your budget.
If you’re buying online, chances are you won’t be able to pick up the item yourself and you’ll definitely be paying delivery costs.
So there’s a few basic tips and questions to keep in mind when going on the furniture hunt. It’s always better to be over-prepared, as this helps avoid mistakes or going way over-budget.
Just have fun with the process and you’ll find it’s very stress-free.