Whether you’re moving into your first home, or simply enjoying a spending spree, splashing out on new furniture is both a treat and joy. It also requires some serious thought, as you will have to live with your choices for some time to come. So, bear in mind that there are a few things to consider, so check out our furniture shopping guide!
Furniture Shopping Guide:
Match Your Needs and Your Budget
What you need is one thing, why you need it is another. Sometimes it’s better to buy a plant and place it in the space of something you might manage to save up for, rather than spending on a piece of furniture that is temporary. Set aside a budget and stick to it. Wait for the sales if something is not so urgent, and plan wisely. Secondhand is always worth a look too – scour the small ads of local papers, internet free ads, or visit local charity shops and boot fairs for bargains.
Investment or Temporary?
That brings us to the choice of investment or not. Do you want antique, expensive pieces, that will be future heirlooms, or are you more practical, a flat-pack type of person? Classic lines or contemporary? Furniture, like everything else, goes in and out of fashion, you might want the latest trend in home decor now, but will you still want it in a year’s time?
What’s Your Style?
Arguably the most important thing to consider in a furniture shopping guide is the style of your home, just as much as your taste. A period home can take modern lines well, but you won’t go wrong by sourcing original pieces, perhaps mixing them up. Of course, you also have to live with your choice of furniture, so you should also like it! Maybe you’re a couple with entirely different taste? Then be prepared to compromise, or you might find yourselves living apart.
Sofa so Good
A sofa is an important part of the furniture, in fact, probably the most important purchase. So, think carefully. That white fabric corner suite would look great. Five minutes with the kids, the dog and you with a few glasses of wine later…not such a great buy, more like an expensive mistake. So, buy something washable, hard-wearing and durable – unless you live on your own and have a severe case of OCD. Size matters too, make sure it will not swamp the room or be too close to a fire or doors. In fact, ensure it will fit through the front door. Measure up before you pay up.
You may findyourself eating in a lot more than dining out after all the money has been splurged, so buy a table and chairs that will be comfortable to sit at, and age well. Are you the occasional dinner party host, or a party animal? Will the kids be doing their homework there, or will it double as a desk in a home office? Buy foldable chairs if you are limited to the amount of space, and a drop leaf table, or a long and impressive piece if you have space and social life to complement it.
(And) so to Bed
Your bed is an often overlooked or rushed purchase. The frame can be plain, with a separate headboard which you can always change, or you might choose a heavy wooden bed with attached bedstead. What about the mattress? It’s all about that base. A quick roll around in the showroom won’t tell you how your back will feel after five years of living with, and sleeping on, a mattress.
So, ask questions, look at the many different types of mattress, and spend wisely. Spend more money on the family beds, and less on the guest room. We spend a lot of time in bed – and we only have one spine.