Once a home is purchased and it’s time to move in, most new owners rush to buy new furniture to fill empty rooms. While those pieces may look just right in the showroom, they often lose their appeal when delivered. Here are seven tips for buying furniture that’s just right for your new home.
Before looking, the first step is to decide on a budget. Next, decide how many pieces to purchase, prioritizing the ones you need most. In the beginning of shopping, see if you need to adjust based on your preferences, and add in a little extra for freight and delivery fees.
Take the time to draw your room to size, then take measurements of furniture you like from websites or catalogs, and draw those in to visualize how the pieces fit. Or, use painter’s tape to mark off dimensions on the floor and walk around the “furniture.” Be sure to allow for 36 inches of walking space between walls and furniture for major pathways. Measure doorways and stairwells to make sure pieces will fit when delivered.
3. Hard finish materials
How do you choose the right wood type or stain? Take cues from the room and other furniture to determine what will coordinate. If possible, take showroom samples home. The material choice should also take into account usage. A kitchen table used daily should not ding or scratch easily and will need a harder wood.
Different soft finishes require different types of fabric. For example, curtain fabric is not the same as what you’d use on a couch. Upholstery fabric uses a rub count, referring to each time it’s touched, to determine its longevity. A higher rub count means a more durable fabric. Also, ask about stain and water resistance, as well as cleaning tips, especially if you have pets or children.
Look for direction from your other pieces as well as your house to determine a style that will coordinate well. Most times, the new piece should fit seamlessly instead of clashing with your other décor. Occasionally, a statement piece in an opposing style can work, but it needs to be deliberate.
6. Buying furniture new
New furniture comes in ready-made, semi-custom, and fully custom – and each reflects a different price tag. Ready-made means you’ll receive a mass-produced piece with the exact features you saw on the showroom floor. Semi-custom allows selection of finishes – wood choice and stain, fabric choice, cushion material – and pieces might come in a few different predetermined sizes. Fully custom, the most expensive option, takes the longest time from order to delivery, but gives full choice on every aspect resulting in a one-of-a-kind piece. Warranties often accompany a new furniture purchase.
7. Used or vintage pieces
Buying used can be cost-effective, if the size and color work for your space, although searching for just the right piece might take a little longer. Vintage pieces add a dose of flair to your style, but might need reupholstering, adding to your cost. Whichever you choose, good furniture is an investment, so be sure the size, style, and color work for your overall décor, as well as being a piece you love.