Buying furniture for your new home is exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking. Luckily, we have five expert-approved tips on buying furniture.
Buying new furniture is exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking. What are the must-haves, and what accessories go with them? What color schemes match, and which ones should you stay away from?
The overwhelming possibilities of home decor make many people run to the experts for help. But you don’t have to hire an interior designer to get professional advice.
Over the decades, certain methods have worked for design experts, and they can work for you, too. Here are some expert secrets on how to buy furniture for your new home.
1. Start With a List of Must-Haves
Before you tackle any project, you should make a list of things that need to be done. The same rule applies to furniture shopping.
Experts know that without a list, you’re walking into a shopping trip with no direction. This can easily lead to buying random objects that catch your eye but don’t serve a purpose or match your other decor.
It may also lead to spending a lot of extra money on unnecessary products.
When you write your list, organize the items in order of importance. Stick with the necessities first.
Furniture-wise, this usually consists of things like your bed, nightstand, couch, and kitchen table. You may already have some of these, so the other furnishings should match the decor you plan to keep.
Once you have your list of necessities taken care of, you can then turn to the accessories. You know the color scheme you’re looking for, so you can start looking for nonessentials, such as:
- TV stand or mounts for each room
- Extra nightstands
- Patio furniture
- Office furniture
It’s up to you if you want all of these furnishings or just a few. Don’t rush in and buy everything on the list if you don’t have the need for it. It’ll still be there if you change your mind later!
2. Run Through a Mental Checklist Before You Buy
Everyone’s style is unique, and how you’ll use each piece of furniture depends on your family situation.
Some people want a soft and comfortable sofa where they can binge Netflix or read for hours. Other people need furniture that can survive being used as a playground by toddlers and pets.
It’s important to know your ultimate goal for each furniture item before you go shopping. Once you commit to a piece, it’s an expensive mistake if it doesn’t fit your checklist.
Taking a list with you when you shop keeps you from convincing yourself something is perfect when it’s really not. Write down the criteria that you will not compromise on and things you’d like to have but aren’t set on.
For instance, maybe you’d love a suede couch but would be okay with microfiber. Or maybe you want a six-seater kitchen table but would accept an eight if it were a drop-leaf table.
Be as thorough as you want to be. Quality furniture can be expensive. Make it an investment that you are completely satisfied with!
Having the list helps the salesperson, too. They won’t waste your time (or theirs) showing you items that don’t meet your criteria.
3. Know What to Stay Away From and What’s a Bargain
Some people seem to be hardwired for bargain-hunting. They will only buy a product if it’s on sale, and they’ll buy it whether they need it or not because it’s a bargain.
When it comes to furniture, though, something cheap isn’t necessarily a good deal.
Instead of rushing to buy a piece that looks decent and has an affordable price tag, keep these tips in mind:
- Avoid particleboard and composite wood for heavily used areas. This material is weak and breaks easily.
- Stay away from heavy, cumbersome furniture, especially if you have floors that scratch easily.
- For families with younger children and busy lifestyles, veneer woods are safer. They aren’t as heavy as solid wood, but if they get wet, you won’t be worried about expensive furniture being ruined.
- Opt for a fabric that can hold up to the people and pets in your home. Lighter colors look nice, but spills can ruin the upholstery. Microfiber is easy to clean, and dark colors hide stains better.
- Focus on finding the best furniture for high-traffic areas. A piece that will deteriorate quickly isn’t a good deal, no matter the price.
If the bargain piece meets all of these criteria, then run, don’t walk, to the register!
4. Put Your Geometry Skills to Use
Professional designers know the importance of geometry in designing a room. Scale and proportion, two math concepts many of us ignored in high school, are integral to furniture buying.
Scale is used to ensure that a piece of furniture fits the people who’ll use it and the room it’s going to live in.
Proportion, on the other hand, compares one furniture item to another. When items are proportionate, they are more aesthetically pleasing.
Experts use the golden ratio, a mathematical concept frequently found in nature, to find the perfect proportion in interior design. If you want to decorate your home like a pro, look into that concept.
However, if you’re a more casual decorator, just make sure that your furniture looks comfortable in the room and next to your other pieces. Keeping scale and proportion in mind will help you to design a cozy, welcoming room.
5. Avoid Going Overboard
It’s easy to overshop when you’re moving into a new home. That’s why lists, criteria, and color schemes are important to know before you go to the store.
It’s understandable to get excited and want to get everything at once. But if you’re looking for professional advice, experts recommend that you only buy a little furniture at a time.
Live in your home for a while so you know what’s missing. Slowly, you’ll start to figure out what you need, how big it should be, and what needs to match with what. With patience, you’ll save money and be much more satisfied!
Decorating your home should be exciting, but it can get stressful.
However, these professional tips have been used in interior design for centuries, and they can take a lot of stress out of the decorating process. Lose the worry and enjoy your new home!
Jenny Bullock graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University and currently works with Broadstone Briar Forest to make life better for their residents every day.