Everyone loves a great deal, but sometimes we rush in too quickly and buy the first thing we see, without thorough consideration. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision when shopping for furniture.
1. Measure up
- Measure your space and don't forget to consider opening space for cupboard doors and entry doorways - it would be a shame to have the item delivered, only to find it doesn't fit through the doorway! Click here for more measuring tips.
2. Is it the right colour?
- Use colour samples and photos as a reference when out and about.
- Buying online tip. Contact the store to see if the colour of the item featured is an accurate colour match to the piece you’re about to buy.
- It can be difficult to choose the right design and colour piece for your home, particularly as there are so many options and elements within your room to consider. Before purchasing your furniture, it's a good idea to create a design mood board.
3. Quality assurance. It's important to remember, price isn't always indicative of quality or value!
- When a furniture piece is featured as "leather", make certain it's genuine leather, not faux leather
- If you're looking for a long life-span from your furniture, open draws and look at joins to see how it has been pieced together. Is it pieced using a less sturdy form of joineries such as glue and staples, or has it been pieced using quality dowels and dovetail joinery?
- Check the warranty, particularly if you're spending thousands of dollars on one piece.
- Look at blog reviews and consider other consumer experiences with this seller and/or manufacturer when deciding.
- Consider the type of timber used? Is it solid wood, softwood such as pine with a timber stain finish, timber veneer or if it's made from compressed particle board?
4. Factor In Added Costs.
- Does the company deliver? Is there a delivery fee?
- Does the piece come assembled or do you need to spend time or money piecing it together?
5. Cost-saving tips
- Do your research and equip yourself with as much intel as you can, including; price, quality of materials used and where the piece was manufactured. Once you have done this, bargain with retailers to see who will give you the best price on items you're prepared to buy. Also, don't be shy to ask if you can get delivery included free, particularly if you are purchasing more than one item or a large ticket item.
- Shop around for retailers offering sale items, or if possible, wait for "end of financial year sales".
- Particularly if you are spending a significant amount in one store, ask if there is something they can throw in free; bed-sheets, a table cloth or any other item they might be able to include at no cost.
- If you aren't paying cash, establish if they offer interest-free terms.
6. Time-saving tip.
- If you’ve waited for major sale periods, including end of financial year sales or boxing day sales, consider going shopping mid-week to avoid the busy weekend chaos - this also gives you more one-on-one time with staff.
- Phone the shop to find if they still have stock of the piece you’re interested in before taking a drive.
- Do your research from the comfort of your home before battling shopping centres.
- Be organised with a checklist. This checklist will include the name of the retailer, name of the service person, contact details (location, tel, email, web address), original price of the item, discount price of the item, when sale ends, quality details which are important to you, delivery costs, questions you would like to ask
- If you're assembling the piece yourself, see if you can get your hands on a construction manual before purchasing the item. It would be a shame to get delivery of an item and find there are over 100 screws and an insane amount of piecing to master before you can enjoy it.
- If you are going to be assembling furniture, make certain you have all the tools you need to piece it together before it arrives. Many manufacturers provide basic tools such as a hex key (also known as Allen wrench or Allen key) and mini wrenches. However, for some jobs, you may need other tools which aren't provided.
7. Practical decisions to consider before you buy
- Do you entertain at home on weekends and special occasions? Would an extendable table fit and be a good option for your lifestyle?
- What material and colour is going to go the distance? If you have children and pets, consider how long that lovely white swede or fabric upholstery is going to last. If you are daring to take the risk, consider Scotchgarding first.
- Does the furniture you're purchasing provide enough storage space for your needs?
- If you're buying furniture for a small space, read this article "7 Tips For Styling Apartments + Other Small Spaces".
- If you have furniture on legs, is there enough space to fit a vacuum head or mop, or can you easily move the piece to clean underneath?