Things to Consider Before You Buy Furniture
Furniture is the base that you build any room around, and you want to choose that foundation with care. Take some of the stress out of furniture shopping by understanding your needs. Make a plan before you make your first purchase. Here are four essential things to consider to make sure you pick the right furniture for your home.
Each room in your home has a specific function. Sure, the bedroom is for sleeping, but maybe you also need it to be a place to work or meditate. Go room by room and really consider how you will be using the space. Don’t get stuck by the room’s original use. Why furnish a formal dining room when that space could better be used as a library or playroom?
Make a list of the furniture that you’d like in each room to fill your needs. Furnishing a nursery? You’ll need a crib, a changing table, clothes and toy storage, a place to sit like a glider and ottoman for all the cuddling, reading and late-night feedings.
For a living room, you’ll want a sofa, chairs, coffee table, end table, and lighting. Once you have your list, go back through and make sure your furniture list matches your list of needs. Do you have sufficient storage in each room, did you remember to include a workspace for kids’ homework, etc.?
Your next consideration should be the size of each room. You may need your living room to also function as an office and a playroom, but do you actually have the space to make all of that happen? The size of your room and the number of pieces you need will also dictate the scale of the furniture you buy. You don’t want to buy a big sectional, for example, only to have it completely overwhelm your living room.
To test out various room configurations before you splurge on a set of cool club chairs that end up not working with your existing sofa, use a virtual design app. With apps like Floor Plan Creator or Home Design 3-D, you can create a floor plan in 3-D using your room dimension and the size and shape of your potential furniture.
If you’re running low on space, consider multifunction furniture, like an ottoman that can also serve as storage, a murphy bed for an office/extra bedroom or a coffee table that converts into a small desk.
While an unlimited budget is everyone’s dream, it is not most people’s reality. Like it or not, your budget is going to determine at least some of your furniture purchases. Go back to your furniture wish list and rank your list by priority. There are some pieces, like sofas and mattresses, that are worth splurging on for quality, while others, like accent tables and area rugs that you can find in most styles at an affordable price.
The last consideration is often the toughest to figure out. Even if you know what furnishings you need to fill your space and understand your budget, picking pieces that fit your style can difficult when you don’t know exactly what your style is. Start by flipping through design magazines or collecting room photos on Pinterest. Some furniture never goes out of style. Like reclaimed wood, for example.
Is there a common thread to the pictures? Are you looking to create an eclectic, lived-in vibe or are you drawn to more streamlined, modern looks? Once you have pinpointed your style preference, you can choose items that fit that scheme.
Choosing furniture is a big task, but determining your needs and wants in terms of function, space, budget, and style will help you whittle down your choices and end up with a house that feels like a home.
Do you have any tips?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist and editor of lifestyle blog Whispered Inspirations. A social media junkie, a travel-lover with insatiable wanderlust and an aficionado for fun gadgets, good eats, and entertainment. You can find her on Instagram and everywhere else under @WhispersInspire.