When Buying Furniture, Do Your Homework First
Shopping for furniture can be an exciting and daunting project. Furniture is a major expense, and an investment in your future. At the same time, you need to consider many different factors: comfort, individual tastes, dimensions, how well it matches your other furniture and decor, etc. When buying furniture, it’s important to remember that you will be living with it for a long time. The best advice for home decorating is to do your homework beforehand. And in the end, go with the pieces that speak to your heart.
Buying furniture is a major investment
Home decorating and furniture purchases usually mark a major transition in your life. When you’re ready to buy furniture, you’ve crossed a threshold. And furniture is a major investment. For most people, it’s the third most expensive thing they will ever buy, after their house and their car. So it pays to not only think through your options in advance, but also to do your homework.
What kind of look are you aiming for? Sleek, contemporary and sophisticated? Or comfy and overstuffed chairs that you can simply collapse into at the end of a hard day at work? Traditional and classic are other lasting styles. And we do mean lasting: a good sofa will last anywhere from seven to fifteen years. And according to Good Housekeeping magazine, recliners last on average for about 10 years.
Have you done your homework?
It’s a good idea to start your researches online, to get an idea of what’s out there. Once you have a rough picture of styles, colors and prices, it’s time to check out the furniture stores in person. It’s almost always a good idea to check out any piece of furniture before deciding to buy it. When it cones to home decorating, you don’t need a degree in interior design, but it helps to know what you like.
Seeing a piece of furniture gives you a good feeling for the texture, appearance and level of comfort. If it’s a sofa or a chair, sit on it. If it’s a bed or a mattress, try lying down in different positions. The best time to find out whether or not a piece of furniture suits you is before you buy it. For chairs, it’s a good idea to pick one with a foam density of at least 1.9 on the cushions. This tells you that the cushions will be of a quality that can survive daily usage.
New generation, new tastes
Spending on furniture and home decorating and furnishings has grown steadily over the years and was worth about $101.41 billion dollars in 2013. Of this, home furnishings contributed about $44.36 billion in sales.
There’s also a generational shift in the segments of the population buying furniture, as the Baby Boomers give way to the Millennials. In just the past few years, Millennials have become the largest segment of furniture shoppers, making up 37% of all households buying furniture and bedding in 2014.
With the generational shift, home decorating and furniture stores are changing too. Everything from accent furniture to living room furniture will reflect the tastes of the new generation.
One final piece of advice is to be prepared to be surprised. You may come across a chair or rug that isn’t on your furniture buying or home decorating list, or even close. But you just have to have it. Based on personal experience, the best advice is to go ahead and buy a piece that speaks to your heart, so long as you’re not blowing your next rent or mortgage payment on it. It’s the pieces that you pass up that will haunt you for a long time.