Buying new furniture can be both a fun and exhausting experience. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options a new furniture buyer has, not just in terms of how customized the shopping experience can be but also the amount of furniture stores that potentially exist in your area. If you are a first time furniture buyer, here are a few tips to help you navigate the world of furniture shopping!
1. Build a budget (and assume you’re low!)
Most first time furniture buyers are always surprised at how much a brand-new bed or couch will cost. Even at the “cheap” furniture stores many new furniture buyers will suffer from a bit of sticker shock. When you’re beginning your shopping adventure, it’s important to figure out your budget. Maybe you can’t afford to buy a full bedroom set this month, so you spread the purchases out over the next three months and build your new bedroom over time. It’ll be a lot less painful on your wallet!
2. Decide what you need versus what you want.
Buying furniture for the first time can be a lot of fun. It’s the opportunity to express yourself as an individual and figure out a design style that is uniquely you. However, it’s very easy to get carried away and make grandiose plans for hutches, benches, ottomans, room dividers, entertainment centers and more—but what do you really need? This will often tie back into your budget. You NEED a bed, you may WANT a bar for the living room—which one are you willing to pay for?
3. Research local furniture manufacturers.
When looking around for local furniture manufacturers, it’s important to make sure you work with a reputable seller. Here are a few things you want to ask before you pull out your wallet for a new furniture purchase:
- Do they offer warranties? Lifetime or limited?
- Do they offer home delivery? At what cost?
- Any furniture sales or deals going on?
4. Factor in your lifestyle.
If you plan on moving to a new apartment in the next few months ask yourself, do I want to assemble all this furniture only to disassemble it in 3 months? Are you planning on having kids anytime soon? Do you have pets? Is your significant other moving in? All of these lifestyle factors and more should influence what kind of furniture you’re looking to buy. Furniture is an investment, and you want to make sure you are going to get your monies worth for a long time to come.
5. See it in person.
There is a big difference between looking at a picture online versus seeing it in person. Is that chair the same shade of green in the light of day as it is in a staged photo? How comfortable is that new bed or couch? How tall is the coffee table? While there is nothing wrong with shopping online (it’s fast and convenient) if you have the option to see your new furniture in person before you purchase it it’s definitely worth a quick trip to the store.