By Jennifer Ritchie

Design Consultant

Buying new furniture for your home can be a daunting task, but once you get organized and have a plan it can be a really fun and interactive experience!  I want to give you some tips and tricks to making your buying experience one that is stress free. Buying furniture is more than just stepping into a store and picking something randomly. Planning is key to finding exactly what you want. 

The first thing you should do is sit down and create a budget for the piece or room you are shopping for. Do your research so you don't get “sticker shock” when you walk into a showroom. Remember to be realistic. Think about how much you will be using the furniture you will be purchasing and the function it will serve. Is it in a high traffic area? Do you have kids, pets, or grandchildren? Is the furniture going to be in a formal room that is used minimally or in a living room used daily? These are some questions that will help determine your budget and the quality of the piece.

The next step is to make a plan. This means taking measurements and photos of the space you’re wanting to fill.  Gather paint, fabric, and flooring samples to match if you can. Even if you have to carry a sofa pillow with you – this is a helpful step. You will be thankful in the end that colors will match beautifully.  Make sure to measure doorways, hallways, and stairways to ensure the pieces you purchase will fit through them. Having a plan will mean less trips back and forth to the showroom and will make your life a lot easier. 

Remember to do your research! Cheaper is not always better— especially when purchasing furniture. Find out how high quality furniture is constructed, why it is made that way, and who makes and carries the best quality for your money. Find out what an eight-way hand tied frame means, or what dovetailed joints are. The more you know about the construction of the product the more you understand what you are buying and paying for. Something may look the same but the construction is a much lower quality. The adage, “You get what you pay for” really applies here. My recommendation, if you are purchasing a trendy occasional piece or something that you will trade out in a year or two, is that it may be better to go a less expensive route. However; if you are buying a sofa or a piece that you want for years to come, invest in quality and you will be so happy you did. Quality means you will not have to replace the piece in a couple years when it could likely break down.

Knowing the scale of furniture is important. You never want to purchase something that is too big for the space or too small. This can create a feeling of overcrowding or that the furniture is too small. You always have to take in account the height of your ceiling and windows. High ceilings make a room appear larger while low ceilings can make the room appear smaller. 

If all this seems overwhelming get a professionals help. An Interior Designer is skilled in their knowledge of furniture, design, scale, color theory, and how to bring a whole room together. Interior designers have the experience to take all the stress out of designing a space or even just finding that one perfect piece. Larrabee’s Furniture and Design offers complementary design service to help you create a space you will fall in love with!