So you want to furnish your home. Maybe you’ve made the big step and purchased a home. Congratulations! Or maybe you just feel like your home or holiday rental needs a refresh. You’re looking around your home and realizing that there’s something missing. You’d really like a new bed to complete your new guest room, and you’ll need a couple of couches to fill out your family room.
A new dining room table for when you invite guests over. Of course you’ll need accessory furniture too — end tables, lamps, maybe an entertainment center. But buying new furniture is no small financial hurdle, so how do you go forward without blowing your budget?
Follow these simple steps:
Do Your Homework
When it comes to buying furniture it’s important to do the extra legwork at the beginning. You’ll be living with your furniture for a while, so you’ll want to make sure that it’s what you need and what you want.
Will it Fit?
Make sure you measure how it will fit your space. This doesn’t just include the length of the item, but also the width. How far into the room will your new overstuffed chair be? Will it interfere with the arrangement of the room?
It’s also important to measure to see if it will fit in your house or apartment. Sometimes people purchase furniture that will fit the space in their living room or bedroom, but will not fit through their doorway or up the stairs in their apartment building. This is a very frustrating experience that is easily avoided with a little extra planning.
What’s Your Style?
It’s also important to think about your color scheme and style. Consider buying neutral colors that will work even if you decide to paint the walls or change your decor. This will also be beneficial if you think you’d like to sell it one day — neutral is a lot easier to sell than funky colors.
You’ll also want to consider how your new furniture might look with the rest of your decor and furniture. Contemporary furniture can be a good choice for long-lasting pieces because their simple design makes them easier to match with different styles.
Think About Maintenance
When it comes to choosing furniture, it’s important to consider what kind of maintenance is involved. If you have children or pets in your home, it’s a good idea to search for furniture that is easy to care for. As beautiful as it might be, you’ll probably not want to buy white furniture when you have a house full of kids.
Instead, search for fabrics that are stain resistant. Spend a few extra dollars to buy mattress protectors for your new mattresses, and ask about the durability of the wood finish on a new kitchen table.
If the furniture does require some extra maintenance, be sure to ask about it when you make your purchase. Ask the best way to maintain appearance and quality for all the furniture you buy so you’re able to keep using it as the years go by.
Search for Deals
When it comes to buying furniture, it’s always smart to search for a good deal. Here’s a list of ways to save money when you’re out searching for your next sofa.
Buy at the Right Time
Turns out that when you buy furniture can really affect the pricing. Buying indoor furniture in January or at the end of summer can get you deep discounts as they roll in the new merchandise and want to dump last season’s designs. For outdoor furniture, you’ll usually find the best sales between the fourth of July and September.
Sometimes it can be spend-savvy to buy furniture sets together rather than as separate pieces. Buying an entire living room set at one time could save money in the long-run.
Purchase the Floor Model
Many furniture stores offer discounts when you opt to purchase the floor model of the furniture that you’re looking for. If the piece still looks great, it can be an excellent way of saving a few dollars.
It may seem counterintuitive in a budget-friendly article to include a section on buying expensive furniture, but this can actually be a very good way to save money. While you may need to take your time and spread out your purchases, buying quality pieces means that you will have it for a long time.
This also means that you should be patient and really LOVE what you’re buying because chances are you’ll be using it for a while.
While inexpensive furniture items can feel like a really good deal at the time, chances are they will start to break or show wear much sooner than a high-quality item. This definitely means more dollars upfront, but fewer dollars over a lifetime.
How to Know It’s Quality
Buying quality is a great option, but how do you know if something is of good quality? How do you know that the extra money you spend will equal a longer life of the item?
Examine the Materials
If you’re looking at the quality of a piece of furniture, always inspect what kind of materials were used. Many wooden furniture pieces are not made from solid wood. The furniture that you buy cheaply will likely be made from pressboard, MDF, or flakeboard. In other words, materials that likely break down and diminish in appearance more quickly.
It’s also important to note that not all solid wood pieces are made alike. Softwoods like Pine are better than pressboard but will collect surface dings and scratches much more quickly than hardwoods like Oak.
For upholstered furniture, you’ll want to avoid lightweight foams and fillings, and you’ll want to find fabrics that are sturdy and aren’t so thin that they’re easily punctured.
Check the Drawers
For desks and dressers, it’s important to check how well the drawers slide. Cheap drawer slides will result in a frustrating experience down the road when they break and make the drawer dysfunctional. Also check that the knobs and handles are securely attached and aren’t turning or rattling.
Go Ahead and Take a Seat
Your furniture will be yours for hopefully a long long time. Don’t be afraid to test the furniture out. If it’s not comfortable for you now, you can’t expect it to be comfortable later. This will also allow you to see how sturdy a piece of furniture is when you put your full wait on it and move around. If it feels like it might break in the showroom, you’ll know it’s not worth bringing home.
Finance Your Furniture
The cheapest way to buy furniture is upfront without additional financing. Paying with cash will avoid interest costs, monthly payments, and additional fees. However, if you find that you don’t have the money upfront, you can always finance your furniture. While you won’t want to take on significant debt, there are sometimes incentives that furniture stores will offer to make payments more easily.
Layaway is a good way to reserve furniture that you know you’ll love, but don’t have the money to pay for it upfront. Many furniture stores will allow you to set aside the furniture you want and make monthly payments on it until you can afford to pay it off. This can be a very good option because it avoids interest fees, but you may still have to pay some additional layaway fees so ask about that upfront.
Sometimes furniture stores will team up with a lender to offer 0% interest financing many times for up to a year or more. This can be a really good option if you have extra money in your budget from month to month, but not all the upfront capital to purchase your furniture at once.
There is a catch, however. Be very careful to make sure that you make your payments on time or you will be liable for very high-interest payments.
There’s no reason that you should feel overwhelmed by the need to buy furniture. There are so many options available to the buyer that it doesn’t have to be a burden. Take your time and have fun selecting your furniture pieces as you imagine them in your home. Imagine entertaining guests, sitting around a kitchen table and telling stories, or relaxing on the couch after a long day. Just take time to enjoy your home and all its furnishings!
By Anna Kucirkova