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8 Questions to Ask Before Buying Furniture

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Avalon Heights Collection Bedroom - Stanley Furniture

Avalon Heights Collection Bedroom - Stanley Furniture

Photo (c) Stanley Furniture

Before buying furniture, asking yourself these questions may prevent hasty decisions. It would be sad to spend a lot of money, only to be overcome by buyer’s remorse as soon as the eagerly awaited purchase is delivered.

At that point there are two unpleasant choices: the hassle of returning or exchanging your furniture, or learning to live with it even though it doesn’t feel right.

In other words, impulse buying when it comes to furniture is best avoided as it can wreak havoc with your sanity and pocketbook.

It is easier to figure out what you need by asking yourself these simple questions:

  1. How much space do I have?

    Space is important because it determines the scale and number of pieces to buy. What would you consider absolutely essential in a small space? Could something serve a dual purpose? Would a certain finish or color make a piece less overwhelming?

    Furnishing a Small Space

    A large space might mean that your furniture has to be scaled accordingly, as small pieces tend to look scattered and without anchor in larger spaces. Learn how to use your space effectively.

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  2. Who uses that space?

    Obviously you have more leeway in choosing a style or fabric if only you are going to use that space. However, if others are sharing it, their needs and preferences have to be addressed as well.

    This is important in determining the type of furniture you need, its height, width and even the depth of a seat. It should be a consideration in choosing colors, fabrics, finishes and material. For instance, a delicate color or fabric would not work well in a room where small children play.

    Tips on Buying Stylish, Kid Friendly Furniture
    Fabric Wearability Code
    Prevent Furniture Tip-Over Injuries

  3. What is the space used for?

    Your furniture should always serve as the background for your life and as it is meant to enhance and complement it, it should not be a maintenance nightmare.

    Is it the room where the family watches TV and unwinds? Then comfortable seating and a coffee table with a hardy finish should be among the pieces you consider. Maybe you need fabric protection if your family likes to snack while watching TV.

    If it is a dining room or bedroom will it also serve as a home office? Or will your home office double as a guest room?

    Furnishing a Flexible Home Office
    How to Choose a TV Stand
    5 Essentials for a Guest Room

  4. Which colors do I find attractive?

    Do you find yourself gravitating towards certain colors? It would be smart to consider them, because your favorite colors tend to make you feel comfortable and happy. Are there any colors that you absolutely, positively hate? Avoid them even if they happen to be in fashion at the moment. What about the intensity of the color? Decide on colors that make you feel good and evoke the kind of mood you want in that room.

    Pantone Color Predictions
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  5. Is there other furniture or artwork in the room already?

    Any furniture, rugs, or artwork that you already have can serve as a good starting point. It’s a good idea to take pre-existing pieces into consideration or your room could end up looking hodgepodge and uninviting even if all the pieces are wonderful individually. You should also consider if your new piece is going to be the focal point in the room, or play a secondary role.

    Tips for Decorating with Rugs
    Using Visual Weight in Decorating
  6. How do I start from scratch?

    While this can be scary, it can also be very exciting. What can possibly be more exhilarating than furnishing your own space the way you want to?

    If it is difficult to get started, go through magazines, catalogs and websites, to collect pictures that appeal to you. It will soon help you determine your own personal style if you don’t know it already. Take a look at this fun exercise to discover your own style:

    Find Your Style

    Going through magazines and websites may also provide you with manufacturer’s names and furniture retail stores where you can buy what you need.

    How to Mix Traditional and Modern Furniture Styles How to Buy Furniture
  7. How long do I plan to use it?

    How long you plan to use a piece of furniture determines how much you should spend on it, or whether you’d be satisfied making a compromise. If you plan to use something for just a couple of years or like to change your surroundings frequently then it might not be a good idea to buy very expensive furniture. However when you want something to last it makes sense to look for quality.

    How to Judge a Sofa for Quality
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  8. And finally, but most importantly, what kind of a budget do I have?

    Is money no object or do you have a limited budget? Even if it is the latter, you can find a variety of furniture to fit any kind of taste, budget or need. Look around before you buy, do some research on websites, and compare stores for prices. You should end up with something that you absolutely love. Don't rule out used furniture that you can refurbish or re-purpose if your budget is preventing you from buying quality furniture.

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