Five Furniture Buying Tips: Things You Need to Know

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When buying furniture, we all want quality at reasonable prices.  Budget is the biggie, of course, but there are other several factors to consider when thinking about a major furniture purchase.  Materials, finishes, size, and how the furniture will be used are all details that must be considered before you buy.  If you’re looking to furnish a new available home, or if you just want a new piece to spice-up a room, we have five tips to simplify the process:

  1. Consider your lifestyle.  Do you have kids who live in the home?  A dog?  Then a white or light fabric choice for upholstered furniture is probably not the best fit for your family.  If you expect your furniture to stand the test of time, choose a really durable fabric, even if it’s not the softest.  Darker leathers don’t show stains and can be very durable too. Some furniture stores offer to treat your furniture with a special stain protectant to keep it looking great throughout its lifetime.  If you plan to host guests in your new home for movie nights or to watch the big game, consider purchasing a large sectional couch that gives everyone lots of room!  Thinking about your lifestyle and how your furniture will be used will help you make the best choice and avoid regret later.
  2. Stick to neutral colors.  You may not always love that bright, suede armchair you have your eye-on, even if you can get it a bargain.  Avoid committing to trendy, bright colors and be realistic about the longevity of colors when it comes to your furniture.  Stick with neutrals for large pieces, and incorporate bright pops of color throughout the room with throw pillows, curtains, and other d├ęcor.  It’s much easier to purchase a new pillow than to replace a big piece of furniture.
  3. Know what you’re buying.  Become a detailed inspector when shopping for furniture.  Test out the cushions to ensure they are firm, yet comfy.  Make sure the style of couch or chair you’re considering allows you to flip the cushions over when needed.  Check out the legs of furniture for chips and imperfections.  They should be heavy and jointed to the wood, not nailed.  Understand differences in upholstered furniture construction, such as sofas and chairs (read-up about the differences here). Ask questions so you understand the details of each manufacturer’s specifications and get the best quality you can afford.   
  4. Don’t be afraid to haggle.  Even if you aren’t usually a haggler, muster up your courage and try to negotiate the final price!  Ask for 10-20% off.  If that doesn’t work, try asking for free delivery or shipping.  Furniture typically has a high mark-up, so there is often a bit of room for you to haggle.  The golden rule for negotiation is that it never hurts to ask!
  5. Buy at the right time of year.  Generally speaking, the Fourth of July and Christmas are the best times to go furniture shopping.  It’s the end of the selling previous season and stores are pushing to get rid of excess inventory. If you can’t wait that long, furniture stores also offer specials and deals around other holidays, so there are plenty of ways to save money on your next purchase.

We hope these furniture tips are helpful, and we also have more information about leather furniture. Do you dream about a new home in the Raleigh area, to decorate and fill with new furniture?  Check out our awesome new home communities across central NC.