I love furniture. I love shopping. And I love a good checklist. So a furniture shopping checklist has me giddy with excitement.
There are a lot of things to consider before making a decision to buy a new piece of furniture for your home. If you don’t plan properly, you’ll end up collecting a hodge podge of furniture (reminiscent of my first apartment with hand-me-downs from friends and family). So here is a checklist for you to use when you have made the decision to shop for some new pieces in your house.
- Evaluate your space and know what you need. Make a list of items if you are going to be making multiple purchases. Are you looking to purchase something just because you saw it on Pinterest or Houzz or in a magazine? Or do you really know this is what NEED and not just what you WANT? So just because that trendy, square coffee table has you dreaming about it, does your space actually accommodate the shape? Or will you knock your shins every time you try to enter your living room? The size and shape of your room will dictate the size and shape of the furniture you need.
- Speaking of the size and shape of your room, make sure you get your measurements. Always measure your existing furniture and compare your needs to what you know is / is not working. Compare these measurements to the furniture you are considering. Double and triple check your measurements and take into consideration the style of the piece of furniture – for example, if you are buying a sofa and you are wanting a rolled arm style, that is going to add quite a bit of space to the sides of your couch and you will need to extend your measurement (a standard sofa size is 84″, but the rolled arms could add an additional 4 – 6 inches on both sides of the couch).
- Create a budget & do the research. Home furnishings can vary tremendously in price and quality. Consider how much use the furniture you are buying will get and assign a value to it. I generally value and spend more on my clients’ living room furniture (because they use it every day) and don’t spend as much for the formal dining room furniture (because they use it 2 – 4 times a year). Be realistic about what you can afford, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Purchasing a piece of furniture that can be reupholstered or refinished in the future may be a bit of a sticker shock to begin with, but will save you money in the long run. Do some research on line and start with the most dreamy solution you can find, determine the pricing of that item – and then adjust your expectations from there. If you are working with a designer, it is imperative that you spend some time at least thinking about your budget (and not hating us when we tell you how much things really cost).
- See it. Touch it. I wanted to write “taste it” because it seemed like a natural progression of words, but did not think that was very good advice to pass on. Instead, see if you can find a showroom that carries the brand you’re eyeballing to own and see if you can visit the exact or similar model to what you want to purchase. Confirm it IS what you want.
- Sleep on it. If you have any hesitation or concern that your selections are not spot on, sleep on the decision. This process should be fun! you are bringing new and beautiful pieces into your home. Creating your own refuge and sanctuary. And if you’re still not sure, call a designer. Almost all of us have some consulting services that allows you to enlist our expertise without a large budgetary commitment.
Here is a handy printable if you want to download it and keep it handy as you’re evaluating your purchases:
Oh, and don’t forget my tips on What NOT To Do when buying furniture.
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