There are five common pitfalls to avoid when you’re buying furniture.
Forgetting to measure the Furniture or Space
Measuring, and that means taking accurate measurements, is vital. Never estimate, never guess, never ‘guess-timate’. Never just measure the space that you’re looking to fill, you need to measure your hallways, stairwells and doors- basically everywhere your piece of furniture will need to pass through.
For example, if you are buying a bed for an upstairs bedroom, you would need to measure the area in the room, the height of the bedroom ceiling, the height of the interior of the stairwell, and any doors which the bed frame must pass through. If you’re shopping for an Entertainment Unit for the TV Room, Living Room or Lounge Room, know exact what you have to fit into it.
Write all of these measurements down and take them with you so that you have an accurate record of the measurements that you need. Just as important as measurements- but often ignored- is scale. How will the new furniture pieces sit inside the room. Get the scale right, and you’ll avoid over-buying or cluttering your space. Remember that when you’re shopping in a showroom that the piece is in a much bigger space than it will be at your house!
Ignoring Background Colour Clashes
Have a colour scheme in mind before you start shopping and be prepared to stick firmly to it. As with dimensions, memory can also be shaky when it comes to colours and shades. Bring as much as you can with you to help you make a decision. Bring swatches of fabric, of paint- don’t rely on photos which can give an inaccurate record of colours. Take photographs of your living room, lounge room and dining room with your current furniture inside them and make sure you have these with you when you shop.
Ignoring Who Will Be Using the Furniture
You hear a lot of warnings about buying light or white coloured furniture if you have young children or pets. These are warnings that are worth heeding! Be realistic about what furniture will work in your household- it may be that you’re not currently able to indulge yourself with expensive antiques or delicate pieces but that may well change further down the track. You’ll be able to enjoy your furniture more if you’re able to relax and not worry about it being damaged.
"Too Many Cooks" - Having Too Many Opinions
Furniture shopping is not one time thing. It will require a series of research trips before the buying begins. Let the other people in your household have input, but make sure that you have the final say- and the best overview of the budget. When you’re shopping, take friends or relatives with you, but be prepared for them to have a point of view! Remember that this is your money and it’s your house that the furniture will be in.
Not Browsing for Alternatives
Do your research and don’t buy the first thing you fall in love with. Be touch with yourself here. Know what’s available and what’s on offer- and what you need. Remember too that some furniture can fit into multiple rooms- you might find a table which would work equally well in the office, guest bedroom or living room. The cabinet you’re looking for for the TV Room might be being sold as an Office cabinet. Make sure you check out all of the options around before making any decisions. Shopping for furniture? Remove the guesswork with our Furniture Buying Guides. At House of Home we've got the best tips on how to buy and sell furniture for your home.