If you have just moved into a new place or built your dream home, where do you start? If you follow the industry experts, appliances and electronics are first and foremost. Making sure you can stream Netflix is more important than sleeping in a bed, sitting on a sofa or gathering around the kitchen island for conversations. If that were true, buy the car and live in it preferably near a coffee shop to take advantage of the free wifi– it’s a thought. Here are things to consider:
Broaden Your Search
When making a furniture purchase, the most important research you need to do is to find the style of furniture you like. Get online and type in the craziest searches you can. As in a category of Modern, retro, Spanish baroque, traditional, rustic, western and space age furniture. Google can’t help itself when you combine multiple words together. You will get one or two of the categories in the search. By the way, as of this writing, space age was the winner in terms of most choices. You can type in what you think you may like. It’s easy and you might start researching the images you see and the other random things that show up. Click on the image and go with the flow.
Find a Local Expert
Find a guide or guidance from regional or local experts. You are going to do it right. Furniture lasts forever. If it’s really, really made well and it will outlast a 20-year attention span. With guidance, you will learn the important things are measurements and orchestration of all the elements. All the furniture items have to fit and create a sum greater than the individual pieces.
It is very much like casting a movie, or creating a score of music. Each item builds upon the next item’s energy, color, texture, pattern and scale. You may think you should know how to do this because your parents did it without being trained in these things, Houses are different today with different challenges and this causes you stress and you start buying to fill a space rather than planning the best home environment in the world. You are exceptional. And let’s find exceptional pieces of furniture to express who you are.
Use Your Resources
Resources for furniture are a little harder to find. Local resources may not be tech savvy and have little to no web presence. Ask you friends and family who is local that might have something different. You may have to scroll down the search pages after the first page to find a local resource. Exceptional is hiding under a rock.
Find Your Style
Shopping styles vary, you may be the type where you purchase an entire outfit or you may do it differently. Your style may be buy an item here and another item there, satisfying the need to get something, and you feel confident “you’ll know it when you see it” thinking. The go-along-get-along approach. You eventually hit a point where you stop and you are not finished you don’t have a complete look. You may shrug your shoulders and feel you don’t want to make any decisions, because you feel in your gut you are going to make a mistake big time if you continue in this manner.
Not the go along get along type? You may make it your source of entertainment. Every week you look for something for the house. It’s a weekend activity and you search item by item. You discover that items may change in color or size once you get them and put in your home. The next weekend, you may return it. It’s an equally difficult process after months or years of seeking furniture for your home.
Seek out a local brands that have excellent reputations. Put all thoughts of money aside. You are an explorer and you want to find kindred spirits that are experts in the field you are now entering. Knowledgeable design ideas are a great way to dip your toe into the process. Local regional stores are a good way to possibly see someone else’s style and see if there is any vibrational pull inside of you towards that style.
Questions you might hear from your best teacher will include a list of fact finding.
1. “Tell me a little be about your room and how you plan to use it”
This simple sentence shows the intent behind the design consultant in front of you. They are actually interested in the entire room and your lifestyle and not just selling you a sofa or a coffee table. They are on a fact finding mission and will try and find out as much as they can about your room in order for them to do a good job. The guide has presented the brand (store you are in) and you like what they are doing. You have found design styles you like. They have assured you the quality is middle-high quality. You are intrigued by some of the stories and you start to relax. This might work out, you might buy a piece of furniture.
But wait! Did you take photos of your room? Photos help the professionals a great deal. if you forgot to take photos, the design consultant will draw out your room or indicated that the whole room is important to them. You feeling that they understand the room as well as you do and are they feeling what you are liking?
2. “It’s important to me that we find the right pieces for you, because you will have them forever”
Great teachers align themselves with excellence. So far no one has talked about money. It always comes down to money if you don’t know the value. Long after the money is spent, you want to have a great piece of quality furniture that lasts.
When you buy a car you have the interior choices of approximately four: dark, light, medium and current favorite color. Easy peasy. If you are buying a brand you already know the facts and the price ranges, until you sit down: you can spend easily another $2,000 on the warranty packages—because after all you want to feel safe on the road.
Styles and furnishings change slowly over the decades. Matchy-matchy is out. Loveseats are out. Furniture doesn’t have that tutorial, brand awareness that another reason for the design guide. In your mind a sofa is a sofa and you’re not quite sure why one costs $1,600 and another costs $20,000. So like Goldilocks you try to find the one that fits you. And when you do, you may be stunned by the cost. Who knew furniture cost so much?
Superior quality furniture will last a lifetime or become legacy furniture that is passed down. If done right, superior furniture will be part of the sale price of your home when you decide to move. It’s that important.
3. “Let’s put together some of these pieces so you can see and feel what the room will be like”
This is an uber commitment by the design consultant. They want you to “feel” the room, you can’t do this in every store but local stores are different. They are building community relationships every day. Now, all the pieces are gathered together and you want to take a moment….do you like it? Is it comfortable? Will it work with your lifestyle?
4. “You can buy as much as you want or a little as you want as long as there is a plan”
You feel for the first time in your life that you may be a grownup. Or if this isn’t your first rodeo, you feel that you received exceptional treatment from your design consultant, and had a wonderful experience. Maybe you made a new best friend in the furniture business someone who you trust to help you down the line with more decisions.
5. “How do you budget for furniture”
Now it does come down to the money. There are a variety of ways that you achieve your dream home interiors.
If you have saved for this event and you love the pieces or piece of furniture…believe in yourself and your design guide and buy it. If you have to buy only one piece that fits your budget and let the other go, it’s ok, you now have a plan and know what your direction is.
If you really, really want it and need help: Financing is a possibility at almost every furniture store. There are many interest free plans. The 6-month same as cash costs the furniture company the same percentage points as a credit card. If you want a longer period of time, typically, the discount is reduced. The cost to the local furniture company for longer financing is much much greater as in three times greater. Big national chain stores may have an internal financing program not attached to banks so they make money on financing.
What is on that list of basic must have furnishings. It is a simple approach. Start with the rooms you use the most and finish that room. Go room by room. Living room musts: sofa, coffee table, end tables, chair(s) or recliner, rug, lamps, throw and pillows. That’s a complete picture and it can vary in sizes and costs depending upon the quality of the furniture and accessories.
Your guide/teacher will take your facts and cast a vision of what you want to have happen in your home. If it feels sympatico…you like them, they like you, your furniture quest is off to a great start. Happy Hunting.