Trying to find the right furniture for your home is something that sounds like fun—you’ll get to peruse online magazines, maybe throw together a Pinterest inspiration board, and then make your choices. Unfortunately, shopping for furniture can turn out to be a massive headache if you don’t know how to approach the endless stream of online options and verify quality and size before ordering or if you can’t find the vibe you were looking for in the store. The following will explore some of the things you can do to help you secure the right furniture for your home and lifestyle. Because so many of us are looking for ways to express our unique tastes, special emphasis will be placed on finding those special pieces that everyone who comes over wonders about.
Before you begin shopping, there are three things you need to do to set off your search on the right foot. You want to speak to everyone whom you live with about the basic vibe and style that would make you happy. A coffee table that drives your spouse nuts every time they enter the room isn’t going to be right for your home (nothing breeds relationship bitterness faster than literally hating where you live). Once you’ve established a few basic guidelines that everyone agrees upon, you can determine your budget. Again, this might be a process you want to include other members of your household within. No matter how gorgeous that bookcase is, if you’re stressing financially because you bought it, you’re not going to enjoy it. Finally, you want to measure out your space. If you’ve got some large areas you’re looking to fill, this might also be a two-person job. You can pick up a good quality measuring tape at most dollar stores and department stores. Write down the maximum and minimum measurements for the spaces you’re working with. (Remember: something too small can look just as funny as something too big).
Learn About Materials
Here’s the first level of daunting: some furniture is bad for you. Crazy right? There are a ton of toxins and chemicals in lower-end furniture. Do your research and learn about what harms you’re comfortable with and which ones you aren’t. This is especially important for people will small children or dogs who like to chew or lick random things like the legs of a chair. This information isn’t quite mainstream, but if you follow the studies being released as we do, you’ll know that very soon, this is going to be common knowledge. It doesn’t matter how pretty something is if it’s poisonous.
Don’t Disregard Second Hand Stores.
Maybe you want something new and shiny that’s never been used. That’s completely okay. If you’re open to the idea of something second-hand, you can find genuine treasures in second-hand stores and charity shops. Take a drive one Saturday and explore all the antique shops and consignment stores in your area: you might be shocked at the gems you find and the prices you secure them at. This is a wonderful way to minimize damage to the planet (reusing things is great for the earth), give money to a good cause (many second-hand stores donate their proceeds to charitable causes), and find something truly unique. Just be sure to fully inspect the piece before you buy it. Look for any indication of insects drilling into the wood or laying eggs in the materials. People who accept items into these stores do this search themselves and refuse anything that could risk termites or bed bugs getting into their other furniture, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
The internet is full of stellar craftsmen and craftswomen who create small, batch, beautiful works of art in a sustainable way (often for fantastic prices). Take some time to peruse handmade platforms to see if there are some works you love. You’ll be supporting a small business and are much less likely to find that items are sold in mass quantities seeing as a single person usually makes them, and it takes time to make copies of furniture.
Look Into Custom Pieces
Believe it or not, many furniture craftspeople and woodworkers accept orders for custom pieces. This is a great solution for those who have wacky homes—you know that oddly angled hallway underneath the stairs? Or that strangle little quarter-sized room behind the kitchen? You can make use of that space. Beyond this, sometimes what we’ve envisioned isn’t available on the market. Woodworkers at Makers Woodshop emphasize that where there’s a vision, there’s a way. Many artists accepting custom orders have reasonable pricing structures, so you’ll have an idea of what you can expect to pay for a piece from the get-go. It’s even possible to choose preferred pieces of wood in some cases.
A Note About Budgets And Ordering Online Or Over Distance
If you’re having pieces or furniture made or are ordering them from afar, it’s essential that you keep in mind the cost of shipping or delivery to help keep things on a comfortable budget for you. Some places send furniture deconstructed with instructions, and this tends to help limit the costs of shipping as items can be fit into decent-sized packages. Depending on what you’re ordering, this might not be the case. You can also order multiple items simultaneously from some businesses to save a bit on the costs of shipping or delivery.
Don’t Buy Something You Don’t Love
Maybe you’re that rare 1% that changes furniture like you change clothes, but if you’re not, understand that the furniture you buy now might be in your life for a long time. It might be in your kid’s lives after that. Maybe even your grandkids. Because of this, you should be extremely wary of buying something that you don’t love. We know it can test your patience (especially if you’re eating dinner every night on folding chairs), but you’ll be happy you waited for the right pieces once you find them.
The above tips should help you find some cool and unique furniture for your home. Our final piece of advice would be to measure your door frames and stairwells before placing any orders. You might find that stellar couch doesn’t fit through the front door, and that is a headache you don’t want to be dealing with.