Buying your first home is one of life's most memorable moments. However, with an expanse of empty rooms, bare floors, and blank walls, decorating your new house may also seem like a daunting task.
Luckily, with proper planning and consideration, furnishing a home that matches your needs and personal style can be very fulfilling. Before you even start, however, there are several things you need to consider before you ever set foot in a store or shop online.
Here are a few furniture buying tips to help you turn your new house into a home.
As with anything, planning goes a long way towards helping you to efficiently and effectively get the furnished home of your dreams. To start, draw a comprehensive floorplan of your house and map out the dimensions of each room to help you determine the best way to incorporate and arrange furniture that enables you to get the most out of your spaces.
For the next steps, consider the following:
Several home planner tools and design apps make this process easier and help you visually plan out your new spaces. Don't forget to measure hallways and doorways to ensure your new furniture can be moved into the desired room without difficulty or disassembly.
Next, inventory what you already own, so you can determine which furniture pieces can be transferred from your old space into the new, and which pieces are in need of replacement or upgrade.
START YOUR RESEARCH
Finally, use this time to research various brands and look at materials. This is the time that you are going to decide the style and feel of your home. So, it may be a good idea to take inspiration from online design sites such as Houzz or Elle Décor to find inspiration and catch up on the latest design trends. You can also request fabric swatches and finish samples from brands you're considering to ensure they're a fit for your home. It's also important to decide which pieces should be of higher quality and more of an investment, along with where you can sacrifice a little bit to get the look you want at a price you can afford.
Invest in the Essentials
Now that you've done some initial research and planning and have had a chance to compare brands and quality materials, you have a better idea of what you're willing to invest in and what you can work up to in the future.
As a starting point, if you can only pick a few items to invest in, go for those pieces you will use every day, such as your sofa, bedroom furniture, dining room set, TV stand, or occasional tables. Investing in furniture built to last and that can endure daily and repeated use will ensure you can enjoy it for a long time.
Choosing quality-made furniture will often come down to construction, thoughtful design, types of materials used, and the usefulness of available features. Furniture that carries these trademarks will continue to perform over time and look beautiful in your home for many years.
Beyond the essentials, new homeowners should also let their lifestyle inform which additional home furnishings are most important to invest in.
Those who love to have friends and family over for entertaining, for instance, may want to consider a home bar or a sectional sofa for ample game-night seating, while the home-based worker will want to invest in good office furniture to keep them inspired, organized, and productive throughout the day. Families with kids or pets will want to look for furniture and rugs with durable materials and surfaces to ensure easy cleaning, while the world traveler may want some great display spaces to show off collected treasures.
How to Shop
Once you've mapped out your space and identified how—and where—you want to invest, you'll probably want to consider the pros and cons of shopping online vs. in person, and this may vary depending on the item.
SHOPPING IN PERSON
Visiting the store in-person has many advantages. It gives you the opportunity to work directly with a skilled salesperson who is familiar with multiple brands and can make informed recommendations based on your needs. You are able to experience products in person, ensuring they have the look and feel – and the quality – that you want to invest in and live with. At a retail store, you will be able to review finish samples and swatches to make sure the furniture you select will be a perfect match to your aesthetic. You will also receive a level of service before and after the sale that you don’t find online. And finally, shopping locally helps to support business in your new community – which is a win for all concerned!
On the other hand, shopping online offers a vastly more comprehensive selection at various price points and gives you the convenience of browsing and buying from the comfort of home. You may also be able to shop your local retail store's website and arrange for curbside pickup or local delivery—which often includes "white glove" service in which your purchase is delivered directly to your room of choice and set up by an experienced team. Online shopping has its potential pitfalls, of course. It's hard to know exactly what you're buying: a store may use a digital rendering rather than an actual product photo, so colors and textures may not show up accurately on your monitor. Online shopping also makes it very difficult to determine a piece's overall quality and usability, so you won't be able to feel how comfortably a sofa sits or how durable the surfaces are on a specific table.
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Many shoppers today take a hybrid approach to buying, which uses both in-store and online. This allows them to research brands they are considering in stores and online, then shop for the best deals. Of course, shopping for home furnishings is very different from buying a television, as the latter can usually be purchased with confidence online, and the former often requires a more personal approach to make sure it meets your expectations for everything from comfort to build quality.
When to Shop
There are key times to buy furniture, when prices may drop, and when you might be more successful negotiating better deals. Holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans Day traditionally offer great furniture sales, and the months of January and July are ideal times to shop for furniture because this is often just before new stock arrives in stores. It's not a guarantee that the piece(s) you want will be on sale during these times, but they are often your best bet to find discounts.
If you’re shopping online, you can always take advantage of Amazon Prime Days, Lightning Deals, or sales during Cyber Monday. Just keep in mind that you’ll be competing for inventory with other eager shoppers during these times, and you’ll want to plan for and expect delivery delays due to current supply chain challenges.
Some people can wait for the holidays to find the best deals, while others may have a more immediate need. In the end, make sure you take the time you need to select the right furniture for you. Just remember, your house wasn’t an impulse buy—so the furniture you select to fill it shouldn’t be, either.
With a little planning and smart use of space, you can make your first house really feel like home!
Read more: 5 Reasons to shop locally in Toronto
Furnishing your own home for the first time is both a scary and exciting thing. But if you keep all of this in mind then you'll really be able to enjoy your new home and everything that comes with it. And with the right partner, it'll be even better!
At InSTYLE Home & Rugs, we offer high-quality furniture and accessories that will help you create your perfect home. Be sure to visit us today to find everything you need to furnish your living room, including sofas, chairs, tables, rugs, and more!