Whether furnishing your new home or just doing a room makeover, you want to be sure to to buy the pieces to fit your style and your needs. After searching online, drooling over pintrest, and wearing out the local furniture store magazines, it’s time for you to get out and find those pieces that will make your house a home. Of course, you want to avoid some common pitfalls. Here are a few furniture buying tips from the experts at realtor.com:
- Consider the Future: Maybe you are single or newly married and it’s just adults in the house. Do you plan on having children or getting a dog in the next 5-10 years? Think about that when choosing your sofa fabric. Velvet may not be the right choice for toddlers or pets. You want your furniture to last a while, so choose wisely based on how you see your family changing.
- Say “NO” to the Entire Room Display: While you may not have the eye for decorating or you may feel overwhelmed at the choices, buying the entire room display is not recommended.” ‘Say no to the set,’ says Jaimee Rose of Phoenix-based Jaimee Rose Interiors. ‘Don’t roll up to a store and buy the whole matching display. Your sofa and chairs should not match. The end tables and coffee table should not be twins.’Design is about layering texture and materials, and it should also tell your story,’ she continues. ‘You are more interesting than a brown microfiber sofa set.’ Consider mixing tones, textures, and styles you wouldn’t ordinarily think would pair well together. ‘Pairing something like distressed leather with a piece with plush velvet accents can give a room a really layered, interesting look,’ says Greta Ervin, a San Diego–based designer.”
- Resist Buying All at Once: It’s hard to resist the urge to furnish the entire room or entire home at one time. However, you need to leave your options open. Who knows what you will find in the next few days or weeks. You want to have that flexibility to be able to grab that awesome piece to complete your room should you come across it at a later time.”Whitney Parrott, senior designer at Everything Creative Designs, recommends this rule of thumb: Splurge on main pieces such as a sofa or dining set, and then let the pieces ‘breathe’ a bit in your space before adding accent pieces (preferably from other sources such as vintage shops or antiques stores).’It’s important that you mix and match from different places,’ Parrott says. ‘Then on the other hand, you have clients who overmix and nothing matches. You always want to have cohesion when designing your space, whether it’s through color or furniture style. If everything is all over the place, the space will start to look chaotic and confusing.’ But be careful with uber-trendy pieces. Think about factors such as the age and architectural style of your home before purchasing of-the-moment decor items. ‘Often people buy what’s trending, but that doesn’t work for all homes or preferences,’ says Carly Blalock of Carly Blalock Interiors.
- Make Sure Your Rugs Fit Your Room: Buying a rug that is too small actually makes your room look smaller. When placing furniture, lay the rug first and then add the other items. As a general rule, at least the front 2 legs of any piece of furniture should be on the rug. If they miss it even by a little bit, the rug is too small.
- Scaling is Important: “A lot of my clients will buy a large sectional and pair it with teeny-tiny accent pieces like coffee tables or side chairs,” Parrott says. “Your furniture must be in the same scale. Otherwise, it will look wonky and out of proportion.” Now, you don’t want all tiny or all large furniture, but as a rule of thumb, “In living spaces, a good rule of thumb for spacing between a sofa and coffee table is approximately 18 inches, according to Ervin. She also recommends a minimum of 32 to 36 inches of clearance between adjacent seating and furniture for an easy path of travel. In dining rooms, you want to have a clearance of 48 inches from the dining table edge to the wall or adjacent furniture; this allows for plenty of room for your chair to be pulled out and people to walk around, Ervin says.
- Measure Everything: It’s VERY important to remember to measure your room before you go shopping, and measure the furniture before you buy!
- Keep the Sentimental Pieces: Don’t be too quick to get rid of the heirlooms that don’t match. “Sometimes new things can make your existing possessions look even better, and give your home a more collected look,” Rose says. “I think every room needs a little something old in it to give it gravitas and patina.”
Keeping these points in mind as you set out to buy furniture will hopefully help you to avoid buyer’s remorse and a trip back to the furniture store. Happy shopping!