Tips on Shopping for Furniture

Shopping for furniture is not only expensive, but also an investment in what the inside of your will look like for the foreseeable future. While you want to ensure that your home is comfortable and functional, you want to stay within your budget and invest in items that will make your room's look and feel like home. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for new furniture.

Look For Quality, Comfort, and Style

It is very easy to walk into a showroom and find the exact size and style of furniture you want. While you may find the perfect style, you want to ensure that whatever you buy is comfortable, and that the item's quality is comparable to the investment you will be making. For example, if you see a couch that is the exact color and style you desire, sit in it for more than a few seconds and consider if it will be comfortable for everyone in your family. A comfortable couch for someone who is five feet tall may not be as comfortable for someone significantly taller.

Also take a look at the material furniture is made of, the quality of any details -- such as hardware or finish -- and see if it has the durability that you and your family need. If it's helpful, ask yourself how long you hope to have each furniture item, then divide its price by the number of years you hope to have it to give yourself a better perspective on your financial investment. For example, if you are buying a $5,000 item that you hope to have for 10 years, you are essentially paying $500 a year for the couch, or $41 per month. This technique can help you put large purchases in perspective.

Invest More in Some Pieces Than Others

Some pieces are worth investing more in than others, and you need to prioritize which items you are willing to spend a bit more money to get. Perhaps you'd prefer to invest in your couch in the hopes that it will last 10 years or more, while spending less on end tables that will essentially be hidden in a corner anyway. You may also want to spend less on children's furniture, as they will outgrow it quickly, and their items will be more susceptible to wear and tear.

Thrift When Possible

There may be some pieces, such as your matress, that you may not feel comfortable buying at a thrift store, but there are furniture items that are high quality, stylish, and significantly more affordable when purchased at thrift stores (such as your bed frame). Aside from thrift stores, also consider shopping at consignment stores, estate sales, flea markets, and on Craigslist. You can also look for local liquidation sales, going out of business sales, and furniture items at discount retailers.


 Take Your Time

While it is tempting to go out and buy everything all at once and get it done and out of the way, this is generally an expensive way to furnish your home. While some things like a bed, couch, or dining room table need to be bought quickly, you should wait to buy other pieces until you find something you really like. Things like accessories, end tables, additional seating, and shelves can be slowly handpicked one-by-one once you find the perfect fit.

 Also, take a tape measure with you when shopping for furniture to ensure that all items are the right size for your room. If helpful, take pictures of any potential pieces to help you design your room.

 This article was written by Ashlyn Cooper, a mommy and avid do-it-yourselfer on a budget, who loves coming up with creative and affordable ideas she can share with fellow mommies.  If you come across a steal of a deal that you just can’t buy today, but it may be gone tomorrow, check out