Knowing how to buy furniture properly can save you a lot of money and heartbreak. You should never use a furniture website to buy furniture. You have no idea what you are buying other than the photograph and description. You cannot tell the real color, the real dimensions and certainly not the real quality from a photograph and a description!
Here are some of the problems you will face if you make your choice and purchase from a furniture website. That is no way to buy furniture and here is why:
These problems are being presented in no particular order, since each person’s priorities are different. Color is mentioned first because many have the false impression that color can be accurately depicted online.
Here’s news for you. View Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ on four different screens, let alone four different computers, and you will see four different shades of yellow! The same applies to the furniture you will find on a furniture website.
The only way to be sure that the furniture you are buying is the shade you want is to visit the showroom. If they do not have your shade option in stock, then ask them to get it in or you won’t buy it. The shade of upholstery can be very important, and cherry wood can look brown online. Both the fabric and the wood can appear different between the showroom and online shades.
All sofas and chairs of the same style look the same online. You cannot tell if it has been hand-crafted using traditional joinery and carpentry joints. You do not know if the frame has been fashioned using strong mortise and tenon joints that use the strength of the wood, or if it has been simply screwed and glued. Only one of these will fall apart when the screws corrode and the glue softens with moisture and humid conditions.
You cannot tell if the sofas have been upholstered with tied springs and layers of padding, or just with cushions lying on plywood or chipboard base. You cannot even tell from a picture online if a table or cabinet is fabricated from stained plywood particleboard or if it is solid American hardwood!
Use a Furniture Showroom
There is no way whatsoever for you to assess the quality of furniture by looking at representations on a website. Yes, many furniture manufacturers and dealers have websites. However, the more responsible of these do not permit you to purchase online.
American furniture firms such as L & J.G. Stickley, Southwood Furniture, Simply Amish, The Custom Shoppe, Canal Dover and Sherrill Furniture do not enable you to buy online. They point you to their dealers. These dealers have offline stores known as furniture showrooms, where you can view your preferred choices before you buy them.
How to Buy Furniture
How to buy furniture the correct way is first to decide what type of furniture you need for your room. You should furnish one room at a time, even if you are furnishing your whole home. Tackle it one room at a time at least for the main pieces. Accent and occasional furniture can be purchased later.
Once you have a rough idea of what you want, check out your local furniture stores and select one or two that has a website. Visit the site and search for your choices of furniture. Not the actual make and model, but the style and color. Most websites will provide a search box you can use, and the better furniture stores will provide you with links to all the furniture manufacturers whose products they offer.
Check out everything available on that website that meets your needs. Write out a list, and then find out where the showrooms are. Your next site is to visit the showrooms and inspect your choices. You can see what they look like in real life, and what the colors really are – not how they seem in a photograph on a website.
Get a Feel for the Quality
You can also touch and feel the furniture. Sit on chairs and sofas and lie on mattresses. Test for yourself how easily sofa beds convert between their two uses. Inspect the strength of bunk beds for your children, and get a good visual indication of how large that dining table really is – including when it is extended with the extra leafs or flaps.
That is how to buy furniture. Visit a furniture website and then the furniture showroom. Make your initial choice online, then confirm it by seeing the furniture in the showroom. You will then have nobody to blame but yourself if you make a wrong choice.