Tips For Modern Furniture Shopping
Most people look forward to receiving their new furniture purchases with eager anticipation. After all, it is probably the third most valuable investment one will ever make. So it can be so disappointing if it does not fit into your room quite the way you had envisaged. You may even want to return it which is costly, both in money and time, for you and the retailer. So it is important that you do your homework thoroughly before making the final commitment.
1. HOW TO MEASURE
There is more to assessing a space than just measuring the width, depth and height of the room. Furniture showrooms are designed with the walls and ceilings scaled to the furniture displays. But when you look at furniture in a showroom or a catalogue or on-line it doesn’t really show you what the piece will look like in your home. Room sizes, ceiling heights, openings for doors and windows will have dramatic impact on achieving a satisfactory result.
A simple way to check how furniture might fit into your home is to get the dimensions of the items from our website, catalogue, or one of our sales consultants and mark out their widths and depths on the floor, then stack some cardboard boxes up to the appropriate heights so that you can stand back to get a good idea of how the furniture shall look like. And always remember to take into consideration the wall skirtings, vents, electrical and phone outlets etc.
Another important aspect that is often ignored by furniture buyers is consideration of access for delivery. When the carriers arrive with your eagerly awaited beautiful new purchase you will soon realise how important it was to have measured the doorways and halls, and to have anticipated any other potential problems.
Here are the key points you need to consider:
a) The furniture size: its width (left to right), depth (front to back) and height.
b) Is there easy curb-side access for the delivery truck? If not, can you arrange it?
c) If you live in a high-rise, where is the loading dock? Is its entrance and ceiling high enough for a delivery truck? Is the lift big enough?
d) If you live in a unit, do you have to pass through stairways and landings?
e) What is the size of the stairway, including its height? (Remember that if a cabinet or sofa has to be stood on its end to get around bends or landings it will need extra height than just its longest dimension.)
f) How big is your front door/main entrance?
g) Are there any hallway angles from your main entrance or to the specific room? h) How big are your interior doors? How wide is your interior hallway?
You must satisfy yourself that the furniture will fit through all these accesses and angles.
2. HOW TO CHOOSE
After buying a home and a car, furniture purchases are the third largest investment most of us will make, and can be a very emotional decision. When you visit different stores to select your furniture it can be quite confusing as so much furniture looks similar, although the prices might vary greatly. Some people only buy on price; some believe You get what you pay for, they are both biased. Some pieces might look wonderful in the showroom or in the catalogue but after they arrive you can soon become disenchanted. That is why it is so important to understand the basics when deciding on the right furniture.
As you probably know, the actual materials account for about 50% of the cost of producing a piece of furniture – design and labour are the other determining factors. If money is not an issue you might want to splurge on a world famous brand but if you are not the impressionable type and want true value for money, you should choose products that are made in regions that have much lower labour costs, provided they are made according to international quality standards. An item of furniture produced by a good factory operating under ISO9001 quality control and with low labour costs usually will give you more value for your investment. External appearance is relatively easy to copy, the internal structure and the finishing process is where quality counts, the bits you can’t see. So choosing a supplier with a long history, a good reputation, and a good management culture is critical when you are buying big ticket items. Don’t be misled by products that look similar – ask the right questions about quality, and understand what is not readily apparent.
Another general consideration when buying is that furniture designed for small units or apartments will likely look somewhat lost in a large Victorian style home, just as large scale furniture will give a small apartment a very crammed feeling although it may physically fit into the room. When you start your search for furniture, not only do you need to think about your personal taste but also the scale of the designs.