Remodeling and Home Design

8 Furniture Buying Mistakes

We've all been there: You've just moved into a new place or renovated your beloved home, and you want to reflect your perfect style. You've thumbed through every catalog and design magazine and you are ready! You have the perfect picture of the masterpiece you are designing, unless you make the all too common mistakes when buying furniture. But we are here to help you avoid falling prey to these blunders and to ensure you end up with fabulous pieces that you'll be happy with for years to come. 

Emily Jenkins Followill

Emily Jenkins Followill

1. Ignoring Lifestyle

Select pieces that suit your lifestyle, and consider how long you plan to keep a piece especially if it's a splurge! If you forget to factor in small children, pets, snacking while watching TV, football Sundays you could be heading for disaster. Your white linen sofa or your coffee table with that delicate finish will not last too long with muddy feet scampering around threatening their livelihood. Be realistic and buy furniture that can withstand all of the tough times in your home. 

2. Ignoring Scale and Color

A sofa that looks just right in the store, might look too big in your room or not big enough. A color that doesn't look very overpowering in the showroom, could do so in your home. It is hard to judge when you are looking at a picture or seeing it in a showroom. Always measure the items and ask for a swatch to take home. If you have an empty space at home it is a great idea to tape out the outline of furniture to see how it will take up floor space, it does not account for volume but can give you an idea of the layout. Essentially you want to be sure that whatever you are buying fits the scale of the room and fits to the scale of the other pieces in the room. The swatch is also important to look at at home, as you know lighting is different EVERYWHERE so be sure you love the color in the space you are filling. 

Image by Amber Interiors

Image by Amber Interiors

3. Falling Into Fads

It is best to buy a piece of furniture that you will feel comfortable with for years to come. That goes for color as well as style. Fads can come and go quickly, so look beyond and buy a classic piece. And just remember you can play around with fad styles in the accessories! 

Image by Emily Henderson Design

Image by Emily Henderson Design

4. Island Rugs

Don't underestimate the power of a good rug, especially in a living room  where the rug is a focal point of your design. So why buy a rug that is too small, spend the extra money and buy a rug that fits the room. A too small rug can make a room look smaller. To make sure you have a rug that's the right size for your space follow this rule of thumb: The front two legs of each piece of furniture should be on the rug. If they miss the rug (even by an inch), your rug is too small. In a perfect world, all four legs of your sofa and chairs are on the rug. 

5. Buying Sets

Shopping for furniture is overwhelming, and when you are overwhelmed you are a lot more likely to just buy a set from a showroom to furnish a whole room or home. Say "No" to the set, your sofa and chairs shot not match and the coffee table and end table do not need to be identical besides size. Design is about layering texture and materials, and it should be personal to you. Consider mixing tones, textures, and styles to give an unexpected edge, no cookie cutter living rooms please! 

6. Buying All At Once

Being that I just told you to not buy the set, you have to imagine that furnishing a room or even a whole house can take a long time. I know this is not what you wanted to hear but beware of filling out the rooms in the fast lane, you will end up with something you regret or even worse a whole room! Our rule of the thumb is: splurge on main pieces such as sofa or dining set, and then let the pieces breathe in the room before adding accents. It's important to mix and match to show your personality. 

Image by Traditional Home Magazine

Image by Traditional Home Magazine

7. Starting All Brand New

Don't rush to ditch antique or sentimental pieces just because they don't immediately work with your items or space. New items mixed with your old items can give your home a more collected and authentic look. 

8. Forgetting to Measure

Last but not least is measuring everything! Measure the room or space you are working in, as well as any existing furniture you are incorporating into your design. Most importantly measure all doorways and hallways the new furniture needs to fit through. Last week we covered all the basics on how to measure, be sure to check out that post before buying any furniture! 

So there it is, some basic rules to consider when you are buying new furniture. But don't worry you can always work with one of our great design consultants to help find the right piece for your home.