Over the years, I have learned many home furnishings shopping tips. In this post, I will share a few. I hope you were able to find time to read my last post Decorate Responsibly, which was about the importance of knowing the business practices of the brands that you are purchasing. I also believe in patronizing local mom and pop stores, artists and artisans when possible. With that said, let’s get to the tips!
Home Furnishings Shopping Tips #1 of 5: Rugs
We all know that rugs are an important design element in a room. They set the stage for all that follows and can independently create the mood of the room. However, they are big, bulky, and challenging to cart home. It isn’t easy to try a few rugs in a room and keep only the one we like best in the space.
The good news is if you shop at a local mom and pop store, they usually provide a service in which they can bring a few rugs to your home for you to view in the space before you buy. They do all the carting, and heavy lifting, all you have to do is decide which one you like best. Most often there is a fee for this service, but it is well worth it.
If you are purchasing online or where this type of service is not available, buy a few of the rugs that you are considering in the smallest size possible. For example, if I am ordering a rug online, I look to purchase it in the 2″ x 3″ size first. Once I have determined I like the rug, I then purchase it in the larger size. Also, you can bring the small one with you when you are selecting fabrics and art to coordinate with it. If I don’t like the rug, I return it. It is much easier and less costly to return a small rug than a large one.
Home Furnishings Shopping Tip #2 of 5: Sofas and Chairs
We all have preferred sitting depths. Usually, tall people find sofas and chairs with a deeper seat more comfortable. The reverse is true for people who are petite. A person who has shorter legs usually prefer to sit in a chair with a smaller cushion depth.
To find your preferred sitting depth simply measure the inside dimensions of a sofa or a chair that you find comfortable.
Once you know your preferred sitting depth, you can eliminate anything that does not meet your criteria and therefore save hours of shopping time. Paying attention to your preferred sitting depth is also a valuable tool when ordering custom furniture, which is impossible to try first.
Home Furnishings Shopping Tips #3 of 5: Kitchen Cabinets
Before falling in love with a cabinet door style, make sure that the cabinet line has a wide selection of sizes and options available. This is especially important when space is limited. If the cabinet line has few options in sizes available, you end up wasting space because you have to add fillers to extend dimensions, rather than being able to change the size of the cabinet.
Look for cabinet lines that are KCMA Certified (Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer’s Association). Cabinet lines with the KCMA Certification have passed the toughest durability test in today’s market. Additionally, cabinet lines that are KCMA ESP Certified have met criteria to be environmentally friendly.
If you are remodeling your kitchen visit my Interior Design Printables page for handy organizers to help you with your project.
Home Furnishings Shopping Tips #4 of 5: Mirrors
Not all mirrors are created equally. I am sure you have realized that you can look better or worse in different mirrors. Remember to consider this when purchasing a mirror. I think a mirror that can take off ten years and ten pounds is the one to buy! Great for the self-esteem.
Seriously, make sure the reflection is pleasing before purchasing, especially with very large mirrors. To get a perfect reflection, the surface of the mirror needs to be completely flat. This is almost impossible for large-sized mirrors. Some have distortions that are worse than others. So check it out before you take it home.
Home Furnishings Shopping Tips #5 of 5: Broadloom Carpeting
You don’t always get what you pay for. In fact, with broadloom carpeting, you also pay for what you don’t get. In other words, you pay for waste as well as what is used in your space.
Carpet is produced in three size rolls. The most common is 12 feet, but sometimes you will find a 13 1/2 or 15-foot roll. Depending on the size of the room you are choosing broadloom for, the carpet roll size can make a difference in price. If you have minimal waste, you can save money.
Also choosing a size roll that fits the room better will make for a cleaner installation. For example, if your room is 15′ x 13′ and chose a broadloom carpet that comes on a 15′ roll, you can purchase just enough carpet and avoid having any seams in the room. However, if you buy a carpet that comes on a 12′ roll, you will have both waste and seams.