|How to Choose the Right Furniture for Your Home
When choosing furniture it’s usually for one of three reasons: either you are replacing something that is old, worn or broken, you need more storage / surfaces or you simply just feel like a change.
Whichever your reason it’s always best to plan ahead, weigh up all the options and then search for the best price.
Firstly you need to consider where the item will be situated in your home:
- If it’s for a bathroom for example having a wipe-clean none absorbent surface is important?
- In a hallway then maybe a unit with rounded corners that is not very deep would be a good idea? Most furniture can be multi use – a small telephone table is great in a hallway or living room but equally suits being a bedside table or could be storage in your bathroom.
- Will it fit in your room? Measure out the “footprint” of the item onto a sheet of newspaper or cardboard and position it where you want it to go. Maybe stack books up at each end to simulate the height of the item and make sure it doesn’t obstruct doors, windows, plug sockets or your view of the TV! Check and double check sizes as there’s nothing more disappointing then buying the perfect piece and finding out that it just won’t fit or that it is way too small.
- Consider your colour scheme and existing finishes: If it needs to complement or match existing items then it may be worth asking for colour swatches or buying items from the same range. Remember it’s always best to match paint colours to your hard and soft furnishings as you can always get the perfect matching colour mixed at your local diy store.
WHAT DO YOU REALLY NEED?
You should always consider what you need the item for. For example you may think you only want a simple table, but would a table with an extra shelf near the floor or underneath the top be better, maybe one with a drawer would enable you to tidy away your remote controls or TV listing magazines?
Whatever your needs here are some simple rules:
COFFEE TABLES – size is most important, make sure you can walk all of the way around it and if you’re sitting on your sofa your legs are not cramped. Does it have additional storage?
SIDE / END / TELEPHONE / BEDSIDE TABLES – Again size is the most important here. Maybe you could use a small set of shelves instead? Maybe use an upholstered storage pouffe as an alternative?
CHESTS OF DRAWERS – Make sure you have enough room to extend each drawer, if you want to use these for media storage find out the interior measurements of the drawers to see if your CD’s or DVD’s will fit. Find out what kind of runners the drawers have – plastic is fine for most purposes but wood is better if you wish to store heavy items.
SHELVES – Firstly what are they for, displaying or storage? Do they have open or closed backs? How tall are they – will you need to attach them to the wall to prevent tipping? If so are wall fixings included? How deep are the shelves? Are the shelves fully adjustable? Can you purchase additional shelves if necessary?
TV / ENTERTAINMENT UNITS - Will your TV fit on top? How large are the shelf sections, will they fit your audio-visual equipment? Are they adjustable? Are there gaps at the back for plugs to fit through? How heavy is it?
SIDEBOARDS / CUPBOARDS – Make sure the items you want to keep in these will fit – if you want to use as a drinks cabinet make sure the shelves are adjustable or tall enough for this. Make sure there is enough room to extend the drawers and open the doors. How deep is the unit?
DISPLAY CABINETS – The most important thing in display units is that the height will fit in your room. Will the door open fully? Are the shelves adjustable & what are they made from? Does is have an integrated light? Is the glass tempered (safety glass)
TIME TO GO SHOPPING?
Well now you know where you want it to go, how big it needs to be and what features it needs you can start shopping! There are many websites which can help you if you want to do an online search – Amazon and Ebay being the most popular and great to use as a starting point – a simple Google search can be quite helpful too. Otherwise try your local shopping centres or retail parks – if you find an item you like try searching for cheaper prices online too – you could save a bundle.
Just remember the same item may be available from many retailers for differing prices and many have mid-season sales so you could pick up a real bargain. Just remember all of your hard work getting to this point – try not to compromise too much on what you have already decided will be your “perfect” item. Don’t be in a rush, take your time and make sure it’s right, and don’t just buy something because its cheap if it doesn’t have the drawer you need or its 10cm too wide or the wrong colour, it won’t look right and you will regret it in the long run.