Furniture shopping is an exciting time for most people, but it's not quite as simple as walking into a furniture shop and buying the first set you sit down on. Here are five questions you need to ask before you make any purchasing plans.
#1 What's your budget?
It may sound obvious, but setting a budget before you walk into the store is an excellent rule to follow. Before you do that, though, you should look online and compare the prices of various furniture stores so that you can get a ballpark figure of the "going rate" for the furniture you're looking to purchase.
Remember, you can refurbish and repurpose certain details -- like lamps and end tables -- in order to get the main pieces that you really want!
#2 How much space are you working with?
After budget constraints, the second biggest constraint you need to consider is the physical limitations of the room you're looking to furnish. In other words, you need to measure! Go ahead and get the overall dimensions of the room and then use standard measurements to help you determine the ideal placement of end tables, coffee tables, bed frames, and so on.
You can use painter's tape or masking tape to help you visualize the placement and size of furniture in your space by measuring strips to match and then taping them onto the floor. Painter's tape or masking tape will remove easily without leaving residue behind, so it's great for staging.
#3 Who will be using the room and for what?
Multipurpose rooms are pretty much a given, even if you're not thinking about it at this very moment. For instance, you'll surely pull out the coffee table for family game night or sit at the dining table helping with homework or doing crafts.
By thinking about all the ways you space will be used (and who will be involved, like kids and pets), you'll be able to choose the right materials and fabrics to fit those uses.
#4 Are you working with existing decorations?
Chances are, your walls are already painted and flooring is already in place. There may also be other pre-determined details, be it built-in furniture or that lamp that's been in your family for years now. Whatever the case may be, figure out what you're working with and then decide how you're going to coordinate styles, textures, and colors.
You can also consider aspects you don't like and think of ways to disguise them if you're not able to change them, like the wallpaper in the house you just decided to rent which you can conceal with floor-to-ceiling curtains hung wider than the windows.
#5 How long do you plan on keeping your furniture?
If you're furnishing a rental for your college years or planning on upsizing or downsizing in the years to come, you should consider whether you're planning on bringing your furniture with you. Likewise, if you are opting for a modern style or something more trendy, consider that you'll likely need to replace and update it in a few years' time.
Once you know how long you plan to (or want to) keep your furniture, you can better determine your pricing and durability requirements so you can make a smart purchase.