From buying at the right time to choosing colors, here's what you need to find furniture that lasts, and save time and money while you're at it.
Take Your Time.
When it comes to purchasing furniture for your home or office, a little bit of preparation can save you time and money. People typically spend several months looking for a house and weeks searching for the right car. So, don't spend minutes buying furniture. You just purchased a home and you're eager to get it furnished and ready to go as soon as you move in. I get it. But, this isn't the time for an impulse purchase. If you are working with an interior designer in Philadelphia to help you, analyze the suggestions and set it down for a day. If you are on the hunt alone, walk away for at least a day, and then decide if you still want it before you buy it.
Don't find the perfect piece of furniture only to have it not fit the space when you get it home. That's where checking the dimensions comes in handy. Have your interior designer place the selected furniture on a furniture floor plan of your space. Sometimes it looks one way in the store or picture, but in reality, it could be completely different. If you are not working with an interior designer, whether you're buying online or in the store, place blue tape in the room (marking where the furniture will be) to see how the dimensions of the item work in the space.
Sure, that sofa may look great on the computer screen or in the showroom, but in your home, it could be a completely different story — especially when it comes to the color. If you are working with an interior designer, he or she will most likely get you swatches of the selected upholstery fabric. If you are not, ask the online store or showroom for sample swatches of the fabric. This way you can get an idea what the item may look like in your home's lighting. Though some companies may charge you a small fee, you're better off spending $10 for a few samples than being stuck with a $10,000.00 sofa that's the wrong color.
As much as you're tempted to buy that ultra-sleek sofa, it might not be the right fit for your comfort level or style of the room. In my experience, it's really better to test out seating and take the time to look at the dimensions. Most vendors offer a standard depth of 36 inches for a sofa, but if you're taller, you might want to opt for something between 40 to 42 inches, which is the Luxe depth. Unless you have a super modern family room, sleeker pieces are probably not the best fit. Ask yourself: What's the use of the sofa? Where will it be located? Who's going to use it?
Many people don't think about the fact that maybe the furniture they want isn't right for the people and possibly pets using it. Children and pets on silk chairs – not so great. You also need to be thinking about how your furniture will fit your lifestyle, not only now but in the foreseeable future. So, while the silk chairs may be right for now, will they be in 3-5 years?
When it comes to shopping for textiles, rugs especially, you're better off going in person. It's just so hard to tell on a computer screen what the color really looks like. You might think it looks red but in reality it's watermelon pink. Another thing you can miss online: texture. A chunky or fuzzy rug, for example, could turn out to be a pain later. They look great, but they can be very annoying when they make it difficult to open a door or move a chair. Bottom line: Always judge whether a rug will work in your space in person.
Another important question to ask, especially for apartment dwellers here in Philadelphia: How will you get the furniture inside your home? A lot of people, and even interior design professionals, have dealt with a piece of furniture not fitting in an elevator. Height, width and depth of the furniture piece are important to note when checking to see if it will fit in your elevator. You can try reaching out to your property manager for access to the elevator interior dimensions. Some vendors may also be able to break off certain parts of the furniture – and replace them after – to help fit the item through your door or narrow corridors. Otherwise, you might just have to scrap it. It's better to be safe than left with an expensive piece you can't return.
The most important message from this post is, don't feel as if you have to buy all your furniture at once. Take your time and stick with an affordable plan to transform your house into a home. I hope you found this blog post helpful. Drop me a note below if you enjoyed it!
In addition to being a Philadelphia Interior Designer for the residential community, we also design boutique hotels, fitness centers, office spaces, multi family development projects, other commercial spaces such as retail spaces, and the senior living community throughout the tri state area. We work here in Philadelphia, the main line, and even Nationally! If you enjoyed reading this piece please leave a comment and let us know. AND, let's get social. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and connect on LinkedIn!
About our Founder
Tina Delia, a native of Ocean County, NJ, current resident of Philadelphia, is the Founder and Principal Interior Designer of Delia Designs. For the past nine years, Tina has been steadfast in her vision and continues to develop herself personally and professionally. She is dedicated to excellence and insistence on forward thinking design.
At the forefront of her designs is the idea that our spaces have the ability to transform our lives. She is looking to move us, inspire us to see, think and create freely. After all, it's not only about creating beautiful spaces, it's about touching the lives of the people who live, work and walk through those spaces.
About the Intern
Eleni Palamidis, a native to Philadelphia, is currently a student at Community College of Philadelphia and will be transferring to Moore College of Art and Design in the Fall. She has always had a passion for interior design and creative ventures. While at Moore she will be pursuing a major in Interior Design with a minor in Graphic Design and Business.
Growing up in the Greek community has shaped Eleni to be the person she is today. She has been fortunate enough to have visited many of the islands in Greece, to which she credits her love for Architecture. Eleni hopes to one day open her own Interior Design studio and continue to do what she loves.