Buying furniture for one’s home is usually a very exciting milestone. This is because furniture takes the center stage in the decoration.
However, buying furniture can be a bit challenging and it helps to know what to do to avoid some of the common mistakes. Ms Christine Mugwima, the co-founder of Hearth Interiors Ltd, says the first thing to consider before buying new furniture is what you already have. “Most people don’t do this,” she says. “It can easily lead to a situation where you have mismatched furniture.”
“Considering the furniture you already have helps you decide which ones to retain and which ones to get rid of before adding new furniture to the space,” she adds. “Having too much furniture make a room crowded and difficult to move around.”
Of course, your preferred style and color will automatically influence the furniture you buy. “One of the questions we ask our clients is a general description of the style they want,” offers Ms Mugwima. “Some people love the classical look while others love the modern one, and yet others prefer a mixture of looks, which is referred to as an eclectic style.”
Consequently, Ms. Mugwima notes, certain furniture is associated with a specific style. For instance, a fancy looking, bright-colored sofa would not suit a Victorian-themed house.
Ms Mugwima adds that, before buying anything you need to do window-shop to find out what is available and what works within your style and budget. “Decide what you consider important, whether it is inside furniture or furniture for the porch and backyard, what you want to achieve with that space and how you can modify things to fit within your budget.”
Ms Mugwima notes many people do not plan when buying furniture, so they end up under budgeting or over budgeting.
“Another common mistake is failing to measure the available space for the furniture,” “You have to measure the space and the existing items therein to enable you to plan. Make sure the piece that you are going to buy will fit into the space to getting frustrated later.”
Ms. Mugwima says it is important to know the exact purpose of the furniture you’re buying and suggests that you buy multipurpose furniture whenever possible.
“For example, if you live in a one-bedroom apartment and you tend to have a lot of visitors, you can consider buying a sofa that can also serve as a bed when you have guests,” she suggests. And if you work a lot from home, buy a comfortable dining table that can also serve as a workstation.
Another important factor to consider is the material the furniture you are buying is made of. “People’s lack of knowledge of furniture leads to them to buy pieces that quickly wear out and are irreparable. If you want your furniture to be both beautiful and usable, you have to consider its durability and repair-ability,” she says.
“There is also the need to know the cleaning requirements of the furniture,” she adds. “Some furniture has fabric that needs to be dry-cleaned while others have fabric that can be hand-washed. So it is important to consider which method of cleaning is applicable and whether it is suitable for you.
Ms Mugwima cautions against impulsive buying, as it can lead to buying of oversize pieces.
“You should consider whether the furniture you are buying can fit in the place where you live. If you live in a flat, you need to be careful about the pieces you choose and ensure that it can fit in your apartment,” she says.
Once you have bought your furniture, Ms Mugwima says, it is important to accessorize the rest of the house to complement the furniture for a complementary look.
“Sometimes people get one beautiful piece of furniture and consider that the beginning and the end of the design. That is like wearing a very nice dress but not wearing shoes that complement it. The look will not be complete,” says Ms. Mugwima.
So, when buying furniture, always ensure that the accessories complement the furniture when put in a particular space, for example, having curtains of the same color.
“Buying household furniture is a skill anyone can learn. There is a lot of information on furniture shopping on the Internet and YouTube that can help you create a lovely living space,” concludes Ms. Mugwima.