Create your first apartment? congratulations my friend! This is a very exciting time but buying furniture can be an expensive and time consuming process and if you have never done it before then it can also feel very intimidating. With so many options on where to shop, a wide range of price points, and an infinite number of styles to choose from, what should be a fun experience can turn into a chaotic and overwhelming experience.
Another hurdle that many people face when buying furniture is sticking to a budget. Sure, furniture is an investment, but if you’re strategic about purchasing certain pieces, you can get more bang for your buck.
I spoke to Katherine Hooper, interior designer and founder iSpy Home Design, for their expert advice on how to buy furniture. Whether you’re moving into a new home or hoping to revamp a portion of your living space, this guidance will help you design the space of your dreams.
Start with the largest pieces
It can be stressful to start with a blank canvas but see it as an opportunity to create the space of your dreams. One common question you might ask yourself is, “Where do I begin?” So, Huber says it’s always best to start with the largest pieces of furniture you’ll need.
“For most homes, these pieces include a sofa/section, dining table, and bed,” explains Hooper. “The reason I started with them is twofold: The style you choose for these pieces will not only really tell about the overall design of the apartment, but also other finishes and fixtures you might want to bring in that these pieces don’t.”
For example, if you have a linen sofa, you may want to bring in leather or velvet for the armchairs. If your dining table is white oak, perhaps the chairs offer some metallics or an all-fabric look. Secondly, because they are the largest pieces, they are usually the ones you are willing to spend the most and can therefore guide your budget when buying additional furniture.
Huber found that these are also pieces that people are more likely to bring with them when they move, while smaller items like nightstands or dining chairs can be swapped out more easily.
Avoid cheap materials
When trying to make space on a budget, there are certain things you may feel you need to sacrifice. Quality shouldn’t be one of them. Most affordable furniture is made of cheap wood that will not hold up over time. Hooper recommends avoiding these pieces at all costs.
“Furniture made of cheap wood is more difficult to assemble, always looks fake, and falls apart more quickly, so you end up having to replace it anyway,” she adds. “There are many companies that work with high-quality, environmentally friendly wood materials, such as avocadoAnd conditionAnd terrierAnd FloydIt’s a lot easier than it used to be to get well-made, long-lasting wood trim without breaking the bank.”
If your budget leaves no room for any real wood, opt for metal frames instead. Ikea And CB2 Both have stylish metal frame beds that are very affordable. Hooper is a fan of the powder-coated metallic trend that brings some extra color to a space like the one in this one West Elm And anthropologist.
Plus, if you love leather but aren’t fond of the price tag, another budget saver is vegan leather products that come in at a lower cost but still look high-quality.
Be selective about fabrics and materials
When you are strategic with the decorations you bring into your home, they can really elevate the overall design. The look of stone and marble trim can instantly add a textured, custom look to a space, says Hooper. Furniture made from these materials also withstand water rings and other common stains better when compared to wood.
Another solid option is leather, which ages over time and is a smart investment, according to Huber.
For dining chairs, cane or woven ones are never a bad idea because they are easy to clean and have a timeless style.
Spend less on trendy items
It can be tempting to buy modern pieces, but this is a mistake many first-time furniture buyers fall victim to. In general, Hooper recommends that people spend less on items that might be more trendy or casual. This often includes smaller pieces like side tables and nightstands, especially if the larger pieces around them are of higher quality.
Even dining chairs can be a space saver if you don’t use fine wood or upholstered pieces. Amazon And Wayfair A bunch of funky, colorful plastic chairs sell in groups of four for under $200,” explains Hooper. “They look really funky and are easy to clean.”
Finally, if there are items you have to buy that are specific to the apartment, such as a kitchen island or a shopping cart, that won’t be needed for your next home, there’s no need to spend a lot of money because it’s not a long-term investment.
Spend more on great food items
As mentioned above, always spend more on the larger items in your home, such as sofas/sections, dining tables, and beds. Anything you take home with you is worth spending more on, and that includes the pieces you can’t live without because you love them.
“A lot of interior design is about functionality, but we can’t overlook a really cool design or a timeless design that will live with you forever,” says Hooper.
Hooper also believes that quality carpeting is an important item to spend a little more for a specific look or durability. Cheap carpets suffer a lot of shedding and fading, and don’t hold up to cleaning well.
Last but not least, you add that anything Handmade by local artisans worth the splurge. “Whenever we can support craftsmanship at its best, we must.”
Do not rush this process
One common mistake Hooper sees people making when buying furniture? Speed up the process. News flash: There’s no need to buy all the furniture you need right away.
“I don’t expect people to live in an empty apartment, but I would recommend starting with the absolute necessities and then living in the space for a while before finishing with what you might need,” says Hooper.
She notes that she often hears clients feel a rush to get things and then, once they’ve been living in their home for a while, realize that some items weren’t necessary, or rather that what they initially bought wasn’t as functional as they needed to be. He is.
There’s also something special about piling things up when you come across them, whether it’s online, at a store next door to your house, or at a local flea market. “A home isn’t created overnight, it takes time and patience to get exactly the look you’re going for.”