How to Buy FurnitureFurniture and You
Buying furniture is just like buying a piece of artwork. The first criteria is to buy something you will enjoy. And full enjoyment of your new furniture means considering your taste, your lifestyle and of course, your budget.
Taste is entirely a matter of personal preference. You may delight in the traditional elegance of 18th Century styles or be most comfortable with the sleek look of contemporary. It's strictly your choice. If you're not really sure about your design preferences, look through your favorite magazines to find rooms that appeal to you. Even better, browse through the furniture selections and displays at your local home furnishings store where the staff will be happy to help you find the furniture that's right for you.
Choice of style depends on you, but your lifestyle should come into play when durability is a consideration. Consider what kind of wear and use your furniture will receive.
If you're an individual whose hobbies are music, bridge and formal entertaining, indulge yourself. Go for the white damask sofa you've always dreamed of. But if your sofa will be used for a lot of TV watching or lounging, you'll enjoy it much more (and longer) if you choose a sturdier model. When toddlers and teens are on the scene, durability becomes even more important.
Something you want to know about any piece of furniture you buy is "How long will it last?" That factor is determined largely by who uses the furniture and how they use it. The type of care an item receives and the punishment it takes will determine the length of its life. Even the sturdiest, most durable furniture can wear out sooner than expected if it receives extra hard use.
You don't have to deny yourself the pleasure of a painting you love because funds are limited. Perhaps the original oil is within your means. If not, a print or poster of the original will bring you enjoyment. It's the same with a piece of furniture.
It's never a mistake to buy the best you can afford. Like an original oil or a poster version of the same subject, the same piece of furniture comes in different versions at different prices. A small chairside table, for example, can cost from below $100 to well over $1,000 and good values are to be found of all versions. Here are some of the factors that affect cost:
Design: original antique, a reproduction copy, or an adaptation?
Materials: real wood or a printed simulation?
Manufacturing Process: handcrafted or mass produced?
Detailing: hand-carved or plastic molded?
Shipping & Storage: already assembled or ready to be assembled at home?
Your store salesperson or designer will explain the features and construction that account for the price differences in the individual pieces of furniture that interest you.
You will enjoy your new furniture to the fullest when it pleases your taste, meets the specific needs of your home and fits your budget. Regardless of the style you choose or the amount you can afford to spend, furniture gives you an exceptional value. Just think about this: a new piece of furniture that costs $500 and is kept for only five years brings beauty and function into your home for less than 28 cents a day.
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