To buy furniture online inevitably do have potential pitfalls that can be eliminate with these 5-step guide on how to go about when you decide to buy furniture online.
A few measurements, list of personal needs, colour scheme considerations, a budget, warranty and shipping are just some of the factors that you need to take into consideration to be able to buy furniture online like a professional. Get it right the first time and avoid buying that piece of furniture online that is cute, inexpensive, and came with just the right amount of free shipping but might not last.
But please do not feel overwhelmed, besides all, you need to buy furniture that you will derive pleasure from looking and using it.
Measure and consider more than just the room size:
Up to 50% of furniture are more suitable for older, more spacious rooms and does not comfortably fit newly build, smaller houses and apartments. To ensure that you choose correct and comfortable pieces when you buy furniture online you need to measure and take the following into consideration:
– Measure the floor space of the room
Measuring the room is easier and quicker than you think. Start by measuring the length from the entrance of the room to the furthest wall and end off measuring the opposite length. Indicate on your notes where the doorway(s) is.
– Analyse the purpose of the area
Modern houses getting smaller and smaller and multipurpose / multifunctional furniture like sleeper couches enable you to use a room for more than one purpose. Take for example: a room that is a living area during the daytime and at night a bedroom.
There are many furniture pieces that can serve more than one purpose like bunker beds, coffee tables with big drawers in etc.
– Measure your existing furniture
The size of the furniture that you already have and want to re-use will give you a good feel for the dimensions of furniture that is comfortable to you. Too bulky, too small, big or narrow, note it down and take it into consideration.
Buy and combine separate pieces for smaller areas. Embrace the size of your room and some of your existing furniture because even a small area with the correct furniture (old and new) and layout can create the illusion of space and comfort.
“Your home should be a story of who you are and be a collection of what you love.” – Nate Berkus (Interior Designer)
Take a moment and plan the floor layout to ensure things like ease of movement etc.In order to ensure ease of movement you always need to consider the layout of the room before you buy furniture online. Planning in advance will eliminates the battle to moving heavy furniture around and can help with planning rectangular spaces (that is more challenging).
-Factors to incorporate in your floor plan:
1. Use one of the online floor-planning-apps to draft and map a plan or picture of the room and include the 2 sets of measurements that we obtained in the previous step. Do not forget to indicate and take into consideration the entrance and exists of the room.
Many online buys have been returned to furniture stores because the delivery service could not get it through the doorway. First measure the door that you will be using to bring the furniture into the room. Many couches have legs that can be unscrewed and removed to make delivery easier, and in some cases a door can be removed from its hinges to enlarge the opening enough to squeeze in a large couch. Measure the height, width, and diagonal opening of all doorways in your house and add these as notes and comments when you buy furniture online.
2. Start with the furniture what you already have and want to re-use in order to be able to make a list of the furniture to buy online.
3. A standard and key to a well-designed room is to try to allow 400mm – 500mm walking space and leg room between pieces (and even more if there are people with special needs).
4. Take into consideration what the day-to-day activities are in the area? Getting up from the sofa to walk to the front door to receive an online delivery or searching for a snack in the kitchen, movement in both directions must be easy. Buy less pieces of furniture for smaller areas to overcome this problem.
With this floor plan you can now depict the type, size and pieces of furniture to buy online.“One sits more comfortably on a colour that one like” according to Verner Panton
Quick colour lessons to take note of:
– Start with what you already have in the room. Look at the upholstery of your furnishings, the flooring and your accessories including artwork. Draw clues and explore magazines, Pinterest, Houzz and other design blogs for inspiration. It may be helpful to put together a ‘mood board’ to ensure your colour palette is coherent with the rest of your interior before you start.
– If you are starting from scratch, a piece of furniture can be chosen first so that you can decorate around it. Like buying a piece in a vibrant luxury fabric to serve as inspiration and focus point. But the most common approach is to choose furniture that complements the other furniture in the same area and is not the centre of attention.
– A creative idea for a harmonious (forming a pleasing or consistent whole) colour scheme is to matches the wall colour with the furniture to unify the room and make it appear larger.
But if change is not for you or you are unsure, buy a piece of furniture with the same colour than the piece that you are replacing, it will be less drastic to you and will fit to your existing decoration, walls colour and style.
Neutral colours are saver.
Neutral sofa colours are the most popular for most homes. Choosing a neutral colour like white, grey, brown or black that will match with a variety of colours. These colours will not season quickly. Browns, dark greys and other dark colours will hide dirt and stains, extending your sofa’s new and tidy look.
Keep your room updated with in-season decorations
Add in-season decoration for a vibrant and fresh look. Have a look online at the paint colours advertised by Paint stores and Clothing retails in order to determine the seasons colours before you start your online spree.
Check for comfortable factors
Furniture is a long-term investment and should be bought with care especially if you plan to buy the furniture online. More and more appliances will fall away over time with the rate at which the online world is developing.
Whenever people want to buy furniture, they tend to think about how enjoyable the item will be without considering whether it will really be comfortable. Sure, looks are great and all, but it seems odd since the main function is of course to be able to enjoy it. Refrain yourself from getting online and immediately stating to buy.
In fact, you will never be able to tell whether for instance a sofa is comfortable simply by looking at it unless you consider its measurements. If you plan to keep your couch for years to come, you need to consider the specifics before you purchase a sofa.
Some of the measurements to consider: Height from the floor to ensure that you can get up with easily. The seat depth, the seat should allow you to sit comfortably without having to use a throw pillow. The filling used on bottom and back cushions can make a huge difference for comfortable couches, softer cushions will be cosier but again uncomfortable for people with back problems. The secret lies in the balance of these factors.
Budget to ensure that less is more
Prioritise in order to determine which pieces of furniture you need first and start to buy those pieces. If you cannot afford to completely furnish the entire room at one time, then start to buy the essential pieces first and add as you can afford more.
Anchor pieces differ from home to home but might include a kitchen table and chairs, so you have somewhere to eat, a bed for sleeping and a sofa so you have a place to sit. These are the starting blocks that you can furnish your home around and as time goes on and you have the financial means to make additions.
Customised items are more expensive than the standard product line of the furniture retailers. Stretch your budget and rather pick from the standard product line as advertised when you buy furniture online and then customise the decorative and styling items.
Always remember the golden rule, less is more, opt for less items of quality. This buy is a major investment, and one you may live with for decades, so it’s important to make a good decision. Style preferences are a personal matter, but when it comes to choosing a good-quality furniture you need to make sure in order to be happy for many years to come. “You are either in your bed or in your shoes, so it pays to invest in both”- John Wildsmith
Wait for seasonal sales before you buy furniture online. Visit online sites of factory furniture stores and ask for discounts through the virtual assistance of online stores. All these activities will help you to buy more furniture with your budget.
Add to your budget
Advertise your unwanted furniture through online classified ads and use the extra money to add to your budget.
Remember to include the transport cost to your budget. Transporting furniture is costly. Selecting and buy furniture online is only half the job done as the transport difficult, time consuming and costly.
Most online furniture stores do offer delivery services either themselves of via independent contractors. Let us stand still and explain why the shipment cost of furniture is high.
Most of the courier companies do not ship furniture, too bulky and time consuming to move. In other words, the truck or bakkie delivering the furniture will especially drive to you to get the delivery done. It is like using a metered taxi, always more expensive than a bus, train, Uber or normal taxi because only one person will be transported.
Do not spoil your online purchase by not understanding the complications and time involved in transporting furniture. Allow the store enough time to load, fasten properly and deliver on a non-rainy day, you will then be rewarded with a piece of furniture that is scratch free and can serve you for many years to come.
Same-day delivery is usually only possible on non-busy times of the month, do not be disappointed, rather remember that it is in the best interest of your piece that you bought.
Also add other difficulties like stairs, broken lifts, corners etc. that the furniture store can plan and make provision for this in advance.
If you can transport your own furniture pick-up is usually free! If you stay quite a distance from the store your transport cost can be as much as the furniture itself. Ask your colleague, friend or neighbour to collect and thank them with a bottle of wine! Remember to take along a couple of blankets and ropes in order prevent damage to the furniture. Unfortunately loading and fastening furniture is a time-consuming process, allow enough time.
Make that new pieces the center of your home and keep on building memories! Enjoy shopping furniture online!