Practical Guide to Buying New Furniture
Is it time for new home furnishings?
Purchasing new furniture can be stressful. There are dozens of stores and they all have different materials and different prices. While furniture isn't usually bought to last a life time anymore - it is hopefully a long term commitment. You want to make sure that you purchase furniture that is practical for you and your home.
It seems like an easy process but it can be a nightmare if you do not take a few things into consideration first. By following a few steps, you can make purchasing your new furniture fun and hassle free.
Budget - What can you afford?
I needed new living room furniture. My puppy, clearly wanted to let everyone know that he is the alpha and he marked his spot! He clawed a hole through the leather on my sofa in the corner seat cushion. I did find what he had been looking for. Now that we have established boundaries, I decided it was time to buy a new living room set.
You want to have an idea of what you can afford before you start browsing the showroom floor. Things add up quickly. A sofa, love seat, then you have to have that matching chair!
Make a budget and stick with it.
Need a Wood Finish Fix?
Repair or Replace?
If you have a piece of damaged furniture and a tight budget there are often cheap repairs that can be made. If a piece of furniture is worn, you could use slip covers for a whole new look.
Woods can often be refurbished or polished with different types of furniture waxes to restore their former shine. For example, Walnut Oil and a pastry brush can help restore wood and cover fine scratches. A beautiful throw can cover stains or blemished fabrics.
Shopping furniture warehouses for discounts can be fun too. If you like a more eclectic look, you can buy pieces that are of differing textures, fabric, woods and colors to reflect your taste. Buyer beware though warns, Kim Georgie, Manager of O'Fallon Ashley Furniture HomeStores. I have had people complain that they see a set very similar to one of ours at a cheaper price - it may not be made with the same materials. "If a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is," she warns.
Terrific Quick Fix
Measure And Plan
I can't stress this point enough. I have made this mistake more than once. You must measure the room and stairway if necessary prior to purchasing the davenport of your dreams. I had no problem getting the sofa I bought for the basement into the house but it would not go around the corner into the basement!
The gentleman that moved in across the street didn't measure his big screen television. They watch it in the garage as it will not fit through any of their doors.
It is very difficult to tell if furniture and accessories will fit in a room if the space is tight. Measure the size of your room and the size of the area you expect to place the new furniture. Make sure you can accommodate the door and hallway space that will be required to move it inside your home.
Ashley has a great feature that can be accessed online. Plan the room you intend to redecorate on their online room planner. This will allow plenty of time to make sure the plans in your head match the reality of the room.
Furniture used to be designed to last a lifetime, and that is just not so anymore. Styles change and people change, our taste changes.
Furniture is now made to be durable, cheaper and last several years highly dependant on the amount of wear and tear on the pieces. Personally, I get bored with different styles and I really enjoy redecorating every few years. I work from home so if I see a change that is more functional, it may be worth making a new change for my lifestyle.
Custom Made Furniture
- Ashley Furniture HomeStore: Home Furniture Sales - Furniture Stores
Browse Ashley online and discover a furniture store with amazing pricing on stylish and durable home furniture. Get more without paying more and see what sets us apart from other furniture stores.
Ashley Room Planner
Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
When I make a large purchase, I like to know a little bit about who is making the product. I look at customer reviews and check with the Better Business Bureau. I don't want to have to spend hours later working out problems because I trusted someone who turns out to be disreputable.
Ashley's story begins in 1945. Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. was founded in Chicago by Carlyle Weinberger. Currently, it is owned by father and son, Ronald and Todd Wanek. They believed and proved that furniture could be made better and still sold at low cost to the customer. Their ideas not only changed the way our lives look from inside our homes - they set in motion changes that would change the look, feel, texture and even the sound of the world, outside our homes.
In the 1980's Ashely began to expand and their dealers began to travel the world to develop the best furniture while moderating design costs,creating environmentally friendlier products and functional products for families.
In the 1990's the retail market boomed with the spread of independently owned Ashley Furniture HomeStores in communities everywhere across the world. These stores are most often locally and independently owned with the employees living in the community.
Ashley is involved in many environmental causes, they offer support to those with disabilities, they have been involved with collections for the needy, veterans, music and art programs in schools and another thing that makes them the largest furniture dealer in North America is their effort to leave a GREEN footprint. They also maintain an AAA+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
From the material they use to build furniture to the fleet of trucks that deliver it, they are at the top of the class in preserving the habitat they have grown from. This is exactly the type of company that I want to support.
Kim says that now days "Furniture is Fashion." The designers at Ashley want to bring the most beautiful, functional and comfortable furniture while maintaining echo friendly designs and bring the best prices to the public.
"They do not believe in wasting a thing. The design team is so vigilant they figured out how to save money by cutting 3 inches of fabric from each sofa. It may not sound like a lot but we produce in volumn. Ideas like that add up to more savings for the customer."
Tips for Decorating Small Spaces
Different Styles for Different LifestylesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Out with the old - in with the new!Click thumbnail to view full-size
What's your style?
I often see furniture that I love but while it looks great on the showroom floor - it would not be practical for my lifestyle. I love white leather sofas but with two kids still living at home and three dogs - it would look more like a Dalmatian after a week.
I popped into my local Ashley Furniture HomeStore and Bernard was there to help me. Again. He helped my uncle choose new furniture several months ago when my uncle moved to town. I was glad to see he was working on the floor and available to assist me in purchasing new furniture for my living room. We sat down at his desk to talk about my needs. I brought photos of the room that I wanted to furnish so that he could see how it is shaped, colored and designed. I bought my previous set at Ashley and he did recognize the set.
"Why do you need to replace that - it looks fine!" he said surprised.
"Oh it's all great and fine except that hole my puppy clawed in the seat cushion."
Bernard quickly looked up my account and noted I had purchased the protection plan but it does not cover pet damage. I knew and was informed of this when I bought it, I acknowledged.
I had to use it once. I thought it was going to be a big old pain or I wouldn't be able to get a free fix because my child had ripped the ottoman with her belt buckle. Much to my surprise when I phoned the store they assured me it was fine. They told me where to call and I took a few photos of the damage so they could assess the tear. They decided it couldn't be repaired and sent a guy right out with a brand new one!
Completely free of charge to me as I had paid for that protection plan. The ottoman in question was an over-sized large storage chest with leather fabric. It would have cost me about $400.00 to purchase a brand new undamaged one.
Bernard explained I could just have the cushion repaired or order a new one and I could save a lot of money. "Shhh! I want new furniture and that is why I didn't bring my husband so don't go telling him that kind of crazy stuff!"
Bernard said he hoped my husband wouldn't ask. So did I, because I didn't get the feeling he was going to be able to keep mum on that.
Kim was on the floor and we talked about design a bit more. "We have tall ceilings, fluorescent lights in the showroom and it's hard to tell how things will look in your home. Colors and fabric look different, finishes can look different. If you want to match a particular color, I recommend that you take it to the furniture store and compare it inside or even walk outside to see how it looks in natural sunlight."
I asked her about the mattresses at Ashley. She informed me that they are now designing and making them for Ashley! They are extremely echo friendly and extremely comfortable. "Bigger is better in this case," she told me. Research has proven that a better night of sleep is had if there is a larger sleeping area. "Get the biggest bed your room will accommodate but don't forget to take into consideration the other furniture that needs to occupy the room."
Buy furniture that fits your personal needs and style!
My entire order was ready for delivery the following day. I knew my husband didn't plan on removing all the current furniture that evening but it turned out to be a must. We had some friends come over, provided food and drink and broke it down.
Even though it was raining, hailing and tornado sirens were blaring, the Ashley delivery truck came right on time. My delivery was pretty seamless. I asked the driver what the worst delivery was that he ever had.
"That's easy," he said, "some lady ordered one of those beds with the motorized hydrolics. The bedroom was upstairs. Those things are so heavy and awkward to set up, it was the worst," he said shaking his head and wiping sweat from his brow.
My husband snorted and gave me that narrow eyed, accusing stare. Neither one of us wanted to admit that I had one of those beds sitting upstairs. I did not buy that bad bed from Ashley and it was an impulse buy. My husband hates the bed because the memory foam is uncomfortable to him. It's working fine though - further proof that some things shouldn't last a lifetime.
"I consider that a man's brain originally like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose." ~Arthur Conan Doyle