When it's Time to Buy New Furniture

When it’s Time to Buy New Furniture

You may be envisioning the perfect set up for your dining room, kitchen, living room, or bedroom. Dreams of oak furniture and rustic interior fill your Pinterest page, and the epic search for the perfect accent piece is well underway.  What to look for?

Furniture comes in many price points and before you start cutting corners, make sure you aren’t sacrificing quality. Below are a few important things to consider before taking the plunge on new furniture.

You Get What You Pay For

Cheaper product generally means cheaper materials. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it is worth it to truly inspect for inferior materials.  Good quality materials to look for include solid wood table tops and case goods made of solid wood and plywood construction.  Stay away from furniture that is made mostly from particle board, cardboard, paper, and plastic.  Many of these pieces feature a printed or simulated finish that is not really wood.  Oak or cherry finish might just refer to the color and not the actual type of wood used in construction.  When thinking about colors it is also good to bring in an actual color sample that you would like to match.  Furniture companies can call colors different names, and the color you think it is may not be entirely accurate depending on the manufacturer.  “Golden Oak” from one manufacturer can be a true gold color while another manufacturer has it as a more reddish brown color.

Pictures Can Be Deceiving

Make sure you measure. This might seem obvious, but staging is a method for displaying a product.  Although it may look like it fits the space perfectly, perspective can be tricky.  Glossy photos can also make a product or finish look much superior than in reality.

Cheap Construction

Often, manufacturers will cut costs in the assembly process and substitute craftsmanship for easy construction. If a product is made with glue or discount finishings, the lifespan will be much shorter.  Good construction features to look for include dove tailed drawers and ball bearing drawer glides.  Look for furniture that also arrives assembled by the manufacturer.  These pieces can offer superior construction and materials over furniture you may purchase that requires you to do the full assembly.  You may save money in the moment, but keep in mind that a well-made quality piece of furniture can last a lifetime. 


In an effort to make discount furniture appear on par with quality furniture, many companies may use toxic materials such as hazardous paints and solvents. Many pieces of furniture today are California Prop 65 Compliant for chemicals such as Formaldehyde.  Also, there are certainly ethical practices and green practices that come into play in the furniture industry.  Many furniture manufacturers use tree farms for their supply of wood.  Oak and Rubber Wood are examples of tree species that are farmed and replanted.  Research what values are important to you and your home.

Choosing new furniture is not an easy task.  It is important to know what you are willing to surrender when it comes to cost versus quality.  The more research you do, the better purchase you will make.