Buying Frugal Furniture

Buying furniture can take a big bite out of your wallet. Even with careful thought and wise shopping, it is a major expense. Sometimes it is worth paying a little more money to get a piece that will last for years, rather than a very inexpensive item that will fall apart or become hopelessly outdated in a short time. On the other hand, some people pay outrageous sums of money for their furniture. Most of us neither want to do that, or have the financial means to do so.

There are some basic rules you can follow to keep the cost of buying furniture down, while selecting items that will serve you best for years to come. There are also factors to take into consideration so that your furniture stays in good condition, is comfortable for you, and well used.

Here are some guidelines:

– Remember the design element of scale. Some sofas are oversized, and others are small and seem to hug the ground. IKEA is a discount store that sells a lot of very low furniture. If you have a big room, you will want larger pieces. Smaller sized furniture looks better in small rooms and apartments. IKEA manufactures their furniture in Scandinavia, where dwellings are typically smaller than American sized spaces. Another benefit of their furniture is that it is fire resistant. You can only find that at two retailers in the US.

– Another thing to consider when buying sofas is the height of your family members. You will not be comfortable sitting in a sofa when your feet do not reach the ground. On the other hand, if your knees are in your face, the sofa is too small for you. This is why couples should always shop together for furniture.

– Buy the best quality furniture that you can afford, preferable used. You can find bargains in the chipped and dented section of many department stores, as well as in the classifieds. If you have children, your furniture is not going to remain pristine anyway, and a few scratches are nothing to get concerned about if the quality is good.

– Keep your large upholstered pieces in a neutral color and in a classic style. Visit Goodwill to visualize what happens to trendy pieces. Very few people are comfortable with a lime green or burnt orange sofa in their living room. Colors return, but they are in different shades. The hottest bright green now is a kiwi color. I personally like that color, and have a futon cover in that shade. When it becomes hopelessly outdated, I hope to just replace the cover. When your furniture is in a solid color, it is very easy to drape an afghan, quilt, or blanket over it to hide worn spots. You can make it last a lot longer that way.

– When buying wood furniture, as a general rule, the darker the wood, the more formal it is. Again, if you shop at IKEA, you will notice all their furniture is casual, and almost all of it is stained in a light color, like pine or birch. Wood grain with a lot of red in it, like mahogany, is difficult to blend with lighter colors. For the most versatility, buy your wood stained in medium to light shades.

– When you look at the upholstery fabric on your furniture, remember that it is only as strong as its weakest fiber. When I was taking my Interior Design classes in college, we tested the fibers in fabric. We pulled them apart, and ran tests on them for several things, including strength and durability. Fabric that is made from several different kinds of fibers will probably not be as durable as a closely woven fabric made with one material. These are usually fabrics with a very smooth texture and tight weave. Pieces that can be used in several ways, and in different rooms of your home, will serve you for years. Buy real wood when possible, and you have many options to stain and paint over the years as needed.

– Buy furniture you know you will use. Think about the function of each piece. Be sure you are spending money on something you really need.

– Use multi-purpose pieces whenever possible. If you are short on space, placing a television on a bookcase is more practical than placing it on a stand. Use small bookcases for tables, trunks for coffee tables, and bed units with drawers in the frame for children. You can also hide a lot of stuff under fabric-covered tables. You can buy simple cardboard stands, meant to be covered, or make one yourself by cutting a circle out of plywood and putting it on a sturdy base.

– Finally, remember that mixing and matching is now in full fashion. You want your room to look like it has evolved over a period of time. This gives it the character and warmth you do not find in a furniture showroom.

Make good use of furniture that comes to you from all sources. Reupholstering chairs is not hard, and stripping wood and refinishing or painting it is a do-it-yourself project. Careful shopping, including buying interesting used pieces, will give character and personality to your home. It is also fun to be surrounded by items that have a history or story associated with them, rather than a trip to the local furniture store.

Ready-to-Assemble Furniture Has Many Advantages

Why should you consider buying furniture in Ready-to-Assemble form? Mainly, cost savings and convenience.

Nowadays more and more furniture manufacturers are selling high-quality furniture of solid wood with wood veneers in “Ready-to-Assemble” (RTA) form. This is sometimes called Knock-Down (KD) furniture. Many people are under the misconception that (RTA) or (KD) furniture is cheap and won’t last. They are confusing high-quality RTA furniture with paperboard furniture. There is a huge difference!

From the manufacturer’s point of view, the advantages of producing RTA furniture are numerous. Firstly, it is easier and cheaper to ship furniture in a box compared to shipping furniture that is fully assembled. Secondly, assembled furniture carries a high risk of getting damaged during the shipping process and can result in higher insurance costs. RTA furniture is more compact, and you can fit up to ten times the quantity in a container compared to standard assembled furniture. RTA furniture is also ideal for manufacturers who do bulk product runs. It is easy to set up an assembly line just producing and packaging furniture parts, as opposed to having an additional setup just to assemble the finished products.

There are also advantages from the customer’s side. People living in high rise buildings with narrow passages have difficulty in maneuvering large pieces of bulky furniture. RTA furniture is easy to transport, especially in confined spaces. Most RTA furniture is easy to assemble and generally comes with an easy to follow installation guide. The beauty with RTA furniture is that should you decide to move, you can simply disassemble the furniture in the reverse order in which you assembled it.

Most Manufacturers of RTA furniture in the United Stated use standard European Cam Pins and Cam Locks to join the pieces of wood together. This system is very secure and results in an extremely sturdy product. By using Cam Locks and Pins it is not necessary to strengthen the joins with toxic glues. This method also eliminates having to use nails, which not only damages the wood, but once the construction is complete, it is difficult to remove them without damaging the product. All pieces come with pre-drilled holes in which the Cam Locks and Pins fit.

The strength of the furniture is in the wood veneer or laminate. Although the laminate is very thin, it has amazing strength. The average bookcase shelf made with wood veneer can support 75 pounds of weight. Paper laminate, on the other hand looks very much like wood, but has very little strength and can only support about 20 pounds of weight. Furniture made with paper laminate is often referred to as “throw-away” furniture. There are two types of wood laminates, namely Rotary Sliced and Bookmatched. Bookmatched is more attractive and much more expensive than the rotary sliced because there is more work involved in matching the pieces of wood together.

RTA furniture is very versatile and can be used for a host of products. Popular KD furniture includes items such as; Bookcases, Storage Chests, Entertainment Centers, Computer and Executive Desks, Media Storage and Filing cabinets.

Bedroom Furniture Doesn’t Have To Cost An Arm And A Leg!

Bedroom furniture is expensive, there’s just no way around it. If you are outfitting your bedroom, you’ll have to reach deep into your pockets to foot the bill… or will you?

There are some ways to avoid spending too much on bedroom furniture. It’s all about shopping smart, and thinking about what your bedroom furniture needs are.

Softwoods Vs. Hardwoods

The material you choose for your bedroom furniture makes a big difference in price. If you’re not too picky about having a certain kind of wood, for instance, you can save money with discount furniture.

If you are looking for wood furniture, you can save some money by buying softwoods instead of hardwoods. The difference is that softwoods come from certain types of trees like cedar, fir and pine. It has a certain coloring that is often yellow or red. Hardwoods are trees like oak, maple, poplar and teak.

Softwoods are less expensive than hardwoods because they are more abundant. You can sometimes buy softwoods from dealers that use tree farms. This is also a good way to buy green. Hardwoods carry a higher price tag because there aren’t as many of those trees left on earth.

Most people will tell you that hardwoods are sturdier and generally better quality, but softwoods are easier on your wallet.

Build It Yourself!

No, this doesn’t mean buying your own lumber and hacking away at it until it resembles bedroom furniture! There are places where you can buy discount furniture that you assemble yourself.

You might remember your dad out in the yard cursing and sweating while he tries to put together some bedroom furniture with directions in a foreign language. Nowadays, the science of furniture assembly has become much easier.

The quality of this style of furniture has also improved over time. This is because of the high demand in the market for affordable furniture.

Keep On The Lookout For Sales

The best way to find discount furniture, on any kind of furniture at all, is to buy when it goes on sale. Furniture is expensive, and most furniture dealers run sales where you can save a little money.

Furniture prices are rising. This is a nationwide trend, and it is due to oil prices and other manufacturing costs. This means that furniture sales are going down because people can’t afford those high price tags. So, to move furniture, dealers are running more discounts.

Figure out what you want and sit tight until those pieces go on sale.

Buy Furniture Online

You can sometimes save money by taking advantage of online deals. Your new furniture can be just a few clicks away, and you can have it delivered to your door.

Of course, you might be nervous about buying such an important purchase over the web. Your bedroom furniture needs to be comfortable, and most people don’t feel right buying without trying it out first. If it makes you nervous to buy online, why not head to a showroom and check it out first? You can pick out the furniture you like, and then head home and find it online!

Make sure an online dealer has a good guarantee and warrantee system before you buy. Don’t skimp on that to save money.

Buy Direct And Save

Buying directly from the source is a good way to save cash. You don’t have to buy directly from a manufacturer; look for a dealer who deals directly with the manufacturer, and you’ll save.

You often see “North Carolina furniture” in advertisements. This means that they are going straight to the source and buying direct from the guys who make it back east.

Don’t Go TOO Cheap

It’s a good idea to avoid buying furniture from stores that don’t specialize in furniture. For example, “big box” superstores usually have a furniture department, and it’s usually sold at rock bottom prices. But, many people have found that furniture bought from these places is a little shoddy. You’re best to stick with a real furniture dealer.

Remember that your bedroom is the most important room of the house. You spend more time there than anywhere else. This is why it’s important to choose the best, most comfortable furniture you can!