Making good choices when buying furniture

Making good choices when buying furniture

Making choices when furniture shopping is hard. There are so many fabric options made by a variety of manufacturers designed in never ending styles. With all the available options, it’s hard to know what to choose. Thinking about your needs and asking the right questions is important for a successful purchase.


With the addition of online furniture shopping, the prices range and options continue to increase. You can find lots of inexpensive furniture online as well as custom ordering for a very special piece with a higher price tag. Starting with a budget in mind is a great first step because it gives you some guidelines. 

But the budget question should also be tied to a longevity question. How long do you want to have this piece? Inexpensive furniture has it’s place when you need something quick and easy.  Do you need an entry table to set keys on? It’s also helpful if you are moving around a bunch, such as in college or just starting to move into first apartments. You might not know what your style is or how you use a specific space or it’s okay if it gets broken in a move. 

What does your lifestyle look like? Are you moving in and out of apartments? Do you want that furniture to last through the moves or simply use it right now and get rid of it later? Do you have small children or pets jumping on sofas that will just mess them up at this phase in your life? Are you looking for a very specific piece and are willing to wait/pay for it?

Reuse market saves the day! The magic of the reuse market is that you can find better furniture for the price of inexpensive items. Instead of purchasing a bookshelf that falls apart when it gets moved up 3 flights of stairs, discovering a solid oak version will last much longer. 


This is a very important question to ask before buying furniture. How long do you expect to keep the furniture? Often this shows itself in how much we pay for things.  We are much more likely to buy an inexpensive smaller item that just solves a problem or is just something fun. When it comes to sofas and bed sets, we might have these for 10, 20 or even 30 years.  Anything you think you’ll have for a while, consider buying a better brand so it lasts as long as you want it to.

This a lifestyle question in here too. When you need a new sofa, but you have small children, you might choose to purchase a cheeper one with plans to replace it in 10 years with something you really like. 

Life if full of phases. Which one are you in right now and how does that impact your furniture purchases?


There is a drastic difference of craftsmanship all with furniture.  Typically the more expensive the furniture is, the better quality it is.  But just because furniture has a higher prices, does not guarantee a lasting piece. We purchased a sofa once from a middle of the road manufacturer and it fell apart in a just a few years. It was very frustrating and not worth the money we spent on it.

While not many of us are furniture experts, check some things out before buying. Real wood will last much longer than particle board. Most items you build yourself will not last because they aren’t real wood. Ask sales people questions about how things are made. You, and they, might not know all the answers but thinking through your needs is important.

Tips for quality:

  • Check patterned match up. High quality manufacturers make sure these are matched up
  • What are the frames made out of? Particle board, plastic or metal. 
  • High quality sofas have solid hardwood frames, perhaps “kiln-dried” hardwood. Engineered wood can also create a strong frame Stay away from pine frames as they are more economical but don’t hold up as long.
  • Frame construction is critical - when a company spends more time building a strong frame, the better the piece. Researching manufacturers is important.
  • If you have kids or pets - fabric that’s easy to clean and hides stains is important. Microfibers are a great option.
  • 100% all foam filled is the often the most inexpensive options in sofas and chairs. A 80/20 proportion is a great option for these. It gives both comfort but also support

Measure before you go shopping

It’s amazing to see in our Zelienople store how many people come looking for items like sofas and dining table sets without measuring their spaces first! Before you buy any furniture, measure and think through the space. Purchasing a sofa that is too big for the space will make everything look off even if it’s an amazing item. Check out the size and how the items effects the flow of traffic. Will it fit in the doors, up the stairs, in the space where you see it in your head.


Are you someone that needs things to match or are you looking for a variety of feels? Don’t settle for something simply because it’s available but take the time to find what you want.  We’re trending towards a softer nature palette right now which allows for a variety of personalities. Think about what you like begin to move in that direction - it doesn’t have to be done all at once.

You can also create more of a fluid feel throughout the room even without matching pieces.  Looking for similar colors can create a cohesive look instead buying matching pieces. For example, black accents in tables and fabric with pops of black can pull rooms together. There is great paint available to update or coordinate looks. Wise Hour One Hour Enamel gives a hard finish to furniture so you can change the look of furniture fairly easily. 

Our furniture choices show an important part of who we are. Finding some good pieces that match our current phase is critical about how we feel about our living spaces. Resales store give the opportunity to purchase items at lower prices points and give new life to furniture. 

Visit our location 7 days a week in Zelienople, PA just minutes north of Cranberry Twp. We look for quality, previous loved furniture and home decor from a variety of sources so the store is never the same twice. Come discover your perfect piece.

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