Whether you're looking to redecorate entire rooms or jazz things up with a few new pieces, knowing how to distinguish quality furniture from shoddily constructed designs can make the difference between enjoying your new purchases and returning them.
Photo by Phil Romans.
Financial weblog Get Rich Slowly got guest blogger Karawynn Long to outline her key suggestions when shopping for wood and upholstered furniture in particular. Considering the construction of upholstered furniture, Karawynn advises shoppers to "squeeze the arms and back: ideally you should not be able to feel the frame through the padding". As for the composition of the upholstered furniture?
For a sofa or chair with removable cushions, unzip a seat cover and have a look inside. You should see a block of foam wrapped with dacron, cotton, or (for very high-end cushions) down, preferably with a protective inner cover (usually muslin). Foam-only cushions are both less durable and less comfortable. If you're buying new furniture, inquire after the density rating of the seat foam: you're looking for 1.8 pounds or higher.
To make remembering these and other details easier, the post also contains a checklist (available as a PDF download via the link below) to print and take with you when shopping. Sample tips include suggestions on what constitutes great springs (hand-tied coil) and good upholstery (aligned patterns).
Furniture Shopping Secrets: How to Tell Superior from Shoddy [Get Rich Slowly]