Do You Dread Shopping For Furniture? How to Shop For Furniture Without Returning Home With Buyer's Remorse

You're exhilarated because you've been planning on updating your home or you just moved into a new home and have a new house to furnish.   You're about to embark on a shopping spree, and the result will be a beautiful home that you can’t wait to show off to all of your friends and family.

Your guest will oooh and ahhh over the fantastic job you did pulling together a well-decorated home on your own.

 Unfortunately, before you get to that step, you have to endure the process of shopping for furniture.  Even the most enthusiastic shoppers can get bogged down by this process.  I'll show you how to have a positive shopping experience that will lead to a successful outcome by sharing some tips I've gained over my years as an Interior Designer.

Furniture Shopping Survival Basics

1.    Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

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Know  what you need to buy, how much you want to spend and what stores you want to shop at.  Browse stores online and in person before making a buying commitment so you can understand each store's product offering, price point, and lead time.  Spend at least a week curating Pinterest boards of images that inspire you.  You will start to see patterns and trends of home décor that appeals to you.  You can use that information to narrow down what your style preference is and eliminate the stores that don’t sell goods in your preferred style.  This will allow you to make the best use of your time.

2.    Plan an Itinerary

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 If you live in a city that has a design district, you’re in luck.  You'll be able to go in and out of shops that are in a central location. If you live in an area without a design district, furniture stores could be miles apart from each other meaning you'll spend a lot of time driving and parking.  Make the best use of your time and conserve energy by mapping out the stores you plan to visit.  It's also a good idea to consider traffic when creating your itinerary.  

3. Avoid Weekends

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Everyone floods furniture stores on the weekends.  It is hard to browse with people in your way and crowding your views. If you’re working with a salesperson or store designer, their time will be limited, and you will not receive one on one attention because the salesperson is juggling multiple customers. If you work a 9-5 job, and can’t shop during the weekday during business hours, try visiting the store after 5 pm.

4. Create a Budget

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Never let a salesperson define what your budget should be (trust me, I used to work in furniture retail). It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and buy stuff because it looks good in the store or a sales professional is encouraging you to make a purchase.  If you have a set budget for what you can afford and plan to spend, you’re less likely to make impulses purchase or sign up for store financing to purchase things that are out of your price range.  During step 1 you prepared before you left the house, so you know what each furniture store’s price point is, therefore, eliminating sticker shock.

5. Eliminate Shopping Companions


If your spouse loves to look at furniture, evaluate fabric swatches, and discuss how an item will look in your home, you’re lucky. If they are no, consider relieving them of furniture shopping duty. The process will go smoother and more efficiently if the person who enjoys shopping does most of the work and brings their partner in at the end of the process. I’ve seen couples get cranky and start fighting because their partner was frustrated and tired of furniture shopping.  If you've done your planning  (item 1) and developed a budget that you both agree on (item 4), the person who doesn’t like to shop doesn’t need to endure the entire process. 

Furniture shopping is not fun for kids. Some stores have play areas to deal with this dilemma. That’s great if your kids are old enough and mature enough to be left alone in a play area. Coping with bored, cranky kids while you’re trying to make decisions on how to make your house beautiful without breaking the bank can ruin your shopping experience.  Consider leaving your kids at home so you can shop without distraction.

Refuel and Refresh

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Take a break from shopping if you’re making a marathon day of it. When you create your shopping itinerary, plan a long lunch, movie break, or spa break.  Clearing your mind of all the information you take in is the perfect refresher and will prevent you from becoming burned out while you shop. After your break, you can resume buying with clarity.

If you try a few tips from this article, I guarantee that your next furniture shopping trip will be less stressful and more productive. Taking time to prepare before you leave the house and staying in a positive state of mind will enable you to furnish your home with décor that meets all of your decorating dreams.