If you’re buying your first home or moving into an unfurnished rental, one of the first things you’re going to want to do is get some furniture in there. The right furniture really transforms a house canvas into a home, personalised to your character. But if you’ve never bought furniture before, what do you have to consider? The same applies to those looking to revamp their home, or replace old furniture. What should they ask when looking for better quality replacements?
Wooden Furniture – Cabinets & Tables
When you’re looking to buy furniture made with natural materials like tables, cabinets and other wooden units; you’ll want to try and source the production. Try and find out whether the wood is coming from sustainable forests with re-planting programs, it’s very important to try and stay eco-friendly in the household.
A more practical investigation would have you find out the type of wood, the patina, how it has been treated and where it has come from geographically. African hardwoods are far more prone to splitting than their South American counterparts, because of the low humidity that they were grown in.
It’s important to find out how the wood has been treated or finished. The varnish applied to furniture will dictate the method of cleaning, some won’t react to polish and some will even discolour when in contact with common cleaning products.
Fabric Furniture – Sofas & Chairs
The most important thing to find out with fabric furniture is the life expectancy, the wear and tear and the best methods for maintenance. If you have pets, you’ll want to find out if the fabric is pet friendly. The oils in pet hair can stain some materials, no matter how clean the animal is.
Are the legs of chairs and sofas likely to be scratched by your cat, can you apply a solution to deter your pet from clawing the fabric?
Larger items like sofas can be an absolute nightmare to manoeuvre into your home, whether because of small doorways or tight staircases. It’s worth finding out whether the sofa can be assembled on delivery, a lot of larger items such as corner units and L-shapes can be. If not, get precise measurements of all dimensions of the product, and ensure that it will fit before you commit to buy.
Wax or Lacquer?
When buying wooden furniture, you should consider whether it’s finished in wax or lacquer. Lacquer is easier to clean and will withstand more knocks and scratches, but you cannot repair any damage yourself. Wax will require a special polish and will likely get scratched more, but you can restore it to glory simply by re-rubbing it with wax to fill in any knocks, dents or scratches.
Veneer or Solid Wood?
Solid wood is a nice luxurious, if not heavy, option for your home. Choosing a veneer (thin panels of wood over a cheaper, often man-made core) will be cheaper and less likely to warp. It comes down to style and price, both have advantages and disadvantages.
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