The Studio

The 7 Most Common Furniture-Buying Mistakes - And How to Avoid Them

01/17/2019

Maiden Home Ludlow sofa Granite Merino

It’s a common fear: You’ve done your research, read the reviews, and deliberated over countless cups of coffee. Your brand new custom piece arrives and… something is wrong.

We get it. Buying larger pieces of furniture is an investment not only of your resources, but also in your future: this will be the sofa where your kids will fight over the remote, where you’ll invite family and friends for the holidays, and where you’ll relax with your partner after a long day. So it’s important that the piece you choose is perfect for your family and your home.

So how can you avoid this nightmare scenario? We’re taking you on a tour of the most common pitfalls of ordering furniture and how to avoid them.

The sofa doesn’t fit my living room layout.

If you’ve designed a house, you’ve had at least one moment when you realize that the size and proportion a new piece of furniture is just too big or too small. This can be especially tricky to plan for when you customize the configuration and size of a piece.

How to Avoid it:

The best way to avoid any proportion issues is to tape out the exact size and shape of your piece on the floor. This will give you a sense of the size as it relates to other pieces of furniture, but also the room itself. While we’re not usually fans of rules, there are a few Golden Rules that the pros use to ensure harmony in any space. Explore them here.

If you’re not sure of where you want to place your sofa or chairs, cut out butcher paper in the size of your piece to easily move it around a space and visualize different layouts.

Maiden Home Dune sofa Mercer chairs

The color’s just not right.

For those of you who have painted walls in the past, you know that colors look different depending on the room and time of day. What was the perfect grey paint in the hardware store is suddenly baby-blue in your kitchen. The same goes for upholstery material and yet many customers will assess swatches of material in the kitchen at night for a living room you love to relax in midday on a Sunday.  

How to Avoid it:

Always review your swatches in the room you plan for the sofa to live in at a few different times of day. If you’re planning to paint walls but haven’t yet, keep in mind that lighter materials will “reflect” bold colors on the wall. For example, if you’re painting your walls a rich navy, blue undertones in upholstery fabric will pop more. Likewise, if your walls are an optic white the contrast between bright white walls and a light fabric with creamy undertones will appear more dramatic. This can be an effective way to add warmth to modern spaces, but should be taken into account when you're planning your living room. 

Maiden Home Warren sofa

The sofa doesn’t fit into my home.

One of the most frustrating mistakes for customers and brands alike (not to mention delivery men!) is when the sofa that won’t fit into the front door, around the corner, or up the stairs.

How to Avoid it:

Before you place your order for any furniture, walk the entire route from the street to the room your piece will be placed in. Measure all doors, hallways, and elevators (don’t forget the elevators!) to make sure that your piece will fit. Many Maiden Home sofas have removable legs allowing them to fit through tighter spaces. You can find this information via the sofa dimension diagrams on each collection’s webpage. If you're unsure or have a particularly tricky delivery, many local delivery services will come and measure your space for you for a small fee - they can lend an expert eye and opinion. 

The cushions of my fabric sofa aren’t fully upholstered.  

This is a common corner that some big box retailers cut to reduce the cost of upholstering your furniture. It’s one of those tricks that you unfortunately won’t know about unless you ask - but who ever thought they’d have to ask? Now you’re stuck with cushions that you can’t flip reducing the lifespan of your piece, and generally driving you crazy.

How to Avoid it:

This is an easy one: make sure to ask this question of any upholstered piece that you buy. Or better yet, choose Maiden Home - we always fully upholster our fabric cushions so that you can flip and rotate to your heart’s content. Our backs of cushions upholstered in leather are backed in a special upholstery denim which provides a more comfortable and supportive seat that won't shift or slip with use.

We’ve also added tie-downs to our seat cushions to keep them from adjusting or slipping over time. It's those details that set companies apart and can be a good indicator of whether or not a brand is truly committed to delivering a high quality product you'll love for years to come. 

Maiden Home fully-upholstered cushions

Delivery fees put my furniture over my budget unexpectedly.

Many companies will add on delivery fees at the last moment of checkout or, even worse, add on additional fees for extra flights of stairs or “tricky” deliveries - and you may not even know about these fees until the piece is delivered.

How to Avoid it:

Read the fine print of a company’s delivery policy and hold them to it! Maiden Home offers free white glove delivery on every order and we’ll never charge you extra to bring the piece exactly where you want it. Our delivery partners are some of the best in the business, and we invest heavily in making sure that your piece arrives to you on time, safe and sound, exactly where you imagined it.

The brand is really well known and it was a major investment - why is my furniture falling apart?

One of the most common mistakes of furniture buying is assuming that fancy presentation and a high price tag equal quality. Unfortunately this just isn’t the case. Many big box, high-end retailers have outsourced their production overseas, resulting in poorer quality and low-grade materials.

How to Avoid it:

The best indicator of quality in furniture is still the location of production. North Carolina has been the heartland of furniture production for more than a century, and the craft of building beautiful, long-lasting furniture has become a generational art. Most of our craftsmen partners work in family owned and operated businesses, many of whom have parents and grandparents who built furniture before them. Want to learn more about Maiden Home’s commitment to quality? Read more here.

Maiden Home craftsmanship

The comfort of my piece isn't what I expected.

There are few things more disappointing than realizing that your sofa doesn't have the comfort profile you were looking for. Maybe it lacks the support that you wanted or it's firmer and more tailored than you expected. Either way, it's a drag. 

How to Avoid it: 

The first, most effective way to understand the comfort of a piece is through reviews or testimonials of the product. Hearing from people living with the style that you're interested in is the best way to gauge how a piece "sits." Second, look out for comfort guides. The Maiden Home comfort guide allows you to compare and contrast each of our sofa collections, giving you an honest look at not only how they'll feel, but also the components of their architecture that contribute to their comfort profile.

Maiden Home comfort

Feeling a little overwhelmed? We get it, it can seem daunting! Get in touch with your personal Design Advisor, or set up a time to speak with them on your schedule. They’re on call to answer all your Maiden Home questions, consult on layout and sizing decisions, even help you choose the best fabric for your home.

Ready to dive in? Order your free swatches to begin designing the perfect piece today.

Maiden Home fabric swatches

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