Exploring Furniture Store: Your Questions Answered

Table of Contents

Exploring Furniture Store: Your Questions Answered

What to Look for in a Furniture Store

When visiting a furniture store, there are several key factors to consider to ensure you make the best choices for your home. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate through the furniture store experience, covering everything from finding the right pieces to understanding the store’s policies. Here are some important aspects to focus on:

Quality of Materials

The quality of the materials used in the furniture is a critical factor. Look for sturdy construction, solid wood, and durable fabrics. If you’re buying a sofa, for example, examine the frame, cushions, and upholstery to ensure they are built to last.

Style and Design

Furniture stores offer a wide range of styles and designs, from classic to modern. Determine your personal style and choose pieces that complement your existing decor. You can also seek guidance from store associates or interior designers if you’re unsure.

Price and Budget

Furniture stores cater to various budgets, so it’s important to set a budget before you start shopping. Compare prices across different stores and look for sales or discounts to get the best value for your money. Remember to consider long-term costs, such as maintenance and cleaning.

Customer Service

Good customer service is crucial in a furniture store. Pay attention to how the staff treats you, whether they answer your questions, and if they are knowledgeable about the products. A helpful and attentive staff can make your shopping experience more enjoyable.

Delivery and Assembly

Check the store’s delivery and assembly policies. Some stores offer free delivery and assembly, while others charge extra for these services. Make sure you understand the terms and timelines for delivery, especially if you’re purchasing large or bulky items.

Return and Exchange Policies

Before purchasing, inquire about the store’s return and exchange policies. It’s essential to know your rights if you’re not satisfied with your purchase. Look for stores that offer flexible return policies and easy exchanges.

Customization Options

Many furniture stores offer customization options, allowing you to choose fabrics, colors, and finishes to suit your preferences. If you’re interested in custom furniture, ask about the process and any additional costs involved.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness

If sustainability is important to you, look for furniture stores that prioritize eco-friendly practices. This could include using sustainable materials, reducing waste, or offering recyclable products. Ask the store about their sustainability initiatives to make an informed choice.

Reviews and Reputation

Before visiting a furniture store, check online reviews and ask for recommendations from friends or family. A store’s reputation can give you insights into the quality of its products and customer service.

Location and Accessibility

Finally, consider the location and accessibility of the furniture store. Choose a store that is conveniently located and has ample parking. If you’re visiting multiple stores, plan your route to save time and energy.

What Are the Most Popular Furniture Styles?

Furniture styles can vary widely, depending on personal preferences and trends. Here are some of the most popular furniture styles that you might encounter in a furniture store:

  • Traditional: Classic designs with intricate details, often made from dark wood and featuring elegant curves.
  • Contemporary: Sleek and minimalist designs, often using metal and glass, with clean lines and neutral colors.
  • Modern: Focused on simplicity and functionality, with an emphasis on open spaces and geometric shapes.
  • Industrial: Inspired by factory and warehouse aesthetics, featuring exposed metal, brick, and raw wood.
  • Rustic: Emphasizes natural elements like wood and stone, with a warm and cozy feel.
  • Scandinavian: Known for its simplicity, light colors, and use of natural materials like wood and leather.
  • Mid-Century Modern: A blend of modern and vintage styles, with bold shapes and vibrant colors.

What Are the Best Furniture Brands to Consider?

When looking for quality furniture, choosing a reputable brand can make a significant difference. Some of the best furniture brands known for their quality, style, and durability include:

  • Ashley Furniture: Offers a wide range of furniture styles at affordable prices.
  • IKEA: Known for its Scandinavian design and flat-pack furniture, offering a variety of styles and customization options.
  • Pottery Barn: A popular brand with classic designs and a focus on quality craftsmanship.
  • West Elm: Offers contemporary and modern furniture with a focus on sustainability.
  • Crate & Barrel: Known for its modern and contemporary furniture, with an emphasis on clean lines and quality materials.
  • La-Z-Boy: Famous for its recliners, offering a variety of comfortable seating options.
  • Ethan Allen: Known for its traditional furniture and custom upholstery.

What Are the Best Times to Buy Furniture?

Timing can be crucial when purchasing furniture, as sales and discounts often vary throughout the year. Here are some of the best times to buy furniture:

  • Holiday Weekends: Major holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Presidents’ Day often feature significant sales and discounts.
  • End of Season: At the end of summer and winter, furniture stores may offer clearance sales to make room for new inventory.
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday: These shopping events often have substantial discounts on furniture.
  • New Year: Many furniture stores offer sales in January as part of New Year promotions.
  • Back-to-School Season: Some stores offer discounts during the back-to-school period, especially on dorm and office furniture.

What Should I Know About Furniture Warranties?

Furniture warranties can vary depending on the store and brand. Here’s what you should know about furniture warranties:

  • Types of Warranties: There are different types of warranties, including manufacturer’s warranties, extended warranties, and store warranties. Understand what each type covers and how long it lasts.
  • Coverage: Check what is covered by the warranty. Some warranties cover defects in materials and workmanship, while others may include additional protection for stains, spills, and wear.
  • Exclusions: Be aware of any exclusions in the warranty, such as damage caused by misuse or neglect.
  • Claims Process: Understand how to file a warranty claim and what documentation is required. Ensure you keep your receipts and any paperwork related to the warranty.
  • Cost: If considering an extended warranty, evaluate the cost versus the potential benefits. Sometimes, it might be more cost-effective to invest in higher-quality furniture upfront.

What Are the Essential Furniture Pieces for a New Home?

Moving into a new home requires careful planning to ensure you have all the essential furniture pieces. Here’s a list of must-have items for each room to get you started:

Living Room

  • Sofa: The centerpiece of your living room, choose a comfortable and stylish sofa that fits your space.
  • Coffee Table: A functional piece for placing drinks, books, or decor.
  • Entertainment Unit: A stand or cabinet to house your TV and media equipment.
  • Accent Chairs: Additional seating for guests and to complement your sofa.
  • Rugs: Area rugs can add warmth and define the space.

Dining Room

  • Dining Table: Choose a size that suits your family and dining space.
  • Dining Chairs: Ensure there are enough chairs for your family and occasional guests.
  • Sideboard or Buffet: Useful for storage and serving during gatherings.
  • Lighting: Consider a chandelier or pendant light to create ambiance.


  • Bed Frame: Select a bed frame that fits your mattress and room decor.
  • Mattress: Invest in a high-quality mattress for a good night’s sleep.
  • Bedside Tables: Useful for lamps, books, and personal items.
  • Dresser or Wardrobe: Essential for storing clothing and accessories.
  • Lighting: Bedside lamps or sconces for reading and nighttime lighting.

Home Office

  • Desk: A functional workspace for your computer and office supplies.
  • Office Chair: Choose a comfortable and ergonomic chair for long hours of work.
  • Storage: Shelving units or filing cabinets for organizing documents.
  • Task Lighting: Desk lamps for focused lighting.

Outdoor Space

  • Outdoor Seating: Comfortable seating for your patio or balcony.
  • Outdoor Table: A place to set drinks or meals.
  • Grill or Barbecue: If you enjoy outdoor cooking, this is a must-have.
  • Plants and Decor: To create a welcoming outdoor atmosphere.

How to Properly Care for and Maintain Furniture

Proper care and maintenance can extend the life of your furniture and keep it looking its best. Here are some tips for caring for different types of furniture:

Wood Furniture

  • Dust Regularly: Use a soft, dry cloth to dust wood surfaces.
  • Polish Occasionally: Apply furniture polish to keep the wood looking fresh.
  • Avoid Moisture: Keep wood furniture away from direct sunlight and damp areas.
  • Use Coasters and Mats: Protect surfaces from spills and scratches.

Upholstered Furniture

  • Vacuum Regularly: Use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to remove dust and debris.
  • Spot Clean: Address spills and stains immediately with a mild cleaner.
  • Rotate Cushions: Rotate and fluff cushions to prevent uneven wear.
  • Protect from Sunlight: Direct sunlight can cause fading, so use curtains or blinds.

Leather Furniture

  • Clean with a Damp Cloth: Use a slightly damp cloth to clean leather surfaces.
  • Condition Periodically: Apply leather conditioner to keep it soft and supple.
  • Avoid Sharp Objects: Keep sharp objects away from leather to prevent scratches.
  • Maintain Humidity: Leather can crack in dry environments, so maintain a balanced humidity level.

Metal Furniture

  • Wipe Clean: Use a damp cloth to clean metal surfaces.
  • Prevent Rust: Keep metal furniture away from moisture to prevent rust.
  • Use Protective Coatings: Consider applying a protective coating to prevent corrosion.

Glass Furniture

  • Clean with Glass Cleaner: Use a glass cleaner to keep glass surfaces sparkling.
  • Handle with Care: Be cautious when handling glass furniture to avoid breakage.
  • Protect Edges: Use edge protectors to prevent chips and cracks.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your furniture stays in excellent condition for years to come.

What to Consider When Choosing Furniture for Small Spaces

Choosing furniture for small spaces can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can make the most of your available square footage. Here’s what to consider when selecting furniture for compact areas:

Multi-Functional Furniture

Furniture that serves multiple purposes is ideal for small spaces. Look for items like sofa beds, ottomans with storage, or tables with extendable leaves. These pieces can save space and add versatility to your home.

Compact and Lightweight

Choose furniture that is compact and easy to move. Consider folding chairs, nesting tables, or slim-profile sofas. Lightweight furniture is easier to rearrange and can make a room feel more open.

Vertical Storage

When space is limited, use vertical storage to your advantage. Wall-mounted shelves, tall bookcases, and hanging organizers can help you maximize storage without taking up valuable floor space.

Neutral Colors

Lighter and neutral colors can make a small room appear larger. Opt for white, beige, or light gray furniture to create a sense of spaciousness. Dark colors can make a room feel cramped and smaller.

Minimalist Design

Choose furniture with clean lines and minimal ornamentation. Avoid bulky or overly ornate pieces that can overwhelm a small space. Minimalist design can create a sense of simplicity and elegance.

Mirrors and Glass

Mirrors and glass can create an illusion of space and reflect light. Consider using mirrored furniture, glass tabletops, or a large wall mirror to open up a room visually.

Flexible Layouts

Design your furniture layout with flexibility in mind. Choose pieces that can be easily rearranged or repurposed as your needs change. This approach allows you to adapt to different situations and events.

Built-In Furniture

Built-in furniture, such as wall-mounted desks or integrated storage, can be a great solution for small spaces. Custom-built furniture can be tailored to fit your specific needs and make the most of limited space.

Open Floor Plans

If possible, opt for open floor plans to create a sense of flow and continuity. Combining living and dining areas or incorporating an open kitchen can make a small space feel larger and more inviting.

Declutter Regularly

Finally, keep your small space clutter-free. Regularly declutter and remove items that you no longer need. This practice not only frees up space but also helps maintain a clean and organized environment.

What Are the Different Types of Furniture Finishes?

Furniture finishes play a crucial role in the overall look and feel of a piece. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of furniture finishes and their characteristics:

Wood Stains

Wood stains are used to enhance the natural grain and color of wood. They come in a variety of shades, from light oak to dark mahogany. Stains can add depth and character to wood furniture.


Painted finishes are popular for adding color and vibrancy to furniture. Paint can be used to create various effects, from matte to glossy. It is commonly used on wood, metal, and other surfaces.


Lacquer is a clear or colored coating that provides a glossy finish and protection. It is often used on wood furniture to give a smooth and durable surface. Lacquered finishes are resistant to scratches and wear.

Oil Finish

Oil finishes, such as linseed oil or tung oil, are used to nourish and protect wood. They penetrate the wood, enhancing its natural beauty while providing a satin or matte finish. Oil finishes require regular maintenance to keep the wood in good condition.

Wax Finish

Wax finishes provide a soft sheen and protection to wood furniture. They are often used in combination with other finishes, such as oil or stain, to add a layer of protection and luster. Wax finishes need periodic reapplication to maintain their shine.


Varnish is a durable finish used to protect wood and other surfaces. It can have a glossy or matte appearance and is resistant to moisture and heat. Varnish is commonly used on outdoor furniture due to its durability.

Metal Finishes

Metal finishes, such as chrome, brass, or powder-coated paint, are used on metal furniture. These finishes offer protection against corrosion and wear. They can also add a decorative touch to metal pieces.

Glass Finishes

Glass furniture can have various finishes, such as frosted, etched, or tinted. These finishes add visual interest and can be used to create unique patterns or designs.

Upholstery Finishes

Upholstery finishes refer to the fabrics and materials used to cover furniture. They can range from natural fibers like cotton and linen to synthetic materials like polyester and microfiber. Upholstery finishes add texture, color, and comfort to furniture.

Distressed and Antiqued Finishes

Distressed and antiqued finishes create a vintage or weathered look. Techniques like sanding, rubbing, or chipping are used to give furniture an aged appearance. These finishes are popular in rustic and shabby-chic styles.

Understanding the different types of furniture finishes can help you make informed choices when selecting and caring for your furniture. Each finish has its unique characteristics and benefits, so choose the one that aligns with your style and maintenance preferences.


Selecting furniture involves more than just picking out attractive pieces. It’s about understanding your style, evaluating your space, and considering factors like quality, durability, and sustainability. A well-informed approach to buying furniture can help you create a comfortable, functional, and beautiful home.

Whether you’re furnishing a new home or updating an existing one, keep in mind the importance of multi-functional furniture, the best times to buy, and the need to maintain your pieces. Understanding different furniture styles, brands, and finishes can guide your choices, while considering care and maintenance ensures the longevity of your investments.

With this comprehensive guide, you now have the tools to make informed decisions when shopping for furniture. By focusing on key factors and knowing what to look for, you can create a home that reflects your personality and meets your practical needs. Happy furnishing!

About the author