Category Archives: how to

Avoid These Common Furniture Buying Mistakes

Avoiding-Common-Mobile-Project-Mistakes

Buying furniture is a BIG DEAL. Besides purchasing a car and home, furniture is one of the biggest items a person buys (not just size, but price). It’s also another one of those items that will (hopefully) be around for a very long time, so choosing just the right pieces of furniture for your home requires time and care. Whether you’re purchasing your first sofa or are on your third dining table, there are some common mistakes people tend to make that you’ll want to avoid.

  1. Not considering your lifestyle and future. Sometimes we see a piece of furniture that’s just SO beautiful or SO cool that we immediately say, “Mine!” without stopping to consider how it will be to actually LIVE with it. Do you have kids and/or pets? Then you need sturdy furniture that can withstand anything that’s thrown at it (literally & figuratively). If you or your family are on the messy side, unfortunately, that white chair is NOT for you. See what we mean? You also need to consider how long you plan to keep a piece (especially if it’s a splurge). Most people buy furniture with the intention of keeping it, well, forever, but what does the future look like? Will you be adding children to your family? If so, that loveseat might be a bit on the wee side. Is there a chance you could be moving in the next couple of years for work? The future can’t be foretold, we know, but consider what your plans are before you purchase!

  2. Not visualizing. Don’t just think about how a new piece of furniture will look in the room, period. Think about how it will look with the current furniture already there. Does it work? It can sometimes be hard to be in a store and visualize how an item will work in a room, so ask for color swatches to bring home. Some places, like Amazon, even have cool virtual reality apps so you can literally see the piece in your home before buying.

  3. Not measuring enough (or at all). You know that eyeballing a space isn’t a good way to measure whether something will fit there so you’ll measure the space where new furniture will go. But did you remember to also measure the room to make sure everything else still fits with the new piece? Even more important, did you measure hallways, doors, stairs and elevators? Nothing is more disheartening than get a piece of furniture you love home only to realize it won’t fit through the door/hall!

  4. Don’t just go with the set. It’s tempting to buy the entire set of furniture, we get it. It looks nice and it’s convenient. But design is about textures & colors and layering, as well as telling your story. Does all that matching furniture REALLY fit your style? Consider mixing tones, textures, and styles you wouldn’t ordinarily think would pair well together!

  5. Not thinking it through. Sometimes impulsivity is a good thing – NOT when it comes to furniture buying though! Buying furniture may seem easier than, say, buying a car because you feel like, hey, just looking for the right color and size. Right? Nope. There are a host of other factors to consider that you don’t want to rush through (the “sit test” for one!). People can spend months searching for the right car, so why spend minutes buying furniture? Do your research, make sure it’s furniture you can live with, then walk away for a day or two to be sure. Otherwise, you might end up with chairs that look absolutely brilliant but are so uncomfortable you can’t actually sit on them or something similar.

  6. Don’t forget maintenance. Getting new furniture is exciting and so long as that excitement lasts, you’ll be more than happy to clean your purchase each and every day if necessary. Try to keep in mind how you’ll feel when the “new” wears off though. That’s when cleaning your item will become a chore just like the rest so consider how much (or little) maintenance you’ll be up for doing!

  7. Don’t forget your price range. You’ll go out (or online) furniture shopping with a price range in mind – don’t forget it! Keep in mind costs such as delivery or custom upholstery when making your purchase; otherwise you’ll leave your price range behind. Look for sales,online promotions, and various offers by stores that will save you money AND offer additional advantages (such as free shipping).

Keep these things in mind when your going to purchase furniture and you’ll make not just aesthetically pleasing choices, but smart ones! Furniture is a huge purchase – you should be sure you’re getting the best items for your lifestyle, ones that will last as long as possible. Need more help finding that perfect piece? Drop by our website or visit one of our stores and we’ll help you make the best furniture purchase possible!

Advertisements

Feng Shui for Kids

Feng-Shui-for-Your-Child

You’ve heard of feng shui before but what exactly is it and what is it good for? Feng shui is an ancient art and science that was formalized over 3,000 years ago in China (though some elements date back at least 6000 years!). It contains elements of physics, philosophy, astronomy, astrology, and other branches of scholarly study. Basically, it’s thought to be the art of placement – understanding how the placement of yourself and objects within a space affects your life in various areas of experience. What’s the point of that? Well, it teaches us how to balance the energies in a space and aims to assure good fortune (hey, we’re down with that!). Plenty of people think it’s just mumbo jumbo, while plenty of other people swear by it. We figure it never hurts to give something a try at least once, right? And when it comes to feng shui and kids’ rooms, feng shui is supposed to help create a space where your child feels genuinely happy, empowered and loved by balancing their creativity and freedom with structures and boundaries. (Also, one of the supposed benefits of feng shui is that it can help children feel more calm and centered, which can translate to better sleep at night – and as parents, we understand the importance of good sleep!) If you’re interested in giving it a go, check out these tips to get started.

  1. A Good Foundation. To start, you need a good foundation. What does that look like? It looks like a clean, clutter free space! We know the words “kids” and “clutter-free” don’t exactly always go together, but clutter clearing and organizing are absolutely necessary steps for good feng shui in your child’s room. Not having a clear organization system and clear space can lead to chaos and low energy. Create a clutter clearing system that really works and stick to it! Creating space and visual openness helps your child to feel less pressured, and more likely to be imaginative and creative. And if you need help clearing that clutter, Suburban Furniture has fabulous solutions!

  2. The Bed. Align the child’s bed to the widest part of the room. Make sure your child can see the door from his or her bed easily, but is not in direct line of the door.

  3. Subtle Authority. Be sure to place a happy picture of the parents in kids’ rooms. Why? It subtly exerts authority and prominence of parents as heads of household. Plus, if you child is a bit unruly, this is a subtle feng shui solution to calm their energy.

  4. Let’s Study! Having a dedicated space where your child can study, such as a specific desk or beanbag, etc., demonstrates the importance you place on education. As to where you should have this dedicated study space – if your child has been having issues in school (ie low grades), place the study area in the NE corner of the bedroom. And, if possible, celebrate your child’s accomplishments with an area along the south wall! Displaying awards, trophies, ribbons, crafts, etc. here reinforces that you’re proud of your child and their efforts.

  5. Colors. This one might be a bit tougher, if only because there’s more to take into account. Your child’s bedroom should have the right balance of yin & yang energy – meaning not too bright and not too dark – but should also fit their personal taste/personality. When painting a room, it’s recommended that you avoid bright colors like neon (or even busy wallpaper) because it can overstimulate a child and disrupt their sleep and go with pastel blues, greens, or pinks to create a calming, healing atmosphere.

  6. Fresh Air. Houses can get a little stale from time to time and Febreeze is not a fix-all, and kids definitely need to get plenty of fresh air! Monitor the air quality in kids’ rooms and open the windows when possible. You can also add some air-purifying plants to keep things healthy & green!

  7. Encourage Free Expression. Boundaries are good and necessary, but so is freedom. Let your child choose art for their room (and especially display their own art!) and help develop the look and feel of the room. The more control your child has over his or her space, the more empowered they will feel, and this is always good feng shui!

Feng shui doesn’t have to be complicated; there are lots of simple little tricks you can try out to see if they have an effect on your home before committing to anything in depth and more complicated. And Suburban Furniture is here to help you feng shui away with plenty of storage options, amazing mattresses and beds, and more! Right now our entire store is ½ off with 6 months interest-free financing, so it’s a fabuous time to try some feng shui of your own!

Tips for Buying Furniture Online

Online-shopping-07

During an April 2017 survey, 40 percent of internet users in the United States stated that they purchased items online at several times per month, and 20 percent said they bought items or services online on a weekly basis. Online shopping is becoming more and more convenient for people (though personally, we still prefer our brick & mortar stores!). There are still a few things, however, that people are wary of purchasing online with furniture being one of them. We’ve got a few tips here that will make shopping online for furniture seem less risky and much easier!

  1. Read the furniture description. People sometimes have a habit of simply scanning descriptions because they’ve looked at the photo of the piece and think, “okay, I’ve got it!”. But this is where you’ll find info on durability, construction, and instructions for cleaning the furniture, as well as measurements.
  2. Measure, measure, measure! We cannot stress this one enough – measuring is the most important component of buying furniture, period. It’s even more crucial when buying online. You won’t be seeing the furniture in a store and figuring out how it will look in your space that way, so your measuring skills need to be SOLID. Use measured-out painter’s tape or string to build a layout of how the piece will look in your home (remember to add extra space for items such as recliners that expand). And if your furniture comes pre-assembled, don’t forget to measure doorways!
  3. Read reviews. The furniture store will make this piece of furniture look its absolute best because that’s their job, but the ones who will know how the furniture actually looks and feels and works will be people who have already purchased. Read A LOT of reviews when considering a piece. A negative review here and there is no big, but several bad reviews in a row should make one wary.
  4. Wait before you buy. Why? Because the store might have a sale coming up that will make the piece cheaper or you might be able to drop by their physical store to grab a coupon of some kind. You might even be able to shop around and find the same piece for less somewhere else. We’re just saying impulse control is a good thing for your wallet!
  5. Check the return policy. Big one here because if that furniture piece DOESN’T work out for some reason, you’re gonna want to return it. So check out the store’s return policy top to bottom and email them if you have ANY questions about it. Some things to look for: a) Is there a time limit to their return policy? b) Do return items need to be in their original packaging? c) Is there a restocking fee? d) What will you need to do to return the item? and e) When can you expect to receive your refund after return?

Buying furniture online doesn’t have to feel like a big gamble; it can be as simple and risk-free as ordering that book from Amazon. And with Suburban Furniture it’s always simple and risk-free because we focus on customer service and are here to help you out from start to finish. Drop by our website to get a taste of what we have, then get to decorating!

 

How to Buy Pet-Friendly Furniture

pet-supplies-portland-or

If you’re the proud parent of a furbaby, you have some extra things to keep in mind when shopping for furniture like “will my cat approve of this or will he/she turn up their nose?”, lol. We adore animals as much as the next person but we do recognize they bring unique challenges with them – scratching, licking, fur everywhere. We’ve gathered some tips to help you purchase the best furniture for both you AND your pet, so that everyone is happy!

  1. Know thy pet. Different pets have different habits and quirks. Your cat may scratch everything in sight while your dog may shed like a fiend. These things are good to know when buying furniture. Knowing this and more will help you correctly identify which kind of fabric to pick for sofas and chairs.

  2. Speaking of fabric…Choosing the right fabric to go on your furniture will be the most important decision you make – choose wisely! Leather, distressed leathers, and synthetic fabrics are, in most cases, the best choices for pets. Microfiber, Ultrasuede and Crypton are also good choices as they’re stain-resistant and easy to clean. Avoid tweed, chenille, velvet, and silks as they’ll be utterly destroyed by nails or licks.

  3. Also helpful? Choose a fabric that matches your pet so pet hair is more easily hidden. Patterns are particularly good for this. Of course, weigh this against how the color will actually look as a design choice (ie will it go with the rest of the room?) and use your best judgement overall.

  4. Keep things out of reach. Sometimes our furry friends want what’s not theirs or are just accident-prone and knock things over. Keep things out of reach when possible (it’s easier than it sounds!). In the kitchen, try large stools to deter small dogs (and often large breeds) from getting on chairs or tables. If your cat is jumping from another area to where you don’t want him, block the area with a sturdy plant or decoration the cat can’t knock over.

  5. Keep sharp edges to a minimum. Like small children, animals (especially younger ones) often have boundless energy and love to play. Chances are they’re going to run into things every now and then – I nearly got a helmet for my kitten when she was months old, no joke, because she kept hitting things with her head; it was terrible. If you have a rounded coffee table vs a rectangular, there’s less chance your pupper is going to be bruised when he goes skidding into while chasing the cat.

  6. Break up space! Ottomans and other small furniture pieces can be used to block off areas you’d rather your pet not stray into (like near a breakable vase). If your pup can’t get through easily, your breakables are less likely to get knocked over by a stray tail-wag.

  7. Make your pet their own little home within a home. Make your pet their own little corner and they’re less likely to come hang out in your area. It can be as simple as a cat tree for the kittehs or an awesome dog bed for the puppy (or you can go super-elaborate if you really want!). Giving pets their own space to scratch away at or lick or fuzz up = less incentive to do it elsewhere.

Believe us, it’s absolutely possible to have beautiful furniture AND pets. Head over to our website to ask us any questions you have about buying pet-friendly furniture or drop by one of our stores today to talk to any of our knowledgeable sales people!