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Buying New Furniture: Designer's Advice For New Movers

Get to know your new place before you make any major changes or decisions. Think about your internal traffic patterns.

  • Where will you enter, drop your keys and the mail, load in your groceries, keep your coats and winter shoes. How does one room flow into the next. How can you accommodate kids and pets. Where can you find quiet and privacy.
  • Where does the natural light enter at different time of day. Morning light is great for getting up and going, but strong afternoon sun from the South and Southwest can fade fabric and leather.

Resist the urge to be “one and done”. Don’t rush- it takes time to turn a house into a home.

  • Don’t buy everything at once – especially if you’re not sure how you will actually live in your house. Retain flexibility until you are more certain.
  • Buy a few key pieces (the largest first) and use them as anchors to build around.

Say no to "matchy-matchy".

  • You don’t want all living room fabrics to be the same. Instead try to layer colors and textures for interest and variation.

  • Never chose style over comfort and function.
    Beware of trendy. You might regret it later. There is a reason why certain looks are "timeless".

Consider buying your rug and sofa first and then choose the paint color afterwards.

  • It’s tempting to paint first (while the rooms are empty) but it's far easier to match a paint color to a rug or fabric than the other way around.
  • Remember that the strength of colors (saturation) increases a lot from the tiny swatch to an entire room. When in doubt, dial back to the less saturated tone on the paint strip.
  • To really avoid mistakes- buy sample quarts of your top choices and paint them on the walls as a test. Then you can be certain.
  • Spend a little more for no VOC paint. It makes painting less daunting because it dries very fast and leaves no lingering odor.

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