American Signature Vineyard Manor dining room table and chairs (Photo credit: Dawn Gagnon)
For homeowners and interior decorators nothing feels so great as finding a source for your inspiration that fits your budget, while offering high end quality for the price. South Carolina indeed has many fine furniture stores, however, many have sacrificed wonderful customer service in the process and as a result lose a sale or two as well. When shopping for furniture there are a few key things to look for in a any store you visit.
Knowledgeable staff is key
When you visit any furniture store it is imperative that you have knowledgeable staff to help you in your selections. High pressure tactics, those trying to make you purchase something you aren't comfortable with will only make you regret the purchase and the experience. Explain to the staff what the furniture you need will be used for, whether you have children and pets and how often you will be using the furniture. If you have a professional staff, they will be able to guide you perfectly as to what sort of furniture fits best with your lifestyle.
Make clear what you can afford
Stick to your budget. There is no satisfaction to be gained if you overspend just to make your salesperson happy, while you end up with a purchase that didn't fit your budget. Weigh the factors about what is worth the extra money versus what isn't. Remember also, cheapest isn't always smarter, and most expensive isn't always better.
Solid wood construction
Always look for solid wood construction when purchasing furniture and make sure to ask your salesperson what is the best way to care for your purchase. Heavy solid wood furniture is an investment, but if it lasts 25 years, then you have spent your money wisely in the long run. Take into account the weight of the pieces, most heavier pieces tend to last a very long time. Also consider when looking at living room furniture the fabrics used, along with the shape. Clean lines, and straight edges are usually easier to slip cover, especially if you are trying to preserve your furniture while your children are young.
Don't be afraid to give furniture a thorough inspection
Most furniture is attractive in the furniture store. Retailers use accessories and staging to optimize the appeal of the furniture they sell. Sit on the pieces, look underneath the dining room tables, and the chairs and see the construction with your own eyes. This goes also for mattresses. Always test them out. Be on the look out for squeaks, noises, uneven chairs and table legs and things that suggest shoddy craftsmanship. If your family are larger than average people, make sure you explain this to your salesperson. Buying cheap, lightweight furniture that looks pretty in the showroom is a waste of money if your larger family members can't sit comfortably in them. Bring your measuring tape and your measurements from your home to ensure that each piece will fit in the intended space. Nothing is quite as aggravating as buying pieces that are out of scale with your home, the room or can't fit where you need them to fit.
When in doubt stick with traditional
It is easy to get caught up in the chic styles that are out there today, however, the traditional pieces that you grew up with in fine woods like Cherry, Mahogany and Maple will last a lifetime and tend to never go out of style. Good quality pieces should have hidden screws, and tight joints. Always inquire as to the warranties of the furniture you select beforehand.
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