Doriana Mazzone, Realtor
A GUIDLINE TO: SHOPPING FOR CONDO FURNITURE
As a Realtor, and more importantly a Buyer Agent, that means I get to see far more homes and condos out there.
Two of my biggest pet peeves:
#1 the furniture choices that some home owners have chosen and
#2 the placement and arrangement they seem to have placed the furniture. Where my face tends to look like this...
When I walk into Houses in Toronto, it's a little different from Toronto Condos. Most of the time the homeowners have lived in that house for many many years. So, even though sometimes the furniture is outdated or what I like to call, "the 2001 home decor", nonetheless, the placement of the furniture is pretty accurate.
However, to my Condo people out there... work with me here!!
There is more than one furniture store! Just so you know!
I've probably seen the same sofa and bar island in condos more than anything else.
I seem to have found an extra hidden talent, where I can pretty much guess where you bought your furniture from.
Here's my thing with Condo furniture and why there should be some sort of guideline or rules to consider when buying furniture.
Sometimes, when I preview condos, I want to leave sticky notes for the homeowner saying "what were you thinking?" or " I bet you're moving cause your place feels so small, your tv is way too big for this place and you have it sitting way to high while your sofa has a very low back causing your neck to hurt and therefore your not viewing your tv properly". ( yeah, thats right! that's exactly how I think! if you think I'm kidding, try me!)
Here are several General Rules that I would love to see more people consider when furniture shopping. This is, by all means, in no specific order.
FURNITURE SHOPPING GUIDELINES 101
1. DO NOT EVER BUY FURNITURE BEFORE YOU MOVE INTO YOUR PLACE.
You waited so long for your place to be ready. It took you forever to save money and buy this place. So take your time and invest in good furniture pieces that will last you a long time. The very moment you buy a sofa or a dining table that is way too big or too small... is the very moment you allow negative conversations to happen in your home.
You start complaining about your table, your sofa. That your place it too small, it's too dark, I hate this place, what am I wearing? Nothing looks good on me (could be your lighting) I feel like crap! You get it by now.
I've also seen places where the place is very big but the furniture is too small. This is a case of: 'bad mental photos'. When you have mental images of your place but when you get to the store you don't remember what the space feels like. Your trying to explain to the sales guy that your place is soooo small (slightly over exaggerating) and the only reason why your saying this is because this is your first place and you thought you were going to live in a mansion and your a tad disappointed. So you end up with this five foot loveseat and a bistro table... Relax, your place is not that small!!
If you take your time with each furniture piece, I promise a happier home and a better mood in your lifestyle.
YES, your home and furniture can make you feel good!
It may take a little bit longer to furnish your place after you move in, but at least your won't have to deal with the disappointment of things not fitting perfectly into your space. Not having to deal with returning it back to the store. Or worse, the possibility of buying it at final sale and ultimately being stuck with it.
Why I also strongly feel that you should never buy furniture before you move in, is because, you yourself don't know how you will be living in this space. So if you just look around at some stores before you buy, then move into your space, then you will almost start to envision how you want your place looking!
2. LOOK, FEEL AND TOUCH EACH PIECE OF FURNITURE.
I know it's easy to shop online and not have to deal with going from store to store, but often times before I go out to the furniture store I first take a look at a few websites. I mark down the pieces I am really looking forward to seeing. Then, guess what happens?? When I go to the actual store, I NEVER like the piece I selected online. It's always the one I overlooked. Especially sofas! ...They get me every time!!
3. CARRY A FLOOR PLAN WITH YOU.
There is nothing wrong with having your floor plan with you. It is the best way for sales reps in the furniture stores to help guide you in making the right choices. For example, you buy a sectional sofa, but the chaise part is too long that it blocks the sliding door to your balcony! At least they can make a few suggestions. Perhaps, ottomans would be better!
4. SAVE SOME INSPIRATIONAL PICS ON PINTEREST.
Sometimes, you will walk into a furniture store and all the furniture pieces are a crowded or organized by items. Dining chairs with dining chairs, sofas with sofas and tables with tables. Then there are the stores that put rooms ideas together. Which is great. But often times you're only after that one piece and not that whole set. So PINTEREST is your best friend. Yes, it's not only useful for arts and craft ideas and food ideas... but also furniture pieces! Try to save pictures that have a similar room shape to your space!
5. MEASURE, MEASURE, AND MEASURE.
This coincides with #3. You need to bring a measuring tape with you at all times and then refer back to your floor plan. That measuring tape comes in handy especially when you go to the furniture store that has the furniture already configured as a room. Awesome!! The entire set up may actually work in your space... perfect, measure the entire area it takes up, not just the furniture.
Elte Mkt actually sets up their furniture in a great way.
6. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP.
I want you to remember something, if you only started thinking of furniture the moment you bought your place, please just ask for help. There are sales reps in these furniture stores that actually know what they are doing. They love furniture. They would love nothing more than to help you select the right pieces. Some even offer free consultations. I can even help you. I can give you several furniture layout options. We can go furniture shopping.
8. REALLY CONSIDER THE USE OF EACH PIECE.
Why are you buying this size? This fabric? Do you plan on having people over often? Do you have any pets. Does the table need to be this big or should I consider an extendable one? Do I really need a dresser, or a better closet organizer? Or maybe I have too many clothes!
Should I really get a sectional sofa or a loveseat with two chairs because I want the option to rearrange my layout from time to time?
Do I really need 4 Dining chairs in my place, or can I just get 2, and buy 2 benches that I can use as footstools!
This goes back to #1, Why you shouldn't buy before you move in. You want to feel this place out first!
TOP 3 FURNITURE STORE RECOMMENDATIONS:
I am also going to end off this Blog with 3 really great furniture stores in Toronto. Every time I add them i will add them to my resource page as well.
1. Elte Mkt
3. CB2 (CRATE AND BARREL)
I take great pride in homeownership and the treatment of your personal property. This is also why I believe buying a home is like buying a lifestyle. Every step of the way counts. From choosing your home, to furnishing your home. This affects how you wake up in the morning. How you love that chair you purchased. Your thankful you bought a place that has retail at the ground level!
Every single thing that surrounds you will affect your lifestyle. So take your time and make the right choices!
If you're planning on Buying a property I offer a free consultation of the home buying process, don't ever hesitate to ask.
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