Buying Tips

How do I make an informed decision when purchasing furniture?

Purchasing new furniture can be an exciting process, but it can also be an extremely confounding time. When overwhelmed with choice, you may even find that the more products you look at, the more confused you become with what you are looking for. At By Dezign, we want to make this process as painless as possible, by helping you make an informed decision that will lead to excitement and satisfaction, rather than disappointment and regret.

What are my main considerations?

Price & Quality Trade-off

Although price may be an important factor in your product selection, for most people, furniture represents a considerable investment, and therefore price should not be your only consideration. In some cases, a product may initially appear comparatively expensive in relation to similar products, and therefore of less value. However, differences in price are typically associated with more expensive materials or better production processes. For example, you may find two leather lounges of similar appearance, with greatly differing prices. This is likely to be due to factors such as the quality of the leathers, the timber used for the frames, the type of webbing and the quality of workmanship. In such a case, it is important to note that the lounge with the higher price may subsequently have greater durability, wear and tear or even comfort. Thus despite the greater initial price outlay, the more expensive lounge may represent higher long-term value.

When determining the quality of a product, you may wish to ask some of the following questions:

For all products:

  • Where is the product made?
  • What production techniques have been used? E.g. is the product machine manufactured or handcrafted?
  • Is the product self-assembly or does it come assembled?
  • What level of durability should I expect from the product?

For timber products:

  • What type of timber is the product made from?
  • Is the product hardwood?
  • Is the product solid timber, veneer or a combination?

For leather products:

  • Is the product full leather, bi-cast leather, bonded leather, combination leather or vinyl?
  • What is the difference between full leather, bonded leather, combination leather and vinyl?
  • If the product is made from leather, what type of leather? E.g. full cow hide, semi-aniline etc.
  • Is the leather suitable for everyday use?

For glass products:

  • Is the glass tempered glass?

For fabric products:

  • Is the product Australian made or imported?
  • For Australian made and imported products:
    • Is the fabric dry-cleanable?
    • Does the fabric come with fabric protection?
  • For Australian made products:
    • What grade of fabric is the product?
    • How does the quality of the displayed fabric differ from that of a higher grade fabric?
    • How much would it cost to upgrade the product to a higher grade fabric?
    • Will the fabric repel stains and tears?

Size

Selecting a product of an inappropriate size can be a costly mistake for both you and the retailer. Refunds are not granted where furniture does not fit in the room or will not fit through doorways, and therefore it is imperative that you should measure up before you make a furniture purchase.

When determining whether a product is the appropriate size for your space, we always suggest you obtain the measurements of the product and then go home and lay out masking tape of the same size on the floor of your room. You may then wish to stack items up to the appropriate size to gain a clearer perspective of what the product will feel like in your home. You may wish to consider also the height of your ceilings, skirtings and electrical outlets within the room. You should also consider the space surrounding a dining suite, to ensure you will have enough room to move and access dining chairs easily. As a general rule, our apartment living furniture will be of a more appropriate size for units or apartments yet may appear underwhelming in mansions or large, open spaces.

Often overlooked when considering if a product is of suitable size, is whether your home has sufficient delivery access.

To determine whether a product is suitable for delivery, you may wish to follow this simple checklist:

  • What are the height, width and depth of the product?
  • Is the product to be delivered to the ground level or upstairs?
  • Is there lift access to higher floors?
  • What are the height and width of doorways the product must go through?
  • What are the height and width of stairwells or hallways?
  • Are there any access points, bends or stairwell landings which may impede delivery?

Colour

Many of our products are available in other colours or patterns. Always ask to see samples of other available leather, fabric, timber or polyurethane colours to determine which will best suit your room. In selecting the best colour, you may consider what existing colours you have in the room (e.g. wall colours, other furniture or decorations) and deciding which product colour will best fit in. If you are unsure whether a bright colour may be too overwhelming, you can always select to liven up the space with decorative items such as flowers, vases, pictures, lamps, rugs, scatter cushions and throw rugs.