Let’s assume you’ve found a piece of furniture that you like. How do you know if it’s a good value?
It’s all about quality. We all know that low quality furniture falls apart after a few years, especially if you move. It scratches, dents, tears, and stains easier and doesn’t maintain its shape. Normal everyday use shouldn’t ruin your furniture.
So how do you identify a quality piece that will last?
1) Materials: Is there MDF or particleboard or Is it a high grade of wood? For upholstered pieces, is the fabric well-made, detailed, unique, smooth, lustrous or is it a generic mass market material? Is the upholstered item made from a hardwood or softwood? (Softwood will be lightweight and not durable.) Are the cushions feather or down? Is it made from iron, brass, or just thin aluminum.
2) Workmanship: Dovetail joints on casegoods is essential, but also make sure that there are no staples or plywood in the back. Is the upholstery tight, uniform, does the pattern match at the seams?
3) Details: Look at the extras…things like trims, piping, specialty hardware, and thickness of glass all add value. Extra flourishes like carvings or decorative embellishments also make a piece special.
4) Uniqueness: Custom items cost more because they are made individually, but there is also a value in having something that reflects another person’s care and skill – and isn’t mass-proudced.
If you like the item and it has the hallmarks of quality, you are likely getting a good value. Pay a little more now and you will have a piece that you can enjoy for a lifetime.