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What to Look for in Quality Living Room Furniture

  • If you want to get a feel for how the furniture you are looking at will fit into your room use towels, beach blankets, newspapers as a guide.
  • Look for Online Room Planners - Thomasville Furniture has an easy one to use and you can save all of your room plans (the link is on the top right hand corner of the site). Ethan Allen and La-Z-Boy also have them.
  • If you would like to have extra seating for later try purchasing a couple extra pub ottomans.
  • If you are not keen on the idea of purchasing a cocktail table think about a cocktail ottoman. Many are made with lift tops so you can store your extra blankets in them. It also makes for extra seating when you have company.
  • If you have enough space in your room think of purchasing 2 sofas instead of a sofa/loveseat set. It gives you more seating space.
  • If you have a big room to fill and would like a lot of seating sectionals are great. They can be made to fit into almost any space because there are so many arrangements they can be made into.
  • Remember the little accents that can make your room: the throw pillows, accessories, throw blankets, lamps, etc. These will finish your look.
  • If most of your furniture is neutral try adding some splashes of color with bold throw pillows (reversible works too!), bright glass vases, pottery, fresh or artificial flowers, or metal accents trays and candle holders.
  • If you need to separate two room try a folding screen. They come in to many different styles, shapes, and colors that there is bound to be one to do the job. When you don't need it you can always fold it up and store it.
  • Area rugs are nice if you have ceramic or wood floors, not only do they protect that high traffic area, but it helps break up the space up a bit. Especially if you have a wood cocktail table or the furniture is the same tone as the flooring.
  • Remember the important parts of the room: doorways, entry way, fireplace, and windows.
  • Don't forget about your television. It makes a difference if it is a flat screen, rear projection, or a tube television. Not only can flat screens hang on the wall but there are entertainment centers that are made for them that aren't as deep as the ones needed to fit a rear projection or tube television.
  • Finish your windows with simple draperies or hire someone to do them professionally.

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The Basics: What you Should Know

  • Prioritize the things that are most important to you - Style, Comfort, Price, Selection, Quality, Brand, Timing, etc.
  • Establish a budget that you are comfortable with.
  • Research products on the internet that match your needs.
  • Once you've selected a brand, contact online retailers to obtain their lowest price (Including shipping)
  • Take that price to your local retailer and ask them to meet or beat that price.  Most retailers are willing to reduce their profit to get your business today.
  • Ask for a discount for a cash purchase. Most retailers pay between 2-4% of the purchase price to credit card companies.
  • Always ask for free delivery or a discount on the delivery fee.
  • Scotchguard, Guardsman, and other fabric/wood/leather protection products are only as good as the warranty - Read it carefully and ask for a reduced price.
  • If possible stay away from financing (6 months No Interest, No payments until 2010, etc.) unless you are sure you will pay the balance.  Most of these deals will charge you interest from the date of purchase at rates well over 20% if your balance is not paid in full by the due date.
  • When negotiating ask to speak with the owner or manager.  They are generally busy and more likely to quickly cut a deal.

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