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Tips for first-time furniture shoppers

It's easy to be intimidated by the array of furniture on offer when you start browsing for your first house.

Making the right choice is tough, so here are a few tips provided by Maryke Eloff from leading lounge suite manufacturer, Gommagomma.

1. Aspire in style: Decide on what kind of style you want to go for in your lounge. A lounge suite is often the focal point of a lounge, and therefore plays a leading role in dictating the overall style of the space. It can send your décor in a fresh new direction. “If change is what you are after, let your new sofa be the starting block. Once you have selected your lounge suite, the rest of the décor will fall into place,” says Eloff.

“Sofa styles are best displayed in the design lines, cushions and arms. Clean lines look more masculine and contemporary, rolled arms are more feminine and classical. Overstuffed cushions give a casual and comfortable feel, while tailored ones are more formal.”

2. Consider your wallet: If money is tight, rather opt for a timeless suite that blends in with different décor styles. In this way, you will increase its longevity, as it won’t look outdated a few years down the line. If you are privileged enough to splash out on something really special, be daring and go for a dramatic look with bold patterns or a bright colour.

3. Comfort is king: You have to sit in a sofa to know whether it is comfortable or not. Be sure to consider all the people who will be using the lounge suite – for example, if there are older people living in your home, you will need to opt for a lounge suite that offers good back support. If you have small kids on the other hand, you will need to consider buying a lounge suite that offers easy maintenance, such as faux leather or suede for example.

4. Quality through craftsmanship: When looking for lounge suites, it is important to inspect the suite’s frame. “Wooden frames are far better than plastic or metal frames,”says Eloff.

“Also, be sure to ask the salesperson about the suite’s joinery – glue alone is not strong enough – the joints should also be connected with screws, dowels or wooden corner blocks.”

5. Materials: Consider the wood, upholstery and foam. High-density foam will last and keep its shape for longer. Leather, wool, linen and certain synthetics are all good quality, but not all low care. Leather and wool are durable, but pricey. Also – woven patterns tend to be more durable than printed upholstery.

6. Sleep on it: Visit your favourite furniture store a few times and consider the pros, cons and practicalities of the furniture that interests you.

Once you have narrowed your search down to about three lounge suites, wait another day before purchasing, since it is easy to be influenced by mood swings. “When I am making a big decision, I always find it is better to mull it over for a day or two to weigh up all my options,” Eloff advises.

Buy The Citizen today to see the best way to fill that empty room of yours.

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