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Great Furnishings Ideas for First-Time Buyers

Great Furnishings Ideas for First-Time Buyers If you are setting up your first home and you're not sure you know what you'll really need, you'll want to read our list of top product furnishings. We've included all the "must have" furniture products you will need to create a comfortable and practical living space. Don't worry about home accents and accessories right now if your budget doesn't allow, because you'll have a lifetime to decorate your new home.

  • One of the most important items in your new home is your bed, since you'll spend about a third of your day in it. Make sure it is comfortable and well constructed and the highest quality that you can afford, since you'll probably have it for 10 years or more. Keep in mind when you're shopping that the most expensive bed might not be the right bed for you. You need to think about the proper size, firmness and surface to ensure a good nights sleep. With the amount of bedding stores around it shouldn't be hard to find the perfect bed for you. Make sure you understand the warranty on the mattress, as well as its stain resistance. Look for top brands like Stearns & Foser, Sealy, Serta, Simmons, Bassett and Tempur-Pedic, which all offer a wide range of models to accommodate all budgets. Shopping online at stores like is a great way to save money, and if you're ordering multiple mattresses, ask for additional discounts.
  • Most popular dining tables are round, oval or rectangular, but you might want to start out with a square or round table that opens with a leaf to extend your seating. Enjoy mixing and matching your table and chairs to create a unique design to your dining area. Make sure your chairs are comfortable so you can sit for a long dinner or visit with friends for hours. Consider purchasing two armchairs, because they come in handy when you need extra seating in your living area. Wooden chairs are the most affordable, however upholstered chairs allow you to add beauty and color to your dining area and can you can always put a slipcover on to change the look for seasonal touches.

    There are many discount furniture stores available, so take the time to go shopping. It may be tempting to buy online, but if you don't have the budget to purchase from a known brand or stores like Ethan Allen, Pottery Barn, Home Decorating and Horchow, you'll want to see the quality of your table and chairs in person. This will eliminate you being disappointed or stuck with the inconvenience of returning such large items. There are also online companies like that ships direct from the outlets in North Carolina. You find the furniture locally, call them with the brand and model number and usually there's significant savings although the caveat is that you might have to wait eight or 12 weeks for delivery. If you're building a home, this can easily be ordered a few months before your anticipated move.
  • Sofas come in many shapes, styles, fabrics, and costs. Like your bed, it is one of the most important and used pieces in your home. Choose a sofa that has a solid hardwood frame, 8-way hand-tied springs and is made from a stain and wear resistant material. For a casual look, you'll want a sofa with loose-backed cushions. For a more elegant and contemporary look, you'll want to choose a tight-backed sofa. Things to consider are length, arm shape, skirt or no skirt, how many cushions, plain or patterned fabric and down or synthetic cushions. If you plan on having overnight guests, but don't have a spare bed, consider a sleeper sofa.
  • You can never have enough storage space, which is why it is a good idea to furnish your home with several chest of drawers (also known as a dresser or bureau). If you don't have a linen closet, a chest of drawers is very useful in a bathroom or hallway. It's almost a necessity in a bedroom for extra space for clothes, especially if you have a small closet space. A carefully crafted piece in the living room will add to your home's décor and serve as a wonderful space to keep CD, games, books and additional supplies organized but hidden. There are so many styles and materials to choose from, that it is a good idea before you go shopping to know whether you want the chest of drawers to be tall and narrow, or short and wide, and whether you need several small drawers at the top, or just a serious of large drawers. It's also worth thinking about how deep you want the drawers, because they fill up quickly.
  • Depending on your living room, you'll need to choose some kind of side or nesting tables so you have a place to put a table lamp, candles, vases, a drink or any other accents you might want to have in your room. There is no limit to the size, style, material and selection of side tables available. Look to stores like Pier 1 Imports, Pottery Barn, Home Goods, Home Decorators and for high quality and big online savings off their discontinued items.

    If space is a consideration, nesting tables are a great and stylish way to have a versatile piece of furniture that will easily compliment your room's décor. Nested tables usually come in a set of three or four small tables that are graduated in size so that they may be stacked on top of one another to save space.
  • Lighting is one of the most important design elements to your home and needs to be well planned out. Know where all your ceiling lighting will be and what kind of fixtures you will use â€" track lighting, pendants, ceiling fans, chandeliers, etc. If you plan on using table and floor lighting, be sure you know where all your outlets are. It's a good idea to draw to scale where all your furniture will be before you choose your lighting. Think about how each room will be used so you choose the right fixtures to fit your budget, style, needs and enhance your home's architectural style.
    While function and efficiency should be your top priority (using dimmers and CFLs can greatly reduce your energy costs), having a good-looking fixture to accent you're interior design is just as important. If you're not sure about how to design your home lighting, seek help from the American Lighting Association and LAMPS PLUS®, where certified designers are available in every showroom and online.
Design Tip
Painting the rooms of your new home is the quickest and least expensive way to give it personality and style. Whether it's a small ranch or luxurious Mediterranean, the color scheme throughout your new home should be consistent with your taste and décor. A general rule of thumb is the lighter the shade of color, the more open and airy the room will feel; the darker the shade, the cozier it will seem.