How to Plan, Research and Buy Furniture for A New Home

Hi Y’all! We are in the home stretch as far as the progress of our new build. In a few weeks, we will close on our first house and move in! This time last year we were looking at homes and going to open houses! If you missed it, we uploaded an empty house tour on our YouTube channel! Many of you have asked how Johnny and I are planning on buying furniture, especially since we cannot go into stores. I will say, we did get lucky with our sofa and got to see it in person before the quarantine started. However, a lot of other items we purchased online, based on reviews. In this post, I’m excited to share how to plan, research and buy furniture for a new home. Whether you’ll be able to go into stores or not, I hope this helps you plan out your space.

Blogger Hoang-Kim wears a Draper James knit sweater dress with Steve Madden travel sandals outside her new build home in Dallas

MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE

I cannot stress enough how important it is to measure your space and items over and over again. Most furniture purchases can be custom or made-to-order, meaning they cannot be returned. You don’t want to get stuck with furniture that doesn’t work. So make sure you measure ahead of time, in the space and then measure again. The theory is you want to plan, plan and then take action.

Johnny and I planned on getting this L-Shaped Sectional and according to the floorplan of our house, it should fit. However, on a recent house visit, we discovered, it would be a little too big and overwhelm our living room. Fortunately, there is build-your-own option we are using and it makes the same L-shaped sectional we want, but in a slightly smaller size, which is what we need! Don’t be afraid to do a lot of house visits and go back and forth between decisions. You want to make sure you’ll love it.

It also helps to lay markers in a space so you can really envision where furniture or decor will be. In the photo below if you look at the floor, you’ll see fabric swatches we used to mark where our future sectional would be.

Vaulted ceilings in a Dallas new build one story home with a fireplace and cedar mantle

ORDER SWATCHES

I’m great at visualizing things but swatches can make a huge difference! It’s so important when you can, to order swatches and see how they look in the space you’ll have them. If you order a swatch for a headboard, make sure you’re holding that swatch where the headboard would be. You want to see how it’ll look with the light it’ll be in to get the most realistic view. Also, don’t be afraid to order multiple swatches. They may surprise you!

Another perk with ordering swatches is being able to test them. For sofas and chairs, I like to see how they hold up against sauces, liquids, coffee and more since these are things with a high likelihood of spilling. Of course, I plan on using Scotchgard on all of our furniture and cleaning with Folex anytime something spills.

Keep in mind, if you love white furniture as much as I do, don’t mix whites from different brands. There is a high probability they will not match and it’ll look off. Instead, opt for different tones. We’ll be adding in some cream and gray for other textiles in our living room so it’ll complement our white sectional. Pro tip: if the swatch you want is not available for order online, try and get in contact with a local store to see if they have any they can send you or photos they could provide to help you make your decision.

SCALE FURNITURE TO THE ROOM

Sometimes bigger isn’t always better. Your furniture needs to match the size and scale of your room. If it’s too small, it looks dingey, if it’s too big, even the biggest room will look cramped. An easy way to explain this is with rugs. We have a King-size bed and most people say that should be layered over a 9×12 rug all the time. Not necessarily true. We previously had ours over an 8×10 and since our apartment master bedroom is smaller it fit perfectly. A 9×12 rug would have made the room look so cramped and you wouldn’t be able to see the flooring. Rugs are a great way to make a statement and there are great affordable ones out there. Here are my favorites, including two we are putting in our new home:

Blogger Hoang-Kim in the living room with a fireplace, wood mantle and vaulted ceilings of her new build home in Dallas

UTILIZE USER-GENERATED CONTENT

We are all shopping online now and it’s making content from bloggers and other users/customers more important than ever. Before Johnny and I got our first sectional, I looked at a ton of photos online by other customers. Google the style name of the furniture you’re buying. Plug it into Instagram hashtags and see what’s there. You can also stalk the company’s own IG for photos, tagged photos and see what you can find. You may surprise yourself and get what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The last thing you want to do is buy furniture for a new home and have to return it.

If there’s a piece of furniture I have you’re curious about, please feel free to ask! I’m more than happy to help.

PHOTOSHOP ITEMS TO HELP YOU VISUALIZE

If you can’t see something together in your head, photoshop it! You can use free tools such as Canva to create your own mood boards to see how things look together. When you buy furniture for a new home you want it to be cohesive. Something I personally love doing is photoshopping items into my space. Now, it’s important to note the items won’t be to scale but it’ll help you visualize things and see if they will work or not. Above is an early rendering I made of our entryway. We’ve since learned we cannot put a console table there. However, it’s a great tool for when you’re styling and much cheaper and saves money than buying something and returning.