How to Find Quality Furniture

Diva by Design, how to buy quality furniture, antique European painted chest

Do you know how to find quality furniture? You might be surprised to know that it isn’t just about price. Even less expensive options can be made well. So what do you look for? And don’t be shy about inspecting the pieces when you are shopping. It’s your money and you want to know that you are spending it wisely. The salesperson can wait.

Diva by Design, how to buy quality furniture, dovatail joints

The better a piece of furniture is made, the longer it will last. To make you feel better about that expense, divide the number of years you plan to keep it by the cost. That is how much that piece of furniture will cost you per year. If you are replacing pieces every couple of years, you are wasting your money.

Diva by Design, how to buy quality furniture, upholstery fabric


What to look for:

  • There will be corner blocks to strengthen the joints
  • Dovetail joints in construction of the drawers
  • Stretchers should be attached to the legs with mortise-and-tenon joints or with dowel joints
  • Wood or metal glides that provide a smooth flow when opening and closing drawers
  • Drawer interiors are sanded, finished, and waxed with no burrs, splits, or snags
  • Plywood has at least nine layers
  • There will be thin sheets of wood between drawers in a chest of drawers or desk to provide structural strength and protect the contents
  • All of the legs touch the floor
  • It doesn’t squeak or twist when lifted at one corner, or wobble when pressed on
  • Cushions in upholstered furniture should have a block of foam wrapped with Dacron, cotton, or down, preferably with a protective inner cover (usually muslin)
  • The springs underneath the cushions should feel evenly spaced and have strong resistance to pressure
  • You should not be able to feel the frame through the padding in the arms and back
  • Upholstery patterns match up whichever way they are turned

Have fun shopping!

If you need advice on how to transform your space, click here to take a look at my Design Hotline service. It’s a convenient and cost effective way to get help from an interior decorator. And, hey! Show me some love by leaving a comment or sharing my post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, even Pinterest!

You can still sign up for my Design Planning for Real Life 2015 series on my website for more details on how to design happiness into your own home. And it’s free!

Copyright© 2015 Christina Rodriguez. All rights reserved.


2 thoughts on “How to Find Quality Furniture

  1. Solid advice! I paid to redo my couch, but I don’t think the foam is covered. Oh, do you remember when you told me the word for my bedding? It’s a weird french word for quilt.

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