We get it! Sticker shock is a real thing when it comes to home décor, now more than ever. With furniture in high-demand and short supply, you might find yourself tempted to get something faster, rather than face the lengthy delays. But if you have ever wondered why anyone would pay the price of high-end furniture, this is for you. Why? Because, in the words of many before me, a bargain isn’t a bargain if it doesn’t stand up and you have to replace a recent purchase in short order. Quite simply, budget furniture can cost you more in the long run than investing well in the first place.

I want to share with you the real cost of buying budget-friendly furniture. Spoiler alert: it isn’t as good a deal as you might think!

skirted off-white sofa

The Real Risk of Buying Budget-friendly Furniture

One of the first questions we ask a homeowner when reviewing their furniture budget is “when do you want to replace this piece of furniture we are ordering?” Asking that question early on sets the expectations right from the start that we prefer to make quality recommendations from our trusted suppliers and have a satisfied customer for years to come than to select a piece that we KNOW will break down (and believe me, we know it) and not perform the way we know you want it to.

The real risk, as you can see with buying inexpensive or budget furniture is that you will actually spend more once you factor in the replacement cost when it breaks down. So, as you can see, the savings is easily eaten up. Good furniture is an investment. Swallow the pill and make a good decision.

We always love the quote by Miles Red “Buy the best and you only cry once”!

William Birch-style sofa in grey stripe

Three Reasons You Won’t Love that Budget Sofa

It may look pretty enough in the store, or on the website. We’ve all been lured at least once or twice by a pretty book jacket to dive into a boring novel that did not live up to the hype. But when it comes to a sofa, there are a few solid reasons you’ll not love it after the pretty look doesn’t enchant you.

  1. Budget sofas are not designed for comfort! They are designed to look pretty on a website, but you can’t exactly do a sit test on a sofa on a website. They count on that.
  2. They are not designed to last. Pleeeez re-read that. They are built to sell volume, and won’t stand the test of time. Many sofas with a low price-tag are made off-shore where they don’t need to meet our manufacturing standards nor stand up to our environment. Harsh, cold, dry winters, and hot humid summers with the A/C running are a tough test for a furniture piece to stand up to. Pieces made in Asia typically have one environment to sustain, and are made from materials indigenous to their climate – not ours! Wood components and adhesives can quickly dry out, shrink, and crack when they meet our harsh extremes.
  3. Budget sofas look, well, cheap! There, I’ve said it. I crafted a blog for twelve years now to be a judgement free zone, but I am standing in judgement against cheap furniture! Why? The workmanship is just not there.

That aside, I just can’t stay silent about the effect on landfill of all of the fast furniture purchases that just did not deliver on the promise of lasting beauty!

Attention to detail and a plush comfortable seat are what you can expect when you invest in good furniture. One easy way to tell if a piece is well-made is to walk around it on the showroom floor and wiggle/jiggle it to see if it feels solid, and inspect the upholstery for signs of care and attention. Seams are minimal and strategically placed, welting is straight, patterns meticulously matched all around the piece. Even if you are buying a sofa in a solid colour, looking at the same piece made up in a pattern will tell you a lot about what attention they pay to pattern placement and matching.. The same is true of the opposite: if you are buying a piece in patterned fabric, look at it in a solid to better see the workmanship.

Our Steps to Selecting the Right Sofa for You

Working with a design professional means you get extra care and assurance that you are making a great investment. The best furniture is sold only through designers and high-end showrooms, so if you are buying through a website, there is little assurance you will get anything even close to the same quality. So what do you get when you buy through a designer? People ask this all the time. This is what we tell them.

  1. You get access to our trade suppliers. Access to our vetted list of manufacturers that we have selected is a great perk of working with a pro. We have toured the manufacturing facilities and know all the steps our upholsterers take to ensure a high-quality piece is being made for our clients.
  2. You get our expertise to help you know what seat-depth, back height, pitch, arm-height etc. etc. is ideal for your purposes.
  3. You get our education in design styles to make sure you are getting a style that makes sense for your desired look.
  4. Our expertise is invaluable to help you select the right fabric for your use. Pets? Children? Spilled red wine? There is a right fabric and treatment to withstand all of life’s mishaps and needs. We will help you pick once we know more about your needs.
  5. Customization. The opportunities for customization are countless. Size, style, fabrics, trims, wood species and finish, seat comfort, cushion fill, are just a few of the many things we sift through to design or select a piece that is perfect for you. A piece that no-one else has is our goal.

Have you considered buying a new sofa recently? Skip the budget sofas and reach out to a design pro for some help to ensure you won’t need to buy again soon!

living room with fireplace and two chairs in ticking stripe