What I’d tell a younger me about buying furniture

Oh to be young again! Those days are long gone, of course, but thankfully my naivety has been replaced by Yoda-like wisdom. At least in the design and decorating department.

I’ve also inherited a few fine lines, a slower metabolism, and an inability to bounce back after a night on the plonk, but they’re stories for another time.

We’ve all learnt valuable lessons when purchasing furniture and decor over the years, and here are some of mine. You’ll either relate because you’re in my age bracket, or you’re younger and yet to make these style blunders.

If that’s the case, put down whatever social media app the kids are using these days and listen up!

Get a quality mattress – for the sake of those around you

Your first mattress purchase out of home needs to be quality. And I say this not only for your comfort, but for your flatmate’s and that of your surrounding neighbours.

Sure, you want it to be comfortable, but you also want it to be whisper quiet when things go bump in the night. You know what I mean. Those walls are thinner than you think!

Back away from the expensive accessories

Yes, you’ll want to buy the $80 scented candle because you’re in your first home and it smells amazing. Yes, your friends will laugh at you. And yes, the wick will turn in on itself when you first burn it, deeming the candle no longer usable.

You’ll want to declare this a #YOLO moment, but you’ll know deep down inside that smaller decor pieces are an area you should seriously skimp on. So skimp away!

Your time will come to splurge on designer candles. Picture: Ecoya

Resist the urge to embrace trend patterns

You love decorating, I get it. You’re onto any new trend like white on rice. But your first armchair purchase should not come in a floral, a geometric, or any other patterned fabric you’ll tire of in a matter of months.

No matter how ‘now’ the magazine tells you it is, and no matter how much the shop assistant tells you it’s flying out the door, resist purchasing at all costs.

This is your first furniture adventure so take some time to develop your taste and experiment with a bold cushion instead.

Go classic, or experiment with trends on small-ticket items like cushions. Picture: Aura

Don’t get sucked in by that sofa sale

You’re going to wander around homemaker centres, and you’re going to see sofas on sale for under $300. I know, it sounds like a decorator dream come true. But just like a haircut, you get what you pay for.

Cheap sofas will likely sag, scuff and bust a spring months after you buy them. So don’t go cheap here. Do your best to throw a bit of extra cash into comfort pieces like sofas, chairs and mattresses and your tuckas will thank you for it.

Ask yourself if you actually need that dining table

You’re eager to fill all your rooms, I know. I hear you. I can see the excitement and credit card debt seeping from your pores.

Think carefully, though. Do you actually need the table? Will you actually sit at it for dinner every night?

We love a good dining table, but you must ask yourself if you will really use it at this life stage. Picture: Erinna Giblin

Don’t feel compelled early on to get into gross amounts of debt just to fill a home. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen eventually.

So don’t rush into purchasing things that aren’t critical. It’s about the journey, not the destination.

Originally published as What I’d tell a younger me about buying furniture by Chris Carroll. Author at realestate.com.au.