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10 things to think of before furnishing your home 

World Wide Furniture’s Pat Fleiger tells you what to consider when shopping for stuff to fill empty rooms.

Fleiger has tips for avoiding funiture shopping frustration - ANGELA GZOWSKI
  • Fleiger has tips for avoiding funiture shopping frustration
  • Angela Gzowski

1) Draw a scaled drawing of your room, plot in doors and windows. Bring in any paint colours, flooring or fabrics that will be in the room. "This will save you on gas money," says Fleiger.

2) Take a picture of the room where the furniture will go. This will help you and the salesperson narrow down what the store can offer.

3) Custom doesn't mean just colour anymore. You can customize your fabrics, but often you can choose the density of foam, if you'd like feather and down seating, the number of toss pillows and the finish. There are also options when it comes to customizing size.

4) Accessorize for the punch of colour you want. Start creating your look by choosing furniture with great bones. Is it the size and shape that you love? Choose a neutral base that has longevity, and add interest with throw pillows and accent pieces that reflect your personality. If you want to change with the trends, it is much easier to replace accessories and pillows.

5) By customizing your furniture, to get the look and feel that you exactly want, you might be surprised that it will arrive before you would have exhausted all your other, less-than-perfect options shopping around!

6) Buy Canadian. It's true, most casegood and wood accessory pieces come from overseas. "China has become hugely influential," says Fleiger. But while a four-piece bedroom suite made in Canada will likely cost more than one coming from overseas, it's also liable to last twice as long.

7) Examine the product. Ask about the construction and materials used---you will see exactly what is available for the money. Pick up an end of the frame of a sofa---Fleiger says a flexible sofa is often a sign of it being made with an MDF core, or less-than-excellent manufacturing. Sit down or recline in the furniture you are considering.

8) Buy with confidence: What are the store's return policies? If they deliver, what is the cost? Do the delivery people do full setup? A retailer that offers its own delivery service is usually better because they specialize in furniture, they know what to look for when they inspect it before it goes out and the time it will take to properly place it.

9) Spend your furnishing dollar locally. It reinvests in the city and trusts the experience of an independent salesperson.

10) Enjoy the process. It should be fun to feather your nest, not stressful.

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