There are so many great places to shop online, but when it comes to buying furniture, people tend to shy away from it. What if it doesn’t fit? What if I hate the material? Can I return it? The fears are real. Taniya Nayak recently redid her beachfront Florida condo with furniture and décor from Hayneedle – here’s how she eliminated the stress and made solid purchases.
When you jump in and start looking for furniture online, do you have one style goal for the whole space? Do you sit down with your mood board and go from room to room?
My go-to method is to start with the big stuff first, so I’m looking for my dining table, sofa, and my bed, mainly. Then once I get those, I start to break down to chairs, dining chairs, coffee tables, and I keep working my way down. Once I get those bigger pieces out of the way, then I shift my focus to one room once it gets down to accessories. So when it’s down to the details, I decide how I want the space to feel.
How do you picture integrating things you love and personal items with some newer pieces while you’re shopping?
I had my concept board, the overall initial one. But when I started to pull product, I would screenshot it, and I would add it to my room board with photos of pieces I was going to keep. Take photos of your existing stuff and put that on your board. It sounds complicated, but you can use Word or Power-Point and just drag and drop. It was messy, but I could move stuff around or delete it if I changed my mind. In the family room, I decided to keep a side table and lamp, so I’d have those images, and I’d drag and drop to make sure they would work.
Sometimes people are intimidated by shopping online. What advice to you have for people who are afraid to shop online for a room or a whole space?
I will be the first person to tell anyone contemplating shopping online to go for it! What I discovered was that the products were even nicer than I thought they’d be once they arrived. If you’re willing to do the legwork, you’re gonna save a fortune – the legwork being opening the boxes, putting the furniture together, and disposing of the boxes. It’s so worth it. At the end of the day, you have this great product, you paid a great price for it, and as long as you check your measurements, you’re fine. People get scared about not being able to test things out in the store.
I would read reviews online too – those don’t lie; people will tell you the truth. But keep in mind, everyone’s taste is different, so some people may not have a great review. Make sure you read it for what you need it for, like for sizing or comfort.
Another fear for people would be the color or material of a piece not being right. How do you solve for that?
Sometimes you can call and get a swatch. If it’s a really large item like a sofa or a bed, you can get a swatch, so that would be a good idea. Check out other photos to see how they look in different rooms. They’re pretty true to the pictures in real life, I think.
When you shop online, like at hayneedle.com for instance, what’s the best way to simplify finding what you’re looking for?
I would start an email to myself, and I’d have hayneedle.com pulled up on a separate tab. I would copy and paste links – like beds, for instance – to every bed that I liked. I’d go through every single bed. After, I’d go through those links and narrow it down – I wouldn’t even look at measurements or anything; I’d just look at what I like. I’d come up with about 12 links, and I’d narrow it down by what’s in stock, the colors, etcetera. That would narrow me down to three or four, so I’d keep those there, and as the rest of the room pulled together, I’d determine which bed would work. You can always go back to different links and see what works.
Also, once you’ve narrowed it down to a few, screenshot the pieces and save them to a folder on your desktop. Then you can put your boards together a lot quicker.