It has been sometime since I have been on Active Rain, and wow, things keep pumping along in here. It is so refreshing to come back after an absence and see the committed writers still providing us with their learnings, their inspirations and their terrific ideas.
I have been spending time further developing my furniture inventory and attending trade shows finding the best deals on the new styles of furniture coming out here in Australia. I find these exhibitions the best place to find stock and to be able to purchase houselots the most cost effectively.
One thing I have found in recent times is ensuring the stock I am purchasing meets a few core criteria. What does that really mean? Well let me dot point some of the important issues for home stagers in purchasing stock:
1) It has to look good - this does not mean it has to look like it came direct from a millioniares lounge room, it just has to be functional, usable and provide ongoing income through its ability to be rented out to other properties in the future.
2) Non-specific - following on from the last point, don't buy too much stock that can only be used in one or two types of property. This is a quick way to ensure your stock will remain in the warehouse more than out in someone's home
3) Durable - when looking at furniture, check all the joining corners of the piece and see if there are any obvious fractures, particularly at the back. This will give you some idea of how the piece was built and whether it knocks easily. The last thing you need is tops coming off buffets or hall stands the first time you use them. Make sure the stock looks solid enough to survive multiple moves from your warehouse to various properties during its rental life.
4) Does it look more than it costs - properties benefit from having the right type of furniture in them. Buyers of homes emotionally connect with the house and then the way it is presented so the right furniture will create an atmosphere ripe to impress. But the right furniture need not cost thousands. Look for options that will allow you to spread your furntiture budget further. Sometimes this means buying quality second hand stock.
5) Can it be repaired or replacement parts sought - this is particularly important when it comes to more modern flat packed furniture that may be taken apart and put back together many times. After a while parts such as timber where screws enter may wear and degrade leaving you a piece of furniture that will not last its required rental cycle.
6) Weight and size - in my opinion this is one of the most important factors to consider with furniture purchasing. How much does it weigh and how big is it. Everytime I go to a furniture expo now and I see a piece I like the first thing I do is bend the knees and try to lift a corner, if I cannot do this myself I walk away as this will limit my ability to move the piece in the property I am styling should the removalist guys have left and I am on my own. Also consider size for getting into tricky apartments with lift access only. I have found (and yes, the hard way!!) that most lifts only take a sofa 1.8 to 2.0 metres long on its end. Any more than this and you will be sitting in the apartment lobby on a nice looking sofa that is going no where!
I hope these points are useful to anyone considering having their own inventory or are in the process of starting one up.
Shift by Design are Tasmania's (Australia) leading property presentation and home staging experts specialising in vacant property furniture hire and setup.