What to consider when buying furniture

Wednesday March 17 2021

Shoppers check out a furniture stall at a Fabulous Homes Festival at Lugogo Grounds, Kampala in 2019. PHOTO/Ismail Kezaala

By Desire Mbabaali

Furniture can enhance the beauty of any space in the house, but good furniture requires thoughtful and careful choosing. So, before investing money in any piece of furniture, Doreen Arinaitwe, an interior designer and consultant at Mich Spaces, shares tips on how to ensure you get value for your money. 


Furniture comes in various styles from contemporary, classic, traditional, scandinavian styles among others.

“There are more than 20 styles of furniture,” Arinaitwe says. Before buying, one needs to ensure that the furniture they are setting their heart into suits their taste and needs. To do this, one should know the style they want in their spaces.

“When finally picking pieces, be intentional in getting furniture that brings out your style. Take time to do your research, look online for furniture pieces that look like what you have in mind, ,” Gloria Anena an interior designer advises.



“The aesthetic element of furniture cannot be ignored. It should be something that you and other people can look at and appreciate,” Arinaitwe says.  

This takes into consideration the shape, colour, design and the general appearance of the furniture.

Giving an example of colour, one should be careful to get furniture with colour that easily coordinates or matches walls, floors, or other pieces of furniture already available.


“Furniture can tell a lot about who you are and can speak volumes about your home. Carefully choosing beautiful pieces for your spaces brings life to them, class, as well as showcases your taste. 

“For flexibility, choose furniture with colours that are neutral and natural to make it easy for you to use it anywhere around the house. If you are going for sharp coloured furniture, be careful not to overdo it, but find a way to coordinate it with other things in the space so that it feels well-coordinated,” Anena tips.


Furthermore, Anena says comfort is one of the most important factors to consider when getting furniture such as chairs, dining, sofas and the bed. This is because these are pieces that one uses almost every day and so they need to be comfortable.

“When looking at comfort, the purpose of the furniture also comes into play. If you are for example buying a table on which to work with your laptop or computer,  it should measure well with your height so that  you feel comfortable while working on it. If it is a bean bag you want to throw yourself into after a long day’s work, it should be soft and very comfortable. Comfort can also be relative from one person to another, so, choose what works best for you,” she notes.   

“The age group of users can also be considered under this. Comfort for an elderly person, young, bachelor and a family can be different,” Arinaitwe notes. 


Quality often goes hand in hand with comfort and is largely determined by one’s budget.  This is because good quality materials and machinery that guarantee comfort are costly.

“To break it down further, quality can also mean durability. To ensure quality, one can consider materials used to make the furniture for instance,  the type of wood or metal, the quality of wool used and other materials such as upholstery.

Quality also often means the product is more costly, though high prices do not always mean quality,” Edward Ndawula of Ndawula Interiors, shares adding that quality can also range from high, medium and low.


Space is ultimately, another important factor that should not be undermine while buying furniture.

“One of the biggest mistakes people make is buying oversized furniture that makes their spaces look full to capacity or small furniture that looks swallowed up by the space. If you are working with a small living room for example, work with small sized furniture. If you don’t have space, just have one small sofa without arm chairs. Don’t try to conform to what everyone is doing,” Ndawula says.

To ensure that furniture fits well into your space, he advises that one should know the amount of space they have for the furniture by measuring it and to go with these measurements while buying furniture and ensure that every piece bought fits into the available space.

 “Do not be tempted into buying furniture without first measuring your space. Furniture has a way of looking like it will fit in your space and then turns out too big to fit when you actually get it home. So, rely on your measurements. On the other hand, if you have the space to spare, then large sized furniture should be used so that it occupies the available space. To perfectly fit into your space, you can also have furniture custom made for you,” Ndawula adds.


Arinaitwe also adds that other factors to have at the back of one’s mind while buying furniture are the functionality of the space where the furniture will be placed in the house.

One can also consider investing into multifunctional furniture. This is the type of furniture that can be put to multiple uses away from it’s default function.

Where to buy

There are various places one can buy furniture from interior shops, online stores, roadside manufacturers to second hand furniture dealers. Weighing in on the available options; Badru Mugumya, an imported furniture dealer, shares that the price and quality one is looking for can determines where they buy from.


Badru Mugumya, a furniture dealer, says interior shops are associated with quality and often have guarantees on the furniture they sell.

A dining set at a high end interior shop can for example be bought between Shs3m and Shs11m depending on whether it is marble, glass or wood and its size. The same set costs between Shs1.5m and Shs8m at medium priced stores.   

A sofa set from roadside traders can be bought between Shs500,000  to Shs2m.