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  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

In-Store vs. Online Shopping

The dreaded question: Is it better to purchase furniture directly in-store or succumb to the allure of the online marketplace? Because I have just fully furnished our newly renovated home, I can tell you that I have done both and the battle of selecting in person or online still does not have a clear winner to me.

James selecting in-store at Life Interiors Rozelle Showroom
James selecting in-store at Life Interiors Rozelle Showroom

Picture this: the crisp scent of fresh furniture polish, the tactile joy of running your fingers across luxurious fabrics, that's a winner for me, because in-store furniture shopping offers an unparalleled sensory experience. One can't ignore the joy of test-sitting on that plush armchair or running fingertips along the lines of beautiful rattan... It's a tactile dance, an exploration of textures and colours that transcends the digital divide. But hold on to your cushions because the online realm has its own set of charms! With just a click, you're transported into a universe of choices - the entire stock is available to your perusals and the virtual aisles are vast, offering an assortment that would make even the most seasoned shopper's heart skip a beat. 

Nicole's knowledge of range and materials was essential to help James select furniture
Nicole's knowledge of range and materials was essential to help James select furniture

Now, there's an undeniable charm in physically experiencing the furniture you're eyeing. The play of light on a fabric, the true hue of a paint finish, the right support of a dining chair – these nuances can make or break a successful purchase. Engaging with furniture firsthand allows you to make informed decisions, ensuring your selections align seamlessly with your design vision. Not last, the magic of instant gratification. Walk into a store, spot the perfect piece, and voila! It's yours, possibly ready to be taken home then and there. In-store purchases also provide the opportunity to forge a connection with knowledgeable staff, gaining insights and advice that transcend the digital screen. In the Life Interiors showroom, Nicole's knowledge on every item was paramount in guiding my choices.

On the flip side, the Life Interiors webpage is mind boggling with the sheer variety of furniture and decor items that are available. Surfing Life Interiors' website was for me as exciting as a treasure trove, collecting the images of the favourite items and together with my partner, taking the time to compare them for as long as we liked. The joy of exploring without the constraints of time or geography...

In conclusion, the dilemma of in-store versus online furniture shopping still boils down to personal preferences. Each avenue has its merits, offering a distinct flavour to your purchasing experience. However, whether you're a tactile explorer or a digital nomad preferring the online landscape, if ready to purchase new furniture, here is my Treble of Purchasing Tips:

  1. Prioritise Function: Ensure your purchase suits your needs and lifestyle, blending practicality with aesthetics for a harmonious and functional space.

  2. Size Matters: Measure your space accurately to avoid furniture that overwhelms or gets lost in the room's proportions.

  3. Quality is Essential: Choose durable materials, think comfort, durability and easy to maintain.

See the furniture I have purchased and what it looks like in my own home at James Bought A House.

James Treble has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. James is also an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for plenty of Design information. Watch his Online Series to see how an Interior Designer renovates his own home.


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