Furniture Buying: When to Splurge and When to Skimp
With more options than ever before, furniture shopping has never been so difficult—simply because there’s too much to choose from. Another issue is the challenge of appropriately divvying up your budget to get everything you need. This task becomes especially overwhelming when you realize that you could spend the same amount on a desk as you could an ottoman. How are you supposed to know which one is worth the investment when you need both items equally?
Unfortunately, there’s no universal manual for office shopping, simply because everyone has different needs. People who only spend 25% of their day in their office probably don’t need a big fancy desk, but there are others who barely leave their chair. Read on for some guidelines on when to splurge and when to skimp.
Ask yourself: fun or functional?
I’m probably the world’s biggest advocate for office décor, so trust me when I say I wholeheartedly believe in spending some cash to make your office attractive. However, that doesn’t mean the largest chunk of your budget should go to desk organizers. In general, essential items should take precedence when it comes to budgeting – but do leave room for some aesthetically pleasing extras!
Consider how much use you’ll get out of it.
Some items, no matter how necessary, do go rarely used. For example, you may want to include some extra office seating, but stop to think: will you have guests every week, or once every few months? If it’s something you’ll use everyday and take with you to future jobs (art pieces, floor lighting), invest in the sturdier option. If not, go for the wallet-friendly alterative—or better yet, DIY something to fit your preferences.
How often will you have to look at it?
It sounds silly, but general staring time is an important factor to consider when furniture shopping. For lots of people, they have to sit/stand/look at the same few items of furniture every day for months and sometimes years – if you already don’t like a piece to begin with, you’re only going to hate it more as time goes on. Spending a bit more is ok if it means avoiding an eventual feeling of resentment toward your office furniture, which can only foster itself into dislike for your job—something to avoid whenever possible.
What office furniture do you think is worth the splurge? Let me know on Twitter! Tweet @myturnstone or @officestylist.