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How to Shop for Furniture Online: Your Ultimate Buying Guide

by Pam Silvia

From scuffed-up dining tables to sunken couches to creaky recliners, it’s clear we have gotten a lot of use from our home furniture these past few years. Like many Americans that have spent an inordinate amount of time indoors recently, surely, the idea of a makeover has crossed your mind.

Whether you’re looking to freshen up your living room, modernize your dining room, or cozy up your bedroom, our catalog is filled to the brim with options that are sure to showcase your style and personality—and we can’t think of a reason to delay happiness.

As a convenient option, you can browse our online furniture selection to design the home of your dreams today! Here are Colder’s tips for shopping for furniture online.

Furniture Shopping: Before You Buy

Quality furniture that will last for years to come is an investment. Well-constructed furniture does not come cheaply. If you don’t take a budget into advisement before you start buying, you may very well find yourself overspending or purchasing items you don’t necessarily need. This is why we recommend following these steps to ensure you’re completely satisfied with your furniture shopping experience. Before you start adding things to your cart, take a moment to reflect on how much you can spend. Consider what you already have to work with. Make a wish list and a need list. This will help you prioritize your purchases.  

Young family sitting on a sofa shopping online together

Choose Your Design Style

When it comes to interior design, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is what style to choose. While furniture shopping, you don’t have to follow your chosen style 100%. We have found that it is helpful to keep the style in mind as you set out to shop. This way, you don’t end up with a multitude of mismatched pieces. 

Not sure which design style you prefer? There are so many different styles out there that it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Take a moment to check out ten of the most popular design styles and see which one you’ll want to bring to your home. 

Traditional Style

The traditional style is all about comfort and familiarity. It draws on classic design elements like wood furnishings, rich color schemes, and plush fabrics. If you’re looking for a warm and inviting space, traditional style is a great option.

Modern Style

Modern style is all about clean lines and simplicity. It typically features muted colors, minimal furnishings, and a focus on function over form. If you’re looking for a sleek and stylish space, modern style is a great option.

Contemporary Style

Contemporary style is a mix of traditional and modern styles. It takes the best elements from both styles and combines them into a fresh, new look. If you’re looking for a space that blends classic and modern design, contemporary style is a great option.

Rustic Style 

Rustic style is all about connection to nature. It features natural materials like wood and stone, along with earthy colors. If you’re looking for a warm and cozy space, rustic style is a great option.

Industrial Style

Industrial style is all about raw, exposed materials. It typically features concrete floors, exposed brick walls, and metal fixtures. If you’re looking for a cool and edgy space, industrial style is a great option.

Mid-Century Modern Style

Mid-century modern style is all about simplicity and functionality. It draws on design elements from the mid-20th century, including clean lines and organic shapes. If you’re looking for a retro-inspired space, mid-century modern style is a great option.

Eclectic Style

Eclectic style is all about mixing and matching different design elements. It’s a bold and unique style that can be tailored to fit your individual taste. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind space, eclectic style is a great option.

Scandinavian Style

Scandinavian style is all about minimalism and functionality. It typically features clean lines, simple furnishings, and a focus on function over form. If you’re looking for a stylish and versatile space, Scandinavian style is a great option.

Bohemian Style

Bohemian style is all about creativity and self-expression. It typically features colorful fabrics, vintage furniture, and a mix of different patterns and textures. If you’re looking for a fun and funky space, bohemian style is a great option.

Coastal Style

Coastal style is all about relaxing by the water. It typically features light colors, nautical accents, and a focus on comfort and relaxation. If you’re looking for a calming and serene space, coastal style is a great option.

No matter what your personal style may be, there’s an interior design style that’s perfect for you. So take some time to browse through these 10 styles and see which one speaks to you. Then, you can start planning your perfect space.

How to Shop for Living Room Furniture

The living room is where your family congregates; therefore, the quality, look, and function of your furniture in this space is very important. From traditional to farmhouse to transitional, our catalog carries pieces that complement your style.

>>Check Out Our Beginners Guide on Decorating a Living Room<<

Living Room Sofas & Chairs

Options galore in this category. To guide your purchase, it is best to assess your space’s constraints as well as your family’s habits to ensure your living room isn’t congested and is stocked with functional furniture that isn’t just there to look pretty.

Whether it cushions you for Netflix binges, provides support for midday naps, or is the setting of gossip sessions and post-dinner entertainment, your seating requires careful consideration upon initial purchase.

Do you crave firmer or plushier support? What kind of stability do you want from your sofas and chairs: springs, coils, webbing? Do you prefer the softness of fabric upholstery or the deep seating of leather?

The focal point of most living rooms, the sofa gets the most use of any cushiony surface in your home (other than your bed, of course), so be sure you get the right size and comfort level to accommodate your family.

If you’ve got a large brood, a two- to five-piece sectional will ensure every seat is the best in the house for movie nights. For a luxurious option, opt for a reclining sectional. When it comes to this option, remember to note highly trafficked areas, doors, and windows. 

And if you find yourself retiring to your bed earlier than you’d like, a recliner provides relief after tiring days so that you can still kick it with the fam—while you kick up your feet. You may be surprised to learn that recliners also come with many added health benefits

Living Room Tables

Accent tables and coffee tables and console tables—oh, my! Living room tables offer plenty of options in terms of styles, shapes, and sizes. Almost too many. That said, you don’t want to overcrowd your space with filler pieces for the sake of décor, so be sure to ask yourself how you want your living room tables to function based on your lifestyle and room layout.

For example, a coffee table may seem to be non-negotiable if your family grubs on snack platters in the living room. But if you’ve got little ones running around, you might want to avoid a glass surface in favor of solid wood.

If your living space affords you the luxury of accent tables (for your reading nook) and console tables (for your entryway), we suggest mapping out their placements based on electrical outlets for lamps and device charging stations.

Living Room TV Stands & Media Furniture

Everybody’s got a TV in their living room, right? As the look and size of televisions have changed over the years, so has the variety of surfaces they sit on. Whether you prefer a standard TV stand with minimal shelving or a tall entertainment center with generous storage options for your devices, DVDs, and video games, Colder’s has you covered.

Even if you’ve got a wall-mounted TV, a media chest provides concealed storage for your movie collection. On the other hand, a media console is a great option if you prefer to display your collection, along with memorabilia, framed photos, and gaming consoles, thanks to windowed cabinets and exposed shelves.

Regardless of your choice in media furniture, as you assess your measurements, make sure there is enough ventilation space surrounding your TV to prevent overheating.

Living Room Collections

If the stress of coordinating your living room furnishings is too much to bear, we also stock living room collections, including matching table and seating sets so you can easily create a cohesive look.

Michael Nicholas Designs Jayne 3 Piece Living Room Collection-MN-JAYNE-SET

>>Shop In Stock Living Room Furniture Today<<

How to Shop for Dining Room Furniture

For holiday feasts and weeknight bites alike, a new dining room set will make every meal feel like a special occasion. Lucky for you, our dining-room furniture catalog has a variety of flavors to suit any palate.

Dining Room Chairs & Stools

You can certainly forgo a cohesive set if you’re partial to a hodge-podge aesthetic with mismatched dining chairs. Live out your farmhouse dreams with our selection of cottage- and country-style chairs. Or if you appreciate the modern flair of downtown eateries, we’ve got industrial- and rustic-inspired to rival bistro and café furnishings. Or if you prefer to stick to the classics, we’ve got traditional wood-framed seats to satisfy your craving.

Alternatively, you can go slightly against the grain with a modern dining bench. If food is the ingredient that binds people together, a dining bench is the mixing spoon.

Dining Room Tables

Perhaps the most decisive factor in buying a new dining table is size. If you’ve got a compact dining room and a smaller family, we think a round table works best. If you’ve got a knack for hosting and the space to afford large gatherings, a rectangular or oval-shaped table is a suitable option. Or, alternatively, for the best of both worlds, a table that can convert a circular table into a square shape or an oval table into a rectangular shape provides optimal flexibility.

Of course, depending on your taste, an array of wood and metal finishes are available.

Dining Room Sets

Bring unity to your space with the help of a dining set! We’ve got full dining sets that also include dining hutches and display cabinets for showcasing heirlooms and exotic souvenirs—as well as table-and-chair sets if you only need the bare essentials.

Signature Design by Ashley® Skempton 7-Pc. Dining Room Table Set-D394-425

>>Shop In Stock Dining Room Furniture Today<<

How to Shop for Bedroom Furniture

Your bedroom shouldn’t just be your nighttime nirvana—make it your daytime sanctuary, too, with the help of our bedroom furniture catalog. Leave it to Colder’s and just kick back, escape, and unwind.

Beds & Bed Frames

Your bedroom is your retreat from the world. Choosing the right bedroom furniture is essential to getting the best night’s rest. Take your beauty sleep to new heights with a unique bed frame. To garner a romantic look that evokes the class and regality of a royal’s chambers, peruse our selection of poster beds, sleigh beds, and canopy beds.

Or if you’re a traditionalist at heart, you’ll surely find charm in panel beds and metal beds, as these complement most interior-design styles, including rustic chic, minimalism, mid-century modern, and Old Hollywood glam.

And in the spirit of keeping an organized room and maximizing a small bedroom, a bookcase bed will give you a place to put down your nighttime reading material as well as the illusion of a larger space.

Bedroom Dressers & Chests

We think it’s about time you retire that hand-me-down dresser. In addition to finding a suitable piece of furniture that keeps your clothes organized and your clutter hidden, decorate your bedroom with a dresser or chest that reflects your style.

For reference, a dresser has more drawers along the width whereas a chest has drawers along the height—in other words, a drawer is slightly shorter and wider, and a chest is taller and not as wide.

Bedroom Nightstands & Vanities

Depending on your habits, you might desire extra surfaces to keep certain things within an arm’s reach.

Most people prefer having a nightstand to keep a bedside lamp as well as a place to keep their smart devices, eyeglasses, contact lenses, and books close by. Most options come with drawers if you prefer to hide clutter, or if you like to showcase potted plants, catchall trays, candles, and knickknacks there are models with exposed shelves.

Morning routines are important, which is why we stock vanity tables with suitable storage for cosmetics,  moisturizers, perfumes, and hairstyling tools. If that wasn’t enough, some models even come with a mirror and bench.

Bedroom Collections

As is the case with living room and dining room furniture, we offer bedroom collections so you can catch some ZZZs in style. And yes, we’ve got furniture sets for children, too.

Liberty Furniture Sonoma Road Weather Beaten Bark Wood 5 Piece Queen Bed Set-473-BR-QPBDMCN

>>Shop In Stock Bedroom Furniture Today<<

How to Shop for Mattresses Online

When shopping for a mattress, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, decide what type of mattress you want. There are many different styles of mattresses available today, including pocketed coil, memory foam, and hybrid mattress types. Second, research different brands and compare prices. Once you've narrowed down your choices, take the time to read the fine print. Make sure you understand the return policy, shipping costs, and warranty before making a purchase. Finally, buy the mattress you think is best for you and enjoy a good night's sleep! Thanks to modern technology, online mattress shopping is a viable option. At Colder’s, we encourage our customers to visit a store in person before choosing their mattress. Buying a new mattress is a major investment and you want to make sure the prospective mattress perfectly fits your needs before buying. 

Restonic mattress in a bedroom

>>Shop In Stock Mattresses Today<<

How to Measure a Room for Furniture

It is essential to measure a room prior to clicking submit order. Before you make any purchases for any given area, we recommend creating a room mockup on a piece of paper—this is a rough sketch of your living room, dining room, or bedroom that is meant to denote the height and width of each wall as well as placement of windows.

In addition, don’t forget to consider fixtures that are unique to each room, including fireplaces, archways, and partial walls, as these might influence the placement and maximum dimensions of any new furniture you buy.

So, whip out that handy-dandy tape measurer! Taking, checking, and double-checking your measurements will help you visualize possibilities for your living spaces and prevent incompatible purchases. You might not have room for a sectional and recliner, after all, or you could be stuck with an entryway table that blocks your doorway. But with just a little preparation and forethought, you can avoid the crushing blow of a disappointing purchase (and the hassle of an online or in-store return).

For more information, check out our measuring guide!

Furniture Shopping Reminders

As you shop our digital catalog, don’t forget to check out consumer reviews, as they can indicate whether the furniture looks and feels as advertised.

In addition, pay attention to the product specification sheets for every contending product, especially the furniture dimensions and materials, so that every purchase is an informed purchase.

Why Trust Colder’s? 

Since 1942, we at Colder's pride ourselves on offering value, selection, and service. Serving Southeastern Wisconsin with four showrooms that stock quality name-brand furniture, appliances, and mattresses, Colder’s is sure to house exactly what you are looking for. And if you can't find it on our floors, chances are, we can order it for you. As a local, family-owned company, we are always doing our best to provide the highest value at the lowest cost to everyone who walks through our doors.

Colder’s is committed not only to continuously offering can’t-miss sales but also to working with each customer, making sure that you take advantage of every possible markdown — that’s our best price guarantee.

Shop Furniture at Colder’s 

Don’t put off happiness — and shop home furniture online for unbeatable prices at Colder’s. Our friendly experts are always happy to help you with online furniture shopping, whether you call us at 414-476-1574 or use our online chat feature. Better yet, stop by one our Colder’s locations in West Allis, Oak Creek, Delafield, and Grafton, Wisconsin to touch, see, feel, and experience home products that fulfill your dreams. Visit us today!

Learn More: Interior Design Styles 101: Your Guide to the Best Interior Design Styles