Connect with us


8 things you need to know before buying furniture online





Photo: James Bombales, design by Lisa Canning Interiors

These days, most people will do anything to avoid crowded shopping centers and aggressive parking lot driving. We’re comfortable ordering many big-ticket items online, including king-size mattresses and brand name refrigerators, but some consumers simply can’t imagine purchasing a sofa without assuming the binge-watching position IRL (cradling a throw pillow, remote in hand, bowl of popcorn within reach).

But there are plenty of deals to be found online. Without the added cost of physical storefronts and salespeople, online furniture retailers are able to keep prices low and offer flexible return policies to put customers at ease.

If you’re wary of splurging on an area rug you’ve never dug your toes into or have made regrettable online purchases in the past, follow these best practices from experts Jaclyn Harper, Owner and Principal Stylist for Harper Designs, and Maureen Welton, VP of Design at Article, an online-only furniture startup with mid-century and scandinavian flair.

Design News Alerts

Get the latest Interior Design tips and trends from Livabl sent to your inbox

1. Consider your lifestyle when choosing fabric

Photo: James Bombales

“Generally, I recommend a leather sofa for dogs and kids because leather is tough, easy to clean and puncture resistant,” says Welton. “But leather isn’t indestructible. The good news for your sofa and dog dilemma is that leather wears in, whereas fabrics wears out.”

If you can’t imagine taking an afternoon nap on a leather sofa (too sticky), but your three-year-old is prone to spilling apple juice (also sticky), opt for a synthetic or poly blend. “I personally find these fabrics to be more forgiving when it comes to stains and wrinkles,” notes Harper.

“If you are set on a fabric sofa, look for something with a high Martindale rating. This means it will stand up to wear and tear and look pristine for many playdates to come,” explains Welton. “High quality fabric sofas won’t pill and wear thin as quickly as lower quality sofas.”

2. Don’t be swayed by trends when it comes to investment pieces

“If you’re looking for investment pieces like a dining table or sofa, choose a neutral palette,” recommends Welton. “It will allow you the freedom to change styles without having to swap out all of your furniture to match.” If you can’t possibly live without green velvet or leopard print in your life, Welton has a solution. “Incorporate the trend of the moment into your design with accent pieces like a lounge chair, a coffee table or pillows that are less of an investment.”

3. Measure twice, order once

Photo: James Bombales, design by Harper Designs

Make friends with your measuring tape because you’re going to need it. “You should always measure your door frame, hallways and elevator — anywhere the piece has to travel to ensure it will fit. The last thing you want is to have your new piece arrive and not be able to fit through the front door,” says Welton, who knows this from experience.

While your dream sofa might look picture-perfect on Instagram, it can be difficult to determine whether or not it will work in your oddly-shaped living room. “Green painter’s tape can be really helpful for visualizing how furniture will fit into a space,” suggests Harper. “You can also cut butcher paper to size and move it around the room to figure out your layout.”

4. Get smart about space planning

“When it comes to spacing, you want to make sure that you measure to allow for at least 18 inches from the edge of your sofa to the edge of your coffee table, and also that you leave at least three feet for entryways into the space,” recommends Harper.

“If you’re shopping online for an area rug, try to leave at least 12 inches from the wall to the edge of your rug on all sides.” Another design mistake you’ll want to avoid is the floating, too-small-for-the-space area rug. “Either the front legs of your furniture should sit on the rug, or all of the legs should sit on the rug,” says Harper.

5. Hone in on keywords in product descriptions

Photo: James Bombales

Unless you’re a brilliant wordsmith, you may need access to a dictionary when reading product descriptions. “Look for keywords that show signs of quality like ‘full-aniline leather’ or ‘Pirelli webbing,’ which is a rubber support suspension used in sofas,” explains Welton. “Martindale rub-test results are also a good indicator of product quality. The rub test simulates the natural wear of the sofa so you’ll want to choose something that can withstand 25,000 rubs or more.”

Other terms to keep an eye out for? “Whenever possible, choose solid wood pieces and look for corner blocking, which is a piece of wood at a sofa’s joints to help improve structural stability,” adds Welton.

6. Scour reviews on multiple platforms

While product reviews on a retailer’s website may be helpful, you should take them with a grain of salt. “You should always do your own research before buying,” advises Welton. For a well-rounded perspective, search brand hashtags on Instagram, watch unsponsored product reviews on YouTube, or read press articles comparing brands and styles.

“When you see an unstaged photo of a piece of furniture, it gives you a more realistic expectation,” says Harper. Without professional lighting and a stylist, that headboard you were about to add to cart may look completely different.

7. Budget for shipping and potential returns

Photo: James Bombales, design by Harper Designs

“Furniture can be a big investment, so you need to factor in the shipping costs and return policy into your decision,” says Welton. “Ask yourself, ‘Is the size right for the space? Do I find it comfortable?’ but most importantly, make sure you keep the return time period top of mind so you don’t decide you no longer love it after the return policy has worn off.”

“This applies to online as well as in-person purchases,” adds Harper. “If you’re customizing a piece of furniture, quite often you’ll either have to pay a large restocking fee, which can be 20 to even 40 percent of the original price, or you’ll be unable to return it and have to sell or donate the item.”

Many online retailers have competitive return policies and low-cost shipping. “At Article, we offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee so you can try out your new furniture in your home. If you’re not completely happy, we’ll pick it up and refund the product if you decide to return it for less than the original shipping fees,” says Welton.

8. When in doubt, contact the customer care team

“Don’t be shy about getting in touch with the retailer’s customer care team!” insists Welton. “Ask for their opinion about the sofas. Good customer care teams should be able to share thoughtful, detailed feedback on the sofa you have in mind.” As a designer, Harper says she purchases about half of the furniture pieces for her clients online. “I find you develop a relationship with the supplier over time, and then you feel more comfortable buying online.”


Source link

قالب وردپرس


Covid-19 altering Canadians’ housing needs: RBC





Amid a pandemic-driven shift in demand as well as a surge in new listings, the Canadian housing market remained strong in August, RBC Economics reports.

Citing preliminary data from local real estate boards, RBC said that markets in many areas of the country remained “red hot” in August.

“But the bigger story might be that Covid-19 is now prompting more people to sell,” the report said, noting that new listings surged in urban centres such as Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

“We think this in part reflects the pandemic altering the housing needs of many current owners — who are opting to move, something they might not have considered just a few months ago,” it said.

RBC noted that the Toronto market saw new listings jump 57% year over year in August, powering a 40% increase in home sales.

Sales were up more than 20% from July’s near-record levels, it said.

“Clearly, [that] market has fired on all cylinders this summer, making up for the major disruption caused by Covid-19 in the spring,” RBC said.

The primary drivers of sales activity and higher prices were low-rise homes, including single-detached homes, RBC reported.

Continue Reading


RBC’s customer base makes it a favourite of cyber attacks – security experts





Royal Bank of Canada is among the most targeted institutions by cyber attacks due to its broad customer base, according to an analysis by Palo Alto Networks.

From December 2019 up to present, cybercriminals have been establishing malicious pages disguised as websites by major companies to conduct phishing attempts and other similarly invasive attacks.

RBC ranked third in the most spoofed domains list, more than streaming giant Netflix and professional networking portal LinkedIn. PayPal and Apple ranked first and second, respectively.

“When you look at the broad customer base that RBC has, it makes sense, especially when you compare it to some of the other big names,” said Jen Miller-Osborn, deputy director of threat research at Palo Alto Networks. “These attackers are going after [domains] where they can make the most money, so they’re focusing on these organizations that have really broad customer bases because that really ups the number of potential victims.”

In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Miller-Osborn outlined what consumers should be looking out for to filter our fraudulent emails.

“Typically, the ones that are going to be scam-related are trying to invoke some sort of emotional response,” Miller-Osborn said. “So they might say something like ‘Someone tried to change your password, click here to say whether or not that was you,’ or ‘Click here to confirm this charge on your statement,’ or ‘We’ve locked your account for strange activity.’ Essentially, things that will make people anxious and will make them want to click first, and not take a step back and pause to think, ‘Is that really the kind of email that my bank would usually send?’”

Other red flags include misspellings and basic grammar errors in the message, especially the sender line.

“Attackers try to closely mimic domain names, so you might see the number zero substituted for ‘o’, or a one substituted for the letter ‘l’. Little thing like an extra ‘s’ or ‘c’ in the name. These things, people tend to glance over very quickly and not notice.”

Miller-Osborn said that these measures should be done in concert with the most effective step in deflecting a spoofing attempt: Calling the bank and asking them if the email that they supposedly sent was legitimate.


Continue Reading


Queen confirms new home at Windsor Castle with Buckingham Palace for ‘selected events’





The Queen will be returning to Windsor Castle in a matter of weeks, with Buckingham Palace only used for ‘select events’.

Her Majesty and her husband Duke of Edinburgh will first spend time privately at Sandringham when they leave Balmoral next week, Buckingham Palace confirmed.

She had been spending summer at her retreat in Aberdeenshire amid speculation that she would not return to the capital amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson said: “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will depart Balmoral Castle during the week commencing September 14 to spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate.

“Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty’s intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements.

Continue Reading