21 Dec 23

Buying furniture online - You could be making these mistakes

We know how easy it is to get carried away when buying furniture online - the thrill of the hunt, the simplicity of placing an order and the excitement of seeing the final product. 

But too often we get SOS calls from homeowners desperate to salvage the usability of the furniture they’ve purchased online.

Many of these blunders are avoidable and we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes made when you buy furniture online.

Mistake 1: Skipping Lift Measurements

Imagine snagging your dream sofa or dining table online only to find it’s too big to fit in your building’s lift! Since there are no standard lift dimensions among HDBs and condominiums, measuring your building’s elevator is a must before you start your online furniture search.

Lift Door and Cab Measurements

How to measure:

  • Use a trusty tape measure or a measurement app on your phone, or check if your lift lists its dimensions inside. 

  • Get the dimensions of the lift door

  • Get the dimensions of the internal car

Your furniture must be able to fit within the dimensions of the lift door. If it’s bigger but fits in the internal car, make sure you hire an experienced furniture delivery team who would know how to angle your furniture into the lift.

It’s not always hopeless if your new furniture cannot fit, but it can make a huge dent in your budget. Carrying furniture up the stairs is often charged at $30 - $50 per flight of stairs in Singapore, so costs add up quickly. 

We also often get desperate pleas for help to “chop” up outsized furniture to fit into lifts, but these endeavours are tricky and often cost more than buying furniture online. 

Mistake 2: You also forgot to measure your door and corridor clearance

Many people tend to underestimate the bulkiness of furniture. Aside from the lift, you have to ensure the corridor width and your door entrance is wide and tall enough to pivot your furniture into your home.

There was a chaise project we made for a home at the Highline Residences. Because of the narrow corridors and the narrow doorway (only 78cm clearance!), we had to remake our client’s chaise from scratch because it didn’t fit!

Measuring Door Clearance

How to measure your door clearance:

  • Open your front doors and room doors as wide as possible and measure the width (W), height (H) and diagonal width (DW) of your door from the inside of the door frame.

  • Pro tip: Ensure that your doors can be fully opened without obstruction in front / behind the door. 

Measuring Corridor Clearance

Watch out for corridor clearance too!

Take note of the size of the corridors outside and within your home too. In small corridors, built-ins can take up valuable space for manoeuvring furniture. Measure the narrowest points in your entryway and make sure your furniture has enough space to fit and turn corners and between narrow walls.

Mistake 3: Thinking that all mattresses and bed frames are made equal 

If you’re buying bed frames from a popular Chinese site, note that while the site uses standard naming conventions (e.g. King, Queen), the actual dimensions are different from the mattress you purchased in Singapore. Always cross check the sizes of your existing mattress or bed frame before hitting the ‘buy’ button — check out our ultimate mattress sizing guide for the full run-down.

Mistake 4: Assuming onscreen colours are the same as the actual colours

Colour Differences on Different Mediums

Colour can be tricky business when shopping online. White furniture is particularly notorious for not always being as they seem in the pictures. What appears to be an earthy and natural white might turn into a cool-toned surprise on delivery. 

To avoid a colour crisis, ask for a physical swatch sample or see your furniture in person. That way, you can avoid being disappointed with the medley of white, off white, cool white, warm white furniture that you’ll end up with.

In the whirlwind of online shopping, a little caution can turn furniture fiascos into victorious décor moments. Happy shopping, and may your furniture always find its way home safely!

Looking for furniture that fits as well in your home as it does through your lifts and doors? Make an appointment at the Blafink Guideshop to start creating a custom piece with us.