What Will Furniture Cost? 4 Factors That Affect the Answer

“But what will it cost?” The question arrives on schedule from the apprehensive-yet-eager people sitting across from this Bucks County interior designer in an early design meeting. They want guidance. And good news.

Sunroom closeup

“But what will all of the furnishings in the room cost?” They want to know and I want to tell them. Sure, I can rattle off design service fees. But a too-early prediction of the exact cost of a room’s furnishings falls somewhere between weather prediction (iffy) and whether or not I will require a late afternoon snack today (highly likely, but not absolutely). I’m not being dodgy here. To guide well, I must understand a person’s needs, goals and quality expectations or else, “What will the furniture cost?” is difficult to answer.

Here are the basic 4 factors that affect furniture costs and your considerations:

Manufacture Practices. Is the item made quickly by low skilled labor overseas or is it made here in the US by skilled labor using more time-consuming, precise and often hand rendered practices?

Manufacture Materials. Particle board? Veneer? Hardwood? Exotic wood? Silk? Leather? Cotton? Poly? On it goes. You get the idea.

Design Details. This is a can of worms, so let’s just let the heading be the content here. Type of detail and execution of detail are a big factor in furniture cost.

Choice. (Amount of choice and degree of choice.) “No choice” will almost always cost less than “choice.” You want that sofa in a particular shade of X or in a certain texture and you’d like to change the size slightly. Then the catalog (or store) option that comes only in gray and is 87″ may not do. The more custom options available and taken, the more $$.

Not only do all of these affect quality, but quality affects both beauty and product performance. Will the dining table chip easily because it is a thin veneer? Will the sofa look and feel good for 3 years or for 10+ years? Will the dresser drawers easily glide open or will they stick and break?

Quality affects performance, and both quality and performance affect cost.

What will the rooms furnishings cost? You tell me first. What are your goals, what are your quality and performance expectations? What is your aesthetic? What is your color palette? Answer me that…and then yes…I can better tell you what your room’s furnishings will cost.