The Ultimate Expats Guide: How to Buy Furniture in London

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Moving to a new country with a different language, culture, and customs can be overwhelming enough. At the very least, you want your new place to feel like home as quickly as possible. Furnishing and decorating is one of the most exciting aspects of moving to a new place! Buying the perfect pieces of furniture is the first step to making your space your own. How do you go about buying furniture in London? No need to worry. We’ve got you covered!

Welcome to the ultimate Expats guide to purchasing furniture in the heartbeat of the UK!

Make Your Furniture Checklist

Begin your furniture buying experience with a solid plan. It is pointless to waste time looking at furniture that does not meet your criteria for one reason or another. In order to know which direction you’re headed, you first need to make a few decisions about what you do and do not want.

Budget

How much money are you comfortable spending on furniture? The answer to this question will depend on several factors, including:

  • Amount of money you have saved
  • Expected future income
  • Living expenses
  • How long you plan on staying

After you create a clear budget, you will be able to nail down a preferred price range. There is no need to waste time going down avenues that are outside of your budget.

Style

Which style of furniture is your favorite? If it’s modern and contemporary, then it is a waste of time to search stores that only offer antiques and vice versa. Knowing your preferred style helps you narrow down your options. 

New or Used

Do you enjoy projects or want something turnkey? If you enjoy projects, you may be able to find furniture with good bones that need a little TLC. If not, new is the way to go!

Assembly Required

If you do not mind assembling the furniture once it arrives, your buying options broaden. However, if you want pre-assembled furniture, you should only look at options that offer pre-assembled delivery or pick up.

Two Main Choices When Buying Furniture in London

Ultimately, just like in the rest of the world, you have two choices when purchasing furniture in London. The first is to purchase online and have the pieces delivered to your place of residence. The second is to buy in-person in brick-and-mortar stores. The route you choose will depend on your checklist. This in-depth look at each will help you decide which is your best option based on your needs.

Buy Furniture Online in London

The first option, and most obvious, is finding a reputable furniture store online, purchasing the pieces you want, and having them delivered.

Pros

  • Shop from the comfort of your home
  • Browse multiple stores and compare without physically going anywhere
  • Read consumer reviews so that you better understand how you will like the product
  • Easily find the best prices
  • Reputable companies such as Instrument furniture will offer the option of professional assembly, so there’s no need to worry about assembling the furniture yourself
  • With the ability to shop from anywhere in the world, you can coordinate ordering your furniture with when you will be arriving in London
  • It doesn’t get anymore convenient than a few clicks of a button

Cons

  • You will not be able to see the furniture in person (This is where reviews are helpful and often answer any questions or concerns you may have)
  • In most cases, assembly will be required (However, some companies offer the option of professional installation or flat pack)

Purchasing furniture online is by far the fastest and most efficient method of finding just the right look for your home. You don’t need to spend countless hours going from store to store in hopes you will find just the right piece for your look. 

Purchase Furniture In-Person in London

Shopping is not one size fits all. Online purchasing is not for everyone. If this is the category you fall in, then in-person furniture shopping is for you. It is pertinent to note that unless you get lucky from the start, it can be a more time-consuming process. These tips will help steer you in the right direction, depending on your personal preferences.

Budget as a Priority

If budget is your number one priority, your best bet is to visit the various charity shops throughout the city. Most have a dedicated furniture department or separate store. The chances are good that you will be able to find great pieces of furniture at incredible bargains.

You can also try your hand at flea markets. However, beware, many of London’s flea markets are upscale, and the cost of goods will reflect this.

In Need of a Project or Prefer Antique

If you are crafty and want to find furniture that you can put your own touch on or well-kept antique pieces, then you should be able to find just what you’re looking for in the streets of London. Flea markets and charities are great places to find diamond-in-the-rough furniture pieces that you can masterfully refinish and breathe new life into. Brick Lane Flea Market is known as one of London’s best markets for finding truly unique and inspiring furniture. Another good option is Aladdin’s Cave, a well-known reclamation centre that is sure to turn up some incredible finds. Alfie’s Antique Market in Marylebone is London’s largest indoor flea market with antique furniture galore!

Auction houses are another worthwhile venue to check out. There are several scattered throughout London that holds auctions one or two days out of the week. It is not only fun to see what comes up, but you can snag gorgeous antique pieces as well! Two of the most famous auction houses are Chiswick Auctions and Criterion Auctioneers.

Prefer Custom Pieces

If you have a unique space, you may need or want bespoke furniture to fill it. In this case, you will want to visit one of London’s many bespoke furniture shops. It is important to note that going this route could cost you a pretty penny. However, you will find some of the most beautiful furniture that speaks to individual style. Pentreath and Hall in Bloomsbury is one of the most popular custom furniture shops in London.

High-End Furniture

Finding the perfect pieces of high-end furniture in person may take a bit of patience but is still achievable in London. The key is to take your time and know where to look. As expected, most top-quality pieces have a price reflective of their craftsmanship, so be sure to bring your pocketbook. John Lewis, Chaplins, and Debenhams are a few of the most well-known high-end furniture shops in the city.

You’re on Your Way!

Welcome to London, one of the most famous cities in the entire world! Have fun with every part of the experience, including making your new home a reflection of who you are. There’s no doubt with a bit of perseverance that you will find the right pieces of furniture to match your style and budget!