When it comes to purchasing a new piece of furniture, looks are important, but there’s more to consider—like durability, cost, and how much time and effort you’ll need to spend cleaning and maintaining it. Even if chairs, tables, and sofas look great in highly styled Instagram photos, that doesn’t mean they’ll look that way in your home when people are actually using them every day.
Perhaps you enjoy the constant cleaning, fluffing, fussing, and dusting necessary to keep your home looking tidy. If not, here are few examples of the most high-maintenance pieces of furniture that you might want to avoid.
High-maintenance furniture you might want to avoid
We’re not saying that all your furniture should be upholstered in brown stain-resistant microfiber, or covered in wipeable laminate surfaces. But if you’d rather not spend time on furniture upkeep, you should think twice before investing in any of the following high-maintenance pieces of furniture:
Intricately carved wood pieces
Certain furniture styles, like Victorian or French provincial—both original pieces and reproductions from the 1970s and 1980s—are known for ornately carved wooden pieces, like chairs, tables, desks, and chests. While these embellishments look fancy, they’re a pain to clean, because dirt and dust tend to settle in all the nooks and crannies.
Instead: Consider opting for the clean lines of Art Deco or midcentury-modern furniture, which still has a vintage look without all the crevices.
There’s something about plush down-filled sofas that beckon you to curl up with a book and sink into its cushions. But that inviting comfort has a downside: Unless you fluff it back up every time someone sits down, it will constantly look deflated and disheveled.
Instead: Find a foam-filled sofa that’s comfy, cloud-like, and bounces back into shape when someone stands up.
Tables with glass tops can make a room look open, airy, and elevated—at least until they’re covered in fingerprints and smudges.
Instead: Tables with thinner tops and legs can still make a room feel less crowded than chunkier pieces of furniture that extend all the way to the ground.