In an attempt to escape the hustle bustle of city life in which we have lived so long, my husband and I have recently moved to the countryside. However, what we didn’t expect was how difficult it would be to furnish a home so removed from central shopping, high street stores and the like. But with the plethora of options available on the internet and convenient home delivery, we have switched our focus to finding our furnishings online. These days, there seem to be a million online stores that provide design tips and furniture, and I found myself rather overwhelmed, so I’ve decided to write a bit of advice for others in my similar position, and advice for websites and online stores that target people like us. Ultimately, I find that when it comes to online shopping, options are important, but as there are so many places to look, I believe that simpler and more straightforward sites are much more appealing to the buyer.
My first mission when shopping was to furnish the bedroom. As I have back problems and a bit of insomnia, I am a fan of Memory Foam mattresses and pillows. Ordering large items such as this online is a huge benefit for me as I simply don’t have the time or the means to go to the shops and buy. I stumbled upon a million mattress company websites, but found myself enchanted by ZenBedroom.com as it was really easy to find what I was looking for, and they offer various sizes and styles to suit your budget, from standard mattress to super luxurious ones. I find that many online sites just offer products all in the same price range, which really does not suit everyone, so it’s always nice to have the option of spending.
I found the website to be really clear and easy to use, I was told that ZenBedroom.com had really great value memory foam mattresses, which naturally attracted me to the site. I also really liked the whole design of the website as it was visually pleasing and gave a really relaxing experience to online shopping. I guess that’s why they are called ZenBedrooms!
I ended up ordering more than I planned to, I bought a bed, mattress, pillows, duvets sets, and mattress toppers, all surprisingly low in price. My only disappointment was that they only had bedroom furniture; I was still desperate for kitchen and living from furniture, which I would have to find a different website for.
For living furniture and general décor, one of the first sites I came across was crateandbarrel.com, which initially was rather overwhelming and complicated. The website reached out internationally and was very visually pleasing, but I couldn’t help but be quite put off by the busyness of its appearance and choice. They focused more so on the giant picture on the homepage and less on directing you to the products. Once on the product page, I was then bombarded with various categories which were over complicated and really made me want to exit the website and find a simpler site. If you know their products well or have been to the store I’m sure it is just fine to use the website, searching for what it is you need. But if you’re like me, you live in the country, are busy and want to do all the basics on the internet, there is just too much confusion and, oddly, too much option here.
After my disappointment, and still empty house after the Crate and Barrel website, I moved on to what I thought would be successful, the all mighty Ikea website. After really building my hopes up, and the chance of really abusing my credit card, I was again not that impressed with the website. In the past I was used to actually going to Ikea, but now I moved homes and the nearest Ikea was 4 hours away, which I wasn’t prepared to travel. I always enjoyed the Ikea experience, especially the café at the end, so maybe because of the lack of Swedish meatball on the website, I was let down.
However, after searching the products I wanted, solely due to the low cost of them, I ordered various products such as a bed, alamp shade, a bedside cabinet, some storage boxes and an arm chair, but it wasn’t nearly as much as I needed to order.
I’m still on the hunt for the perfect online shopping experience, but I’m quite pleased with ikea.com and zenbedroom.com as my first stops. For more furniture and for kitchen items, I have found ideas on targeted websites such as Williams Sonoma and Furniture Direct, where I can shop by brand.