When you looking to update your home, where you shop can make all the difference. Are you searching for modern trends or reliable, sturdy pieces.

Whatever your style, it is always best to find a shop with excellent service and the kind of furniture that will last for many years.

So how can you find a quality furniture store in your area?

First, consider the kind of furniture you need. Are you searching for a formal dining table? Perhaps you need to upgrade your child's bedroom set? Maybe you need an ergonomically correct desk for your home office.

Get a feel for your sense of style. Look at the furniture you own already and imagine what will match your existing pieces. If you can identify your design preferences, it will be easier to find a store that fits you.

When you know your preferences, start searching for a store that matches your sensibility. Many stores cater to certain price points, while others focus on specific styles.

For instance, if you are searching for an oak dining room set -- table, chairs, buffet and hutch -- you should look for a store that sells what you want as a set. Purchasing pieces separately is more work without any guarantee that it will look good together.

On the other hand, if you only need a nightstand, shop at retailers that sells pieces rather than only suites.

Concentrate on your sense of style. If you prefer contemporary furniture, don't waste your time in a country-style furniture store. While that store may have a tempting sale, your purchase will not make you happy in the long run.

Unless you are remodeling your entire home, your new pieces should match the overall decorating theme in your home. When hunting for the right store, be aware of colors, textures and materials that will match your decor. Cohesiveness will add to the comfort level of your home.

When stepping into the furniture store, take a look around. Do you see accessories that may provide striking accents to the pieces you already own? Does the furniture in the store match your interior color schemes?

By making a quick assessment, you will know if you should continue toward the showroom.

Look at the prices of different pieces. Does the furniture offered fit your financial plan? If not, cross that store off your list.

The prices should be appropriate for the quality of the furniture. Handmade objects will be more expensive than mass produced pieces.

The bottom line is that you should always take the time to determine your needs, style and budget before looking for the right furniture store.

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