Buying Guides

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Buying the best furniture

Furniture is a major investment, whichever room you're shopping for.

Whatever look you want to create, our buying guide will help you find the perfect fit for your style of living or dining room.

Measuring up

Before you order, it’s best to take some time to check that your new furniture will fit your room and that it has the right proportions for the look you want to create.

See our Measuring up for Furniture’ buying guide for more information.

Things to consider

  • Darker woods look bigger, heavier, and more dramatic; perfect for larger rooms
  • Glass, mirrored and clear acrylic furniture give the illusion of light and space in smaller rooms, and leaves you free to change the colour of your décor
  • Less is more – the greater the amount of furniture, the smaller a room can appear
  • Aim for unity if you’ve got a small room, co-ordinating furniture is more sympathetic in compact spaces
  • Clutter diminishes the size of a room, so calculate for storage furniture such as cupboards, shelves and drawers
  • If you work from home, stylish office furniture can transform your space. See our Office buying furniture guide
  • Most living spaces will need a small occasional table or two, and your choice will depend on whether you want them for decoration, entertaining, or storage
  • For more style inspiration, take a look at our home design trends and stories.
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Solid wood or veneer

Solid Wood
  • Beautiful and considered more desirable, though it’s not always more expensive than veneered products

  • Colours and characteristics can vary so it’s best to buy furniture in one batch to ensure as close match as possible

  • Some woods display different grain patterns

  • Blemishes, knots or burrs are just part of the natural and individual beauty of the wood

Solid Wood
  • Thin slivers of real wood cut straight from the log to cover the inner board (usually MDF, particle board or another wood)

  • Are much lighter in weight and so easier to move around than solid wood

  • Are stronger than solid wood, thanks to technology and modern adhesives; with less risk of twisting or warping

  • Allow distinctive patterns and effects to be created through the arrangement of slivers on flat surfaces, such as table tops and drawer fronts

  • Carefully considered use of solids and veneers reduces the demand on natural resources

Veneer Wood


Ready to buy

Some smaller items, such as occasional tables and chairs, may be available to buy and take away from our shop collection points.

Available to order

When you shop online, you’ll notice that some items of furniture are ‘Available to order’ rather than in stock – these made to order pieces take longer to be delivered but will be worth the wait. They’re often delivered directly to you by our suppliers.

Please note: conditions apply to made to order furniture on returns.


If you need your new furniture quickly, many pieces can be delivered within 3 days.

Interest free credit

If you spend £1,000 or more on your furniture, you can spread the cost of your purchase interest free (0% APR representative, subject to status, terms & conditions apply).

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Caring for your furniture.

Your furniture may have a lacquered or oiled finish, or if the wood is untreated, it may just be finished with a colourless wax.

  • Furniture with a hard lacquer or wax polish finish should just be dusted with a soft dry cloth
  • Waxed furniture needs a coat of beeswax a couple of times a year to help maintain its lustre
  • Spray polishes are quick and easy to use, but those containing silicones may spoil the furniture’s surface by building up over time – they’re best avoided
  • Protect surfaces from heat and liquids by using placemats and coasters. Wipe up any spills immediately
  • Have a pad underneath if you write on a sheet of paper on your furniture’s surface, to avoid the pen making impressions
  • Move or turn the piece if it’s in sunlight. Over time, natural light will will mellow the colour of wood
  • Avoid placing furniture next to heat sources such as radiators or fires
  • The lack of humidity caused by central heating or air conditioning can warp solid wood and cause other changes
  • Never drag furniture - to avoid weakening the joints, always lift it


Our rewards credit card gives you 1.25% back in points towards vouchers when you shop with us.



Our rewards credit card gives you 1.25% back in points towards vouchers when you shop with us.

John Lewis plc, 171 Victoria Street SW1E 5NN acts as a credit broker. Credit provided under exclusive arrangements with the lender John Lewis Financial Services Limited

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Spend over £1,000 on Home, Garden, Furniture and Lighting and spread the cost with Interest Free Credit. 0% APR representative. Terms & Conditions apply

IFC 0% icon

Interest Free Credit Available

Spend over £500 on Home, Garden, Furniture & Lighting and spread the cost.
0% APR Representative. Terms and conditions apply.*


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