Let’s start by asking a better question: why was furniture invented in the first place?
Often we get so wrapped up in the look of our furniture, or overall design, that we forget about the basic purpose. Furniture is here because someone, at some point, decided that they were sick of sitting on the floor all the time…. and they were sick of eating off the floor…. and working on the floor… And, well, sleeping on the floor. So, enter: furniture.
With function in mind, ask yourself: what do I need from my furniture?
Here’s the deal: If you’re going to sit on it or sleep on it, splurge. The number one consideration for anything your tush is resting on should be comfort and sustainability. These are the pieces that support YOU and, depending on how you invest, will either leave you feeling great, or will leave you aching. So invest in your dining chairs, desk chair, bed, sofa, bar stools, lounge chairs, and so on; because these pieces to have to support you, literally.
Save on the rest: The furniture that your body doesn’t require physical assistance from, is where you may look to save. Coffee Tables, Dining Tables, Bookshelves, and so on; these pieces only have to support your things, and since “things” don’t have feelings (let alone a complicated skeletal system) you don’t need to worry as much about them.
One Caveat: anything that requires a complicated mechanism, things like extendable dining tables or soft-close dressers, are worth the considering the investment. There is no point in saving on mechanisms that are going to break down after one year of use (just in time for the warranty to expire).