Furniture shopping can be an overwhelming experience. While online sources are growing in popularity, I still recommend shopping locally for important pieces you will use everyday – like a sofa or comfy chair where you’ll go to relax. Think about the furniture shopping process in three steps: before you go, at the store, and after shopping. Follow these tips for an enjoyable and productive shopping experience.
Before You Go
The first step in buying furniture is measuring your space and creating a room layout, which can be a sketch or computer-generated drawing. Measure the perimeter of your room and include doorways, windows, and fireplaces. Next, browse the store’s website for styles you like and make a list and/or Pinterest Page, including dimensions and prices if available. Also on the website, look for the services provided by the store, such as delivery, fabric options, and financing.
At the Store
Before heading out the door, collect these things to take with you to the store:
- tape measure
- camera phone (with storage space for new pictures)
- paint samples (existing wall color or new options you’re considering)
- fabric swatches or pillow of existing furniture that will be staying
- room dimensions
- pictures of your room
- Your Pinterest page of ideas via phone or tablet
When you see a furniture piece you like, “try it on for size.” Get comfortable on the furniture just as you would at home. If you like to stretch out on your sofa, then go ahead and lay down on ones in the store. You may feel awkward at first, but it is better to know beforehand that the couch is too short for a nap before you have it delivered. If you are married, make sure both spouses take a seat. Body height can greatly affect how the depth of a seat cushion feels. Take pictures of the pieces you like and measure the width, height and depth. Get the sales associate’s name, ask to take a swatch home, and inquire about any current promotions.
Check the measurements to see if the furniture will fit in your space. One option is to use masking tape on your floor to show the furniture sizes, or you may want to draw them on your room layout. Then look at the fabric swatch with other furnishings in the room at different times of day. Lighting makes a big difference in the way fabric looks in the store versus how it looks in your home. Before making your final decision, wait at least a day or two to review your findings and discuss with a spouse or friend. Buying furniture is a big decision, so take your time to ensure you make a confident choice.
Still not sure or the thought of all this has you feeling overwhelmed? A design consultation can give you peace of mind before making your decision. Room Service provides you with a scaled furniture drawing and suggestions so you’ll know what size pieces will fit in your space.