It’s very easy to walk into a furniture store and immediately be inspired. You have the opportunity to completely redecorate your apartment—who do you want to be? You could go for a cool, white, minimalistic approach that screams modern. Or maybe fun and crazy throw pillows and rugs to show off your creativity! What about 60s-inspired lampshades or a free standing bar? Sometimes having so many options is actually a bad thing for inspiration; it pulls your focus in a dozen different directions at once. You either end up getting frustrated and not buying anything, or making decisions at random and ending up with a hodgepodge of furniture. Neither of these outcomes makes the furniture shopping process very fun.
That’s why it is so important to have a vision (or at the very least a basic idea) BEFORE you go furniture shopping. Having that starting point will help anchor your furniture buying decisions and you’ll walk out with what you need, what you want AND it will all work together.
A good place to start is by using your favorite piece in a room and build out from there. Let’s say you have this great sofa in your living that you want to decorate the rest of the room around. Not only is it the largest piece in your living room (which usually mean it’s the focal point), it’s a design style you love. What are some of the features of that sofa? How tall is it? What is the fabric’s color or pattern? Does it have metal or wood accents? Those details will help you find complementary pieces while your furniture shopping so you can more easily focus your vision.
Before you go furniture shopping, it’s also a good idea to figure out exactly what you need and how it is all going to fit. Chances are your apartment isn’t the same size/shape as the furniture store’s display room, so you need to know what is going to work in your space. You may want the end table AND the bar AND the entertainment center AND the bookcase AND the ottoman, but what can you realistically fit in your space? Having a vision (and a floor plan!) before you walk into the furniture store will help you avoid buying a piece of furniture that will have nowhere to live in your apartment. Also make sure you take measurements! There is nothing more disheartening than finding the perfect piece and realizing it won’t fit up your apartment stairs or through the door.