Size Matters! Buy Like a Professional Interior Designer

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You walk into a furniture showroom and see the perfect sofa.  You’ve been looking for a new sofa for months and this one is everything you imagined.  You buy it.  You wait two months for it.  It arrives, FINALLY.  The delivery guys bring it into your living room and….your jaw drops.  IT’S WAY TOO BIG!  Ever happened to you??




I happened to drop by a friend’s house recently at a rather fortuitous moment and saved her from just such a mistake.  She showed me the terrific sofa she was all set to order (and no, not all my friends buy their sofas through me, but the should!).  She’d sat on it in the store, she liked the fabric options and was good to go – until I happened to bring to her attention just how far out into her family room that lovely sofa would protrude.  Who thinks of that?   Interior designers think of that!  Most people shop for furnishings by look and comfort, which is fine, but SIZE MATTERS!  Interior designers shop by size, then look and comfort, and so should you.

I was explaining my design process to a new client a couple of weeks ago and explained that I first measured and drew the rooms I was working on to scale, and then figured out what the optimal size of each furniture piece needed to be.  Only then did I start to shop.  She responded with “OMG!  No wonder I always buy the wrong piece!”  “I shop for what I love and then try and make it fit.”

I always think in terms of size, scale and proportion.  The furniture does need to physically fit in the space (and don’t forget it has to be able to make it through the door or elevator too) with enough room to move around without constantly banging your shins into the side of something.  Once you know the pieces are the approximate right size, my mind moves to scale and proportion to make sure the piece I have in mind plays well with the pieces around it.

So that’s my insight for today, and if you’re going to be off looking for a new sofa this weekend – happy hunting and make sure you know the size sofa you need to make your space sing!



AUTHOR - Rebecca Johnston

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