Before you leave home, remember to bring swatches or color samples of furniture, drapes, fabrics, paint or wallpaper that you will need to color match. If swatches aren't available, take good color pictures and bring them with you.
If you are buying furniture for a whole room or entire house, bring a floor plan of each room (include window, door, and ceiling measurements) to help you select furniture with the correct dimensions. Measure other pieces of furniture in the room to ensure that your new furniture will be compatible in scale.
If necessary, take hall measurements, door measurements, and ceiling measurements. If you are buying furniture that will go upstairs in a two or three story house, bring measurements of the hall and stairway so that you can make sure any furniture that you by can be carried up your stairway.
Decide on the furniture style that you like. You can bring pictures of furniture that you like from your favorite home furnishings magazines.
With todays eclectic styles of decorating, many people use different types and finishes of wood in the same room. Select interesting pieces of furniture that complement each other and reflect your taste. If you have oriental and/or decorative rugs that you will be using, make certain that the fabric that you choose for upholstery will complement the colors and design of your rug.
To make small rooms look bigger, select furniture and accessories with colors that closely match the walls and floors. Also, reduce the number of pieces of furniture in the room and add reflective surfaces such as mirrors and glass-top tables.
To make a large room look smaller and more intimate, position furniture away from the wall and use taller pieces such as an entertainment center, armoire or screen. Use rugs, patterned upholstery fabrics and printed wallpaper to give the area a warm and more comfortable feeling.
When shopping for upholstered furniture, try to get the facts about the basic construction: springs, frames, padding, cushions and fabric. Always test furniture that will be used for seating by doing just that: sit on it! Consider how well the chair fits your particular body build. The height of the arms, the pitch of the back and the support under your knees should feel right for your body.
Be sure to wear comfortable shoes on your shopping trip!