A wood table that seats four, is used to help define a dining area as opposed to overwhelm. (Photo: Design Recipes/TNS).

Have you ever purchased furniture, only to have it delivered and realize it’s not quite the right fit? You are not alone. The reality is most homeowners fail to properly plan when it comes to buying investment furniture. A furniture purchase should not be taken lightly. Instead, the most prudent choice is to select furniture that will last for years if not decades to come. To help ensure your furniture is the best fit for you home, here are some top designer tips.


  • Measure your space before purchasing. Many furniture retailers do not allow returns, especially when it comes to special orders.
  • Create a floor plan. Proper furniture placement will greatly increase a successful outcome.
  • Purchase larger pieces before smaller ones. For example, purchase your bed before your nightstands or your sofa prior to coffee tables. This will help you get a better sense of what will and won’t fit into your space.
  • Consider items such as tables that are expandable. This will go a long way to help ensure an item will properly fit.
  • Pair items of the appropriate size and scale together. When looking for the appropriate size, a general rule of thumb is that a mirror or artwork should be approximately 2/3 the size of the piece of furniture beneath it.


  • Purchase a set. Seldom is purchasing a set successful. Typically it leads to too much furniture in a single space.
  • Be afraid to make unconventional choices. For example, if a typical table doesn’t fit, opt for another seating alternative.
  • Select items that are overly trendy or will go out of style quickly.
  • Overlook the opportunity to potentially expand a space with filler decor. Have a long wall and are stumped on how to fill it without loading it up with furniture? Consider items such as plants, floor lamps and mirrors.
  • Allow areas of your home go to waste. Consider turning unused spaces into a functional space such as a home office or reading nook.

By Cathy Hobbs, Tribune News Service. Cathy Hobbs is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert. Contact her at [email protected] or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com.