Have you every wondered where to start, when it comes time to start shopping for your design project? Well, this is a good question…and Yes!!.. there is a process to shopping.
You just don’t jump in the car one day and start driving to places (or maybe you do) that you think might have the items you are looking for, right?….because once you get to that particular furniture store, then what? After 30 minutes of looking around you start to get overwhelmed and totally confused on what you are trying to accomplish, right???? Or, even better yet, you see something totally different and purchase it on a whim, bring it home and wonder why your design is a disaster!
So I am going to be talking about physically going out and, not shopping online with this post. Besides, I really feel that there is still a huge difference from good design to great design because of being able to physically touch and see the details of the objects you are looking for in your space.
Ok, well here is my professional process of shopping. First, I have my floor plan, elevations and photo design inspiration with me at all times and probably will be carrying a lead fabric (one that sets the tone for the space I am designing). Also, very important! Make sure you have a shopping list that shows each item listed with the quantity and sizes that you need.
I place all these items in a large bag and carry it with me until all the pieces are purchased and in place and the project is finished!
Next, I photograph the front of the store name with my phone so I know where the items I am considering came from. Once in the store, I try to keep my focus on the larger pieces to purchase first, then go on to the smaller ones. As, I come across any item that might be a possibility I photograph the item from several vantage points and I make sure to take a photo of the price tag and dimension tag. I make sure to sit in the chair or sofa to see if it is comfortable and I eye all item details very closely to see if the quality is there. Also, get any specials or discounts coming up, by asking the in store sales person and take their card.
Make sure to take a photo of the store front, before walking in so you will know where you saw your products and where they came from when it comes time to purchasing!
After going to several stores, I will download the images to my computer and print out my favorite items in color and lay them out on a table top and start to study how everything is coming together. I will lay the beige sofa on a striped blue and white area rug and fold the edges of paper around the pillows, so you just see the pillow, or cut the pillows out and lay them on top of the sofa.
Include, as much as you can in the order that it will lay out in the room and play with it. Make sure to add in the paint chips, wood or carpet for flooring and any other items that are in the room.
After studying and playing with it, you could go online and shop pricing, but you might be in for a possible nightmare for the larger pieces. So, what I recommend is, print out the price from several online vendors and take it back to the store and have them come close to matching the online price. Believe me, what a headache it is when something arrives wrong or broken! Not worth the few extra dollars of an actual physical store!
So, there you go! This is my professional process of shopping for my clients. Feel free to email me with any questions if you feel like I left anything out! Please subscribe to my newsletter where I enjoy sharing my design knowledge and life experiences with you!