Shopping with a spouse? Pull up a loveseat.

Lillian August Loveseat I’ve seen this scenario many times: Lovely, smiling, happy couples walking arm in arm through the furniture showroom doors. Hours later that same couple is cross-armed, fighting over an end table.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Do a little extra prep before you leave the house and this can be the furniture shopping trip of your dreams. Here's how.

Give a little more elbow room. Know when to let your partner move forward in one direction, so you can move forward in another.

What are you fighting for? Some couples fight over the furniture when the disagreement is really about last night’s tiff. Leave it all at the furniture showroom door and make a commitment to help each other to stay focused.

Dream a little dream. Try not to get lost in the details and remember why you’re doing this furniture project together. Remind yourself of the “big picture,” such as seeing your family and friends together around the dining room table over the holidays.

Make the easy decisions in advance. Measure the rooms you’re shopping for and know how many chairs, sofas, or end tables you’ll need. Sketch out the room’s lay out and how you want the furniture to fit the room. With that information in hand, you can eliminate the argument about the size of the room and focus on the furniture.

ADVISOR TIP: The Icovia Room Planner can help you create a floor plan. Many furniture companies partner with the Icovia site to assist clients.

I found the room planner on the Ashley Furniture site easy to use.

If you’re web savvy and feel comfortable starting your own account, feel free to peruse all the of the options on the Icovia Room Planner Web site.

We’ll see you in High Point!