lillian august

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!

A few of my favorite showrooms

The Fall 2010 High Point Market begins October 16, and I can't wait to see the new styles, reinvented trends, as well as some my longtime favorite furniture showrooms. Just to name a few ....

Lillian August

She has one of my all-time favorite sofas—both beautiful and comfortable. And if you love a European style, she’s the one for you. Her designs feature tailored basics and re-inspired antique treasures. What really sets her apart is an “easy elegance.” Lillian August furniture is beautiful and approachable. A wide variety of people can feel comfortable about displaying and living with one of these elegant pieces in their own home.

French Heritage

I’ve always loved the French Heritage Showroom. The room is beautiful and bright. The colors are pleasing, and the layout of the space is well designed. You literally walk through and say, out loud, “wow!” at almost every turn. And anyone that likes a French style or well-made accent pieces will find something at French Heritage.

Christopher Guy

You need a good pair of Ray-Bans for this showroom. While he’s not for everyone—his style is the cutting edge of modern, (not to be confused with contemporary) Christopher Guy is simply a beautiful designer to behold. With his own Secret Agent upbringing, born in Britain, raised in Spain and France, and now residing in Singapore, the designer’s international background informs his Hollywood style. You may have already seen a few of his pieces in some 007 movies: Thomas Crown Affair, Casino Royale, and Tomorrow Never Dies. Plus, Ocean's Thirteen, the Devil Wears Prada, and Charlie's Angels 2 – just to name a few.

Natuzzi Editions

Simply walking into the Natuzzi showroom feels like something special. The building is built like a modern ship sitting in its own mini-harbor in the middle of High Point’s downtown proper. No one does leather better than the Italians, in my opinion. And Europeans who like contemporary or modern furniture really love Nantuzzi designs. Plus the quality and the pricing is great. They have a few off-shore brands with very reasonable prices. Francesco Molon

I love Italian furniture. And Francesco Molon is right up there, meeting all my high expectations. The showroom is gorgeous. Francesco Molon features a wide assortment of beautiful traditional pieces. They also do extreme modern—ultra modern—in the way that Christopher Guy does. Prices are very expensive. Everything is a showpiece for beautiful wood and upholstery. They simply confirm my theory that the best furniture really does come from Italy.