I bought a sofa at a vintage shop once. It was very long and very low-slung, with mid-century modern lines and awesome upholstery. The price was something ridiculous, like $15, and by doing very scientific measurements (i.e. counting the number of hand-widths across it and squinting my eyes) I decided that it’d be a perfect fit for our bedroom, placed at the end of the bed so that we could toss our clothes and bags on it at the end of the day. It would be like a bench-couch, and I would lounge across it in a dressing gown and read my books with a martini like a very glamorous Rita Hayworth.
The only problem was that when I took the sofa out of the cavernous shop and put it in our less-than-cavernous bedroom, I realized the thing was actually huge. Like nine-feet-long huge. I ended up having to move all of our bedroom furniture around to fit it, and five years later, the whole couch issue is still a bit of a sore subject with my husband, who was perfectly comfortable without the giant-person couch in the bedroom at all and who didn’t appreciate coming home to find the bed in a completely different spot.
This perfectly illustrates the necessity of scale when buying furniture. And when you're investing in a real sofa (not a $15 impulse buy), the importance of seeing the piece in a room setting is incredibly helpful. Enter Studio 882 (which just so happens to be this year's Best of Philly winner for furniture!). The Chadds Ford showroom is worth visiting, just so you can see the perfectly styled vignettes in person. But if you can't make it out to the 'burbs, at least take a spin around the store's new website, which recently introduced an awesome (and inspiring!) new feature: shoppable rooms.
It's sort of like a fabulous online interiors magazine, only you can get product information for each piece (and then easily buy through the store) just by clicking on it. There are 50 fully designed rooms on the site, from bedrooms and living rooms to dining rooms and studies. Each 'room inspiration' lets you see individual pieces as they'd look in a designed room, rather than the lackluster vignettes you find in most furniture stores. This visual helps you determine what will look best in your own space. I recommend scrolling through the rooms even if you're not in the market for a decor splurge.
I, for one, am dying for this quirky ottoman. It looks great in that styled room above and I'm almost positive that it will fit perfectly in our living room.