Ergonomics are fundamental
“We always start with function,” says Davin. “Having something fit your ergonomic requirements trumps what it looks like in the space.” This means Davin reviews all of the uses for a particular piece and makes sure to incorporate the client’s personal preferences.
For instance, she might place a higher-backed sofa before the television so that tall family members don’t have to lie down every time they watch a show. In the dining room, Davin often hears the request for “three hour chairs,” meaning seats need to be comfortable for long meals.
Lastly, she says to check with the whole family before making a final purchase. “Weigh in with all the different family members and get their ergonomic requests,” she says. Everybody sits in the sofa differently, so having everyone try it out first is important to avoid costly returns.
Catalog photos are deceiving, says Davin, and never depict the size and scale of items accurately. “Definitely look at the dimensions before you order something that you haven’t seen [in person],” she says.
Ask yourself how a piece will fit in the intended room, as well as how it will be transported there. The latter is too often overlooked. Davin has heard many stories from clients about furniture-buying attempts that ended up with their purchase never actually making it in the house.
“It didn’t fit in their freight elevator or through their front door,” she says. Before buying, use painter’s tape to block out where the piece will go in the room and take measurements of all the doors and stairwells it will traverse to make it home.