These are a few ideas about how to make the most of your time in our store.
Assemble as much of the following as is practical/possible.
1. Scale drawing using graph paper, with rooms and furniture drawn to 1/4" = 1'. This is easiest on 1/4" graph paper. On this scale, draw the room, the doors, windows, and stairways. Add the electrical outlets, cable and any other considerations that might impact the layout. Make sure to note fireplace dimensions, especially a fireplace/stove hearth, and size of any monitor heaters, wood stoves, etc. Also check heater specs for what a safe distance might be for placement of combustible furniture. Heating/cooling: are there registers, returns, baseboard heaters, wood stoves, or other HVAC consideration? We should consider think of: proximity to heat, blocking airflow, covering a heat source, placing furniture in direct sunlight, etc. Note where the sun rises and sets, summer and winter (or simply, where's North?).
2. Measure all doorways for height and depth and know whether door hinges may be easily separated so doorways can be made a little wider with the removal of the door from hinges. When doorways are narrower than the furniture, it is often possible or necessary to approach doorways at a 45 degree angle (fig 1) with the furniture held at an angle. Usually the front of the sofa is tipped downward 45 degrees, an arm is slipped through the doorway first (fig 2), then the sofa is straightened out (fig 3), then the other arm is "hooked" through the doorway (fig 4). If the sofa you want is deeper than the doorway and the sofa can't be handled as illustrated, can it be stood up on end and then pulled through the doorway while resting on a moving pad? That will work for some models that are not as wide as the doorway opening is tall. (illustrations are last in case you don't want to print those)
Take photos of as many relevant items and perspectives as possible, with and without flash - taking with flash and without sometimes reveals colors or patterns you overlook or see differently based on different times of day
- rugs, patterns and colors
- other furniture (especially if you want to match/complement the finish - can you bring a piece of the wood, perhaps a drawer, leg/foot?)
3. Measure the size of existing upholstered furniture and other furniture pieces that will stay in the room
4. Colors and textures: where possible, bring arm covers, throw pillows, or other items to help you match with possible new fabrics or leathers.
5. Where are lighting sources, and what sort? Direct or indirect sunlight?
Other things to think about:
A place to stay - we can try to help you find something based on your budget, itinerary, and goals for the trip (and the season). Summer reservations in more desirable locations are hard to find at a moment's notice. Several reasonable places to stay exist within a mile, and many more when including Portland and Kennebunk Bed & Breakfast establishments
Be prepared to sit for a while, after you have an idea from the many different styles which one fits you. Most people can make do with an uncomfortable seating posture for about 30 minutes. After that, a dialogue will start between the body and the seating, with people shifting to create support or comfort.
Wear good , warm socks in winter - if you want to put your feet up, go ahead! (we just ask that you don't put your shoes n the furniture) How else would you know if you can do so at home later? Think of how you use your furniture and how you would use the new furniture - if you take naps, be prepared to try to stretch out. Sometimes people like to sit cross legged or with legs next to them in a seat much deeper than they would prefer to sit in.
Be candid and describe the reality of pet behavior... Are they cats, dogs? What quantity, size, color, do they shed, get up onto the furniture, etc. Are they house broken, or might they develop sickness or habits that could stain or affect a part of the furniture? What can fore and rear claws do to upholstered furniture?
Entertaining - will there be food and drinks around the furniture? Do people eat regularly on the furniture? Coffee, tea, red wine, ice cream?
Will small children possibly doodle/write on the furniture, or accidentally leave art markers on the furniture? How should the fabrics you prefer be cleaned? Cotton fabrics for furniture are generally not organic or natural, though most people think they are. Usually they wear out sooner, are not less expensive when early replacement is factored in. Also many cottons are not colorfast, stain easily, and may be more environmentally damaging than synthetics, which have greatly improved.
Food and drinks for children and pets... Pets - not permitted in the store (with exception of canines aiding a customer with a disability) Dogs must be leashed when on the property and picked up after, we can offer tap water if needed.
Parents and adults: Don't come in hungry, because you may not remember important points and hurry through important details and options. There are many places to get food nearby, from vegetarian and organic, to Thai, Mexican, seafood, pizza, sandwiches, and barbeque. We can help you find what you are looking for if you call ahead. A great coffee shop is right down the street if you need to perk up!