Monster brown leather couch

A 'monster'-sized brown leather couch can seem like a bargain when home owners find it on sale, but bringing it home without some planning can make it a waste of money instead — especially when it's too big to fit!

Let’s face it. Everyone loves a bargain! We often shop the internet, looking for items, comparing prices and searching for bargains. The word “sale” often causes people to quickly make their purchases.

Sometimes, though, a bargain isn’t a bargain. I had a client whose husband was a bargain shopper. One day he arrives home with monster, dark-brown leather sofa in his truck. He hadn’t measured the sofa or their room. Of course, it was too big — and oh, by the way, his wife hated it.

While working with them, I gently asked the husband to stop bringing “bargains” home, because he was wasting his money. I went ahead, measured the room, designed a floorplan and took them shopping for furnishings I’d preselected.

During the presentation, and before I had a chance to talk prices, he said to me, “Great, we’ll take everything!” He became a believer in the process of interior design. From that point on, he wouldn’t buy a lamp without calling me first.

A good-looking room takes time, planning and details. If you aren’t that type of personality, call in the professionals to get it right the first time.

Sandy Murphy is the past president of the Interior Design Society of New England, and is an interior designer/home stager with Classic Design ( She can be reached at (617) 688-5894.