A Guide for Buying Furniture and Decor Online (and Getting It Right!)

Online shopping has its perks – it’s convenient, straightforward, and you don’t even need to leave your home! But when it comes to investment pieces, especially items like window treatments or furniture, it’s hard to reach for your wallet when you’re not sure about what you’re going to get.

1. Information is king!

Because you aren’t able to touch the items and try them before purchasing, the words of your fellow consumers are even more valuable. Try searching for reviews of the product to see what others have to say. If you can’t find any reviews for the specific item, try looking for similar pieces from the same brand. Don’t forget to reach out to the brand through email, phone, or social media if you have any additional questions – they would always be eager to help!

Once you receive your order, definitely contribute to the cycle by adding your own product review. I'm sure your fellow consumers would appreciate it!

2. Color, color, color!

You’ve experienced it. Have you ever placed an order for clothing and have it be a completely different shade than in the product photo? Not only do different computer screens display colors differently, product pictures in a studio environment use different lighting techniques as well. Try looking at the product image on different devices, like a laptop or smartphone. For additional color help, do an image search for product reviews. This will help you find out what the item looks like in different peoples’ homes and under different lighting conditions.

3. Request samples!

For window treatments or upholstered items, fabric swatches are so important! This will help you determine both texture and color. At Barn & Willow, we offer both free fabric swatches and the option to rent a sample drapery panel. This gives you the opportunity to touch the fabric and to see how it’ll work with the rest of the room. Our larger panel option allows you to see how exactly the fabric will flow, as well as how much light control you can expect with our default privacy lining option

4. Make sure your measurements are correct! (And then verify them again.)

Measurements are very important. While 18 x 14 inches for a placemat might not seem too big when you eyeball it, the size might overwhelm your table completely. It’s best to measure both the space and to draw a mockup of what it would look like in scale.

Check to see that the dimensions of whatever you’re purchasing fits in the space you’re trying to put it in, and that it’ll be able to get through the doorways! With custom pieces, accuracy is a must, especially since in most cases, returns aren’t possible. Luckily, for draperies, we do have a handy drapery calculator that you can use to help you determine your measurements.

5. Shipping and Returns

When online shopping, shipping is always a factor. While some stores offer free shipping over a certain amount (and we offer free shipping on all orders!), it’s an additional cost to take into account. If you're really worried that it won't be the way you want, make sure you find a place with a flexible return policy.  Don't feel bad about returning products that don't work for you.


Be confident when shopping with Barn & Willow!