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Help Furniture Customers To Right Size Their Homes

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Right-Sizing. Corporations and governments are doing it. Now it’s time for furniture retailers to help consumers to do it to their homes.
Gale Steves, author of Right-Sizing Your Home (
www.right-sizing.com) and former editor of Home magazine, says right-sizing is not a euphemism for downsizing, but rather a process for making “our homes fit the way we really live.’
She explains, “The truth is that many of consumers are residing in the past while living in the present and, of course, planning for the future. This is an opportunity for retailers, if they get in on the bandwagon of right-sizing to generate more business.”
It’s the New Year and time for consumers to begin right-sizing their homes with the help of smart retailers.
Start with a few key Right-Sizing questions that are really merchandising and marketing opportunities. Here are a few to prompt more:

  • Do you really use your living room?
  • Is your dining room a walk-through space on the way to elsewhere?
  • Do you need more space for working at home?
  • Where is the main entrance to your home?
  • Is there a mess room or project room?

Steves  says she wants retailers to “urge consumers to come clean about how they really use their home.”
For example, is their foyer superfluous space when the main entry is through the mud room or garage, she asks. Similarly, the oversized great room of the 1990s – which morphed from separate rooms for eating, entertaining and preparing food – doesn’t work for every family, Steves asserts.
“Gathering areas must incorporate many functions today: TV viewing, eating (really casual dining), homework, reading or game playing,” she says. “The formal dining room that’s rarely used in most homes should be repurposed. And for many of us, one home office may simply be insufficient and inefficient in this economy. Right-sizing should enable your customers to live more efficiently, flexibly, sustainably and best of all, comfortably.”
Steves offers some REsolutions for 2011 that retailers can help their customers keep to generate more business.
And for the New Year, 2011, away “Re” go:

  1. Recycle the Living Room into a Chat Room – Add two comfortable chairs and a glass or two of wine to start the conversation going.
  2. Recognize the Mudroom is the Main Entrance – Propose more storage and seating, if possible, to contain all the exterior stuff.
  3. Reinvent the Guest Room into a Work Space – Suggest a sleep sofa instead of a bed and make the room really work all day long.
  4. Rethink the Dining  Room from Single Use -  Recommend using the dining room for reading or other quiet activities by adding a small sofa or chaise.
  5. Reimagine the Bedroom Armoire into Linen Chest – Move it to another location to make room for the flat screen TV and new sleeker cabinet.
  6. Rearrange the Family Room for Multiple Uses – Substitute a sectional for the old sofa and loveseat which redefines the space.
  7. Redefine the Kitchen as the Gathering Space – Opt for more comfortable bar stools and a better casual dining arrangement. 
  8. Refresh the Children’s Bedrooms – Propose a more age-appropriate sleeping solution and donate the old bunk bed.
  9. Reclaim the Laundry Room – Convert into a craft center with new furniture designed for project activities and storage.
  10. Rename the Foyer into the Greeting Room – Advise using this open space for cocktail and other parties. Add a portable bar cart to begin festivities.
  11. Remeasure before Adding Furniture – Hand out tape measure with store logos to assure that furniture purchases really fit – through doors, up stairs, down halls and in the rooms.

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