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3 keys to (successfully) buying home décor online

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Shopping online for home goods is tempting for so many reasons: The merchandise always looks amazing, you get a ton of design ideas at once, it’s less exhausting than schlepping from store to showroom and, best of all, you can do it in your pajamas! But decorating a space via the web has its pitfalls—a sofa that looks burgundy on your computer is fuchsia IRL, a "wooden" console is made of particle board, etc. Here, courtesy of PopSugar, are some guidelines for taking the uncertainty out of buying off the Internet:

Measure. Measure again. Eyeballing the dimensions of a big ticket item like a couch or media console is just silly—especially when your space is a smaller-than-normal New York City apartment. If you absolutely love a piece of furniture, make sure its measurements fit your space—and not just one location in your place. You may one day decide to move that sofa to another wall or even another room, so make sure it will squeeze in there, too.

Don’t buy everything at once: While it may seem efficient to get all your purchases done in one productive sitting—if only to make delivery of the merch to your non-doorman building easier—shopping from a single resource tends to create a generic catalog look and not something that reflects personal style. This is particularly true for smaller spaces that can be filled up quickly. Instead, spread the shopping out over several weeks or months. Besides being easier on your wallet, designing a space one piece at a time results in a more stylish home.

Read the reviews: Just because a fabric looks velvety doesn’t mean it’s made of velvet. Peruse the descriptions of each product you’re interested in buying carefully—including the reviews, which offer less biased opinions. And if possible, pay a visit to the store so you can check out the piece in person.

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