Did you ever wonder if stores are up to something good when they set up furniture in different scenes? When you walk into Rich's for the Home in Bellevue, you are met with many different "living rooms" and "patios". Each scene is "decorated" to match and contains furniture as part of a set, or at least with similar styles. Often stores bring in professionals to do this.
I don't think that this is just a way to give you decorating ideas—it also is a way to show you how the pieces can be used effectively. You can see the product, touch the product and TRY the product when it is laid out for show. You can picture "that scene" on your back porch and picture your family resting and socializing there.
It’s a powerful visual image—and it flat out increases sales. Think about it—are you likely to buy from a store when all the chairs are stacked against the wall like a warehouse?
We can take a hint from visual design when wanting to increase our sales as well. To sell homes, staging is often used. You should consider staging the items in your garage and lawn sales so that they make a "scene" if at all possible. I’ve even used furniture not for sale (with signs saying so) in order to complete a scene. This of course is a personal decision—keep in mind that you may have people sitting on them at times. But the sales I’ve made as a result are worth it to me.
So arrange that furniture, dust off that old coffee table and lay a few books on top, add items for sale to bookshelves that you are dying to get rid of and pull up a chair or two. You might just get someone who wants the whole package. Create a scene and sell more things.