One thing a lot of writers don't use to its full advantage is the power of setting. Where your scene takes place can add a lot to the reader's experience. Naturally your plot will be the main thing that determines where the action takes place, but often you have quite a bit of leeway.
Here are a few questions to consider when thinking about where to set a scene:
1. What does the setting tell us about the character?
Does your protagonist hang out at seedy bars? Does she make her local Starbucks her second home? Is he used to eating in the finest restaurants or at the local burger joint? Put the protagonist in places that let the reader draw some conclusions about the character's values and habits.
2. How does the character feel about the setting?
If you want to put your characters under extra pressure, put them in settings that make them uncomfortable. If he's a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and worried about being tempted to backslide, make it necessary for him to go into a bar. If she's desperately trying to lose weight, put her in a cafe that features the best cakes in town.
3. How does the setting relate to that action of the scene?
A husband meets the man he thinks is cheating with his wife. That will play out differently in a classroom on Parents' Night, with lots of kids and parents around, than if he meets him in a parking lot, for instance. You can use the setting to heighten the drama or to provide some comic relief. It can create an ironic effect--e.g., one crook tells another that they have to stay out of sight, and the setting is the TV department of a store with 50 sets all on the same channel--which features a newscast and a mug shot of the two.
4. How are changes in your protagonist mirrored by changes in the setting?
Many stories have a character arc--a sequence of events that transform the character. For instance, it might be a romantic comedy in which a woman scared of committment eventually takes the risk of falling in love. At the beginning, her apartment is totally neutral, there's nothing that reflects who lives there. As the story goes on she puts some pictures on the wall, gets different furniture, etc. She may think it's just to please her new boyfriend but we also get the idea that she's getting more confident in risking letting others see who he really is.
Another example would be a change in the kinds of places in which a man hangs out as his life falls apart. He might transition from coffee shops to nice bars to not so nice bars.
To get the full impact of a setting, refer to all the senses. What does it look like, what sounds are there, what odors? What kind of feelings does it evoke for the character (and maybe for the reader, too)?
(The best writers of all time used the full power of settings. What advice do they have for you about how to do the same? It's in my book, "Your Creative Writing Masterclass," published by Nicholas Brealey and available from Amazon or your other favorite bookseller.)