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  • Writer's pictureSarah Pence

To Buy Or Not To Buy...

"I see small decorative things I like all the time, but never know if I should buy them. How do I make the right choices when shopping for decor items?"

This is such a great question, especially for those who love to browse the aisles of TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, etc. and take in all the little treasures they have to offer!

It can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you love it? If the answer is yes, keep reading. If not, put it back, friend. Walk away. Not all treasure hunts end in success and you should LOVE every piece you buy.

2. Where will you put it? If you don't have room for it, don't buy it. Bringing an item you love into your home with nowhere to put it is the worst.

3. Does it work in your home and enhance the space? I see tons of "pretties" when I'm scanning the shelves of my favorite stores. I love them all, but that doesn't mean I need to cover every surface of my home with "stuff", especially if they aren't cohesive to the style already established in the space.

4. Is there something you already own that can be upcycled in place of this purchase? I once saw the perfect sofa table for a client... I mean perfect. It was the same size as the one she currently had which fit the space exactly as it should, but it was a much more updated finish. Instead of buying it, we found a similar paint to color match and gave her "old" table a facelift. With a bit of TLC she had a new table and saved a TON of cash!

5. Can you afford it? Big question. Maybe the most important question of all. Listen carefully, friend. If you can't afford it, WALK. AWAY. NOW. I know it hurts, but believe me when I say it's going to be a reminder of the hit your wallet took instead of a piece that brings you joy when you walk into the room. It's not worth it. Everything has a "shelf life". Even decor. You may love it now, but in a few years you may not and then you will resent it (and yourself) because it will be too expensive to let go even though it's just not your jam anymore.

6. If you do take the plunge on that one-of-a-kind piece you found that you just could not afford to leave behind... can you return it? ALWAYS make sure you are aware of the store policy on returns! This is SO important. We make mistakes with color (fluorescent lighting is a tricky mistress), measurements, and scale sometimes. It happens. And there is nothing worse than getting home with your beloved new item only to find that it looks terrible in your home.

7. Will you still love it in 5 years? As I mentioned above, everything has a shelf life. Bringing trendy pieces into your design is a great way to update, but be sure you pay close attention to your budget. For items like this, I use the equation of "dollars to years". If I only intend for the items to last a few years I'm only going to spend a few dollars on it. On the flip side, if I'm purchasing a timeless class style item that I intend to use for many years to come and pass on to my grandkids, I'm going to save up and look at it as an investment.

8. What's the upkeep going to look like on this item? This is another doozy that often clients don't think about. That gorgeous custom sofa you fell in love with might be the perfect addition to your living room, but if the upkeep is high-maintenance it's probably going to be more work than it's worth. Pets, kids, and visitors are going to do a number on that sweet sofa so I recommend finding a "dupe". You can absolutely find a good quality piece with easy cleaning instructions. They exist. I promise.

9. Can I find it cheaper somewhere else? There is a common misconception that the highest quality means the highest price tag and it's simply not true. Do your research! We are so incredibly lucky to have a wide variety of information at our fingertips. Next time you're planning a shopping trip, do yourself (and your wallet) a favor and prepare ahead of time. Make a list of items you're looking for and then sit down and do some price checking. You will be surprised how many different places carry the same (or similar) items! [Bonus tip: Google Images is a great tool to quickly cross-reference an item by simply plugging in a photo of the item you're searching for and finding out who and where to purchase from at different price points!]

10. Because you know I have to say this - Is there someone who can help me figure out what I need and where to get it? YES. Of course! I always try to give my clients and followers the tools they need to do things on their own because I'm a big believer in sharing what you know and building others up, but I am absolutely here for you! If you've read through this and you're thinking "this is too much for me", I've got you, friend. I'm here for you 😉❤️


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