Have you ever bought something for a room that you’re sprucing up and you get it home and it just doesn’t quite work?
If you answered yes to this question, you’re not alone. Did you know that each year Americans alone throw away 12 million tons of furniture?
At the start of a new year, I wanted to give you a checklist to help you make smarter buying decisions for your home. Answer these six questions before you buy that next home decor item and you’ll have a home that looks more intentional. It will more like it would if an interior designer decorated it.
Guess what, when designers buy for their clients, they’re looking at these questions because they can’t afford to make a mistake. So shouldn’t you take the time to do that for yourself?
1. Does This Fit My Color Palette?
The first question I want you to answer is does the thing I’m looking at fit with my color palette.
I’ve talked before about how to choose a color palette in a previous post and how important it is to help you really take your room to the next level.
2. Does It Go With What I Own Already?
Does it go with things that are already in the room that I want to put it in?
It sounds like a no-brainer. But sometimes we’re out and we’re shopping. We’re like, ooh look at that adorable chair that’s on sale. But, does it fit the style that I’m trying to go for?
The one tool I like to use to answer this question is a mood board. I do one for each room when I’m working on it, and then I keep it on my phone for when I’m out shopping.
I can put things onto my mood board and test them and see, does this look good with my fabric? Does this look good with my rug? So I can either take a picture of it in the store, or I can take a screenshot of it online. And then I add it to that room’s mood board.
It really helps me see, this doesn’t really go it’s a look the colors a little bit off. And it really helps me to see if the thing that I want goes with my room. And I did a previous video explaining how I do a mood board inside of Canva.
3. Can I Use It In More Than One Place?
This is a tough one, can I use this thing in more than one place in my home.
What’s great about things that can be used in more than one place is that you’re really it really helps you to be able to change up your spaces from time to time.
Here’s an example I bought a red coat rack. And I thought when I bought it, I love this thing. I’m looking for a coat rack to go in my kitchen so that when I come in the door, all this stuff doesn’t go on the floor. I wanted a with hooks above it. I want to be able to hang my stuff when I walk in the door.
But guess what, I can use that in my living room in the front door. I can use it in my kitchen, and I’ve had it in both places. Pieces that are more versatile, you’ll find you get a lot more use setup in the long run.
4. Is This a Want or Need?
This one’s tougher. Do I want it? Or do I need it? Something I really love to do, because I want a lot of things from my house, I’m not gonna lie, I will not buy it right away.
Sometimes I add it to the cart, maybe I let it sit there for a minimum of 24 hours, sometimes a week. If at the end of that week, I still want it then I buy it.
These bamboo blinds sat in the cart for a good week before I pulled the trigger.
You CAN do this in a physical store too.
5. Can I Afford It?
Can I afford it even if I decide that I need it? Going into 2024 a lot of us are feeling the pinch.
You really need to think about can I afford it? Or is this going to make me go into debt? If you can’t afford it, it’s not going to improve your state of mind. It’s better to wait.
6. Is It In Working Condition?
I buy a lot of things that might need a little bit of work. There could be a lamp I really love. I find it at a thrift store but it’s broken. It doesn’t turn on.
Do I have the ability to fix this thing or paint this thing or tweak this thing to make it work because if it’s beyond my skill level, then I don’t buy it.
If the thing really needs to be painted, I can pay furniture but if it’s really ornate, it’s not going to look good when I paint it. You really have to be honest with yourself. Can I fix this thing or make it look the way I want it to look, or is it just going to look kind of mediocre when I’m finished with it?
If you can answer yes to all six things on this list, then it is something you should buy. I hope this helped you to make smarter decisions when you buy something for your home next time.
If you liked this post you might be interested in the guide to buying furniture online.