Most people wish they had more money for decorating. I would argue you can find more money in what you are already spending. A good place to start is making sure you love it before you buy it.

Buyer’s remorse, missing a return deadline, and ultimately living with things you bought, but don’t like is a waste of money.

Imagine confidently choosing things you love

that will have staying power in your home.

Things with staying power will stand the test of time, you will always find a spot for them, and you’ll never give them that sideways I-never-should-have-bought-you glare.

Smart Shopping: 6 Ways to Make Sure You Love It Before You Buy It |

When you buy things with staying power, confident you’ll love them for a long time to come, then you’ll spend less money decorating in the long run. And that goes for big and small purchases. It’s easy to think a few dollars here and there on decor you might not totally love isn’t so bad. But all those little impulse purchases add up in more ways than one.

Think back over the past year of all the little stuff you bought on impulse, because it was a good deal, or because you just liked it at the time. If you hadn’t spent the money on all those little things, how much money would you have to spend on something you really wanted?

Let’s do the math:

Even $25 a month on random things, adds up to $300

you could have put toward things you really wanted.

The other way the bad buys add up is filling your home with things you don’t love. You loved the sale price or using a coupon or the power of making a purchase, but none of those translates directly to something you will love at home. Instead of a home filled with things with staying power, your home is filled with things you got for 50% off or two for one or when you had a bad day and wanted retail therapy.

That’s not to say you cant find things with staying power at a great price. But price shouldn’t be the main driver for bringing any thing home with you. I think you should go through a few other checks before you even look at the price tag.

The best advice ever when shopping for new clothes: Try it on and look in the mirror before you look at the price tag. A cheap price doesn’t make clothes look any better on you. Sticker shock may prevent you from trying other things on. Ignore the price tag until after you’ve tried it on. Once you find something that fits perfectly and makes you look amazing, you might be willing to splurge on one higher price item rather than half a dozen cheaper, ill-fitting pieces.

While you can’t exactly try on your home decor, there are other ways to check it out before flipping it over to look at the price tag.

How to Make Sure You Love It Before You Buy It

1. Functionality First

It’s not a requirement that everything in your home be functional, but considering functionality of the room is always important. For functional pieces like furniture and storage, make sure the piece you are considering truly meets your needs. The media center that looks gorgeous won’t make you happy if it can’t hide your entire DVD collection.

Functionality is an important consideration for non-functional items, too.

If you are buying just for looks, it shouldn’t

detract from the functionality of the room.

A gorgeous upholstered settee might look amazing in your dining room, but if you have six kids eating at that table every night, it might not be the most practical. Likewise, big lanterns might look stunning on your coffee table, but if they block the view of the TV, they’re going to get pushed aside soon enough.

2. Feeling Next

After the function of a room, the feeling is the most important.

The feeling is the mood you create

in a room to support it’s function.

When considering something new for the room, make sure it supports the desired feeling. For example, if you want a calming bedroom, a red geometric duvet cover might not be the right choice. Stop and consider why you are drawn to the piece in the first place. If the color doesn’t fit the feeling, maybe the pattern does, but in a different color.

3. What Your Style Is

Does it fit your style? If you aren’t sure what the key elements of your style are, you’re likely to choose things that don’t fit or don’t go well with other things you already have.

How does this new piece “fit”

with other things you love?

If you aren’t clear on your style, one quick check you can try is to compare it to three other things you love in your home. List out three decorative items you love in your home. How does this new item stack up?

4. What Your Style Isn’t

As important as what your style is, is what your style isn’t. It’s easy to get distracted by a certain color, pattern, shape, or brand that you love. But if the piece has elements you don’t typically like, it won’t be the best fit.

It’s important to look past what you love about it

and double-check if there is anything you don’t love.

I have to catch myself anytime I see something turquoise. But I’ve learned that anything turquoise and that is also rustic (like a distressed finish), doesn’t have staying power in my home. Rustic is not part of my style. For every distressed turquoise tray, there’s a sleek modern one I would like better.

5. Three Places or Three Years

I mentioned earlier that pieces with staying power are the ones you’ll always find a place for. So, how do you know what will have staying power? A good starting point is to list three places in your home right now where you could use the piece. For example, could the vase your eyeing look good 1) as a centerpiece in the dining room, 2) on the mantel in the living room, or 3) on your nightstand in the bedroom.

Chances are if you can name three places where it will

look great, then your onto something with staying power.

The only thing better is when you can name so many places it would look amazing, that you can’t decide where you’ll put it.

The three places rule doesn’t apply to large furniture. In that case, I recommend leaning out three years into the future. Does this piece fit what you envision your home looking and feeling like three years from now? If you don’t have kids, but are planning to in the next couple years, a glass coffee table with sharp corners might not be the best idea.

6. Price

Now you can look at the price tag. We all love a good deal, but if all the other checks don’t pass, it’s not even worth looking at the price. If it passes the other checks, then price is the last step.

When considering the price of a piece you’ve already decided you love, consider:

  • Is it within your budget?
  • Are you comfortable paying that price for that piece?
  • Can you buy it without stealing money from other more important purchases you’re planning for the room?

No matter how much you love something, if you overspend to get it, don’t feel it’s worth the price, or buy with money meant for something else, you’re more likely to regret the purchase.

You shouldn’t have any regrets about the

things with staying power, including price.

6 Quick Questions to Ask Before You Buy

If I was your shopping buddy and you asked me, “What do you think of this?”, I would turn around and ask you these questions in return:

  1. Does it work for your room?
  2. Does it feel right?
  3. Does it go with the other things you love?
  4. Are you sure you love everything about it?
  5. Quick: Name three places right now where you could use it.
  6. How do you feel about the price?

Ok, probably not all at once.  But you get the picture.  Don’t I sound like a fun shopping partner? Ha! At least you know you won’t bring home anything you don’t love on my watch.

Comment below and tell me what tip you’re taking with you the next time you go shopping?


5 Responses to 6 Ways to Make Sure You Love It Before You Buy It

  1. Diana says:

    I like the name 3 places that you could put the item. It really is amazing how great it is having a cohesive color scheme throughout the house(shout out to you, Jackie, for making that happen!!:) ) because you really can mix and match things up and move things into different rooms.

    • Jackie says:

      Diana, So glad you love it. Being able to mix and match and move things around keeps things interesting without always having to buy new stuff. When I created all of your mood board designs, I sourced all at once for all the things that worked together, then I split them out into the different rooms. Sometimes I had to make a hard call of what would go where, but I knew you’d be able to move stuff around between rooms later.

  2. Anne says:

    I need to think about the three places rule as we’ll… So often I find something I love for the coffee table but in my house, it almost instantly gets pushed aside by my husband for the view of the tv. If I had other places to put the item, there might be more places it could go besides the basement…

  3. Gwen says:

    I’m going shopping sometime in the near future. I’d redone a small bedroom with a long blank wall of a menagerie of a few old photos, crewel embroidery from an antique store, a trio of small varied shaped PB mirrors, empty frames….it just seemed too much. I think I’d added too much. Since I’m redoing the room a bit, my daughter ( whose room it was) and I talked about never seeing that gallery unless in bed!! So I’d love to see if I can find an old flat antique mirror or maybe new…but today I will think about what I’d like to do–and not do–on a wall of emptiness where there is no furniture because the room is too narrow! Yet empty is too ” I forgot you” look. I’m looking forward to the redesign. Or possibly putting up just a few items and not the whole–which were mostly non purchases. But I will make sure that I can return wherever I buy because I’ve learned my biggest buyers remorse was custom made and never returnable.

  4. Kyra says:

    I have become a chronic impulse buyer to the point where my house needs serious Decluttering.

    For the past week when I’ve gone shopping- This post gave me the tools I needed to help overcome my impulse buying habits! Prior to reading this I otherwise would have bought things that have no real purpose or function in my home.


    Thank goodness I stumbled across your blog! WOW! Sooo many great reads I can easily relate to. <3 <3

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