Consumer Tips

When purchasing a new item for your home whether it be décor or appliance in nature you will often find that the company selling the item will list all the features and benefits of their product. What they never tell you is what you “won’t get” or what you will need to “give up.” This type of sales is all about distraction. It’s a “look here, see this, isn’t’ this great” and don’t ask questions and don’t notice what is missing.

Steel Tape MeasurerAs a designer I often spell out for my customers what the pros AND cons of a choice are because there is nothing worse than getting that new item home only to discover the down side to the selection. Life is full of give-and-take and for most of my life I rebelled at this. I wanted to have it ALL! But maturity has shown me that a space can only hold so much before the overload ruins what is in that space. So I have learned to weigh the value of a decision and remind myself I can choose again if what I got wasn’t all that I wanted. Sometimes we just don’t know how valuable something is to us until it is gone. Life is a process, never ending and always evolving so relax and do your best and choose again if needed. Meanwhile here are some tips I have used to help my customers make the best selection in the moment.

Trouble Preventing Tips

Flexible Tape Measure – you will want one of these handy both at home and when you shop. Measure what you have in your home and write it down. Ask yourself if you want that new chair or sofa or table to be the same size – smaller or larger? Write down the size you would like. Take this with you as you shop. Just like chopping down a Christmas tree in the forest, furniture will look to be a different size in the large showroom then in your home. Always measure!!

Take Color With You: This is extremely important if you are not working with a Shop-at-Home decorator who will bring the samples to your house. Find color swatches that match the fabric of your new item. If they don’t give you a sample, find color samples that match from the paint store, fabric store or any other source you have handy – like a wash cloth. Be sure to carry it whenever you shop for other items to coordinate the colors.

Good-Bad-Ugly – with this tip you will want to look at what you are letting go of and first list all the benefits it provided that you want to keep such as “this sofa seated 4 people.” Then when you shop make sure the new item seats 4 people. Write down all the Bad things about what you own now and next to this the solution you want to find such as “this sofa shows too much lint and has too much static electricity.” This way when you shop you can tell the sales rep you need a non-static fabric. And last you want to list the Ugly which you may not be able to solve. These are the sacrifices you are willing to put up with in order to get most of what you want. For instance when I was redecorating my living room I couldn’t find a black fabric anywhere because the current style was brown in the stores at this time so I had to make a concession to this one thing while I was able to get 95% of what I did like achieved.

We will never get everything perfect- there is no such thing. Achieve all your “must haves” or “deal breaker” items and you will be happy overall with the results.

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach

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