I shop for furniture, in the same way, I shop for clothes. I am practical but not cheap. I can appreciate a trend, but prefer to stick with items that are classic with a long shelf life. I love good tailoring and appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a well-made piece.
My friend and I were out shopping for furniture for her condo over the weekend. She recently moved into a two bedroom in Midtown and needed to purchase all new furniture for space. We met up at one of my favorite stores where I was sure she'd find some really cool pieces. I could tell that she was digging many of the things in there, but for some reason would act disinterested. By our second stop, I started to pay attention to her habits. She would walk into the showroom, check out the nearest price tag, condemn the entire store as "too expensive" and start migrating towards the door. When I saw what she was doing, I stepped in to let her know why her type of shopping was driving me nuts! I started by telling her that she needed to live with the things she loved and that she couldn't just look at the price tag and make a decision. I felt she was being closed minded about the experience, so I had to change my approach. It dawned on me that I should put furniture shopping into terms she could understand. I related the experience to how she and I shop for clothes.
I immediately thought of Fashion Guru Nina Garcia's cardinal rule for when shopping for clothing, invest in the Bones. I started by relating our trips to Neiman Marcus. We discussed how there are things in there that a ridiculously expensive while others are affordable. I went on encouraged her to employ the same techniques when shopping for furniture as she would at Neimans.
Rule number 1. Look for that truly unique piece. Shopping for me is always about quality over quantity. I seldom bring home bags and bags of clothes. I like to buy things one at a time to make sure I love it and that it will work with other things in my wardrobe. Everyone has different shopping techniques, but for us, this works best.
Rule number 2. Buy the best quality product you can afford. This is a redundant point, but it's a great tip. Instead of buying inexpensive sheets and 7 other things, spend as much money as you can to get the best sheets possible. You have to stretch yourself when it comes to investing in your home.
Rule number 3. Look for strategic ways to get the things you love into your home. The decision to decorate your home can be costly. Many times you will be making a sacrifice to get things exactly how you want them. Give yourself permission to work on this project over time. This will give you time to save up if you need to or to get the item on sale.
Rule number 4. Look at your entire project and budget when decorating your home. There will be places where money can be saved to purchase the items you really want. Consider all of your options. Collect images and take notes. Then prioritize. It's your home. You deserve it!