Interior designers have elevated shopping into an art form. To save our client’s time and money we have perfected the art of shopping to the point where there are no needless returns or hours wasted on decision making. Forget design, the nitty-gritty comes right down to shopping and doing it well. Rather than allow your next interior shopping trip overwhelm you, let this post serve as a guide to shopping for the home, interior design items and home decor. Here is how to avoid a room full of items you can’t use.
HOW TO SUCCED IN INTERIOR SHOPPING Two things characterize an interior designer while shopping: focus and speed. Without focus it is easy to be swayed by any eye candy which wins one’s attention. The point of speed is no time for dawdling or getting side-tracked. Treat this a plus. Shopping Lists Use your smartphone, tablet or good old-fashioned notebook to make detailed notes which are the basis for your shopping lists. FYI – The Noteability app is great for including photos as a reminder of relevant details about a room or space.
- size constraints – know the minimum and maximum dimensions
- important details to remember
Create shopping lists directly from your home. Go room by room, know what you need and the dimensions of what will fit. Carry fabric color swatches if you meed to color coordinate an item. Warning: NEVER attempt to color match from a photo or digital screen, those colors are not true to life. General lists lead to chaos, the more detailed you make them the more successful you will be. Take lists on trips, keep them accessible. Shop by your lists, not memory. Think of shopping lists like marriage, not made to be broken, no straying allowed. Make them. Follow them. No changes while at a store.
EXTRA CREDIT If you want to take your home decor shopping to the level of perfection, break your lists down even further. This makes interior shopping a breeze and quite fun.
- Smart Money – Make a list of what you need, not want but need for the room to function, i.e. a bed, sofa, dining table, etc.
- Lighting – Determine any lighting requirements and light control (window treatments) you need.
- The Fun Stuff – Determine home decor accessory items needed to enhance the theme or style of your vision.
Characterizing your items further into these three categories give your shopping (physical or armchair) laser focus towards your goal of a fabulous interior. Besides it is always fun to focus a shopping excursion on just The Fun Stuff.
Maybe you’ve noticed a pattern, the word need keeps coming up. Rooms have needs, not desires. When people fill rooms with wants or desires rather than needs this is where they get into trouble and end up with the room which doesn’t work, or worse… visual vomit. You’ve seen them, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Detailed shopping lists will turn you into a successful interior and home decor shopper in no time, they allow one to focus and keep them from dawdling. Rather than make interior shopping a chore this is exactly how you turn it into rip-roaring fun!