Interior Design and Decorating

The Trick to Selecting Home Interior Products

I just installed new carpet.  It’s for my basement art studio which is on a concrete slab (cold) and where my cats like to leave me gifts of assorted hairballs. :mrgreen:  In the interest of being completely honest I made floor selection a long term event, then selected the same Mannington Commercial carpet I picked three years ago when I first decided to change the carpet.  What did I do wrong?

Almost done.
My new carpet - Mannington Classic Fit II in Indigo

Photo via Mannington Commercial

Anyone faced with an interior design project puts themselves through numerous hurdles before making a product selection.   Some are necessary, others are time consuming while others are purely ridiculous.  I realized regardless of the person the same scenario plays out.

Whether it is a new kitchen or bathroom, living room decorating project or something as tiny as picking a paint color for the laundry room, product selection involves four aspects:

  1. Cost – reality vs. our perception
  2. Options  – everything we like vs. what is appropriate for the job
  3. Roadblocks – our personal set of rules
  4. Second guessing

The first short cut to decision making is to throw out #3. Yes, I am entirely serious.  I’m not suggesting to avoid logic but rather the baseless chatter  like, “but will I like it in 5 years?”  (I could write for hours on the lack of validity of this roadblock.) In my case it was, “I shouldn’t put carpet where I paint.”  Yes, I should.  The rules in our head serves no useful purpose other than to avoid decision making.  Next throw out #4.  Once a decision is made, go with it.  Second guessing is usually a waste of time.

So how does one tackle all those options?  Needing to see every conceivable option is another decision avoidance crutch.  This is a also common tactic used by a not so interested spouse.  Nobody can make a decision with too many options.  The easy way to narrow the options is to identify the parameters.

Determine the parameters for a particular item.  Start with performance requirements.  A oven is not just an oven if you are a gourmet cook.  Carpet on stairs takes much more abuse than carpet in a bedroom.  Ruby red silk is likely not the best fabric for a kitchen chair.  Identifying the right product for the job is the first hurdle to clear.  Then educate yourself about the pricing.

This leads to the #1 factor, cost.  Regardless of bank account cost matters, period.  However cost can’t be the #1 factor in making a selection.   One can’t buy a Ferrari for the cost of a Hyundai.  Same reality exists for cabinetry, appliances, fabrics, furniture, materials and finishes.

So, what did I do wrong?  I forgot to remove my roadblocks, tried to second guess myself and put too much emphasis on price.  I also forgot to trust my gut.  None of these were useful other than delaying enjoyment of the new carpet!