Updated: Feb 13, 2022
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Let’s face it. With a barrage of online retailers selling every widget known to man, you can go online and purchase anything you want sitting in your favorite pajamas while sipping a glass of wine...um, not that I do that or anything.
You can find anything from cheap to overpriced and everything in between. Sometimes there are so many choices it makes you freeze and you find it hard to choose anything. So how do you move past the shock of too many choices? When shopping, I always look at durability, functionality, style, and cost. Of course, there will always be those things I bargain shop for, such as groceries, but there are other items I always buy the best I can afford.
Whether you‘re looking at appliances, furniture, clothes, shoes, decor items, Christmas decorations…you name it, I believe there are 4 things you should consider when making a purchase.
Nothing is worse than finding a piece you love and 6 months later it falls apart. I know I have fallen prey to the shiny object that looks great at the store, but within a year it breaks. I admit the worse one for us was our mattress. We went through 3 mattresses in 4 years trying to find the perfect mattress. Each one felt great in the store. Each one had decent reviews. Each one absolutely did not work for us. Within a year of each of those mattresses, they began to sag and no longer were comfortable. That was a costly mistake for us. We were looking at the reviews for comfort, not thinking about durability. I guess we learned our lesson the hard, costly way. For the final replacement mattress, we did extensive research on comfort AND durability. I’m not going to say that price was not on our radar, but it was the least important factor. We knew getting a durable mattress meant dropping more coin than we have in the past. It paid off. We are 2 years into our Purple 3 mattress and it is just as comfortable and durable as the day we brought it home. A durable product will last longer, which in the end costs us less.
Recently my husband and I built our forever home. We spent weekend after weekend in furniture stores, antique shops, flea markets, and electronics stores trying to find the perfect pieces to go in the house. Some of the trips were for ideas on items we would build and some were items we would purchase.
One item we were trying to figure out was an entertainment console. My husband may be a woodworker, but by profession, he is an IT director. Gadgets. It’s all about the gadgets. The right speakers, amplifiers, and devices were important to him. At the same time displaying these items in a way that fit well in our new home was also important to him. The functionality must be utilitarian and esthetic. After months of window shopping, spending time on Pinterest and online we finally came up with a plan.
For us, our next step was to put our idea into SketchUp and design what we wanted the piece to look like. We then sourced the wood and got to building. Amazingly enough, we found the straight pin legs a few years back at an estate sale. They worked perfectly for our esthetic.
Not everyone has the ability or desire to make their own perfect piece. I get that. I would say, if you've spent time searching for that perfect piece and can’t find a durable, yet functional one already made, don’t be afraid to have it custom-made for your space. Yes, it will most definitely cost you more, but it will be a piece that will give you the exact functionality you want while also last you a lifetime.
Have you ever walked into a person's home and it just felt right? You might not even be able to put your finger on what “it” is that makes it that way. It’s just a feeling. You see, style is important. It’s the glue that holds together the esthetics of your home. It’s the difference between you loving your home and just living in your home.
There are endless decor styles out there. You might already know what your style is. If so, great! But if you are like a lot of people, you might know what you like, but don’t really know what your decor style is. For my home, we definitely lean toward an urban industrial style. We like a good balance of wood and metal. We also spend a lot of time purchasing items from antique stores.
I could go over all the design styles out there but there are others more qualified than I to help you with that. Bobby Beck has a great blog called What’s Your Interior Design Style: A Breakdown of All the Styles. His blog does a great job of giving you an overview of the most popular styles. If you find one you are drawn to, Bobby gives you a link to dive deeper into that style.
Knowing your style is half the battle. The other half is finding the perfect pieces to build out the style of your home. This means it is time to go SHOPPING! I love looking for that perfect piece. I usually head out intending to fill an empty spot in my house. I might have a slight idea of what I am looking for, but overall I try to be open-minded and let the piece speak to me. It will tell me it’s the perfect piece! If you think that sounds crazy, I get it. Stay tuned for a blog on how I do this.
If you are struggling with how to get your home to feel the way you like, consider hiring an interior designer. The expense is well worth the cost. They have connections with local woodworkers, artists, metalworkers, and painters that can give you custom pieces no one else will ever have in their home.
Let’s just look at the overall cost of one entry-level mattress. The first mattress we paid $899 and it lasted about 7 months before it started to sag. Sleeping in the mattress every night for 7 months would be 210 nights. Let’s divide the price of the mattress by the number of nights we had it before it started to sag. That means it cost us $4.28 per night to own that mattress. Now let’s look at our Purple 3 mattress. We paid $3,299 and we are 2 years and 6 months into owning it. That means, thus far, it has cost us $3.62 per night. Keep in mind, I said that this mattress is still holding strong. So that overall cost will continue to go down as we get more nights out of it.
Honestly, I wish I would have realized the importance of being picky about my purchases years ago. Maybe it’s new wisdom with age, but more than likely it is I’m a slow learner. Either way, I hope this helps you with your next purchase. What do you do to ensure the purchases you make is the right one? Give us your tips in the comments below!