8 Tips for How to Buy/Shop Well

audrey hepburn + george peppard in breakfast at tiffany’s

audrey hepburn + george peppard in breakfast at tiffany’s

  1. Go with someone you trust.  

    • They will talk you out of a bad decision and it is always good to have someone to bounce ideas off of.  Plus, they might see something you missed.

  2. Test a palette.

    • Tack up paint samples and fabric swatches, then stand back and look at the samples.  Do they look good together?  Look at the samples throughout the day — light changes how we perceive things.  {You know the cliché, “See things in a different light”?  There actually might be something to it!}

  3. Bring along paint sample cards and fabric swatches when you go shopping.

    • You might *think* you can see the color accurately in your mind, but that’s often not the case, even for professionals!

  4. Shop with your budget in mind.  

    • Sit down and figure out how much you want to invest in each room and work out how much you can spend on a sofa, side chairs, coffee table, etc and have this list with you when you are walking around stores or surfing the net.  Spending on a room can become a runaway train, but only if you let it!

  5. Know when to haggle.

    • Markup is often factored into the price of antiques so you can negotiate, but don’t be cheap.  You don’t want to insult the vendor, right?  If you are shopping retail and see something that you really like but it might be a little out of your price range ask your salesperson when the item may go on sale — that way you can be sure to snap it up when the price drops.  If you are at an independent store, the manager may be willing to drop the price in order to move inventory.  You just have to ask!

  6. Try it at home if you can.

    • Of course not all vendors will allow this, but if you can it is always great to see pieces in context before taking the plunge on big ticket items.  If you are working with an interior designer showrooms are often willing to let them borrow items from the floor, this is especially true for rug showrooms.

  7. Pull it all together in the store

    • This is a great editing tool and will prevent any over-buying.  Edit.  Edit.  Edit.

  8. Don’t be in a rush to finish!

    • A space evolves over time and often takes some tinkering. Think of a room as a living thing, let it breathe!