My quest to simplify decorating stemmed from 2 main reasons: I wanted to spend less money and I wanted to spend less time on decorating.
I needed to find a way to rein it in so I wasn't buying more decor every time I stepped foot into Target. Their awesome designers sure are making it difficult because they come out with the cutest decor. I'm talking to you Nate Berkus and Emily Henderson ;) I can't help it I'm a lover of home decor, however, I have bills to pay and a future to plan for, so it was time to stop spending on extra pillows and vases.
The amount of time I rearranged and thought about decorating was scary. Jordon would come home and see the living room layout changed, again. As much as I loved it, it was getting exhausting and I wanted to sit back and relax and enjoy our home for once, instead of constantly changing it.
I experimented with ways to stop spending so much money and time on decorating. But what worked best was when I sat down and actually analyzed and discovered my signature decorating style. Because once I had a defined style that I loved, I suddenly had a clear direction for all decorating decisions so I realized I didn't need all the extra stuff at Target. It didn't fit my style or needs.
Now before I buy any pillow, vase, piece of furniture, plant, rug, or anything for our home, I ask myself 3 key questions.
3 Questions I Ask Before Any Home Purchase
1. Do I need this?
We're all guilty of buying things we don't really need. Spur-of-the-moment purchases are fun now and then, but you'll save yourself some money if you keep them to a minimum. Before buying anything, I ask myself if I really need it. You have to be brutally honest with yourself so this may take some time.
Let's use a real life situation as an example. Right now, I'm looking for wall sconces for our bedroom. We previously had table lamps on our nightstands but they were so big and bulky on our small nightstands, I decided mounting smaller sconces on the wall would better fit the space. I sold one table lamp and the other will be moved to a different room. I like accessible lighting in the room so we can read at night, so in this case, sconces are something we actually need and use.
2. Does this align with my signature style?
I always do a quick analysis of the item I'm considering buying to see whether it fits within my signature style. When I analyzed my style prior to this, I completed this workbook so I can easily go back and remind myself what makes up my style. The workbook is a great reference because in it are exercises you work through to break down your style and understand the different elements that create your own unique style. Grab your free copy of the workbook here.
If the item you're considering doesn't align with those style elements you set, then you know it doesn't align with your signature style so you shouldn't buy it.
The reason why I'm such a stickler about following my signature style is because it is my ideal style I love most. If I go off the rail and stray too far from it, that's when I buy extra stuff and then I'm not as happy with how my home looks and feels.
Back to the sconces for our bedroom example... I've looked at tons of options online and have it narrowed down to a few. While I was narrowing it down, I was referring to my workbook to see what sconces fit my style best, and eliminating from there. I decided modern, chic sconces with a touch of black and white would look best. The modern design aligns with my taste, and the black accent mimics the other black accents in the bedroom.
3. Does this bring me happiness?
So you decided you need it, it fits within your signature style, now it's time to move on to the third and final question. Does it bring you happiness?
I like asking this question because I think we should only fill our homes with things we love that makes us happy. We may find something we need that fits within our style, but if we don't actually love the item, then we should probably pass and keep on looking. This prevents me from making rush decisions and settling on something I don't love.
Asking yourself these 3 questions takes discipline, but each time it will get easier and faster. Soon you won't have to reference your workbook as often because it will come automatic to you!
Carefully vetting each decorating decision means fewer mistakes and less money and time spent. I personally have saved myself hundreds of dollars since asking these 3 questions because I've stopped the random, needless purchases. I went from picking up something nearly every time I walked into Target to now just passing through. And I don't miss it one bit!
Do you have a habit of buying things you probably don't need? What is hardest for you to resist? What store is your weakness? Let me know in the comments.