5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Anything Else for Your Home

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Home accessories- anything from artwork to decorative pillows, vases, and lamps- are essential to making rooms feel cozy, personal, and stylish, but how do you go about deciding which pieces you want? Here are some starting questions to ask yourself before making that purchase.

1. Why do you like it? Take a moment to consider why you like a particular item. Is it because you gravitate towards that same style every time? Or is it because it is trendy? Try to make that distinction between your personal taste and what is trending at the moment because the trends will pass. One of the ways I help make this distinction for myself when I’m shopping for clothes is to ask the questions, ‘Does this look good on me?’ and ‘Will it make me happy to wear it?’ Oftentimes I find that if I stick to what I know will flatter my body and make me feel good, I will end up with something that I will like and wear for a long time. Similarly, when shopping for your home you can ask, ‘Is this something that will please me every time I look at it?’, as well as, ‘Will it look good in my home?’, which brings us to the next consideration…

2. Will it work with what you already have? The fact of the matter is even if you love a particular accessory, if you bring it home and it doesn’t work with the things you already have in your home, you may not love it as much and end up not using it. On the other hand, if you know what you love and are confident in your taste, you can’t go wrong as long as you stay true to these instincts. My living room was pretty uninspired until I found a rug that I really loved and knew that I would love for a long time. I ended up decorating the rest of my living room based on the style of this rug and things started clicking when I considered both my taste and how things would work together.

3. Will it work in several rooms of the house? Even if you are buying that throw or decorative pillow for your living room, consider whether you would also be able to use it for the den or your bedroom if you decide to move things around. Items like baskets, end tables, and lamps should also be looked at for their versatility and the multi-purpose uses that you can get out of them. This evaluation will coincide with whether the item fits into your taste and the overall aesthetics of your home.

4. Is it of good quality? Now that I’m a homeowner, this is a question I’ve asked myself much more frequently in recent years as I make purchases for my home. Buying things because they look nice might work for the short term, but if it doesn’t last, it’s ultimately not worth it. Also, investing in something that you know is well-made and will last a long time will make you take to it in a way you wouldn’t otherwise.

5. Does it have a story? Similar to the consideration above, I’ve found that I appreciate and value an item so much more if I know the intentions and origins of how it was made. A rug that has been handmade by women in Guatemala or a vase that was created at a local ceramics studio will likely stick around for a long time in my home and will be treasured. Having items like these that were made with care will also make me feel like the space that I am creating has a more personal touch.