Five Moments in Decorating When Patience is a Virtue

published Mar 2, 2017
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(Image credit: Kim Marcelo)

Although it’s fun to jump right in and make rash decisions about decorating your home, it’s definitely not always the smartest approach. While home shopping on a whim can be beneficial for accumulating accent pieces and small appliances, when it comes to making major interior changes, it’s usually best to step back and pump your brakes. Like it or not, if you take the time to properly think through all of your important design decisions, odds are you’ll be happier with your choices in the long run. To help ease the process, we’ve come up with a few situations where patience is key for long-term decorating success. While we can’t promise you’ll wind up liking everything more after a waiting period, we can say you’ll be more confident with your final picks.

To help ease the process, I’ve come up with a few situations where patience is key for long-term decorating success. While I can’t promise you’ll wind up liking everything more after a waiting period, I can say you’ll be more confident with your final picks.

1. Picking Out Paint Colors

The color you paint the walls of your home can make or break its ambience, that’s why it’s important to slow down and take your time picking out the right hue. Instead of raiding the paint store on a whim, try painting your options on a large piece of poster board and waiting a few days to make your decision. Not only will you be able to see each color in different sorts of light, weather, and moods, you’ll be less likely to choose a color that you’ll grow to dislike.

2. Buying Major Pieces of Furniture or Appliances

Much like paint, the major pieces of furniture you bring into your home help define its style and mood (not to mention your comfort level). Next time you need to buy a new sofa or dining table (or refrigerator, for that matter), make sure you have at least three different options that you’ve seen in person (and read any available online reviews). This will give you a chance to determine if the pricing is fair and ensure you’ll be happy with your final pick.

3. Anything That Involves a Contractor

It should go without saying but anything that requires hiring a contractor definitely deserves some serious time and thought. So instead of hitting up your local hardware store the second you decide you’d like some extra shelves in your closet or a new bathroom sink, try to take 2-3 weeks to really explore all of your options and map out what exact changes (and prices) work best for you. Even if it means buying your own power drill, you know you’ll be making the most of your money and remodel.

4. Buying Good Bedding

I know this one will be controversial but I believe that finding the perfect bedding takes effort and time. Considering we spend about a third of our lives in bed, it’s important that you do your research and invest in the right pillows (are you a side sleeper? Stomach?), sheets (see also: thread count), and comforter (i.e. temperature- regulating, hypoallergenic, etc.) for all of your unique needs. Not only will it help you secure the best deals for your bedding, it’ll make sleeping all the more enjoyable.

5. Investing in Artwork

Last but certainly not least, if you’re thinking of buying any pricey pieces of art anytime soon—unless you happen to be a gallery owner—it’s probably best to stop and give it some additional thought. Instead of investing in the next interesting (but expensive) artwork that catches your eye, try sourcing a similar, more affordable print version of the piece to hang up at home for a few weeks. Along with giving you the chance to see how that style of art looks in different rooms throughout your home, it’ll score you some extra time to save up for a one-of-a-kind piece.

Tips for Being a More Patient Person

Focus on The Big Picture

Sometimes, you have to force yourself to slow down and take a moment to reflect on what’s really important. Take a minute to remember what actually matters in the long run to keep things in perspective.

Use it when: You’re about to make a bold and spontaneous decision. Instead, refocus and sleep on it.

Take Deep Breaths

When you first start to feel impatient, stop yourself by taking a deep breath and slowly counting backwards (from 10 to 1). Try to sync your breathing to each number and give yourself a minute to refocus your energy.

Use it when: There’s a can’t-miss-it sale that makes you feel like you have to pick something now.

Make Patience a Practice

Turn a stressful situation into an opportunity to practice being more patient. Next time things get crazy, make note of how upset you feel but focus on staying calm and collected, instead.

Use it when: You’re overwhelmed by options, or feel like your space is never going to come together. It will—promise.