Tips for Smart Decor Purchases That Last

If you are anything like me, then you’ve got a serious decorating problem. It’s not that you don’t love decorating, it’s not that you aren’t particularly good at it, it’s not even that you don’t have the time, your decorating problem is that you suffer from decorating vacillation. Whenever I change apartments, see a pretty picture, or stumble upon a great find at a store, I experience of whirlwind of new ideas and they never go together. One minute I want a shabby chic place and the next I want to embrace industrial style to match my former factory apartment space, so I’m always left with the problem of never making a decision. I can’t decide on a style, on where things should go, and when I should or should not purchase something. Does this sound a little something like you as well?

Yes? Don’t worry. Decorating mania is problematic, but there are ways of avoiding useless purchases and working with what you have as your tastes and your locations change. Here are some of the best things I’ve learned when it comes to making smart home purchases that last over time.

TIP 1: I love decorating blogs and I’ve seen many professional decorators suggest only buying white towels over and over again. At first, I shrugged off the idea as boring and weird, but with some hard lessons, I figured out the suggestion is genius. Why? Because they go with every single color and style you could ever dream of for your apartment. Each time you get the itch to make a change, the towels don’t have to change as well because white is timeless and with a little bleach they stay nice and white. White towels are invaluable when it comes to creating longevity with one single purchase.

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TIP 2: Go with versatile color schemes. Often, I get obsessed with a particular color or color palette and then I convince myself that I absolutely have to decorate with that/those color(s). Big mistake. I’m not going to love the color(s) forever and neither will you. So don’t go overly matchy matchy or have a theme when decorating your space. Allow ways for other colors to be added later when boredom sets in. If you keep this in mind, it will definitely make your purchases smarter and last longer before you are ready to redecorate. So put down the red toaster, the red microwave, the red oven mitts, and the red blender and walk away.

TIP 3: This one didn’t take me long to figure out — buy furniture and home items that you can alter. What do I mean? It’s simple. When buying items for your home, it’s easy to get caught up in the hunt and forget that most of these things you have to live with for a while, especially if you are on a tight budget. So purchase things that can handle a coat of paint, a fabric change, etc. This gives you room to change along the way without making new purchases each time you have he inclination to change up your apartment home style.

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TIP 4: Don’t buy decor for your apartment the first time you see it (exception can be made, of course). I can’t even count how many times I’ve been in a store and just purchased things on a whim simply because they were pretty. I’d be excited for about a week, maybe a month if I’m lucky, and then I slowly realize that it was a stupid purchase. It doesn’t go with anything, I didn’t think it through, and I get tired of it quickly. A smart buying tip is to not buy something unless you are still in love with it at least a few weeks later. This can save you money and help you really think the purchase through before committing. Plus, you know you really love it if you are still thinking about it weeks later. Likely, you won’t get tired of it so quickly in that case. Longevity is key.

If you have hard time controlling your decorating impulses, perhaps one of these tips can help you out! Oh, and I’m always on the hunt, so any of your tips are welcome!

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Author My First Apartment

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Audra is a recent college graduate and an aspiring writer based in her home state of Georgia. She’s a lover of the sweetest Southern tea, warm weather, and decorating with lots of color, DIY projects, and shabby chic pieces. Her apartment living journey is still young, so she’s busy navigating the ups and downs and learning along the way. For more from Audra, follow her on Pinterest or check out her website

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  1. Avatar Emily

    The white towel tip really is genius. When my husband and I were picking things for our wedding registry last year, my mom kept telling me to only put white towels on it. This was a hard concept for me to grasp because I love making everything colorful. Well, I followed her advice (mostly because I hadn’t settled on a color scheme for our bathroom yet), and I am so glad I did! I’ve wanted to change our bathroom up so many times, and when I do finally decide to change it, I don’t have to buy new towels! Towels can get expensive too, especially when you have to get all new bath towels, hand towels, AND wash cloths. The towels are always in the closet anyway, so most people never even see them to know that you have “boring” white towels. What I did was just purchase two “decorative” colored towels to hang on the towel hanger in the bathroom. They don’t get used, they are just there to match and pull everything together. That way everyone thinks that I have towels to match my bathroom, when in reality I have a closet full of white towels!