The secret to buying less is buying only items you really LOVE and will continuously enjoy.
There's a process to this. Practice it and you'll feel more confident about finding décor that resonates with you.
Here are 3 steps to fine-tune your 'intuitive shopping' skills!
STEP 1: Know exactly what you're looking for
When you get an idea write it down. It might start out general (rug for the living room). That's fine, just keep updating it as you get more specific about what you like and don't (need a rug that's easy to clean, this size, this color, this pattern). Sometimes all the details can drive you crazy BUT don't underestimate the details! Details are what make things PERSONAL.
A little story to illustrate my point: During college I interned part time. One day at lunch my boss and I had a fun conversation about how I love handbags. Months later, when I left, they gave me a gift card as a farewell present. Inside my boss had written “go get yourself a cute handbag ;)”
THAT detail, touched me because she'd remembered it from one random conversation. It wasn't only a gift card anymore it's a story I'll never forget, all because of the personal detail added.
So the question is... how do you find the details that matter to you?! I'm glad you asked! That's step 2 ;)
STEP 2: Collect inspiration
Taking time to browse what's out there, helps you discover your preferences and gives you a direction to follow. The combination of knowing what you want while actively looking for examples will help you find clarity about the details like height, color, or where it would fit best in your home etc.
One day you'll walk into a shop and BOOM there it is. The key again is focusing MORE on the DETAILS. It's not about collecting a ton of images, just collect the ones that stand out most to you. Ask yourself: Why do they stand out? Maybe you'll start to notice patterns. By making these observations regularly you'll feel confident about making decisions faster and acting on your intuition more. This is what Aesthetic Style is all about ;)
STEP 3: VALUE the process
The reason we buy those 'extra' purchases (beyond necessities) is because of how they makes us feel. You're buying an experience or memory not just an item. If you follow steps 1&2 it makes searching an experience in itself. Take your time, be patient, and enjoy the process.
You WILL find it and every time you see it in your home, your heart will smile. It's the process that creates value, not the money spent or money saved. Our concept of money can play tricks on our concept of value. Value is about emotions, about the story or 'the why' behind making decisions.
So those are the 3 steps! While writing this I thought about how this process, “takes away the rush of buying something spontaneously.” That's the point though. When I think about all the time and stress I've spent decluttering my impatient or impulse purchases, it kinda makes me nauseous. I could've used that time for some many other things... It's hard though because we're surrounded by a culture that craves instant solutions. “If I just get this, then my home will be beautiful”. Trust me, I know the struggle, I LOVE shopping. However, I've realized that I can find joy in the shopping experience, seeing and appreciating all the beautiful things people have made, without needing to buy it.
Lasting happiness starts from within. Decorating a home that's beautiful and reflects you, starts with knowing yourself and what you love.
P.S. If you haven't already, I highly recommend that you download and do the work in the Be Your Own Designer Guide, especially finding your home keywords. Those will help you when shopping and with the process of focusing on the details and most of all what you want to FEEL at home on a daily basis.
I'm Yun-A (rhymes with 'fun' 'Ah'). I'm originally from MD but I currently live in Oslo, Norway (hello scandinavian design!) with my hubby and 2 toddler sons.
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