All the Way Home: Avoid blunders, Shop like a pro!

Have you ever found yourself in a furniture shop, absolutely clueless about which piece will look right in your home? Or, completely overwhelmed by the vast number of choices when trying to shop online? Have you ever wondered how professional interior designers and decorators do it?

In this article I reveal how these professionals actually shop. By understanding the way we think, you will soon be able to avoid bad interior design decisions before they happen. Intrigued? Let’s get started.

1. Instead of looking, a pro is rejecting
To an innocent bystander, decorators and designers seem to wander around furniture malls to shop for items just like anyone else. You couldn't be more mistaken. During what seems to be an innocent amble around in the shop, we are secretly rejecting irrelevant pieces. It goes something like "…nope (too big), nope (too round), nope, nope, nope… yes, this is it!"

Do you see the difference in the pro’s shopping style? We already know what we want to get before setting foot in any store! (Shocking, isn’t it?) We define criteria about the size, the style, the colour, etc. of the right piece in a much earlier phase of the process. In the shop, we are just looking for what we already have in mind.

2. A pro never buys a "loose item"
Many people go shopping because an item is broken or damaged and needs to be replaced. They usually go into a shop or mall and find the most beautiful furniture piece they see that fits within their budget. However, at home, this brand new piece often ends up being completely out of tune with the rest of their stuff.

How do professional decorators and designers avoid ever having this problem? The answer would be: we keep the "big picture" in mind at all times. Every piece is chosen while taking the other pieces in the room into account. A pro never buys a "loose item!"

3. The pros predict end results
"Predicting" here means to anticipate the effect of a certain interior element on the room, before it is actually placed there.

By "effect" we mean how it alters the atmosphere, the balance and the functionality of the room in question. Potential alterations are carefully considered. The final decision comes down to which pieces will work best in that particular situation.

Confused? No need, a little help can go a long way.

Aileen Martinia is an expat interior designer residing in Amsterdam. For inquiries / suggestions feel free to comment below and / or check out her book "Interior Design Superpowers for Everyone-6 Steps to Your Dream Home!"

Aileen Martinia


Aileen Martinia

Hi! My name is Aileen and interior design is my passion. I love helping people create functional & beautiful environments that are unique to their personality. Let’s sit down over coffee...

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