Home Decor Shopping: When to BUY vs. when to PASS

The struggle is real. <– and we are still learning, practicing, and trying to perfect the famous “shopping for home decor skill”. And yes, we do feel that shopping for new home decor is a legit skill, one that should be taken very seriously if you want to avoid the dreaded symptoms of design regret. Call us crazy (you won’t be the first or the last), but first, hear us out…

Ask us a few years ago about this “skill” and we would have thought you were the crazy one, but now that each of us have been in our homes for 2+ years, we have a significantly different opinion on the matter. Recently, we’ve found ourselves thinking that some of the design decisions we made back when we started our spaces were quite a bit different than what we would do now (cough, cough… to say it nicely). Granted, our styles have evolved over this time, but we are still left with a nagging thought that maybe we should try to think these decor decisions through a little more from now on, so that we are more calculated when adding items into our home. We want to start making decisions that have us not only loving the look today, but also loving the look for a looooonnngggg time to come.

Home Decor Shopping Guide: Buy vs. Pass | DIY PlaybookWe’ve had many of conversations about this topic and could seriously sit down and chat about this over coffee with fellow design enthusiasts for hours. For today, we are going to boil it down to a part of the problem that both of us feel like we could continue to improve on: Shopping for Decor. <– plus, we’re hoping that if we put it out on the blog, we can all support each other to make a conscious effort to become better in this department, and squash design regret once and for all! Allow us to explain…

Does it work for you? Home Decor Shopping Guide: Buy vs. Pass | DIY PlaybookWe’ve all been there, right? Something spectacular grabs our eye in Target, and we are instantly blinded by its beauty, color, and affordable price tag. We are immediately justifying in our heads why this adorable item NEEDS to come home with us. So of course, we are left with absolutely no choice but to scoop that piece up and bring it home to add to our favorite shelfie within the first 5 minutes of walking in the door. #loveatfirstsight 


A few months go by, the seasons change, the trends fade and you slowly realize that you just aren’t “into” that item as much as you used to be. The bold print, the color combo that doesn’t seem to mesh with the rest of the room, the awkward size, the fact that you never liked pugs in the first place– something about this item just isn’t doing it for you anymore. Sound familiar? (Don’t feel bad, we know this feeling all too well)

Do you love it? Home Decor Shopping Guide: Buy vs. Pass | DIY PlaybookYou don’t LOVE it, yet you don’t hate it enough to actually get rid of it. And yes, it was affordable but heck, it wasn’t F-R-E-E. What happens next is the exact reason we all NEED to perfect our home decor shopping skill. We aren’t in love, yet we choose to keep this item around because we feel too bad getting rid of it and wasting those hard-earned dollars. And from here on out, every time we lay eyes on that once coveted piece, we hear this little voice in our heads saying, “EW, EW, EW, EW…. how can you live with that look for one minute longer?!” <– okay, okay, maybe that’s a tad dramatic but you get the point, right? Is it dramatic? Home Decor Shopping Guide: Buy vs. Pass | DIY Playbook

We’re not knocking Target by any means because we are HUGE Target fans and have found some of our all-time favorite pieces there. We just use this popular decor hotspot as an example because we think most of us can relate to this experience. Design regret can really happen everywhere. No matter the price tag, the item, the trend, the store…. it is always looming and the only thing that can combat it is a strong Home Decor Shopping Skill.

This valuable skill is unofficially defined as the ability to decipher whether an item is:

A. adorable/on-trend/I’m obsessed with that look yet I realize it’s not for me 


B. that item is SO my style and is the exact item I have been searching for (calculated, intentional, sticking with your style trademark to come to your conclusion on whether to buy or not).

There’s a difference. A BIG difference. Just because an item is adorable doesn’t always mean it’s the right item for you, your style, or your space. Personally, we do not want our spaces to be filled with a ton of random “adorable” things; we want our space to be filled with items that were well thought out, well executed, and so “us“. <– this is what we need to get better at.

Can you adjust it? Home Decor Shopping Guide: Buy vs. Pass | DIY PlaybookHome Decor Shopping Skill doesn’t mean you should stop shopping and put the brakes on buying (not even close!). Home Decor Shopping Skill just means to really think through each purchase and make sure the item reflects your style, your space, and won’t be an impulse buy that will later morph into design regret.

Can you customize it? Home Decor Shopping Guide: Buy vs. Pass | DIY PlaybookWe are really working hard to hone this skill, especially lately. It’s not always easy, but practice makes perfect… right. We are currently in the “practice” stages, will you join us? Instead of buying to buy, how about assessing each purchase with just a tad more intention. If we all change our perspective while shopping, design regret won’t have a chance in our spaces. Are you in or what?!

We’ll be here to cheer you on, but if you have to “cheat” a little and splurge on something that’s just too darn cute not to buy,  know that you’re not alone. 😉 #stillintraining #practicemakesperfect

We can do this!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

your home playbook sidebar