When buying furniture, lighting and accessories for your home, you probably want to be mindful about the process to acquire these. Don’t get me wrong, I am Swedish, so I love IKEA. But you should take into consideration what and when to buy from IKEA, and stores alike, as many of their furniture and pieces generally have a shorter lifetime than those that cost more.
Below I dive into how to be mindful when shopping for your home.
When selecting furniture for your home, think about what materials they might be made of. Choose materials of high quality that are durable and will stand the test of time. Natural materials can be a great choice as they often handle wear and tear well. Solid wood, for example, or a thicker veneer, can be sanded down and refurbished when, or if, needed. With upholstery, wool can be an excellent choice as it is naturally moisture wicking. So should you spill, there is time to absorb the spillage with a cloth before it soaks into the fabric. Wool also has a very high rub count, meaning it is a highly durable fabric.
Often when shopping for furniture at higher price points, a lot of thought and consideration have gone into designing the piece. How will it hold up over time? Which materials should we use and how will those different finishes look in 5 or 10 years from now? What should the silhouette look like? How can we create a modern piece that doesn’t feel outdated a few years from now? These are important questions that good designers ask themselves.
I know of a Swedish brand that makes beautiful linen home accessories. When their designer is creating a new pattern, she dirties, washes and mangles the fabric several times to see how it holds up. If she is not satisfied, the pattern is not put into production. This is the type of determination and passion to create long-lasting products you should look for when researching a new item for your home.
Yes, they cost more. But if you save up and spend it on that special piece, it will be a lasting love rather than just instant gratification. You will simply enjoy what you buy for longer.
By buying quality, you benefit in more ways than one. High quality furniture and accessories will bring more satisfaction and joy compared to other items that aren't just quite right. For most people, investing in quality pieces can also mean fewer items in your home as budgets only allow for so much. By investing in fewer higher quality items, you inevitably have less things to take care about, which in turn reduces the amount of stress in your life. Win!
Another aspect of buying quality pieces is the sustainability. Better furniture will last longer, reducing the amount we're sending to landfills. These pieces aren't mass-produced and (hopefully) will fit into your home and style for years to come, minimizing the need for purchasing new items.
Finally, it actually saves you money in the end. By buying better, you buy less frequently and even though it may sound conflicting, this will result in you having spent less money in the end.
Love why you want to buy it
Ask yourself why you want to buy it and if that reason is well-aligned with your thoughts and values. There is nothing wrong with splurging on that sofa table, or that perfect lounge chair, as long as it matches your core beliefs. Otherwise, the item will end up bothering you after a while. We all know of a purchase we’ve made, either influenced by an ad or a trend we thought was cool, but it turns out it wasn’t “us” and we've regretted it ever since. Furniture is much the same, the difference is that it hurts more as it digs a bigger hole in your wallet.
Reflect before you act
Do you already have something similar? Could it work in your space as is, or can you modify it slightly to make it a better fit? It is always a good idea to look around to see what you already have in your home and try to work with those pieces while adding other items that complement these, instead of re-doing the whole interior. This, you will find, will happen naturally if you follow the steps above as you'll start only investing in what you truly love.
Are you on a tight budget? There is no harm in waiting for the perfect used piece on a trading platform like Kijiji, Marketplace, or 1stdibs. Most platforms have functions where you can save a search and get notifications when an item matching your criteria is available. Buying used also allows the item a second chance at life instead of ending up in our landfills. We, Hut K, also switch things up in our showroom once in a while by selling off our floor models to make room for new pieces, so that is always an option!
I firmly believe it is better to be missing an item in your interior for a while rather than picking one that isn't 100% right for your home. It may look a little empty for a bit, but that is ok. You'll be glad you waited once you get your hands on that perfect piece.
To sum it up, base your decision on what you truly like and choose items that align with your style. Do your research to make sure the quality and longevity is there. Make sure your reasons for buying the item are the right ones and then sleep on it for a day or two. And voila, you will end up with a mindfully curated, beautiful home.