Interior Decorating

Many of you have undoubtedly noticed by now that my purchasing habits are slightly atypical. I really like to do a lot of research and study before purchasing most things. When I decide that I want to buy a certain thing then I begin the research process of learning everything I can that is pertinent to the purchase. Depending on what it is this phase can last quite a while. I often look at price, features, quality, read reviews, and understand as much as I can about the target purchase and analyze every facet of the purchase’s impact that I can think of. Then, once I have completed my research, I make a decision and go ahead with the purchase.

The length and scope of this research is not, as many would guess, related necessarily with the dollar amount of the purchase. I’ve spent a lot of time to make a purchase that only costs $20. It’s more about getting the most personal utility from my purchases. The thing is, if I am going to buy something—regardless of the price—I want to take the time and buy exactly the right one of whatever it is. So the amount of research is often related to the complexity/impact of the purchase rather than the dollar value. As a result of all this, I often take a while to purchase things but very rarely regret any purchase. (The most notable exception is a pillow I purchased six months ago, but that’s a topic for a different post.)

This pattern has proven a rather difficult one in regard to purchasing furniture and interior decorations for my new apartment. I moved into my apartment in April. Now it’s July and it is still pretty sparsely furnished. For example, I still don’t have any couches. In fact, my living room is really nearly devoid of furniture. And my walls are also quite bare. I am most starkly reminded of this nearly everyday when I make noise and become aware of the empty echo in my apartment.

The problem is, in order to purchase couches, I need to understand what I want my living room to look like in pretty great detail. The couches, of course, need to match in color and style with all the other furniture in the room. So then I have to look at a coffee table and end tables. But those depend on bookcases. And then curtains depend on colors of everything else in the room, not to mention what the curtain rods should look like. Then once I figure out all of this I can think about lamps and a clock and other wall hangings. But then I change my mind about the type of lamp that I want, which affects the color of bookcases, in turn making me go back to the drawing board on the couch color.

But it gets worse. I want a TV, but I don’t want my living room to be focused on the TV. So I want a way to hide it that is not obviously a TV. I’ve got a few ideas, but they center around particular features of bookcases and finding TV mounting brackets that do very specific things, while also requiring certain arrangements of furniture. So that means that criteria for dimensions and features on a lot of things are more constrained so I have to do more hunting to find some that meet my parameters and also are a style I like that simultaneously fits in with everything else in the room. Furthermore, while I do really like my apartment, I don’t expect to live here forever. So things I buy need to be flexible enough to be perfect in an apartment/house that I may live in later. And then there is the fatal combination of having rich tastes while wanting to keep costs low. This only scratches the surface—I could go on for pages, but you get the idea. This is really unbelievably complicated.

So essentially, I have to know exactly which item of every piece of furniture and decor I am going to buy for the whole room before buying any single item. And it turns out, this is a pretty serious undertaking. And I am nervous that after spending all of the time and effort to do so, I won’t even have a result that is acceptably perfect.

Anyway, despite all the forgoing complications, I think I am making significant progress. In fact, I am hoping to essentially complete my analysis by the end of July. So you will soon be able to sit on something other than folding chairs when you come to visit me. Then I can turn my attention to purchasing some new clothes, which I’ve been needing to do since early 2009.