how to diagnose and cure HPA (homewares purchase anxiety)

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Homewares purchase anxiety hits without warning. You’re wandering through the store with a burning desire to get something new for your space. Out of nowhere, you spot the ‘marked down’ sign.  A state of ecstasy begins within. Then, you see the cushion from the latest issue of Real Living. Hold the phones; isn’t that the print from last nights episode of Selling Houses Australia? And WTF – is that clock seriously only $19.95!? As you start to get overwhelmed with too many glorious options, you spot the eager sales assistant approaching. And moments later, they’re bagging up $200 worth of homewares you’re not sure you needed.

This scenario used to happen to me all the time in stores – and over the years, I collected so many random pieces that didn’t work in my space that I ended up hating the rooms. And what did I do to overcome this hatred? I went back to the homewares store to buy something else in the hopes it would pull the room together. It can be a vicious cycle if you don’t know a way out.

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Here are a few things I keep in mind to avoid HPA occurring:

  • Spend time developing your style and figuring out what you like. Through magazines and blogs, you can start to gain an understanding of what your style might be.
  • A mood board is essential if you’re decorating a room. It doesn’t even have to be a literal one or a Pinterest one. You can have a virtual board going on in your head. This allows you to have a clear idea of what will go together in your home.
  • Know and respect your space. When I say respect, I mean that you have to come to understand what will and won’t work. If you have a very small bedroom, that grand fabric bedhead is going to make it feel even more cramped. Give the space what it needs to look its best.
  • You can’t have everything! There are a million styles out there and you may only have two or three rooms to play with. Sometimes you just have to admire it and move on (I love coastal but it’s just not going to mesh with my retro industrial apartment).
  • Be hard on yourself. If you’re like me, you can see the beauty in EVERY homewares piece. Put it back down when you’re in-store and ask yourself where it’s going to go, if it fits the theme, if you’ll tire of it in two weeks and if it’s best purchased for a friend instead.

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It will take time, but keeping the above in mind is going to make your homewares shopping experience so much more rewarding. You’ll soon be telling yourself “I love this piece, but not for my home”. And trust me, there is no greater feeling that having complete confidence in your stylist aesthetic and being able to recognise what you do and don’t need.

Drop me a comment below and let me know if you’ve got any tips on how to keep HPA under wraps!

6 thoughts on “how to diagnose and cure HPA (homewares purchase anxiety)

  1. This is the most hilarious blog post ever! I’m glad you have diagnosed me. As a stylist I’m always loving too many things at once and it can get easily out of control. Your fellow HPA member lol!!!

  2. Now I know there is a diagnosis for my condition! The amount of money lost on brand new items being thrown up on ebay because they don’t suit makes me sad 😦 I feel better reading this knowing it wasn’t just me being totally impulsive and so easily lured by all the pretty things. I second mood boards but have only used paint which is a bit hard when trying to overlap things etc. Do you have any suggestions for good, inexpensive mood board outlets? TIA 😀 Great post and thanks for sharing.

  3. Pingback: this week’s top seven creative finds | the life creative

    • Oh thanks so much Andy – I love hearing killer feedback like this 🙂 And I am sure with time you can learn to tame the HPA; I have and I’ve managed to spend less and love my wares more.

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