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Reducing Buying Stress

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 Five Tips To Reduce Furniture Buying Stress 

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Decide on a basic style and look


Buy as many shelter magazines as you can afford. (Shelter magazine is an industry term for the magazines that talk about our "shelters" such as Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart's Living, Colonial Homes, Metropolitan Homes, Southern Living, Good Housekeeping.) Tear out all the pages that say, "That's Me!" and put them in a folder.


Go to furniture stores and walk the rooms. Focus on looks and lifestyle feelings that reach out and touch you. Make notes, draw pictures, take pictures. Compare what you  keep going back to, with the pictures in your folder.


Make mental notes every time you are in a store, or a friend's home.

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What common thread are you seeing?

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If you could build your dream house or condo or room which pages in your folder would you use? Whose house would you copy, which look would you try to recreate?



Decide on a price range and budget


This is one of your most  important steps because it determines how  you go about realizing your dreams. Be realistic, Don't shop  Baker and Henredon if you're driving a beat  up old 1965 VW beetle to get back and forth  to work every day.  At the same time if you have no clue how to operate your  washing machine because the maid does that,  then you  would  can afford more than Bassett or Vaughn.


Be synergistic


If you and your spouse  are having trouble finding common decorating  ground it may be time to concentrate more on some win-win  situations. There are times when compromise  is good, especially  in decorating. So instead of thinking "win-lose" figure out how you can both get what you want.


If you still find it  impossible to work out a common ground it  is time to go to step four.


Time to visit a decorator


Decorators come in all shapes and sizes as well as all price ranges from free to "just submit your payment to my usual trust fund."


In general, designers  make a living charging you by the hour, or  they sell brands you can't "comparison shop." They  earn a healthy mark-up and everyone's happy.


There are a number of  ways to control your costs when working with  a designer:

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Always discuss the  designer's fees upfront.

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Some decorators will help you pick out all the furnishings, show you where to buy it at a savings, than send you a bill for a percentage of the sale. This requires trust on both sides, but is a great arrangement.

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Shop a regular furniture store and ask for their top designer or decorator. Many of the finest stores in the country carry the very best products but offer free designer consulting as a service. Obviously, they hope you buy, and unless you just hate their work, or their prices are outrageous, you should.



Compare value


If you buy from an e-commerce site are you really getting a better deal, or just bragging rights that you bought your dining room over the Internet?


If you buy from a discount store in North Carolina can you trust them and will you get service?


If you buy from your local store will they support you and give you a fair market price?


If you buy from a mail order catalog will the delivered product actually look like the beautiful piece on the high-gloss catalog pages?


Value means that the merchandise or service you get meets or exceeds the expectations of what you think a fair price should be.

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