Listen to Your Gut

Written by Decor

As I write this, it’s the first day of Spring. What we’ve all been waiting for! Buuuuut… it’s sleeting and snowing, the most snow we actually got all winter in my area. I have a lot of expletives running around in my head today. Another thing that is super disappointing – getting something for your home, only to find out you hate it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been so excited about something I loved at the store, brought it home to find I just didn’t like it in the space. Jordan jokes that I just like to buy something to test it out for a bit. He’s not totally wrong though! Even within the past few months, I’ve returned at least four home items I can remember.

There was an area rug I bought at Target to put down by the kitchen sink. I loved the muted, warm colors in it and thought it would warm up the space since everything else is gray, black and white. But when I laid it down, it was painfully obvious the rug was too small. I wrestled with keeping it because I loved the design so much. “Maybe it could just be right in front of the sink and that’s it” I told myself a few times. However, that wasn’t what I really wanted between the counter and island. In reality, I knew it would be better if there was a full runner between this space. Something that felt more to scale. So I begrudgingly returned the rug to Target and got a full refund. The hunt continues!

When I got focused on getting the living room into shape, I made a couple missteps. I purchased an 8×10 rug online I never showed anyone! I don’t even think I mentioned it on Instagram. It was this beautiful old world looking rug with a distressed look to it. The colors were dark blue, ivory, peach and little hints of teal. On screen, it looked much more neutral. At the time I thought I wanted to go dark as well to ground the space. So I hit “order” and paid $370 for this thing. When I unrolled a corner, I already started to have a bad feeling about it but figured it was just because I hadn’t seen the full thing all together with the furniture yet. Jordan and I took 30 minutes up-ending the whole room to get this rug down and then put it all back together. I took a step back to take it all in and…………….. I hated it.

Salena Blue Area Rug from Wayfair

I didn’t hate the rug itself, it’s still a beautiful rug. I mean… just look at it! I didn’t like what it did to the whole feel of the room. It was much more vibrant blue in person, and the teal became much more prevalent depending on what side you were standing on. It made the whole room feel cold with the sofa and curtains also being on the cooler side of the spectrum. Also, the 8×10 size was ending just at the edge of the sofa feeling very awkward, and still a good 6 feet away from the fireplace making the living room still feel disconnected. I waited an hour to say anything to Jordan since it was a bit of work to move everything to get the rug down. After we talked about it, we decided to wait another day to see if I would warm up to it… NOPE!

I purchased this rug through Wayfair, so returning it was not an issue. We wrapped up the whole thing in plastic, printed out the return shipping label generated by Wayfair and hauled it to a local shipping place. Done deal! We had to pay for the return shipping, but got the majority of our money back, along with a couple lessons on what we do and don’t want in our living room rug. Our next rug purchase went swimmingly well and suits the room so much more! It’s light, bright, and this time we got a 9×12 rug that brings the whole space together rather than sectioning it off. The first rug didn’t work out as well, but we learned from our mistake.

Olga Gray Area Rug from Wayfair

If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember this image with a black book shelf in the corner of our living room. I thought it would be great to add some height to that side of the room and mimic the black wall mirror on the other side of the sofa. We picked it up from IKEA, put it together and placed it in the corner. I liked it… but also didn’t like it. I couldn’t make up my mind on this one. I struggled deciding if I just wasn’t used to seeing anything there, or if it was too much black near the black fireplace, or would a white shelf work better? I was still believing a tall shelf would be best there.

Even after my Instagram photo of this book shelf became one of my posts with the highest engagement rates EVER… I still returned it. Why!? 1 –  My Instagram followers don’t live in my house. 2 – I decided after two weeks of living with it, it stuck out too far from the wall. If you sat on our sofa and looked over at it, the edge was just overlapping the window flanking the fireplace. It looked really nice from the angle I took this photo, but it was making the whole focal point of the room, the fireplace, off balance. I also finally came to the realization, we do not need height on that wall. I actually craved the airiness of a blank wall. It felt too busy with the book shelf and would only get busier as I added items to any shelf there. I was so stuck on the concept of needing a tall shelf, that I wasn’t thinking of other possibilities at first. We still want a place to put our record player and growing vinyl collection, but a short console table with some wall art above it will work just fine! We are on the hunt for the perfect table, and are also considering building one so it’s just right for what we want.

Just this past weekend, I repainted the guest bedroom. Yes, I did just paint it a few months ago! Deal with it! The original color I painted was sooooo close to what I wanted, but just missed the mark. It looked too blue once I was done, and in the sun light it looked bright baby blue. I couldn’t even find any good photos to share of the old color because I never wanted to take photos of the room. This past weekend, I decided to grab a gallon of paint with a color that was the same gray value as the old color, but with a warmer undertone. As I rolled the new paint on the wall, it was very similar at first. I could feel Jordan rolling his eyes at me. But when it was dry, it made all the difference in the world to me! It’s definitely gray now and not baby blue! This was a completely subjective change, but for $57, it was worth it to me and my special eyes.

Each of these scenarios cost us a little money and/or our time. However, I would much rather be totally happy with what’s in our home and how it functions for us, than hold onto something with my cold, dead hands just because I spent money on it. I hear it so often from friends how they didn’t return something because they wanted this or that to work sooooo badly, they tried to force it to work… and now months or years later, hate it. It’s like they are punishing themselves for spending the money in the first place. But you don’t need to punish yourself! It’s through experimentation that you learn what works and what doesn’t, what you like and what you don’t. Design, and especially home design, is meant to be fun! It’s not the end of the world if you make a misstep, it’s an opportunity to try something new (and go shopping again!)

If you really need it – I give you permission to return those items you know you don’t like. Or Craigslist them! Get something out of it! Instead, go get something for your home, your family and yourself that will bring joy to you, or better function to your space. You don’t have to keep playing this waiting game. Trust your gut!

Last modified: March 21, 2018

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