The best decor is worth waiting for
In case you hadn't noticed, I love to find the perfect decor for a fraction of retail. When I have an idea of what I want, however, I won't be swayed to buy something just because it's a bargain. It still has to look exactly like what I had in mind. Sometimes it has taken me years to find just what I wanted at a price I can afford, or that is at least a good deal.
I think I waited six years to be able to afford to purchase a certain little glass and rattan table for two that I first saw in the early '90s. I knew it was the only table that would fit in my small kitchen, but those were tough times for my family financially. I didn't care that by the time it was on sale and I had the money for it, it was outdated. It was still the right size and shape for the space I had, and it was finally affordable. I adored it.
Don't ever settle, and never pay more than you can afford
I thought about the little table and chairs all these many years later because I was just sitting at it. I don't own it anymore. I gave it to my son a long time ago. He still has it, and I'm visiting. I think it has paid for itself many times over by now and is in sad shape after 20 years of constant use, but it's still functional. With some paint and a couple of pieces of fabric for the seat cushions, it could easily be rejuvenated. When you wait to buy just the right item, you derive a different kind of joy from it than you do from an impulse buy, especially when it comes to home decor. After all, you have to look at it every single day, so you better like it.
I feel that way about nearly everything in my home. And when the time comes that I no longer do, I know it's time to start looking for a replacement. The looking and even the waiting are for me the best part -- first the recon missions to see what's out there and determine what I want as well as what will fit the space and purpose for which I need the piece. I spend a lot of time daydreaming about what it should look like and searching the Internet, pinning images in Pinterest. I go from one consignment shop to another, check craigslist and the usual off-price stores as well as the popular furniture stores. Eventually I always find exactly what I'm after. I recently showed a photo of my bar and bar stools to a friend who said, "If you ever don't want that, I'll buy them from you."
I'm not ready to part with the bar. I remember scouring San Francisco for the tiny bar that was ultra contemporary and that would fit in my studio apartment, the first apartment I ever had by myself. I had to wait until I was in my 50s to have my very first "own home." The bar, though I rarely used it for the purpose it was intended -- entertaining -- symbolized for me a certain time and place in the past when I was young and carefree -- when I thought I'd have a life all my own in a different city but never did. I waited a long time for that, too.
I've never regretted waiting.