Have you ever been out shopping for a very specific item – something that should be easy to find – and no matter how many stores you try, you can’t find just the right thing? Other times, when you aren’t even looking, you come across something that you couldn’t love more so you just have to make the purchase? I’m sure I can’t be the only one!
While it is certainly nice to have a completed space at the end of any project, small or large, sometimes it may be a better idea to let the space rest and wait until the right pieces for the space turn up. I’ve been guilty in my own home of wanting to cross a project off my list, so I purchase everything all at once, settling on only items I could find at that particular time, only to realize later that if I would have waited a little longer for something I liked better, I may have been happier with the end result and had no desire to change out things later (enter husband’s eye roll here). I am a highly decisive person, and this is still something I struggle with!
Another reason to let a newly decorated or remodeled space rest a bit is to make sure you are certain of how you want the space to function and flow before making expensive purchases such as furniture that limit both layout and style. For example, perhaps where you imagined a sofa to sit may be a better spot for a pair of armchairs and an end table with a lamp.
I like to start with the elements in a room I’m absolutely sure of. In a redesign project, it’s typically the more permanent fixtures and finishes such as flooring, tile, built-in cabinetry – anything that would be expensive and difficult to change out. Or – if there are existing pieces like furniture or art that need to stay and be worked around, playing around with different arrangements is always a good idea before planning the rest of the space. These things typically set the tone and feel of the rest of the space and act as a great guide for coordinating other pieces of furniture and décor within the particular aesthetic.
For most people, whether to purchase or not to purchase often comes down to price. Trust me, I get it - I used to be about as big of bargain shopper as they come! While I do still love a good deal (who doesn’t?!), I now would much rather pay a little more for an item that I REALLY love and will love for a long time versus purchasing a so-so item just to fill the space, and then ending up replacing it later and spending more than I would have had I just waited for the right piece to begin with!
The same goes for the quality of a piece. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for as far as quality goes. On items that get lots of use or that may not get switched out as often (sofas, area rugs, storage units, light fixtures), it is often a better idea to put your money into a higher-quality item both in terms of material and appearance than an item that won’t last as long, look cheaper, or be as comfortable or as functional as a product of higher quality.
If it just isn’t in the budget to purchase the exact piece of furniture or item a space needs, or if that perfect piece is still out there waiting for you to find it, there are a couple things you could consider doing to finish the space a little more temporarily:
For a bare wall, use a mirror as a temporary placeholder. Mirrors are very versatile and work in many different types of rooms, making it easier to find another home for it if/when it would be replaced by another piece of wall art.
Think outside the box to purpose existing furniture. Could you temporarily use a dresser you have in storage as a console table to fill some floor space? Or perhaps use a backless barstool as a temporary end table? Keep in mind that you don’t always have to have ‘placeholder’ furniture, but if it looks like a space is very unfinished without a certain piece, perhaps looking around your house to move some things around for the time being would work well!
Use plants of varying sizes to fill empty spots. Like a mirror, plants are very versatile and work in about any room in the home so can be shifted around as needed. Plants (real or artificial!) come in all sorts of sizes and shapes and add so much life to a space regardless of the existing color scheme or style. While I think it’s always a great idea to incorporate some sort of plant in any space, they can be great items to fill gaps in design, temporarily or permanently.