10 MUST HAVE Shopping Tips for Your Interior Design Project

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A couple of months ago I shared a list of 200 online retailers to shop for furniture, art and decor.  Since then, I've had so much traction from sharing the list that I thought y'all might benefit from knowing some of my MUST HAVE tips when shopping for your interior design projects. 

If you don't have the list, you can grab it here: 200 Online Retailers for Furniture & Decor. 

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where to shop for furniture and decor 2019

I know shopping for new furniture, art and decor can be fun and exciting, but before you go spending any serious money, you might wanna take a look at some of the tips I've put together to help you stay focused on your task and on target with the budget that you've set for your interior decorating project. 

Here's a quick overview of some of my MUST HAVE tips for furniture and decor shopping. 


Assuming that your goal is to design the most beautiful room/home you can afford, you need to start out with a plan. Follow these smart shopping tips to help you stay on task and on budget. 

TIP #1
Measure your room and create a rough idea for a floor plan. 

interior design floor plan

TIP #2
Take photos of your current space. Create a KEEP & DISCARD LIST and a WANT & NEED LIST (note prices). Be sure to also take photos of the items you are keeping and note each item's dimensions. 

TIP #3
Research/browse online for all the items you want to purchase. Then create a Pinterest board to pin all the furniture/decor that you like so you can refer back to each item later.

research your interior design project


TIP #4
Once you have a good idea about the items you'd like to buy, pay close attention to the dimensions of each item to make sure each will fit in your space. Check packaging dimensions as well to ensure you can get each item you wish to purchase through your door openings. 

Check Furniture Dimensions When Shopping

TIP #5
Next narrow down your favourite items and make a SHOPPING LIST. Make sure to include the name, dimensions and price of each item. Create a concept board/mood board so that you can visualize how your space will look once you've completed the design.  create a mood board for your interior design project

TIP #6
Revisit your floor plan. Make any adjustments you need to make based on your furniture and decor choices. If you can't make some of the items you love work in your space, refer back to your Pinterest board and make new selections that will work based on your dimensions and design. 

TIP #7
Once you have your finalized floor plan and shopping list, create a final mood board. Print the mood board along with your floor plan and shopping list and keep it handy when shopping for your interior design project. 

TIP #8
Shop! Now that you have your plan in place, you can go ahead and start shopping. Shop online, in stores or both. If you're shopping in-store, remember to bring your floor plan, mood board, shopping list, current room photos, photos of anything you're keeping and a measuring tape. 

TIP #9
Before you purchase anything, make sure to check return and refund policies to avoid disappointments down the road. If you're shopping online or you're ordering a custom item, check the shipping policies as well. 

TIP #10
Shopping can be a time-consuming process. Make sure to block out several hours to shop.  If you have young children, you may want to consider getting a babysitter for the hours you will be shopping. When shopping for big-ticket items such as furniture that will occupy your space for years to come, it’s best if you can focus on the task at hand.  Being in the right headspace will help to ensure that you make thoughtful choices that you are confident about so that you avoid buyer’s remorse later. 

avoid shopping with kids

There's an overview of my must-have shopping tips for your interior decorating project.  If you want all the nitty-gritty details as well as upholstery fabric considerations, rules for lighting and area rug placement, furniture and space guidelines, styling tips, a list of my favourite paint colours check out my self-paced online DIY Interior Design Course.  It covers these topics and SO much more!

interior design course

I hope you find this helpful.  If you want some ideas to get you started, check out some of my favourite furniture, art and decor at the links below.  


favourite furniture Favourite Home Decor favourite art
Favourite Lamps Favourite Neutral Area Rugs Favourite Neutral Mirrors


P.S.  A 15% tariff was introduced in September 2018 in the USA for goods received from China.  In May 2019 another 10% tariff was introduced.  Many retailers have already or will be increasing their prices as a result.  If you're shopping for anything in particular, you may want to do it sooner rather than later.  

And, as always, if you'd like to stay in the loop with what's happening in the world of interior design and get tips on how to put your ideas together, sign up for the Design Tribe for helpful cheat sheets, checklists and guides to help you achieve your interior design goals. 

Join the Interior Design Tribe
Happy Shopping!
 Virtual Interior Designer Canada & USA signature

Virtual Interior Designer
Orangetree Interiors
Unless stated, I do not own any of the images posted on this blog. If you see your work on my site and I have not given you proper credit or you would like it to be removed, please contact me.  Some of my posts include affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more information.  

affordable interior decorating do-it-yourself interior decorating furniture shopping furniture shopping tips interior decorating interior decorating budget interior decorating tips interior design interior design budget online interior decorating online interior design shopping tips where to shop for furniture

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