Design Tip #2~Approval

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

~ Always take things out on approval~

I am sure that many of you probably know this but I when I was young and first setting up home I did not, so I will share it anyway.  If you see something you think might work in your home, ALWAYS ask to take it out on approval.  You leave a credit card number and are allowed to take the object home for a few days to see how it looks/works in the space. Most businesses from high end antique stores to consignment shops will allow you to take things home before purchasing them.  Even art galleries will allow you to take things on approval.  I have avoided quite a few big purchase mistakes by doing so. I am working very hard to make all of our furniture work in this home so I have taken several things out on approval in the last few weeks.  Here are some examples...  

We brought these home to see if they would work in our dining room.  The color and style were right but the scale was wrong (too small).  So, they went back.

I bought these home to replace the one below that was broken in our move....

I think we are keeping the pair.  They are a great price and I will be getting two for almost what I previously paid for one at an antiques show in Virginia a few years ago! 
Just another sign on the poor economy.
One in our dining room (excuse the towel--we did not want to scratch our buffet).  These are very heavy cast concrete.

My creation
We took these beautiful dining chairs home on approval.  Kate just had to try them out.  We sold our dining chairs before we left Virginia because we knew that they only way we would actually bite the bullet and buy more is if we did not have any.  I think we are going to keep these.  We are negotiating the price right now.

That is another tip~ 
ALWAYS ask (very politely) if there is a better price.  There almost always is. I think we will get 10% off of these. We are buying 8 of them so that is almost a free chair.


We brought this ottoman home and while I LOVE it.....


 we decided it was not the right color for the room.  I am so glad we brought it home.  We might have the shop re-upholster it. 

So, we are back to this having this coffee table for now.

Okay, so when in doubt---take it out on approval!


  1. I did not know this! What a fabulous tip. Thanks, Kim :)

  2. I just wanted to let you know, that while I've always loved your posts about your kids, these design posts are so helpful! Your house is lovely and I've always admired it. Now I'm getting to benefit from your expertise! Thanks!

  3. That is a great tip!

    Kate looks so grown up with her longer hair. Where did you get her cute dress?

    Your house looks beautiful!

  4. hey I didn't know you could do that. Might have saved me some money over the years. lol.....

  5. Kim,

    I just love these decorating posts-(although the post of darling Kate yesterday is might hard to top :))Many times I have brought things home from stores to see how they look and "feel". Mostly with artwork. Your house is stunning!! I love seeing pictures of it, you have such great taste. I have always been big on the fact that just because I have kids does not mean I can not have pretty and nice things out on tables, accessories, etc. Thanks for the post...


  6. Wow -- what a great tip!! Am so glad that you have added the decorating tips to your blog posts even though I love hearing about your kidlets! Take care.


  7. Great tip! I must tell you, I am loving these decorating posts!! Are you going to share more pics of your new house when you get it just right?

  8. Very good advice. I have ever asked to take something out on approval but I will now : ) My husband is the "Is that the best you can do" guy...I admit I just can't get those words out of my mouth so I send in my sweet husband. He is incredible at making a deal work. Maybe it's the CPA in him? In fact I just sent him to my favorite furniture store with a list..they are clearing out a lot of their floor models and since almost all furniture in the store is custom made they clear it out! I found a lot I liked so I sent him on his way.
    I love the dining room chairs : ) Miss Kate looks adorable on the chairs.

  9. Beautiful choices. How ever do you keep it clean with kids and a dog? I have a white couch and over the summer my dog, who never ever got up on furniture, decided he like sleeping on it right after coming in from his digging spot in the back yard!

  10. What a great reminder! It's so much fun to see what you are finding in your new town. I LOVE everything you have chosen and I think all of your rejects would work perfectly in my house. I was just thinking that we need new sconces in our living room. I think they are the only light fixtures we have not changed since we moved in to this house.

    Can't wait to see and hear more!

  11. I love the dining room chairs! And as usual the "model" is adorable.

  12. I am in love with your rugs! I am also glad to see your dog crate in the LR! No kidding...John fusses at me about Abby's crate and now I can show him that she deserves her space in our LR!

  13. Ok, you are the next design star! I am loving these posts.

  14. I always forget about approval!!! Can save so much money!!!

  15. That is such great advice, I really didn't know people did it that much. I'm such a wimp about negotiating prices. Your family room is just beautiful. I'm glad you decided not to paint the wood white just yet. How do you keep your kids from dirtying all of your lovely furniture and art?

  16. What a great idea, Thanks :)


  17. I am the approval queen although I am not good at asking for the price to be lowered. I usually let Mikee do that. I need to get better at that for sure. Love the dinning room chairs, I like things that aren't so matchy and it seems as if you do to. With our new puppy I am back to the crate in the family room and I thought it was funny to see yours in there, I was looking in Frontgate to see if there was a prettier one that looked nice if it was out when company came but none I felt I had to have. Have a great Thursday.

  18. Well, I did not know that you could take things home to see how they work out and I think it's great!
    I also love the Kate Emerson post below. She really is growing up.

  19. Great bit of useful information. I have done that in the past, but you reminded me again to keep doing it. There are some really neat bar stools at a home decorating store downtown and I have had my eyes on them for over 2 years. Yes, they still have the SAME ones. I should ask if I could bring them home to see how they work. GREAT idea!!
    I do love that upholstered table that you brought home, but you're right...too much of the same color. I like the blueish green color that the wood is.
    I did an inspiration room post today if you'd like to come by and see.

  20. Kim,
    I have made so many mistakes! I wish i had heard of this before. THANKS for a great tip!


  21. That is a GREAT ottoman. I hope you can have it upholsted exactly the way you want it. :-)

    btw - I have permanently added the term "snackcrack" to my vocabulary. too funny.

  22. I really love all the colors you have in the house. Makes me want to repaint mine.

  23. Love this room! So charming and warm - just lovely. Have a wonderful weekend.

  24. I am one of those people who can't really visualize something unless I bring it home and see it in the actual environment. I love taking things home on approval!


Thank you for your kindness.