Sometimes people ask ‘how do you know exactly what to get for a room?’.  For me it’s not very scientific.  But the answer is, I don’t know what to get for a room at all.  I try to not risk wasting money but I do want to take a risk to make a room look fantastic and my style instead of just done.  So I do what I can to eliminate as much risk as possible.

Here’s part of my process from yesterday.  I’m looking for a smaller coffee table or ottoman for our front room.  I’m considering something dark.  So naturally, I brought in my black velvet chair from another room to see how I like black in the room. I’ve got a little credit at Joss & Main after doing a group curated sale before Christmas and they have a black ottoman available.  So I measured out how big it would be (couldn’t find our measuring tape but for some reason I was able to find four rulers) and mapped it out on the floor. Then I laid out the computer right in front of the sofa and where I’d put the ottoman so I could envision it.

I sat and thought about it. I let it all stay there a few hours and so far I haven’t ordered the ottoman.  If I do order it and hate it I’m pretty sure I can sell it, but, I also think it’s pretty expensive for what it is and I’m not sure I’m ready to risk that. I’ll think about it some more today. It’s a process.


Usually it’s  the riskiest choices that have the biggest impact.  It didn’t feel natural to order a new grandfather clock and then take it apart and paint it as soon as it arrived. But I’m glad I did. It’s one of my favorite things. Sometimes taking a risk doesn’t pay off, but oftentimes, the ruined risk can still be salvaged–if I hated the clock painted white, I’m pretty sure I could have found a color that I did like. 

I usually ask myself: what’s the worst that can happen?

If the worst that can happen is that I have to repaint something or use it in another room or sell it for close to what I bought it for, or patch a few nail holes that’s always a risk worth taking.

What’s the last risk you took in your home?