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 Shopping for home décor and other essentials can be a learning experience. Though there are many ways to go about it, I often start the process with some inspiration from print ads and online searches before heading to local merchants to see for myself what’s out there.

I always seem to find what I’m looking for when and where I least expect it, which typically happens when I’m getting ready to give up on my search.

For me, it always helps to see a piece in person, especially when it comes to seating. When I spotted an outdoor lounge chair that had been advertised everywhere, it was easy to confirm that comfort wasn’t part of its DNA.

In the end, I held out for the right furniture for my deck. Eventually, I found a padded lounge chair when I wasn’t looking for it. When I returned to the store to buy another, only to find they were all gone, I came upon four outdoor chairs I decided to purchase.

Though the lounge and dining chairs aren’t meant to go together, there are some similarities. The fact that I’m blending disparate pieces instead of getting another set makes my deck look more interesting.

Now I just need to find the right outdoor dining table and I’ll be all set. If I push that thought out of my head, I’ll probably land one.

During another recent shopping trip, I discovered that bigger really can be better when it comes to some home essentials, such as garbage pails.

When the foot pedal broke on the one in my kitchen, I knew I needed a replacement even if I couldn’t find what I originally had in mind.

Though going with plastic rather than metal wasn’t my first choice, it turned out to be a bonus because the can doesn’t make any sound when it touches the wall. The semi-circular shape also works much better than the round one I had for years that was too small to accommodate the average trash bag.

A similar scenario happened with the bathroom garbage pail I found that turned out to be far more efficient than the one I had.

Sometimes you stumble upon a better solution when you can’t find what you thought you needed.

These seemingly small improvements make a big difference with their repeated use throughout the day.

During my shopping excursions, I also learned not to discount the amount of help you might get in a discount store. On more than one occasion, I was pleasantly surprised to find someone that went above and beyond.

Now I’m on the lookout for some small containers for the houseplants I’ve been acquiring. I’d also like to get the garden art and outdoor lighting I bought out of my laundry room and outside where they belong.

Next time I’m out and about on the hunt for home goods, I’ll try to remember the lessons I’ve learned so far: Do your homework, be patient and enjoy your new finds.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at jeaninematlow@earthlink.net.

 

 

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