Online Decor Shopping Tips

Welcome! If you’re new here, we’re currently transforming our master bedroom for the One Room Challenge. In case you missed it, catch up on Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4

Online shopping is one of life’s best inventions! Check out my best tips for online decor shopping to make decorating your home on a budget painless and FUN!

Almost there! I can see the light reflecting off our freshly painted black doors and can’t wait to be able to check another room off our to do list!

This week has been crazy busy getting all the final things done for our bedroom makeover, but it’s totally worth it as I start to see many things each day getting checked off the to-do list.

I share a list below, but that’s just the simplified version. My actual list is about 3x that length.

You know when you have dreamt up grand plans for years to DIY a project, or makeover a piece of furniture in your garage, or, say, makeover your old bed you’ve had since you moved into your first apartment in college? Well, those plans take on a life of their own after a few years.

Two years ago I bought fabric and a button making kit dreaming of the day I would get the courage to makeover our bed. Then one day I was walking through Fred Meyer and saw a foam camping mattress on sale for just $20. Such a steal AND perfect for adding cushion to our slatted headboard.

I had planned it down to every detail, but when I actually went and bought the fabric last week, I got it home and my lovely husband had the nerve to say to me, “Can’t we buy one for cheaper than that fabric?” GAHHH!!

Why does he always have to be the voice of reason?!

Yes, he was right. But I had it all planned. It was going to look awesome. Totally worth it.

In the end, though, time is money. So if you add up the cost of the material (the stuff I could still return plus the material I hadn’t bought yet) plus the cost of the minutes that would be ticking away trying to get the bed transformed, it got crossed from the to-do list. I returned the fabric and found a tufted gray bed frame I love just as much as the one I had dreamed up in my head.

I’m still a little sad that I don’t get to see my plans get brought to life, but maybe, one day, it will still happen.

As for the rest of this week, I spent 5 hours caulking Friday night — caulking board and batten plus all the new baseboards and doors was a beast! — did lots of painting and touchup painting and painting doors and sanding caulk and then more touchup painting. I’ve also been working on some fun DIY projects that are going in the room and gathering accessories for the space.

I’ve had so much fun curating a pile of white and black throws, pillows, and dresser accessories. I can’t wait to see it all start to come together!

Also, the bed and new accent chair should arrive today and then it’s CRUNCH TIME!

Online shopping is literally my favorite! I love finding the perfect piece for a room and even better when I get to do it from my couch in my sweats. Don’t let not being able to actually see the item right in front of you keep you away, you’ll be missing out on a lot of great stores that are either not in your area or are online only.

Check out my best online shopping tips below!

Online shopping is one of life's best inventions, but are you doing these 6 things before clicking BUY? Check out my best tips for online decor shopping to make decorating your home on a budget painless and FUN! #homedecor #modernhome #shop

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Tips for Online Decor Shopping

1. Measure and Map It

Measure your space (at least twice) and know the measurements of any pieces of furniture that will be in the space. Once you have your measurements, map it out. Either do it digitally or use graph paper to draw it all out to scale. Doing it to scale is the key to online shopping! You need to know what kind of space the furniture will take up before you buy it.

2. Know Your Budget

Put together a general budget and then prioritize which items are either most expensive or the most crucial to what you’re doing. For example, the bed for our master bedroom, nightstands, dresser, and accent chair were the most important, in that order.

Buy the most important things first and then design the rest of your space around those must-have items.

3. Order Samples

When you are able, buy fabric samples and try out paint swatches before spending the big bucks. It’s much better to spend a few bucks on samples and realize you don’t like something then order something and risk not being able to return it.

4. Read Reviews

This tip is my most helpful tip when it comes to buying home decor online! Definitely read reviews, but, more importantly, look for pictures in reviews of the item you’re looking to get in other people’s homes. Those pictures are going to give you a much more accurate depiction of what the items look like without worrying about photoshop or staged lighting in the phots the store has provided. You can also get a better reference for size and how an item looks depending on what else is in the picture.

It was so helpful to see accent chairs in the space before buying one for our bedroom. It made it really handy as I narrowed down this list of modern accent chairs.

5. Know the Material

Always look at what material is being used before buying home decor. Especially when buying linens or furniture with “wood” material, pictures can be deceiving. Check to see the type of material and if you don’t know what it is, just google it. You’ll be able to get a good idea of what the fabric will feel like or if there is just a veneer of wood compared to solid wood furniture.

6. Know Return Policy

Often times you have to pay for shipping if you want to return an item. Most online stores have pretty good return policies though, just make sure and check it before you press buy if you’re even the least bit hesitant about an item you’re buying.

Ready to see some of the items I’ve purchased online over the last few weeks for our master bedroom? 

Family-Friendly Modern Home on a Budget Guide

Here’s this week’s updated project list if you’ve been following along.

Project List:

  • Install board and batten & paint
  • Paint ceiling SW Bright White
  • Paint walls SW Peppercorn
  • Remove carpet
  • Install new flooring
  • Paint doors SW Tricorn Black
  • Switch closet door to open into room
  • Add new baseboards and door trim
  • Install new ceiling fan
  • Makeover headboard (See above and why we bought a new one)
  • Figure out dresser organization (bought Malm dresser)
  • Paint trim
  • Paint curtain rod
  • Install wall sconces
  • Build two nightstands (bought two nightstands instead)
  • Organize closet
  • Make art with our wedding vows
  • Make canvas art for above bed
  • Hang new curtain rod and curtains
  • Accessorize!

So close, yet not quite there yet! Now’s the time when design plans start to change and ideas have to get nixed because they either can’t be implemented in time or are just not turning out the way they were envisioned.

Just as a reminder, check out what the boring master bedroom looked like before and then be sure to check out the big reveal next week!

Thank you so much to this year’s sponsors helping make this room transformation possible!

Select Surfaces

Check out all the rooms that are being made over at One Room Challenge right here and be sure to check back next week for the final reveals!!

One Room Challenge

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14 thoughts on “Online Decor Shopping Tips

  1. Great tips, Amanda! I’m super guilty of skipping the swatches and just dive into the order. Thanks for these excellent reminders. Discipline is always the best. See you next week. ~~ Susie from The Chelsea Project

  2. I hate when hubby is right. But your new bed sounds lovely!! Samples are always worth it with wallpaper because they always look different in person. Love these tips!

  3. These are great tips! I love shopping online, it’s so easy, but you have to make sure you know what you’re getting

  4. I’m with you girl! You know where I live…. I need online shopping! LOL. Although I’m really bad at returning stuff… haha

  5. Amazing tips! I live in the middle of No Where! I purchase pretty much everything online. I rely heavily on reviews and always map a layout out first. I’ve definitely made some mistakes but I’ve made myself a promise that I would send anything back that I didn’t love. Even when I have to pay shipping fees. Thanks for the post!

  6. I know just how you feel about caulking board and batten…I spent a whole day doing it for the fall ORC and my fingers still go numb from it, lol! Great tips for online shopping. I tend to just dive in and order something if I like the look of it without much research…I am going to use your tips the next time I order something! See you at the finish line!!

  7. These are great tips for on-line shopping. I was shopping with my tape measure in hand for my bedroom makeover too. Can’t wait to see all your pretty pillows and throws next week.

  8. Hi Amanda, I’m grateful for your advice about reading all of the reviews and feedback first. This is really helpful because we’re able to determine the good items from the bad ones. Christmas is fast approaching and I want to start shopping. Well, I even had my list already. Cheers and more power!

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