I wrote two weeks ago about “Investing in Yourself” and my readers had some great responses. Here is one of my favorites:
“This is a great topic and very thought-provoking. What was perplexing to me was that I could not answer it immediately. However, after thinking about it, I realized that I invest in myself by having consultants to rely on to support me in my business and also a personal trainer to help take care of my body.”
Have YOU been able to answer the question? How DO you invest in yourself?
Thanksgiving is next week. It is a great time of year, isn’t it? I hope you have plans to spend the day in a place you love, with people you love.
For many, the day will be spent at home. HOME. I love the sound of the word and the way it looks in print. I love the way it forms in the mouth and the lips purse at the end to make the “m.” Home is our place for shelter and refueling – where we recalibrate, reconnect with our soul and find our center. Home is the place that grounds us while at the same time builds us up so that we can take our gifts out into the world for work and service.
And as you consider how you invest in yourself – have you ever considered how you would invest in your home? Read below for my NYC Interior Design colleague, Heather Higgins’ post on how to best do exactly that.
Few of us ever have our homes exactly the way we want them…there is always a project that needs tending, there is too much clutter around, a room needs redecorating, something needs a deep cleaning, etc, etc., Heather’s post will help you make sure you are investing wisely.
Whatever you are doing this next week, I hope you’ll take some quiet and peaceful moments at home, feeling grateful for your time there. I know I will, and I’ll be thinking about you, my readers and my friends.
Have a marvelous Thanksgiving!
Whether you are renovating your home, giving it a cosmetic facelift or purchasing furnishings, there is more how-to information available on television, the Internet and in publications, than you could possibly use in a lifetime!
Unfortunately, many of these resources are supported by advertisers whose primary focus is to sell us something, rather than to educate us.
On a quest to support people in creating the home that they need and want, I invite you to reflect on the concept of “value” as we explore some of the pitfalls to avoid when purchasing home furnishings.
Although similar principles apply to a range of items from kitchen cabinets to office furniture, we will use the purchase of a sofa, as an example. Most of us own a sofa, it is one of the largest, most visible furnishings in our home and we usually live with it for a long time.
Today, two of the most common factors driving sofa purchases are price and availability. Although we all welcome saving money and receiving faster deliveries, corners often get cut to provide these benefits.
A Sad Story
The life of a good quality sofa, subjected to normal wear, is generally about 10 years. A neighbor of mine is about to purchase her third sofa, in less than 5 years. After she owned her first sofa for about 2 years, the cushions collapsed and lost their shape. After she had owned her second sofa for about 2 years, the fabric at an arm seam split open. The quality of neither sofa was worth the financial investment to repair them.
Quantity vs. Quality
To keep pricing low and allow for quick availability, manufacturers often mass produce sofas in limited upholstery and finish options. Although this reduces the selection available, it does not necessarily affect the product quality.
What You See, Isn’t Always What You Get
Other means of cutting costs, however, which are not as visible on the outside can make a significant difference in the life of a sofa. A few of these are:
• Sofa frames not made from moisture-resistant hardwoods.
• Plastic or metal legs provided instead of sturdy wood ones.
• Springs used that are faster to install, but do not last as long.
• Upholstery fabrics, which may initially look and feel great, but do not wear well.
• Cushions made with lower-cost, less-dense foam that doesn’t retain its shape.
• Skimpy padding on upholstered arms.
Again… What You See, Isn’t Always What You Get
Online suppliers, because they do not have the overhead of brick and mortar stores, often entice us with extremely low pricing. Unfortunately, being unable to see furnishings in person presents some real limitations:
• The quality of the construction, fabrics and finishes or the fit and comfort of the seating cannot be verified.
• Online color rendition is often so poor, that the grey sofa you ordered may arrive looking very much like a blue sofa or a brown sofa.
• In addition, the purchaser usually bears the cost of returning any items to the supplier, which can be substantial, when a large, heavy sofa is involved.
My neighbor, who is about to purchase her third sofa in 5 years, is a bright, educated professional, who loves television programs on home design. Although she had the funds to purchase better quality sofas, price and quick delivery were the deciding factors behind both of her initial purchases. If she had spent the combined cost of the two sofas on just one sofa and waited a few extra weeks for delivery, her life would probably look much different now. Most likely, she would be sitting happily on a sofa that would have lasted her 4 or 5 times longer than her original purchase.
You do the math. I encourage you to recognize and invest in quality!