Cheap, Good and Fast. No, I am not talking about your last Tinder date (although, that might not be too far from the truth depending on how your date went) – I am talking about interior style and your expectations on pulling it all together.
I struggle explaining this to friends and family when they ask me where to shop, what they need and how to do it. Sure, some of it is taste and just having a general ‘eye’ for design. There really aren’t any rules, just trial and error. But sometimes knowing what pieces to look for and how to make a room look complete can be somewhat of a challenge. I can’t take credit for how I am going to break this down, I initially read something similar on a favorite blog of mine. It is not only good enough to repeat here, but so very true. Not to mention, I think it’s really important to remember when approaching design decisions.
So.. cheap, good and fast. The general rule to remember here is, you can have two of those things but not all three.
There is nothing wrong with good and fast. We’ve all done it. I get tired of trying to source the perfect vintage, one-of-a-kind thing too. Big box stores like West Elm, Z Gallerie, Anthropologie, and (God help me) Restoration Hardware thrive off of our design impatience. Their pieces are specifically designed to be of the moment and perfectly produced to be integrated into any household. I am by no means saying this is a bad thing, but we can all admit that it’s not always the cheapest option. Sometimes it’s not avoidable. I love our Mitchell Gold sectional and we’ll have it forever.. which is good, as it is literally the most expensive single item in our household.
Cheap and fast.. ahem, Ikea. Again, we’ve all done it and there’s nothing wrong with it. However, the quality ain’t good. You get about two moves out of those trusty Ikea pieces before it’s beyond tightening the screws.
Does cheap and good exist? Heck yes, but it is usually not a fast solution. My best cheap and good finds have been hard work, but oh so rewarding. It’s the equivalent of shopping Nordstrom Rack for something specific but never finding what you want. Sometimes, you just have to keep an open mind when looking for a good deal. They usually pop up when you’re not necessarily looking for it. It probably goes without saying that my favorite go to for a cheap/good piece is an antique store. Which means, you might have to be patient. But, that’s part of the fun sometimes.
Now – is it impossible to get all three? No. Should you come across the trifecta of cheap, good AND fast. BUY IT.
Well, only buy it if you love it (another personal rule of mine which I’ll save for another post) but you get what I’m saying.
So how might this apply to your own interior style? It’s really just something I use as a mental checklist when sourcing pieces. Sometimes it’s worth it to splurge. Other times, I want something really different and hopefully affordable which I know might take some time. Keep it in perspective and be realistic about your expectations and this will (fingers crossed) keep you from being unnecessarily stressed out about your design progress. It should always be fun and most definitely gratifying.
XO – Aubrey