Moving home

Far too much choice

Now that we have come to terms with the sale of our house and the fact that almost  all of our furniture has been included in the deal we are faced with having a beautiful new home and the task of choosing new tables, chairs, beds and sofas not to mention soft furnishings, lighting, rugs and so the list goes on. Over the last twelve years since we have been together we have slowly replaced some pieces of furniture, fitted a new blind, painted a room and updated the cushions and throws but we have never had to contemplate such a spending spree. Initially I thought this would be fun, an adventure, an exciting opportunity to create a new home and make it unique and individual. What we hadn’t been prepared for was the absolutely mind boggling amount of choice with which we would be confronted.

Our first purchase was a sofa and matching armchair which we saw on passing a furniture store, both immediately liked and fitted our requirements in size, colour and price. This lured us in to a false sense of security. Deciding we would like a wing backed armchair in a contrasting colour – plum, damson, claret, aubergine I foolishly Googled and found myself on one site alone being presented with 347 chairs and that was just in the UK. By the time I reached the 40s I’d become so confused there was no option other than to close the computer down and reach for a refreshing glass of chilled Sauvignon. Over the last week this pattern has been repeated over and over again with everything from pendant lights to silver grey curtains, from rugs to bedding. Since when did we need this amount of choice?

Is it just me that finds the prospect of sifting through more than 300 armchairs daunting rather than pleasurable? I had hoped that the internet would provide me with help in narrowing my options and so saving me from trailing around endless stores, and I suppose to some extent this is happening but so many of the items seen on the internet are internet only. In other words you are expected to order your furniture, your lights, your rugs and curtains without actually seeing them in the flesh as it were. There is an argument that says this is perhaps not so bad when you are buying a pair of curtains; if the colour or fabric are not what you expect you can soon return the goods and receive a refund. But what of a dining table and six chairs, a purchase of around £1,000? Are there really people who are happy to blindly order having only seen the items on line? How do you return a dining table?

Clearly I haven’t moved with the times as much as I thought I had; I happily purchase a new dress or pair of shoes on line but large items of furniture are a step too far. After many hours spent on a complex selection process we finally narrowed down our choice of armchair and were relieved to see that we could actually visit a store some twenty miles away and actually sit in it before ordering one in the colour of our choosing. Thankfully the chair turned out to be every bit as comfortable as we had hoped, the colour swatches were available in store so I now have a sample to take around with me as we pick up accessories for the room and we have completed purchase number 2! Its going to be a long haul to complete the house and we are going to have develop greater powers of selection or perhaps deselection as we move from living room to bedroom, bathroom to kitchen in our search for items that attract our attention and fit the brief. Either that or our wine consumption will be steadily rising!

After all that here is the chosen chair.


Aplum chair


8 thoughts on “Far too much choice”

  1. It’s not just you. I find too much choice overwhelming, too.

    We recently moved to a remote part of Ontario where the main (local) shopping center is fifteen minutes away, but an hour-plus from many of the shoppers. We can get what we need, but there is very little choice. And that’s fine for me.

    As for buying furniture online, we bought an “assemble yourself” queen-sized bed – it was delivered to our door. Free shipping. It is perfectly functional, and I appreciate not having to deal with high-pressure sales people. But. We were lucky. It could have turned out badly.

    Savour the purchasing experience (and/or the Sauvignon!). Maybe if you put off buying what you feel is necessary, you might find you are quite content without!


    1. Thanks for such a thoughtful reply. We currently live a good hour away from shops and stores and will be in much the same position when we have moved. For us the peace and tranquility of rural life more than compensates for the lack of shopping. We are quite determined to make this a move of downsizing as far as ‘things’ go, although we will be blessed with space and room to breathe both internally and externally. Our aim is to use this opportunity to select the basics, beds, sofa etc and then let the house dictate what is needed as we grow to know it and settle in. So much of the ‘stuff’ we have around us at present has accumulated over the years and remains through habit rather than need or even liking. It is going to interesting and revealing to find out just what we deem necessary and what we are happy to be without.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my goodness, I’m reliving my own moving experience from exactly a year ago. I used the opportunity to give away (to the curb or to a needy body) literally tons of “stuff”. I don’t miss any of it, I’m happy to report.

        I particularly like this line: “…let the house dictate what is needed.” Amen to that!

        Best wishes!


  2. I am very much a tactile person. I would find it very difficult to order furniture online, particularly something that is sat in as it all comes down to comfort!


  3. Your chosen chair looks the perfect form and colour in which to quaff a splendid red wine. You can enjoy each purchase separately, as you buy them.


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