Mending a broken heart can be a long process, but there’s something that can help speed up your recovery time that may surprise you…shopping for your home! Think about it—who doesn’t like a little shopping spree? After a relationship goes sour, you’ll definitely need a little pick-me-up, so take that phrase literally and pick-it-up and put it in your shopping bag. There’s a reason they call it “retail therapy”—shopping really can give you that emotional boost you need.
Normally, though, when we think of a shopping spree, we think of buying a hot new outfit or a great handbag. But in most cases, trends pass and those items end up at the backs of our closets after one or two uses. So, instead of blowing your money on a quick fix, pick out a new piece of furniture or accent piece for your home—not only will redefining your living space help you reinvent yourself after a breakup, it’ll last a bit longer than a pair of heels. Our very own Monique Zamir touched on this in a previous piece noting that you shouldn’t be afraid to try some crazy ideas.
If you want to spice up your home as part of your post-breakup reinvention, here are a few shopping ideas and some specific destinations with great finds:
Apartment 48: Apartment 48 is a NYC-based boutique with an online shopping destination (apt48.com) that has everything to give your place a new look, from furniture and kitchenware to home accessories like beautiful trays and candles. Everything in this store has taste, style, and personality, and with just one or two small conversation pieces, you can really wake up a room in your house. Apartment 48 is a great place to start when you’re shopping to reinvent your home—the shop was opened by an interior designer and in its original location was set up to actually resemble an apartment. The new, larger store still presents all items in an actual apartment setting to give visitors inspiration, but you can find everything online as well.
IKEA: You’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else where you can get as much bang for your buck as IKEA. The store has limitless options, selling everything from mattresses to meatballs. If you’re looking to update your abode to rid the feeling of a former ex, this just may be the place to do so. It’s worth the trip to go if there’s an IKEA near you. The large factory-like layout makes for a fun (albeit long) day of shopping. But remember, almost all furniture from IKEA comes dismantled and has to be assembled by hand, so you’ll have your work cut out for you—unless you use this as an excuse to invite that new handy-with-tools guy over to help.
Pottery Barn: Looking for something a little more upscale, but still at a reasonable price? Try Pottery Barn. It has tons of conversation starter pieces, from the Edison lamp to organic bedding. When you bring your next boyfriend/girlfriend over you’ll have him/her asking “Where’d you get that from? It must have cost a fortune.” But you’ll know the secret—you’ll be able to get a very chic look without having to spend a lot. If your budget is a bit bigger, and you like a little more modern style than Pottery Barn, check out The Conran Shop—while most pieces are pricey, they’re certainly unique and sometimes you can find a good sale online.
Art Galleries: A fantastic way to give a room in your home a facelift is to add a piece of original art. Art adds color and life to a space, and if you;re lucky enough to find a piece that emotionally moves you, it can lift your spirits each time you pass by it. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to find original artwork at a decent price, especially if you look locally for up-and-coming artists. Check out your local paper for upcoming shows in your area, or ask around at the galleries in your neighborhood for news on artists who may have some great deals.
Sur La Table: Don’t forget about the kitchen! Sur La Table has beautiful kitchen supplies, decor, and food products that truly can help “spice” up the cooking center of your home. Cooking is a great way to reinvent yourself after a breakup—if you already know how to cook; trying a new cuisine can open new avenues for you. If you’re brand new to cooking, shopping for the essentials is a great way to get started!
Vintage/Thrift Stores: If price is no object for you, check out a site like 1stdibs.com for amazing vintage pieces in mint condition. However, if you’re looking for something that doesn’t break the bank, you can go to first dibs.com for inspiration only, but then hit a vintage or thrift store to find something similar. In many cases, your purchases will go to charity as an added bonus. Housing Works (housingworks.org) is an example of a thrift store with amazing furniture finds that supports a great cause. Don’t forget—you can always give a “bruised” piece a refresher by painting it a bright, fun color and making it an accent piece.
MXYPLYZYK: If you don’t really need to update your living space, try out an accessory from MXYPLYZYK. This site offers tons of options for everyone. There’s a slipper genie which combines a slipper and duster in one or a fishbowl that hangs on the wall, gold fish not included. If you want to try something fun and exciting with accent pieces that can spice up a room, this will be a great site for you.
Your Local Flea Market: The biggest “sleeper” shopping destination out there is the local flea market. Most cities have a recurring monthly or even weekly flea market with endless aisles of vendors, each offering something unique and different. No matter what your style—vintage, mod, art deco, or mid-century—antiques markets and flea markets are guaranteed to have something that’s just the right thing to refresh your living space and pick you up after a breakup.
By Sunil Ramsamooj for BounceBack