Maybe Rule #1 is "go easy on vintage."
I recently hired a recent college grad to work for me. I love her precisely because she's like Tracy Flick. She will do anything to get the job done.
Now, she brings her perfectionism to her personal life, too, and there is a lot of talk about furnishing her new apartment. She really wants to get it right without making expensive mistakes.
I think we should all brainstorm 10 Commandments of Decorating Your First Place. Reader comments will be reincorporated into this post until our mission is accomplished.
Here's an example of where I have been totally stupid about making a real home for myself. This is going to totally scandalize my friends at House of Beauty of Culture and Maison 21:
I have shitty Ikea silverware.
There. I said it. I can't seem to decide on a placesetting I like and want, and I keep putting it off... maybe I think I will register for it (have to register for something since we already have the Noah's Ark of Home Appliances... two toasters, 2 sets of pans, 2 irons, and many other artifacts of combining two lives).
Anyhow, I don't have real silverware and I now think that it's really the first thing I should have purchased. It's not so dignified to eat with spoons you can bend in a stubbornly cold container of ice cream.
I also think about lamps and how when you're young, it's tempting to cheap out and get a $10 Ikea charmer that just doesn't seem so charming even two years later.
And then I think about the first few "real" things I started buying and how they start to change your life for the better. It's the most adult feeling, I think, because you realize you have the resources now to not have to compromise on getting the thing you really want.
So... you're just starting out... you generally know your taste at this point, but taste does change. So what things would you advise my young colleague to splurge on? Scrimp on? What decorating tips can you offer her? Anything she should insist on? (for me, it was splurging on fresh flowers every week...) Anything she MUST avoid? Should she say, "fuck getting engaged and married, I am going to buy the nice silverware today"?
Comments please. I think you rowdy and brilliant Decornophiles are going to come up with one hell of a list.