brown packages

Buying online can be so easy! You don’t need to go out to get what you want and need. Your purchases come right to your door! But what about buying home decor online? Now that can be both easy and difficult! Today let’s talk about what you need to know to be a savvy home decor online shopper!

This post contains affiliate links. If you don’t see a link for an item I’ve purchased online they no longer have it in stock.

There’s an old adage that says “THE BUYER BEWARE”! And a smart shopper pays attention to this wise saying! But you can purchase gorgeous home decor online without fear or second guesses with a few smart-shopper tips!

This post is long and has lots of smart and sage online decor shopping advice!

dining room with large urn filled with green hydrangeas

In the image above I purchased the table, head chairs, side chairs, rug, buffet, chandelier– (out of stock now but you can sign up to see it when it is in stock again) white pottery, and pillows online!

I’ve purchased the bulk of my home decor online for almost a decade! And I’ve had mostly fabulous experiences but I have also made horrible mistakes! So, today I’m sharing what I’ve learned so you can confidently shop for everything from accessories to sofas online!

Buying home decor is a bit different than buying a cute top or a new purse. It’s more like shopping online for a pair of jeans or shoes or a bathing suit. It takes a bit more know-how!

So here’s how you can be the best and most savvy shopper when you are shopping for home decor online!


outdoor table decorated for fall with copper mugs, white pumpkins and mums

In the image above I purchased the bench, large pot holding the mums, tartan throw, pottery lantern/vase, wood round charger, copper pitcher, copper mugs, white platter, copper flatware, napkins and table and chairs online.

One of the biggest benefits of online shopping is the ability to bargain shop! Because of a company’s ability to sell to such a large audience, if you are smart, you can get fabulous quality products for a fabulous price!

And you can also shop online and ferret out sales from your favorite home decor stores right in the comfort of your home!

The key here is to be smart! Shop very reputable companies only!


cozy bed with lots of pillows

In the image above I purchased the headboard, coverlet, matelasse cover, Mongolian pillow, linen sheets, dust ruffle, rug, sconces, bedside tables and baskets on the wall online.

If you are like me, my inbox is a mess! I get lots and lots of emails every day! I know it is a pain but if you want to get great bargains it’s smart to get on your favorite decor shop’s email list. And you will usually get some kind discount off on your first order.

They will let you know when there are sales! It takes me less than 10 minutes a day to scan these emails and delete them. And I’ve saved $$$ by knowing when something goes on sale that I need or want! I’m a BIG bargains shopper. And I’m not afraid to get more pricy items online especially because I could not afford them without the discounts!


The items in the above image that were purchased online are the bed, all bedding, pillows, curtains, sconces, dresser, and many accessories on the small bookshelf.

I’ve made the mistake of not measuring spaces in my home before I purchased a home decor item online for that space and… OUCH… what I bought did not fit!!!!

And I hate to say this, I made this mistake more than once.

A gorgeous, expensive (albeit on sale) rug for my living room was my biggest lesson! The rug was too wide! I thought I knew my livingrooms measurements but I was off by 2 feet.

To make matter’s worse the color was a bit off too and there was a $250.00 restocking fee to return it! YIKES!!!!!

Learn from me!!! This whole wrong fit problem could have been solved by JUST MEASURING! And do it twice. Here another great saying to live by, “measure twice and cut once”!

The bed in the guest room took exact measurements! There was really only one place we could put the bed in the room and it had to be nestled between the wall and a bump-out for the closet. We wanted to put a queen size bed in that room but when I measured the space a queen would not fit! But this cute double would! So glad I measured the space and did not just order a queen size bed!

Always, let me say it again sweet friend, ALWAYS measure! Know the dimensions of the item you are buying!


see my newest chair HERE

All of the important information about a product is on the sales page. Every company formats this page differently but they should have lots of information to help you know about the product you are shopping for.

Here are some basic, common things you should see on a sales page when buying online…

  • item name
  • image of item
  • item number
  • price (if on sale also the original price)
  • colors available
  • sizes
  • quantity desired
  • product overview (materials, if it needs assembly etc)
  • weight and dimensions
  • specifications (materials, country of origin, etc)
  • assembly requirement
  • warranty
  • shipping and returns
  • questions
  • reviews
  • more

Make sure you look over every part of this page!


mirrored bedroom armoire

The source for this post does not carry the Sanctuary Chest at this time.

This is such an important thing to know! Read the return policies and know how you will be refunded for your purchase.

If you need to return an item that has a brick and mortar store see if you can return it to the store instead of sending it back to the company. This is so so helpful! And it will probably save you mailing costs.

My favorite online furniture purchase is the mirrored armoire above! This piece was pricy. I’d had been saving for quite a while and looking for a pretty armoire just as long! The minute I saw the Sanctuary Armoire I knew it belonged at StoneGable!

BUT… this was not the first armoire I bought online! Trying to save $$$ I settled for another nice armoire but not my heart’s desire.

The first armoire was purchased from Wayfair and I bought their “white glove” delivery and set up for an additional $110.00. I knew it was money very well spent!

The kind men delivering the armoire arrived with armoire #1 and no sooner had they put it together and put it in place I realized it was all wrong!

Because of the extra service I purchased the kind men returned and cheerfully took apart armoire #1 and hauled it away FOR NO EXTRA COST! So worth it!

That day I ordered armoire #2, the one in my bedroom today! Happy ending!

Believe me, I don’t hesitate to get the “white glove” or “silver plan” or whatever a company calls it to assemble furniture!

As you can probably tell, one of my favorite online companies is Wayfair! They are so so easy to work with and the very few times I had a problem or return it was pretty seamless!

And of course, I love Amazon too! I have an Amazon Prime membership and ordering and returns are so easy! However, I do believe Amazon is going to take over the world! LOL!

Here’s another thing to know! Make sure you know if there is a restocking fee. These fees drive me crazy!!!!! So I try to avoid online companies with these added (silly) fees.


This is a biggie! Make sure to keep the original box and any packing material your home decor product comes in. So if you need to return what you purchased you can easily rebox it and return it!

I’ve thrown away a couple boxes and then regretted it! Now I just keep all the packing material in my garage until I know I’m happy with what I buy.


Some great online companies offer samples to prospective buyers. If you are buying a more expensive item like a sofa or foundation chair it’s a good idea to get a sample of several materials sample materials.

The colors of fabrics and wood finishes are not always the same on a computer or phone as they are in real life!

I once purchased two wheat color barrel chairs for a bedroom and when they came they were gray-ish. Thankfully, I bought them from a great company and they took them back!

Saying all that, the bulk of my soft furnishings like curtains and accent chair and bedding and rugs have been spot on!


family room with bookshelves and fireplace

Most companies encourage people who have purchased a product to write a review. Read these reviews! They are from real people (mostly) who purchased the item you are interested in! And they can be brutally honest!

You can get a very good idea about the quality, true-to-color images, durability, packaging, fabric, how easy something is to put together and more by reading the reviews!

Make sure you read the good, bad and ugly! The accent chair above had 2,334 reviews! Wow! And it got 4 and 3/4 stars out of 5! After reading the review I purchased two chairs and they are fabulous for the price! If these chairs were over $500.00 I would have expected them to have a reversible chair cushion! But for $189.00 they are perfect!

Here’s all the home decor I purchased online in the image above…


trio of pillows

The lumbar pillow in the foreground was purchased online. As well as the white pillow with the braid trim.

It pains me when readers say they are afraid to shop online! So if you are new to online shopping for home decor and furnishings, start small.

Find that perfect pillow or big basket or tray and start there! Once you see how easy buying online is, especially when it comes to home decor then you might want to get a bit braver!

Find that bargain-of-an-accent chair or rug or lamp! Just follow these easy steps and you will soon find online shopping a very enjoyable and cost-saving activity!

Ready to shop? Perfect! Keep these tips in mind and give it a try!


Just so you know… I was not compensated by any company for this post.

This post contains affiliate links.

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  1. Doreen Bednarski says:

    Thank you for a most valuable post. Excellent information that I will refer back to often I’m sure. I value all of your posts, especially your spiritual lessons.

  2. Suzanne Huffman says:

    Was wondering where you purchased the round baskets you have on the wall above your headboard. Thanks so much. Love your decorating style!

    1. Right now they are out of stock. Sorry! On the right side of the StoneGable header find “GET THE LOOK” If you hover over the words a drop-down box will appear and you can see many of the items I purchased online for StoneGable. Hope this helps.

  3. Hi Yvonne
    First of all, your home is just so beautiful and I’m so happy to have found you through The Inspired Room Homestyle Saturday’s post a few weeks ago. So far I’ve tried your painted pumpkins and thanksgiving napkin rings and purchased a set of pillows you showed for under $16 on Amazon so needless to say I’m a fan!
    Second of all, this post about the do’s and dont’s of online shopping is so helpful so thank you for sharing the good and the bad experiences you’ve had.

  4. I too shop on line and pick stores that have an easy return policy.The most expensive item I purchased on line was a bathroom vanity.Sometimes I find colors are off from the description and I always read the reviews.All of the above are good tips for purchasing on line.

  5. Thank you for your help Yvonne! Your post is very informative and thorough! I have considered ordering furniture and/or rugs online, but have experienced HUGE hesitation and worry about the “what ifs” that come along with not have seen something in person beforehand! You’ve given me confidence!!!

  6. Debbie Melvin says:

    Very good tips! I too had a great return experience with Wayfair for a rug that was just the wrong shade of blue. Reviews are great…and there’s none better than those that come from you! After weeks of looking online at sisal/jute rugs, I saw you one had in your family room. And you had supplied a link! I’m so happy with my rug! “Shop the Look” is a great service you provide…like my own personal shopper. Thank you so much!

    1. So glad you got the rug Debbie! The number one question I get asked on the blog is “Where did you get that”.

  7. It’s just not my favorite way to shop. I buy a few small things online. Overall, I prefer shopping in brick and mortar stores and dealing with people… I want them to be around in the future. I like to be able to see and touch what I buy before I buy. In my experience, returns are a hassle on line. Plus, and this is a biggie for me, it makes impulse shopping too easy for me…lol.

    Love all your fall touches…its all so beautiful. I’m not doing too much right now…squirrels have taken up residence in my attic and until that’s taken care of, I’m afraid to go up there. Hope it’s taken care of before Christmas or I will be joining the online shoppers for all new decor!
    Happy fall and thanks for all your great tips!

  8. Because we live so far from any stores but Walmart I have had to learn to both shop online and use Walmart products in my decor. This year I went out on a limb and purchased bedroom furniture from Perigold, a division of Wayfair. While looking on line I was contacted by a personal shopper who answered questions, honored our tax free weekend in advance, included their white glove delivery service at no charge and gave me an additional discount if I purchased both pieces. But best of all, he assured me that if I didn’t like the items, they could be returned at no charge.
    The delivery was impeccable and the company went above and beyond to remedy an imperfection in one of the bureau drawers. I’ve since ordered lamps, a chandelier, bedding and items too numerous to mention. There’s nothing I like better than visiting a furniture store, but sadly, there are not a lot to choose from anymore. I did shop brick & mortar first and was impressed with their ability to match and even beat online prices, but the selection of items that are atypical is just not as good. When possible, I still prefer a trip to Home Goods or similar stores for small items like pillows which can vary so much from online pictures but I’ve become a real fan of online purchases for large items and highly recommend the personal shopping services of these companies.

    1. How wonderful Margo! Such a great comment. It adore Wayfair! They have the best customer service!

  9. What to do when you have too much inherited furniture, etc and you children don’t want it. I don’t want a lot of it, but I feel giving it to the Good Will such a loss.

  10. The convenience of online shopping helps me, especially that My husband and I are planning to buy new furniture and home decorations. We’re selling the house and would like to ensure that new furniture and decors will add up its value. I love to buy products online. But most are small items. It interests me to mention that the benefit of online shopping is that it can go on a bargain, especially with bulk orders.