Everyone has got an opinion.

At times, it can feel exhausting. Take the smallest thing imaginable – how to make a cup of tea, or which episode of a beloved TV show is best – and you will find an opinion. Sometimes, those opinions over trivial things can explode into a rational debate or (sadly, more frequently) full-blown arguments.

We are told that it is good to be considerate; to listen to the opinions of others and not try to stamp our own version of wisdom on the world. We take this as a life lesson not to be ignored, so we let it fuse through our entire lives. We take people’s opinions into account about the way we style our hair and – the pertinent point for this discussion – how we put our homes together.

When it comes to decor and design of our homes, there are a thousand and one competing opinions. Even our own choices are influenced by things chosen by others, such as those who put together style magazines or create Pinterest boards we take our inspiration from. Of course, then our family and potential guests will want to have their say too.

So where do you draw the line?

Listen To… People Who Have Experienced It

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the market for a new mattress or just a clock for your bedside table – the individuals who own the product you’re tempted by have plenty to offer you. You can easily find memory foam mattress reviews or given opinions on how good a trinket looks in reality compared to the glossy photos.

There is a problem online with fake reviews, so do try and read a cross-section of reviews to get a good picture. But when done right, the opinions of people who actually own the item you’re contemplating buying are very valuable indeed.

Don’t Listen To… Style Guides

You’ll see them in every magazine and online resource: style guides, that you are meant to adhere to or risk a fashion faux pas. So why ignore them?

The clue is in the word: guides. These aren’t laws; it’s not a problem if you love a piece of furniture that’s now considered “so last season”. So long as it makes you happy, that’s what counts.

Listen To… Guests

If you have people stay over often, then it’s worth listening to their opinion – especially with anything to do with the guest bedroom. If they say that the pillows are uncomfortable or the mattress is sub-par, it’s probably something you should take action on.

Don’t Listen To… Salespeople

Marketing is a necessary evil, and sometimes you need questions answered, so you seek advice from salespeople. While this can be a useful source of information, try and remember 90% of the purported benefits of a product are more wishful thinking than fact. Don’t let yourself be swayed and buy new furniture or decor on the spot; always walk away. If you still think it’s a good deal or something you can’t live without, you can always go back later.

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