Buying Once vs. Buying Often (a Dining Room Update!)

Something my mother instilled in me was the idea of buying once instead of buying often. Meaning, if you buy a top quality item the first time, you might spend more upfront, but that might wind up being less than if you bought someone of lesser quality and had to replace it a few times.

When I got my first apartment in college, my mother bought me good quality flatware, plates, knives, pots, and pans that I still have an use today (almost 20 years later!). The only thing that didn't last was my KitchenAid mixer, which I replaced with a Cuisinart that I love.

We have so much to do in this house and there are times when I just want to get it all done. Buying stuff just to have the spaces filled might make me feel better about the house in the short term, but in the long run, I feel like that might set me up to constantly be replacing something.  So, when the incomplete nature of every room (seriously, every. single. room.) is driving me nuts, I remind myself: buy once.

Now, the dining room update...

Back in April, when I debated buying a Visual Comfort chandelier I loved or a lookalike that was a bit less expensive, I also considered just buying something "good enough" until more rooms were finished in the house. The "buy once" philosophy made me stop looking at alternatives and commit to the beautiful George II chandelier by Visual Comfort.


I've hung plenty of light fixtures before, but never one as heavy (or expensive) as the George II. On top of my nervousness about hanging the chandelier on my own, there were these notes in the instructions about a part that wasn't included that confused me.


They confused the man in the electrical aisle of Lowes, too. He even sent me to another employee, who is a professional electrician, and that guy didn't think we needed the part. They didn't even have the exact item described and so we picked out a few things that might work. Our handyman, who was going to hang the fixture for us, showed the instructions and parts to an electrician on a home build on which he was working and that guy said he wasn't sure about the instruction either!

So I emailed Visual Comfort and asked them for clarification. The reply:


The directions the staff member from VC sent didn't mention the part at all! I wish I had emailed them in the first place!

Within a day, the chandelier was up.


The dining room still needs drapes, two chairs for the end of the table, a rug, and art, but I'm not horrified by the thought of serving dinner in there with the George II hung and our new [to us] table.

Not so bad!

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