Skip to main content


Advice for DesignersAdvice for Homeowners

Shopping on Approval

By 03/26/2010January 23rd, 201727 Comments

When I’m sourcing furniture or accessories for clients and I arrive at a store without a return policy the only way I can remotely consider buying it is to take it ‘on approval’.

Jonathan Adler x Benches Credit

When a merchant gives you something to take home ‘on approval’ they usually take a credit card number or imprint but don’t process it until they get a phone call from you to confirm that it’s going to work. Many times they’ll only let you take the item for 24 to 48 hours.

Jan Showers

If the store has a firm ‘no return’ policy and won’t let me take an item on approval I leave it there. I can’t possibly shop on behalf of a client without knowing the item can be returned if it doesn’t work.

Many of my clients aren’t aware that they can take furniture or accessories and try them this way so here’s the official inside scoop 🙂


The world changes once you are a celebrity designer travelling the globe for objects and furniture for your clients so until I’m at that point (very soon 🙂 I still need to know it can be returned.


I’m currently looking for 2 X benches for a client’s living room! These are some options that I’ve found! They are going to be in a beige and brown zebra print! I’m liking this one (above).

Jonathan Adler x Benches Credit

Speaking of shopping, I’m going to Seattle this weekend (early) tomorrow morning to spruce up my spring wardrobe! The dollar is at par so that means everything there will be 50% cheaper 🙂

Image source

I am also seeing two of my readers to help them with their colour and decorating decisions! I’m excited; work and play all wrapped up together!

Have a great weekend my lovelies!

If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.

Related posts:

Love your House and your Closet!

How to choose an Area Rug

What is Enlightenment and other Deep Questions

New to this Blog? Click here ; Subscribe to my Monthly Newsletter.

While you’re here, subscribe to this feed so you don’t miss out!



  • Danica says:

    Have fun in Seattle, Maria!

  • ashlina says:

    that sounds like so much fun….gotta love great friends. hope you have a great weekend in seattle..i love that city!

  • Love the benches!! And thanks for the official inside scoop 🙂 Trying something out on approval sounds like a great idea, it can be really hard even shopping for our own personal spaces! Even measurements don't do enough, sometimes you just don't know until you see a piece in its place.

    Have a successful shopping trip tomorrow, so much fun 🙂

  • Designwali says:

    Have fun shopping!!

  • I love the zebra bench ! Have fun shopping in Seattle and enjoy your weekend.

  • Vanessa says:

    Good to know! Have a great weekend in Seattle.

  • Kim Lemmon says:

    I learned to check every store's return policy from my mom. She literally inquires about if every time she checks out! And store credit will not do, must be able to get a refund! Happy trails!

  • Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    What a great weekend you have planned, Maria! Enjoy it and I hope you have great weather for traveling.

  • C.J. says:

    my daughter lives in Seattle, have a great time!

  • Ivy Lane says:

    Good luck and have fun! I am sure you will pick just the right pair of benches! I like the ones you show in this post with the zebra print.. the wooden legs go nicely with the print… i think metal would be too harsh and the padded through and through feels like a bath room piece… just my 2 cents! Safe travels!

  • LesleySW says:

    I'm really crazy about X benches and we've done two virtual transformations on my blog that had rooms with X benches. In one – we chose that green Jonathan Adler bench you've featured. So cool!

  • unique unique design says:

    Love the zebra print bench…very classy. Have fun shopping!

  • Between you, me and the Fencepost says:

    You are going to have such a great time. I've decided Seattle is one of my favorite cities. Have fun stimulating the economy with some retail therapy. xo

  • Anonymous says:

    I looked at an X-Bench on Ballard Designs where you can click on the fabric and it shows it on the bench. The design looked too chopped up & busy on the legs. It looked a lot better just on the seat.

  • Anonymous says:

    I meant to say the fabric looks better just on the seat with different legs such as metal or wood.

  • heather jenkinson says:

    Isn't is just annoying when a shop has a no-return policy? Ugh…Heals, here in London went 'no return' last year and it has seriously cramped my style. I just don't bother going in there these days for the very reason you mention in your post and I wonder how many other sales they miss out on because of this… I can understand smaller shops doing this because of the admin cost, but not a major store!

    Anyway, I have no doubt you'll be global; just please do make time to have a cup of tea with me when you come to London…

  • Sarah La Rose says:

    Maria have a great weekend!! I'm so envious of your little trip to Seattle. I spent a great weekend there while I was living in Whistler. Such a friendly city! I can't wait to hear what you purchase. 🙂

  • Jürgen says:

    Hello Maria
    The beige and brown zebra print is my favorite.
    Have a nice shopping day

  • Hi Maria! I was excitedly flipping through my new Style at Home mag today, and I came across your beautiful pic and quote! Congrats!! That was a nice little surprise 🙂

  • Just A Girl says:

    Hmmm, interesting. Another thing learned from your blog:)

    Have fun shopping, I'm super jealous! Spring clothing is the best!


    Welcome to Seattle. We've had some amazing weather – it was 70 degree this week. Hope you see some of it so you can enjoy our gorgeous mountains and lakes. I guess you can shop either way. Enjoy our great coffee, too. But your pastries are much better than ours.:)

  • Elizabeth Brown says:

    If you have time while you're downtown check out Great Jones Home on Second Ave and Anne Sacks Tile on Stewart, both are near each other and are fun and inspirational. Next time you're in town, I would be happy to show around.

  • AB HOME Interiors says:

    Have fun on your shopping trip!

  • Twenty Two Flamboyant Street says:

    That bedroom is gorgeous. Thank you for your comment on my Petite blog. Have a nice weekend.

  • Sara @ Russet Street Reno says:

    I don't believe I've ever come across a store that wouldn't let you return an item, but I guess I also don't shop at designer stores. It's a good tip, though!

  • Marija says:

    This all sounds like such fun – client work, shopping, shopping on approval. Have a terrific time! Ps – love that last image! Marija

  • mydivabydesign says:

    I like all of the benches, but I like the animal print one best. Thanks for the post.

Leave a Reply