The Pros And Cons Of Buying Home Decor At Anthropologie

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Anthropologie is perhaps best known for its trendy but unique, slightly boho-inspired clothing and jewelry, although it also features a wide array of furniture and home décor. The sister company of Urban Outfitters and Free People identifies its style as creative, adventurous, distinct, and individualistic, which is evident and can be seen in its variety of home products, per Anthropologie.

While it may not be the first place you think of when it comes to decorating your home, Anthropologie is certainly a great place to look for personality-driven statement pieces, ranging from candle holders to throw blankets, mirrors, lamps, rugs, and more. That being said, the popular retailer may not be for everyone. Even if its playful and worldly style does speak to your personal approach to design, there are many other factors at play that you may not like, including prices, return policies, and more. Keep reading to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of buying home décor at Anthropologie.

Pro: unique items

One of the main advantages of buying home décor at Anthropologie is, of course, its unique style. In particular, the retailer's products have a rather worldly, earthy, slightly vintage, but nonetheless fun and playful style. Moreover, The Inspired Room says Anthropologie is loved for how much it breaks traditional design expectations and rules, and its décor is great at creating a unique ambiance, with an emphasis on engaging the senses, including touch.

For example, if you were on the search for a plant pot at any other store, you would likely find a simple terracotta or glazed ceramic version, perhaps with a unique paint design at most. Anthropologie, however, has a variety of other options, including a Grecian Bust Pot and a Michaelo Grecian Bust Pot, both modeled after the famous bust sculptures unique to ancient Greek art. This is great for someone who loves history, art, or literature, or wants something a little more distinctive for holding their plants and flowers.

Con: may be too specific

On the flip side, Anthropologie's home décor catalog may be a little too distinct for your liking. Even if you're more of a free spirit in terms of home design, Anthropologie caters to a specific audience — and there's a good chance you may not be its ideal demographic. Even basics sold there tend to be statement pieces. This is fine for a few odds and ends, but unless you know how to be intentionally eclectic, all the eye-catching decorative pieces will likely start to compete with each other and throw the room off balance.

As Minotti London points out, balance is necessary for each room in order to keep things feeling harmonious and relaxed. Then again, doing too much can make any space feel uncomfortable and overwhelming. Something as simple as a wine rack in your kitchen is a conversation piece at Anthropologie, like this Serpentine Wine Bottle Holder. While interesting and beautiful, it's made for a specific person in mind — and it may not be you.

Pro: AnthroPerks

Another advantage of shopping for your home decor at Anthropologie is their loyalty and rewards program AnthroPerks. The program is free, and only requires an email and a phone number to register. Per Anthropologie, some of the advantages of the program include a birthday gift, the ability to see new products ahead of time, special access to certain promotions and deals, and best of all, free shipping on any order that costs more than $50, unlike their usual $150 minimum.

Another convenience provided by the loyalty program is that you don't need to present a receipt for any returns. Instead, Anthropologie will simply look up your order under your account, making the return process a little easier. There's also a mobile app for looking up deals while shopping in person. You can sign up online or in a physical store, and to activate your benefits, you can either log into your account online, or let the store attendant know.

Con: very expensive

While it offers great deals through its rewards and loyalty program, Anthropologie is also known for being quite expensive, even compared to its sister companies. The prices aren't too unfounded, with Very Informed noting that the products are made with high-quality, well-made materials, and are typically sourced from local designers or artists. That being said, a lot of Anthropologie's prices have a great deal to do with the brand's overall image.

Forbes identifies the store's target clientele as having a $200,000 annual household income, and as such, it plays into the higher budget ranges. For example, an 8-by-10-foot distressed, Persian-style area rug, like this Revery Rug by Amber Lewis, costs nearly $800. Meantime, for the sake of comparison, a comparable rug from JINCHAN via Amazon only costs $136. While it may not be the same quality in terms of materials or production, it's also more than four times less expensive.

Pro: decent return policy

As far as return policies go, many agree the one offered by Anthropologie is pretty fair. Its official return policy is within 30 days, which will get you a full refund via your original payment method, according to Anthropologie. You can also return items after 30 days, but will only receive store credit. Gift card refunds also result in store credit.

If you purchased any items online, you can only return them online. Per Anthropologie, all you have to do is find your order through your account or order number, print a return label, and send it back. You can also have the post office print the label for you. Similarly, in-store purchases can only be returned in person (via Anthropologie). Or, you can contact customer service to return it by mail for store credit. You'll need the original item, receipt, and ID for a full refund, or you can get store credit with just your ID.

Cons: unsustainable and unethical

If you prioritize environmental consciousness and ethical labor practices with regard to home décor and simply overall, your best bet would be to skip Anthropologie on your next shopping trip. In terms of labor and production, while the retailer isn't as problematic as others, it also isn't nearly transparent enough about working conditions, per Good On You. Specifically, the website cites Anthropologie's lack of evidence that it provides factory workers with a living wage.

Anthropologie has also had its fair share of scandals, mainly surrounding it stealing clothing and home goods designs from smaller artists and designers. For example, in 2018 Tara Burke called out the retailer for stealing her vase design it tried to purchase in 2016, via BBC. It happened again at the beginning of 2022, when Anthropologie released a heart mug that was nearly identical to one designed by Anna Weaver after the retailer had previously "liked" a few posts of the mug months earlier, reports Newsweek. If you want original, ethically produced, and sourced home décor, it's best to avoid Anthropologie.