To Spend or Not To Spend?

We all know the adage “You Get What You Pay For.” Well, these words hold SO true especially when you’re buying things for your home. When designing, particularly when you’re on a budget, there are things you splurge on and things you save on.

So, what to choose?

If, and this is a big IF you are very handy, you may want to do certain things yourself: painting, floor re-finishing, sewing simple curtains and pillows and things like that. I love DIY-ers, and there is something rewarding about knowing you accomplished something in your home. If this is not your cup of cappuccino, consider hiring someone as somewhere to spend money. Quality labor and craftsmanship TOTALLY shows! Get a few bids from people (3 is a good number) to make sure nobody is price gouging you, and weigh the options. Shoddy workmanship is evident, and you really can tell a half-assed job from a good one.

In terms of furniture, if you’re going with a more classic or timeless style, you may want to invest a bit more in the pieces, as you can keep them around a while. Great Living Room, Dining Room and Bedroom furniture can last 40-50 years or more, if taken care of properly. (People getting married: excellent stuff for your registry!!) Upholstered pieces should have the fabric changed every 10 years or so, but if you’re buying quality frames, they will last. If you’re getting something more contemporary, you can spend a bit less, as the piece will probably last about 8-10 years (depending) and by that time, the styles will have changed, and you’ll probably be tired of it and want something new anyway.

Another place to invest a bit more are for pieces or accessories that will become the focal point of a room. I had a client who purchased a FANTASTIC chandelier that he loved and cost quite a bit of money. This ended up being the centerpiece and focal point of the whole space, and we decided, why not? It was completely worth it! Then, to make up for it, we spent a little less on other items, as they were of lower importance in the overall scheme. Check it out:

In the Living Room, I say splurge on the couch and spend less on the pillows – you’ll want change the pillows every couple of years. Oh, and if you’re on a budget, get a couch in a neutral fabric, to make pillow changes easy to coordinate. In the Dining Room, better to splurge on the table and chairs and spend less on the linens – if you spill red wine on a lesser-expensive tablecloth, you won’t freak out. In the Bedroom, go for a splurge on the sheets and spend less on the bed frame – thread count is what matters, you’ll probably never see the frame except when you vacuum. In the Kitchen, good idea to splurge on good cabinet doors & hardware and spend less on frames – don’t get the crappy ones, you just don’t need top-of-the-line.

My point is, there is a balance in where to allocate your budget. And there should be a reason why you spend what you spend on a particular item. If you need any more help, call me, we’ll figure it out. :-)

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