I credit my mother with firing my love for design at a young age. We explored antique malls, searched Sunday garage sales looking for hidden treasures and always had design magazines around our house. She started me down a path that would lead me to become the architect of my own space. My mother’s advice was to beware of things you bring into your home “just for now” or “just until…” The point she was making was that things tend to stay in your home longer than you initially intended for them to stay, so “if you don’t want to see it for five or ten years, then don’t bring it into the house.”
I made some alterations to my mother’s advice. Spend money on quality things that you’ll want to keep around for years and fill in your decorating gaps with cheap items that can be thrown out when they wear out their welcome. You want a big red rug under the dinning room table? Be honest with yourself, will you want it five or ten years from now? If not, don’t over spend.
If you know you aren’t going to keep it/need it long, go ahead and buy something cheap to fill in the gap. This is especially true when it comes to accent pieces and wall decorations. Trends come and go. We move. We change. I don’t recommend sticking with one design for longer than 10 years. It isn’t right for the soul, in my humble opinion.
HERE IS ADVICE ON WHERE TO SAVE AND WHERE TO SPLURGE
Save – Decorative Accents
A decorative pillow can cost $500 or you can spend $30 and still make a statement. It’s so easy to switch them out and transform a room. Accent pieces are a great away to change around your color scheme. You’ll feel less guilty about changing your mind about your décor if tossing your accent pieces doesn’t break your bank. Decorative accessories are the items that really give a home personality, but that doesn’t mean they have to be expensive. Accessorize bookcases and mantelshelves with items that have meaning rather than expensive sculptures. I pretty much advise this with anything in bold color.
I also like the idea of using a wall art decal or wall art sticker and then adding shelves on the branches. It looks incredible and it’s super creative not to mention affordable. For this I used this Orange Blossom Tree.
Save – Lighting
You can find a cheap and charming lamp pretty much anywhere, so there’s no need to spend a fortune. It is all but pointless to spend a fortune on crystal lamps at a boutique store when you can find an acrylic version of the same thing for far, far less (they often look identical). Also check second hand stores they may have just the thing you need.
Save – Artwork
There’s absolutely no need to spend a lot of money on artwork. Art can be made out of just about anything so try framing photographs, fabrics, wallpaper, or anything else that has a nice image. For something truly unique choose one of our wall decals and let your personality shine through. They are affordable, can be easily applied and easily removed. No muss, no fuss. The sky’s the limit when it comes to dressing up your walls.
And to find you inner peace in your home, I suggest this awesome Zen Wall Decal. Especially if you place it in your bedroom or meditation room.
Save – Storage
Storage changes as you move from home-to-home and from interest-to-interest. There are, no doubt, beautiful coat hangers, bookcases, cabinets and wardrobes are out there, but it can be frustrating to splurge on one only to find that it doesn’t fit in your new place. Consider a more affordable option.
Save – Occasional-use items
This includes side tables, guest room pieces, extra dining chairs or anything you occasionally use to entertain. Pieces that don’t get much use can be upgraded as/when you have the money, so try to save your cash for the important pieces. Even your guests focus more on those.
Splurge – Sofa
Your sofa is another item you may use regularly, so pick wisely. My mother has had the same sofa for 10 years, and though it’s been re-covered, she hasn’t had to do any work to the frame because it was so well made. Pro tip: buy a sofa with cushions stuffed with down mix, not polyfill. Quality upholstery can last 20 or more years. Above all, pick a sofa you are comfortable sitting on; this may be the most important part.
Splurge – Every day items.
It sounds silly, but general staring time is an important factor to consider when furniture shopping. For lots of people, they have to sit/stand/look at the same few items of furniture every day for months and sometimes years – if you already don’t like a piece to begin with, you’re only going to hate it more as time goes on. Spending a bit more is ok if it means avoiding an eventual feeling of resentment toward your office furniture, which can only foster itself into dislike for your job—something to avoid whenever possible.
Save/Splurge – Area Rugs
This is actually a tricky one. Area rugs are a great item to save money on when decorating. They’re always getting walked on, having stuff spilled on them, and generally taking a lot of abuse, so don’t spend a lot of money on something that’s bound to get damaged. If you don’t spend a lot of money you’ll be able to replace it when needed without ending up in the poor house. On the other hand, a good quality rug feels good under your feet and pulls a room together. A cheap looking rug that bunches up and overall looks uncomfortable only hurts a comfortable atmosphere.