Boy, do I love a good sale. I get this thrill when I find a beautiful, quality piece of furniture or a trendy new home decor item for a fraction of its original price. But buying less expensive pieces for your home isn’t always better. Knowing when to save and when to splurge is key to creating a home that lasts. Nobody wants to be caught in the matrix furniture loop because eventually the wallet will dry up and you’re left with home items that don’t function properly.
When shopping for my home I have a basic rule of thumb: don’t overpay for a “trend” that is made with less than desirable materials. For instance, when the ladder bookshelf came out you could buy it from any major retailer. However, some were made from wood and or metal and others were made of composite boards. Depending on where you bought it, you might pay the exact same price for a lesser quality shelf.
When I splurge on an item it’s usually furniture. I look for items made from quality material and that will hopefully last my entire life. Sometimes that means heading to a furniture shop, but not always. I wholeheartedly believe they don’t make furniture like they used to. Try to find pieces made from solid wood. When I can opt for something made of real wood – I go for it! If I’m going to splurge on an item I don’t want to have to buy it again. For example, timeless pieces for me are my kitchen table, my couch, oversized armchairs, piano, dining room chair, etc.
People often ask about styles changing and being stuck with a really expensive piece of furniture that is out of style. Not necessarily. I splurge on timeless pieces. Anything with solid wood and clean-cut lines are timeless. Yes, styles change – but updating said piece of furniture can be done with a good old paintbrush and a new stain color; or updating hardware. Couch covers can even be updated if you invest in a slipcover sofa or have them reupholstered.
I never splurge on items that need to be changed out season to season or that are on “trend”. For instance, throw pillows and throw blankets. Every season I change my throw pillow covers to something more fitting for that time of year. BUT I do splurge on the actual pillow insert. I prefer a quality down throw pillow that will last. This way I’m only ever buying a pillow cover which is less expensive than swapping out the actual pillow every season. And because pillow covers get changed several times a year I always opt to save rather than splurge. Amazon and Woven Nook are two of my favorite places to buy pillow covers.
When it comes to styling your home I always opt to save on things like wall art, artwork, home decor, nick-knacks, candlesticks and holders, vases, picture frames, etc. I try my hardest to save on these items. Or, I wait for them to go on clearance, find a similar version thrifting, or even buying at a lesser quality shop. I always ask myself: “how much traffic is this item going to get?” If it’s going to sit up on a shelf and not be handled it’s totally ok to spend less on that item!
One of my favorite places to shop for art is Etsy. You can now buy downloadable artwork for under $10 and send it off to be printed. Depending on the size of the print, I can send it to my local drug store and pick it up in an hour for only a few bucks! I love to get frames at Wallmart. They are cheap and I’ve never had issues with them falling apart.
Area rugs and light fixtures I generally leave up to the discretion of the room. Meaning, if it’s something that is a part of the long term design plan I don’t mind splurging, but if it’s a trendier scone that could potentially get traded out in the next few years I almost never splurge and always try and find a cheaper version. The same goes for area rugs. Area rugs are a great way to add a pop of color to a changing season. I love to layer rugs. On the bottom layer (which is generally more neutral) I’ll splurge and then save on the top layer which is usually smaller and “trendier”.