WHEN TO SAVE & WHEN TO SPLURGE, BY ROOM
Everyone loves a bargain, but sometimes it’s worth spending a little more to make sure you’re getting better value in the long term, be that through the longevity of a higher quality product, or a style you know you’ll still love years down the track. If you’re wondering how to divide up your home and decorating budget, or simply want to stretch it further, this guide will give you a few clues about where to direct your hard earned cash, and where to hold back.
There’s no escaping it; your lounge or sofa is important. It needs to be comfortable, you need to love it, and because if that, it needs to be able to stand up to all that love. On top of that, it needs to be the right size and configuration for your home. Seek out sales, but don’t settle for something not quite right just because it’s inexpensive. Shop with longevity in mind, and err on the side of timeless so it outlasts trends.
A great rug can really make any room feel luxurious, but it doesn’t have to be designer. Instead of exhausting your budget on a designer rug, invest in two things: a durable yet economical material like flat woven wool, and more importantly, size. A too-small rug will throw off the scale and look like a postage stamp floating front and centre, so spending a little more on a larger rug will make your room feel more luxurious and expansive.
Decorative items don’t need to be expensive, especially if they don’t serve a practical purpose. You can often pull off the latest trends with a handful of small inexpensive accents, which makes refreshing your look seasonally much more affordable. Think paper art prints, quirky ceramics, bowls, trays, lanterns and candles teamed with objects you already own such as books, plants and family heirlooms for a personal touch.
In the bedroom, comfort is one thing that should never be compromised, so the bulk of your budget (and research) should go towards a great quality mattress, quilt and pillows. Premium bedding will last longer, and if you’ve chosen the right products to suit your climate and sleeping style, then your health and wellbeing will benefit from a more restful night’s sleep, too.
Sheets work hand-in-hand with your bedding to make sure your sleep is as comfortable as it can be, so you won’t want to skimp in this department. That’s not to say you have to get the best designer sheets in 1200 thread count to be comfortable; fibre content is the bigger factor here. Generally speaking, natural fibres like linen, cotton and bamboo, and for the latter two, a thread count of 300 to 600, is all the luxury you need – and can be picked up well under $100 if you’re savvy!
A $15 – $30 cushion can be just as stylish as a $100 cushion if you’re getting the colour, texture and pattern combination just right. So instead of paying a premium for individual accent cushions, shop with an overall concept in mind. Filter by colour to make narrowing down options easier and visualise them side by side to get a feel of the overall effect. If you want to make a $15 cushion a little more luxe, replace the poly insert with a plush feather insert.
Your kitchen knives are one area where you should invest in quality. Professional quality knives are sharper, more ergonomic and offer greater control. In fact, you’re far more likely to hurt yourself with an old, dull knife. This is because you need to apply more pressure and are more likely to slip and cut yourself with the additional force. So, think safety-first and pour your kitchen budget into a brilliant set of knives. You won’t regret it.
There’s nothing like a wobbly old pan that sticks or has horrible hot spots to make you fall out of love with cooking and send you running for the takeout menu. Hey, a wizard is only as good as his wand. Opt for a reputable cookware brand and you won’t just be rewarded with better food on your plate, you’ll eliminate the dread that preludes meals made at home.
There’s no need to refinance your house for the sake of the finest crystal stemware and gold plated bone china, though both of these items can be purchased at a reasonable price when found on sale. For the budget-minded, a white everyday dinner set and glass stemware can be easily dressed up with cute side plates, napkins or trendy black and gold cutlery for special occasions.
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