Splurge vs. Save on Home Decor

On a designing budget? Be frugal with decorative pieces and spend big on the home decor workhorses

Focus on the bigger picture: don’t blow your budget on things like pillows

Q: On which home decor items should I splurge and where should I save when designing and decorating a room?

Items in any space can usually be divided into two types: those that have to work hard, and those that simply have to look good.

Sofas take a beating each day and one with strong construction, bulletproof fabric, and high-quality foam will work well for years and be worth the investment.

Pinch your pennies on decorative elements like pillows, vases and tabletop picture frames. End tables and consoles don’t have tough jobs and therefore don’t require a big investment.

Other splurges should be reserved for specialty items, including art, extraordinary light fixtures, or a refinished family heirloom. Similar rules apply to kitchens and bathrooms. Invest in your hardworking countertops (my favourite is quartz), and purchase cabinets at a big-box retailer.

As with any rule, there are always exceptions. Flooring and rugs work hard, but there are plenty of budget-friendly options. Engineered woods, 100-per-cent wool carpets and tiles can look great, work hard, and still save you money (but don’t skimp on the installation).

Originally published in BC Home & Garden magazine. For regular updates, subscribe to our free Home and Garden e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the magazine.