When to Splurge or Save on Home Furniture & Decor

Posh Pennies
by Posh Pennies

Understanding when to splurge or save is the key to decorating and achieving great results without completely breaking the bank.

To be clear, I don't mean spending tons of money when I say splurge. It's more like don't go for the very cheapest option. I'll take you through some areas where you can save big money and still get great results.

Let's dive in.

Saving on rugs

Rugs - save

Some things that can make a rug expensive are its age, if it's hand-knotted, and if it's made out of high-quality natural materials like wool or silk. Less expensive rugs are typically made out of cheaper materials, often synthetic, and are either machine-made or hand-tufted, which is much less labor-intensive than hand-knotted. 

Unless you're a rug connoisseur or a collector, I would recommend saving on your rugs and going for something machine-made or hand-tufted. Another affordable rug option that pretty much always looks good is a classic jute rug.

Splurging on curtains

Curtains - splurge

Cheaper curtains purchased off the shelf tend to fall short in width and length 99% of the time. You will need wider and longer panels than you think you need. I recommend getting your curtains hemmed by someone experienced to avoid an expensive hemming mistake. These details make the curtains look good, and it's hard to find this on a budget. 

Good quality curtains should have weight and a nice drape, and you'll probably want them lined unless you're using sheers or semi-shears. They also need to be wide enough and long enough for your window.

Splurging on flooring

Flooring - splurge

Please do not try to cut costs on your flooring. Opt for high-quality waterproof laminate, luxury vinyl planks, engineered hardwood, or whatever you prefer, but do not skimp on the quality. Laminate is fine, but if you buy the cheapest laminate flooring and spill one glass of water on it, or your dog has an accident once, your floor is ruined. 

Saving on throw pillows

Throw pillows - save

If you're a decor addict like me, even if you already have a pile of throw pillows in every color of the rainbow, it's never enough. There's always room for more. 

Do not fall into the trap of thinking you must spend a fortune on throw pillows. You can find many beautiful, affordable options at Home Goods or Ikea, or if you know how to sew in a straight line, you can also make your own.

Splurging on countertops

Countertops - splurge

So in case you haven't been counter-shopping lately, laminate is the least expensive kind you can get. One of the things I feel most strongly about is not skimping on the material of your countertops if you need to, save somewhere else but do not skimp on the counters by buying laminate.

You don't need to buy the most extravagant piece of Italian marble, but consider splurging on a material that is a step up from laminate, like quartz or some other kind of engineered stone that mimics the look of natural stone without all the drawbacks, maintenance, and the cost of natural stone. 

How to save money on decorating your home

Art - either

You can get great art in many ways but still save a ton of money, like shopping at thrift stores, flea markets, eBay, and Etsy. You can still support artists by buying their prints instead of their original artwork. 

When it comes to saving or splurging on the artwork, it's a personal decision that depends on your individual circumstances and priorities. I would not suggest spending your money on expensive artwork if you're already on a budget and looking for places to save.

Saving on frames

Frames - save unless you have pricey artwork

I discovered a trick to save money on frames. Don't do custom framing. 

Instead, visit your local thrift stores or scour clearance sections for cheaper premade frames. Sometimes, if you get lucky or find a frame with potential but not the right color, you can get creative with some paint. 

If you have a valuable piece, like an original watercolor or something special to you, then it's worth splurging on glass that has UV protection. 

Saving on paint

Paint - save

Picking a paint color is hard; it really is. There are endless color options, and when you finally do pick a color, it always looks completely different on the wall than you expected it to. 

One way to eliminate 90% of the overwhelm when choosing paints is to look at your favorite designers, find out what colors they turn to over and over, or what colors they used in a project of theirs that you loved, and try sampling those same colors. 

This is where I recommend you save your money. Don't buy designer paint. Get it color-matched with a cheaper brand of paint. Don't get the very cheapest. You'll regret that but go with a solid mid-range paint you can color match at any Home Depot. 

When to splurge or save in your home

Sofas - splurge in a forever home

If you're renting, I'd suggest not going crazy on a pricey sofa, especially if you're renting a place and planning to be there for less than three years. Who knows what your next place will look like or if your expensive sofa will even fit there? 

If you're in your forever home, then it's another story. Then it's time to treat yourself to that fancy sofa you've been eyeing. Since you won't be hauling it around in moving trucks, you don't have to worry about damaging it. So invest in something super comfy and made out of high-quality materials like performance fabric. 

Another scenario where I'd recommend saving on your sofa is if you are furnishing a vacation home because a sofa isn't likely going to get as much wear and tear as an everyday sofa would. 

When to splurge or save in your home

A lot of decisions need to be made when it comes to decorating, and most of those decisions involve money. Think about your purchases before you decide to save or splurge. What items do you save on, and what items do you splurge on? Let us know in the comments below.

Join the conversation