Where to Splurge

Where to splurge and where to skimp

Let’s face it; most of us can’t afford to decorate the entire house at once. Many people don’t know where to start because it can be such an overwhelming task if you don’t have a plan.

Start out by deciding which rooms are the most important–which will be used the most, which need to look “the part” of what you want to represent. Also think about which pieces won’t be used as much or which will be used by kids and pets (or a sloppy frequent visitor). Also, think about how long you plan on being in the home. Purchasing pieces that can be used in different settings and still be the correct size and proportion is a true art. Items that fit in a cozy townhouse won’t all fit correctly in a large suburban home. Think about it when you start shopping.

Living Room:

If you don’t plan on using this room much, don’t spend a lot on your ancillary pieces. Purchase on a more reasonable scale. Of course, just because your pieces are less expensive, doesn’t mean the room can’t still look amazing. Let’s say you purchase a mid-level sofa, doll it up with to–die-for fabric on the pillows, an amazing rug or beautiful sheer window treatments.

Dining chairs:

Don’t skimp on the chairs. If your table isn’t that great, just keep place settings or a centerpiece on it. The chairs will be the most obvious pieces seen in the room. When purchasing chairs, think about how long you typically lounge at a meal. If you are one to be there for hours, find something with a taller back or upholstered padding so you can truly enjoy your experience. If you won’t be there as long and want a cleaner look, get something fabulous like a mid-century modern look. Also, back to the use—don’t use white leather if you serve a lot of spaghetti. It sounds goofy, but it would be SO disappointing to have that beautiful look marred by something so simple.



Don’t build built-ins. They limit your opportunities for future furniture layouts by dictating the room that is leftover. Instead, purchase furniture pieces that are bookcases. There are some truly beautiful options in all price points and materials such as rubbed bronze and smoked mirrors. When you decide you don’t want those cases in that main room, move them! They’ll be great in a guest room, office, study, game room. Get things that are transitional.


Take your time and go try out mattresses. This is THE hardest thing I have found when buying for others. It is such a personal matter, but don’t skimp. You’ll regret it every night. Talk to different sales people and friends. Find out what is made well, what uses natural materials, what has a smell and for how long, pillow top or no pillow top, firm or soft, which are warm to sleep on. There are so many options so take your time and purchase wisely.

Just because:

If you find something that you really LOVE, you will always LOVE it! Get it. So many times there’s never ever a replacement for that one piece that got away. Been there and done that!


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