5 pieces you should never splurge on, according to an interior designer
Renovating or refreshing the home can be a bit of a financial balancing act. There are areas – your flooring, kitchen counters and mattresses, to name a few – that require as much investment as possible, and there are equally parts of the home that tend to drain budgets unnecessarily.
"Switching out your décor can be expensive, especially when budgets might be tighter than usual," says Anne Haimes, Design Director and Founder of Anne Haimes Interiors. "Investing in the right pieces and knowing where to save your money will mean you can achieve the home interiors of your dreams without making big sacrifices or breaking the bank."
Below Anne shares five common areas where homeowners tend to overspend, as well as her money-saving tips.
1. Trendy sofas
Whilst a good quality sofa is certainly worth investment, Anne advises against jumping on a trend-led design.
"As a rule, you should always invest in pieces you will use the most. So, if you’re someone who loves to relax in front of the tv, setting aside a larger budget for your new sofa is a must," says Anne. "However, you should be wary of splurging on a sofa this is too trendy if you want your investment to go the mile.
"Velvet, bouclé and curved sofas have dominated social media in recent years, but you should think long and hard before making a big purchase on something that could fall out of fashion quickly or doesn’t truly suit your lifestyle. Instead, I’d recommend putting money behind classic styles and fabrics which are timeless and will suit most décor styles years down the line.
"To get the most out of your furniture, choose durable fabrics such as leather, canvas or cotton that can withstand wear and tear."
2. Artwork and frames
"Unless you’re big on collecting art, there’s no need to drop a lot of cash on artwork," says Anne. "Nowadays, art prints are widely available to buy online for a fraction of the cost. They’re also perfect for those that regularly switch up their décor, making it easy to change your home to suit your style.
"You can also scour your local second-hand shops for hidden art gems and frames for just a few pounds – perfect if you’re a lover of a vintage-style gallery wall."
3. Lighting and lampshades
Designers will invariably advise layering lighting – having floor lamps, table lamps, wall lights and pendants in a single room – so you can adjust accordingly during your day. Anne advises going second-hand here.
"Statement lighting can truly pull a room together – pendant lights, for example, are the perfect feature to draw attention and can be a fun way to inject personality into your home. However, with some designer pendant lights exceeding well over a thousand pounds, you should consider whether you can’t find a cheaper alternative.
"If you have your eye on a particular brand, I’d recommend scouring second-hand sites first where you might be able to score the lighting of your dreams for a fraction of the cost. Otherwise, you can always try DIYing your own pendant shades for free such as pendant shades using recycled materials."
You should always lay the best quality carpet or hard flooring that you can afford, but rugs are more forgiving.
"Rugs are another item that can catch you off guard if you’ve not budgeted enough. High-quality rugs can set you back hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds. However, you should think hard before splurging on an expensive rug. Consider if it will be in a high footfall part of your house or whether you have kids or pets – if the answer is yes to any of the above, you’re better off going for a cheaper option where wear and tear won’t hurt your investment.
"One caveat to this is you should avoid getting a second-hand rug if you’re attempting to save money. Dirt and grime can build up in the fibres and can even have an insect infestation. So, unless you’re willing to spend money on a professional deep clean, stick to buying new rugs."
"Biophilic design has dominated interiors over the last few years, with houseplants a staple to making homes feel more inviting. However, as any budding plant parent knows, buying mature plants can quickly become expensive. But it doesn’t have to be – there are plenty of plant varieties you can propagate to create your own home-grown jungle for free.
"If you’re looking to save money on buying cut flowers to display, try switching to dried flowers which can last for years if cared for properly."
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