Where To Spend (and where not to) To Get the Most From Your Design Budget


Here’s a little tidbit that can help you immensely when you take on a new project at home: not every piece in your home needs to be a show stopper. There, I said it. Some pieces just play supporting roles, walk-on bits with no lines. Back-up singers. They support the design, but  quietly. The good news here is, that also means not every piece needs to be expensive. Let’s start with where to spend:


Spend your money on upholstered pieces, because they’ll be more comfortable and last longer.  Your sofa’s most important job? Making you so comfortable the whole rest of the day just slides away! Get upholstered pieces that you want to curl up in to read a book. Pieces you want to cuddle with your family on. Pieces good enough to watch the game go into overtime. Quality doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but we do recommend spending more of your budget here. Handmade, not machine made, pieces will be comfortable for decades - they’ll last longer than the fabric on them! Not a terrible problem to have….reupholster in 10-15 years for a whole new look, same fantastic comfort!

colorful living

Spend your money on great quality, wool rugs. They can be gorgeous showstoppers, or just lie there quietly, but either way, they’re soft and soothing on tired feet, and the well made ones will last and last! Do a little reading when you purchase on the best ways to care for your investment. Many companies suggest you raise the beater bar on your vacuum, and most will tell you the best way to clean them to keep them beautiful for years.


Spend your money on things that are so cool, you know they’ll complete the look you’re after. Sometimes, you just have to have it. That’s just fine! Make sure it supports the overall design, or at least doesn’t disrupt it. Then go get what you love - that’s what this is all about!


Spend your money on lighting because it’s all lit up and drawing attention - make it fabulous! Some folks disagree on this, but lighting is screaming for attention - please don’t save your money here! It’s details like this that take your home from “builder boring” to “masterfully designed” and it’s nowhere to skimp. This is your home’s bling. 


Don’t spend a ton of money on side tables, tchotchkes, occasional tables, case goods, or trends…..unless, like above, it’s so cool you gotta have it. Save your money on the filler pieces, because the items we discussed above are extraverted and will steal the show anyway! Here are a few more tips to keep your project under control:



  1. Have a budget, and watch it carefully.
  2. Repurpose/Reupholster/Repaint/Reuse
  3. Be Patient! (remember: good, fast, cheap - pick two because you can’t have it all)
  4. Support local artists, and find original art for less.
  5. Choose classic design over trends, especially for things you won’t change again soon like tile or countertops, and you will love them longer.

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