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Home Furnishings: Save vs. Splurge

Has the time come to make updates to your space? Check out our tips for which items to splurge on – and which ones to save for bargain shopping.

The Living Room

Save: Lighting, end tables & decor | Splurge: Sofa

The sofa is one of the most-used items in your home, which means you’ll want a high-quality piece that will stand the test of time (and kids…and pets…and spills…and so on). You don’t have to break the bank, but keep in mind that sofas should be able to withstand your lifestyle in terms of style, quality, durability, comfort and more. Our vote on this important item? Skip the Ikea display and save the purchase for a furniture store.

The rest of your living or family room is your ample opportunity to save. For instance, side tables don’t see much wear and tear so the quality isn’t all that important. If you choose a neutral tone for your sofa, try a high-gloss metal or a bright pop of color with side tables to bring in more personality.

Another way to save? Try inexpensive area rugs from a store like Ikea or an online retailer. Since they’re always getting walked on (and likely subject to spills and dirt), you don’t have spend a lot of money to find an area rug that looks great and feels good under your feet.

More saves: Lamps, throw pillows, curtains, wall decor and even artwork.


The Bedroom

Save: Bedding & accents | Splurge: Mattress

If the average person spends about a third of their life in bed, we think it’s worth the money to find a top-notch mattress. It’s even worth it to find a traditional mattress store (vs. an online retailer) so you and your partner can test the styles that work best for you. One exception: The guest bedroom! If you don’t typically have long-term guests, a top-of-the-line mattress isn’t worth it. Find one that’s low-price but comfortable, and your guests will be just as happy. 

Bedding is a spot you can save – and as much as possible, opt for comfort over price or style. Try mixing and matching sets and price points – like spending a little extra on a comforter or duvet cover and saving on plain sheets (or vice versa). Bottom line: You don’t have to drop a ton of money for bedding that looks and feels great.

More saves: Nightstands, decor, mirrors and closet organizers.


The Bathroom

Save: Towels, mirrors & organizers | Splurge: Functional aspects

The steadfast rule of bathroom renovations? Splurge on the must-haves,  and save on the decorative pieces. Invest in the toilet, shower and sink so they work properly and stand up to stuff like dirt and grime. But quality working investments don’t have to mean overly expensive: Opt for more economic materials like ceramic over marble for big savings.

Like other rooms, decorative items in the bathroom are ideal places to save. Soft, fluffy towels can be found very cheaply, as can rugs, baskets, mirrors, quality cabinetry and even tile.


The Kitchen

Save: Flooring & lighting | Splurge: Cabinets & countertops

Think strategically in your kitchen on the places to save vs. where to splurge. Opt for better quality and durability in highly functional spots like cabinets and countertops. For cabinets, the best idea is to maximize your storage space – which might call for a custom job. On countertops, choose an investment material like granite or quartz.

On the other hand, tile and lighting can be both economical and beautiful. Porcelain and ceramic tiles can be used on the floor and as backsplashes, and is typically cheaper – and offers better protection – than hardwood floors. Inexpensive lighting options can also be found easily – and have a big impact.

Items that could go either way? Appliances. Before dropping lots of dollars on high-quality appliances, consider how long you plan to be in your space. If you aren’t in your “forever home,” consider spending less to get you by.

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