When it comes to interior design, the options are endless. The budget however—not so much! One of the best ways to maximize any design budget is to mix high-quality “splurge” items with wallet-friendly pieces that round out the look you want without draining your bank account. But don’t take it from me. When Bruno says he’s got Chucks on with Saint Laurent, he knows what’s up!
We’re breaking down the art of high/low interior styling techniques and sharing tips to help you splurge and save your way to a stylish home.
Function First: Prioritize High-Use Areas of Your Home
Think about your day-to-day life—where do you spend the most time? What is the focal point of your home? This is the first, and likely greatest, indication as to where you should spend more money. It also serves as a compass for the rest of your project—if you start to veer away, returning to your focal point will help guide you back on track.
From there, drill down to the specific spaces within those rooms or areas that see a lot of use and should be a high priority.
Sometimes Bigger Should Be Better…
Our general go-to rule of thumb is to spend more money on larger pieces, less on accents. For the most part, large pieces like a sofa, dining table, or office desk get more use, so it makes sense to invest in durable, quality items that are built to last. Depending on the item, you may want to spend more on things like easy-clean, long-lasting fabrics, and well-constructed frames or bases.
For example, since I work from home, I invested in a good quality wood desk with strong sturdy legs, and some built in filing cabinets, and opted for less expensive storage (IKEA!) for my materials and samples. It’s about finding that balance—chic yet affordable.
Spend Less on Accents and Décor
Here’s where you can save and still have fun on a budget! You don’t need to spend a lot on accents to add style that reflects your personality. Start by taking stock of what you already have. Photos are a great (and inexpensive way) to dress up a space in a way that is inherently personal and unique.
Since accent furniture is generally used less than the main pieces in your space, you can save some coin here too! In my home office, I opted for an IKEA chair for the reading nook—inexpensive, yet fills the space beautifully and, most importantly, still functions as a reading space when required.
While not a comprehensive guide, this little chart should help you think strategically about saving or splurging on your next home design project.
Here are a few of our Splurge vs Save Tips:
- Kitchen table and chairs- Your kitchen really is the hub of the home, so spend a little extra to make sure textiles are high quality and you have a sturdy table and chairs that will withstand daily use for years to come.
- Office furniture– More and more of us are working from home these days, so designing a super-functional home office space is important. Spending money on a quality desk and a comfortable ergonomic chair will go a long way in boosting productivity and efficiency when working at home.
- Powder room– With such a small square footage in this space, a bit of a splurge can pack a real design punch here, without spending a whole lot! Wallpaper the whole room, or select decadent lighting or plumbing fixtures (satin brass anyone?!) to add some serious style. The small square footage will offset the high price tag, but give your home a luxe feel.
- Lighting– Spaces that require highly functional lighting (kitchen, bathrooms, office, etc.) should take priority. Budget permitting, a statement fixture in the foyer or dining room is a worthwhile splurge.
- Storage– Affordable storage options are everywhere these days. Lots of furniture items perform double duty with hidden storage compartments such as benches, ottomans, even sofas and beds! With so many great options to choose from, you don’t need to spend a lot on storage to find creative solutions for any space in your home.
- Wall art– Fine art is a great option and supporting local artists gives both your walls and your community some major love! Custom pieces usually come with a hefty price tag though. Unless fine art is your thing, you can really stretch your dollars when it comes to artwork. Personal photos, inexpensive prints and frames—even your own handiwork on canvas are all inexpensive ways to dress up your walls.
- Accent Furniture art– Chairs, stools, ottomans, and end tables can often be inexpensively sourced, or DIY’d! Add some character to your space by picking up or creating a few fun pieces from a secondhand store or garage sale! If secondhand isn’t your jam, you can always source inexpensive pieces and add some flair with paint, fun hardware and stencilled patterns- the sky is the limit here!
Want to chat more about mixing high/low interior design elements in your home? Feel free to add your comments below or contact us if you have any questions about FabHab’s design services. We’d love to hear from you!