10 Home Decor Items Worth Splurging on, According to Design Pros

These home interior items are worth a lot of money, but does that mean should you buy them?

Putting a deposit down on a home or apartment can make a real dent in your bank account (not to mention all of those costly monthly bills to follow). After that major real estate investment, it can be tempting to skimp when purchasing home decor, especially when you factor in multiple rooms and routine updates. Of course, there are areas where you can cut back—particularly where the difference in quality isn't as vast, or the items aren't deemed necessary for the long haul.

That said, experts note that there are certain home interior items worth spending money on, and these items can improve your quality of life and pay off (or increase in value) over time. After all, a good piece of artwork has the potential to transform a space and transcend time, and a well-made lighting fixture can elevate a room and set the mood. From small, yet impactful trimmings to big furniture pieces (there's one that kept coming up above all others), read on for the top home decor items interior designers says are the best investment. You won't regret splurging on these somewhat costly pieces.

Top Splurge-Worthy Picks

01 of 10

New or Vintage Designer Furniture

Dining room with lots of natural light
Thick drapery can be beautiful, but if it’s keeping outside light from streaming in, your room will be a lot less inviting. The Fix: Hang sheers made of neutral-colored linen, suggests Los Angeles-based designer Shannon Wollack. “They bring texture and warmth, and they’re also gauzy enough to let light filter through,” she says. “To maximize natural light when you have only small windows in a room, avoid placing any pieces of furniture in front of those windows if they are taller than the sill.”. Colin Poole/Getty Images

Many of our experts ranked vintage and designer furniture high on the list of home investments. "Furniture with a history typically increases in value over time. Look to well-known designers (like Florence Knoll, Mies van der Rohe, or Milo Baughman) who created iconic furnishings. Their designs transcend trends and can be used in nearly any living environment," says Lucy Penfield, an interior designer and design principal of Lucy Interior Design.

When it comes to aesthetics, Penfield suggests relying on your instincts. "When you see a piece of furniture and it's love at first sight, go for it. For me, it was a pair of Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs I purchased from an auction while living in New York. As a young designer with no money, I had to have them!" she adds.

Some of Penfield's top spots for finding good pieces include Knoll, 1stDibs, Chairish, flea markets, and local estate sales and auctions. Just be sure to have the pieces authenticated, as Penfield points out there are plenty of knock-offs out there.

02 of 10

Original Artwork

“I work at an art gallery called Pace Prints, and they will put together a wedding registry for couples who basically have everything. For example, family and friends can make contributions for a set of prints, and then the couple get to enjoy something that reminds them of their love of art and for each other.” ―Kristina, New York City. Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/Getty Images

Artwork is often the focal point of a room and a reflection of the homeowner, making it a meaningful purchase. Plus, some pieces will retain or collect value over the years.

"It visually brings your eye through the room and adds your personality to the space," says Tamara Day, an interior designer and host of HGTV's Bargain Mansions. "Artwork can be fun and quirky or sophisticated and calming. It can be a landscape that takes you back to your favorite place or an abstract piece that sparks joy. An interesting piece can also make for a great conversation with guests!"

Day is also a big fan of removable wallpaper. "It gives warmth, and if you pick the right design, can make for a dramatic and striking moment, or create a soothing effect," she says. She's currently loving the Aster pattern. "It adds flare and drama, as well as texture, while still being soft and elegant."

03 of 10

Vintage Rugs

Getty Images

For another visual anchor point, don't overlook purchasing a quality rug for the floor, says Patrick Ediger, an interior designer in Los Angeles. "Gorgeous vintage rugs from Morocco, India, and the Middle East have often been a great source of inspiration. There's no better way to give a space some soul and bring it to life than with an exquisite antique handmade wool rug," he explains.

He recommends checking out the selection of rugs from Southern Loom or Loloi. "As long as you maintain and care for them, they'll last lifetimes as both an excellent investment and a beautiful heirloom to pass down through generations."

"Good friends of mine with children always opt for vintage when they can because they hold up well to high foot traffic and rough playtime," adds Karina Lameraner, a creative stylist at online interior design service Modsy. "Each vintage rug is unique and one-of-a-kind. I highly recommend perusing Etsy for good vintage finds."

04 of 10

Quality Lighting

Home Decor to Splurge On, Chandelier in Dining Room
Tamara Day

For good ambiance and a touch of glamour, consider splurging on a beautiful light fixture, which Day refers to as the perfect piece of jewelry to finish off your space. "A fixture shows that you put thought and design into every inch, and the lighting in your room sets the mood, from bright and cheerful to dark and moody," she explains.

Day suggests adding depth with an eclectic mix of lights and different finishes. "I have wall lights in front of my house, a bright chandelier in my entryway, and a linear chandelier in my dining room."

05 of 10

Timeless Lampshades

Home Decor to Splurge on, Pleated Lampshade with pink shade

Speaking of lighting, don't underestimate the power of lampshades. "They are always a dead giveaway because their construction is usually poor and visible when a lamp is turned on. I love upleveling simple lamps with an elegant shade that feels elevated and complementary to the lamp itself," says Lameraner.

"We're currently seeing a resurgence in pleated lampshades, which were first popularized in Danish designs in the 1950s. They spark a bit of a retro flair today. Additionally, sloped lampshades are making a major comeback. The sloped-style lampshade was a hallmark of the '80s interior design style."

06 of 10

Luxurious Window Treatments

Wide shot of curtains blowing in wind
Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

According to Alena Capra, an interior designer and host of SoFlo Home Project, nothing elevates a room like custom window treatments. "Whether it's sheer drapery panels, a valance or cornice, blackout drapes, roman shades, or roller shades, having perfectly sized window treatments makes for such a tailored look," she says. "They also help block sun glare, keep light from coming into sleeping quarters, and add value to a home, making them a plus when it comes to resale."

If you don't want to make a big purchase at once, Capra recommends starting with the main living area and bedrooms. "Roller shades from The Shade Store and Smith & Noble offer a clean look. You can also add drapery in front should you want to enhance them with fabric."

07 of 10

Comfortable Mattresses

Sold-Out Allswell Mattress
Siraphol Siricharattakul / EyeEm/Getty Images

We've said it before: You can't put a price tag on a good night's sleep (and, as Capra points out, we spend about a third of our lives in bed). "The decorative style of an actual bed frame and headboard may change often, but a good quality mattress will never go out of style! If you do not enjoy shopping for furniture, at least invest the shopping time (and money) on a quality mattress. It will be well spent!" she says. Her personal picks include a hybrid mattress from Mattress Firm, which comes with a 10-year warranty. Sleep-savvy brands like Casper also offer risk-free trials so you can try before you buy.

"I can't think of a better item to splurge on. Let the bedding be the trendier items. A duvet and throw pillows and blankets are easily changeable and much more affordable" adds Taniya Nayak of Taniya Nayak Design, who recommends Saatva and W Hotels.

08 of 10

Well-Built Sofas

Restoration Hardware Sofa

And don't sleep (at least figuratively) on the sofa, as Capra notes that it typically gets the most wear. Not only will the sofa be the spot where you spend hours watching TV and hanging out with your family, but if you select the right one, it will last for many years. "They say a sofa can last seven to 15 years on average, but a quality-made piece can often last even longer," she says. The RH Maxwell Three-Seat Cushion Sofa and Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams Hunter Sofa are among her go-to sofas for depth.

09 of 10

Soft Sheets and Towels

Weezie Bath Towels with Blue Piping

Splurge on a set of quality sheets to protect your mattress and enhance your snooze potential, advises Maggie York, an interior designer and founder of Margaret of York Interiors. "I love the No Iron Supima Sheets from Lands' End, the Soho Sheet Set from Serena & Lily, or a cotton set from Laura Ashley!"

She considers good towels another must when it comes to everyday comfort. "It's important to do your research. You want a towel that gets softer with each wash—not rougher. Add a design element with a monogram or unexpected pop of color," she recommends. Her current favorites include a starter pack from Weezie, which offers a range of piping options and can be customized with embroidery.

10 of 10

Unique Dressers

France and Son Wooden Dresser
France & Son

"Some may not consider dressers a good investment, but they can be repurposed to accommodate different needs and spaces. They can be used to store clothing in a bedroom, or flatware and other dining essentials in a dining room," adds Linda Hayslett of LH.Designs, who recommends the Rosedale dresser from France & Son.

Even if you move, you'll likely be able to find a use for this versatile storage piece in your new space, making it a purchase you'll use for decades.

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