We Asked Pros When to Save vs. Splurge on Home Decor

Here's how to balance your redecorating budget.

Roman shade curtain on window, next to wall with graphic floral wallpaper

Catherine McQueen/Getty Images

Whether you’re renovating a large home or furnishing your first apartment, everyone has a budget. No matter what that number is, many of us end up unnecessarily spending more than we anticipated. On the other hand, buying something inexpensive in the short term could end up costing you more money over time if it ends up being poor quality or not quite your taste. To balance quality with cost, here are three things interior designers recommend splurging on, plus three smart ways to save money on home decor.

Splurge: Sofas 

New furniture can be worth the cost if it's something that gets a lot of use and faces wear and tear, such as a sofa. Less expensive sofas can be uncomfortable to sit on or may be made of materials that won’t withstand spills, pets, or kids. These pieces often end up needing to be replaced more quickly than anticipated, costing more in the long run. 

Save: Reupholstering 

Opting for quality fabric and professional reupholstery can often cost less than buying something brand new. If you don’t have the cash for a new sofa, dining chair, or even an accent chair, reupholstering what you already have (or finding a great deal at a flea market or garage sale to reupholster), can be a more budget-friendly alternative.

While reupholstering may be less expensive than buying new, the pros still recommend opting for high-quality fabric and a professional's help if you're not into DIY-ing it. “It will end up paying for itself (and the environment) when it’s still holding up two to ten years later," says Nancy Evars of Evars Collective and Decorate by Nancy Evars.

Splurge: Kitchen Countertops

If the kitchen is the heart of your home, then a quality countertop is worth extra cash, explains Casey Gerber of Two / Tone Interiors. “When it comes to surfaces that you utilize several times a day, like your kitchen countertops, I’d recommend prioritizing quality over price. It will pay for itself in the long run! That means opting for pricier quartzite over porcelain or quartz, if the budget allows. Not only is quartzite natural and beautiful, but it’s also extremely strong, heat resistant, and durable," the designer explains.

Save: Bathroom Tile

If you’re on a budget, skip the expensive designer bathroom tile or marble and go with basic materials, such as porcelain tile. This can be a great budget-friendly alternative, according to Gerber. “There are countless inexpensive options in today’s market for porcelain bathroom tile," she says.

Timeless finishes, such as basketweave and herringbone tile, will always look good and can easily be found at major chains such as Home Depot and Lowes

Splurge: Custom Window Treatments

Aisling Lauren of Aisling Lauren Interior Design says custom window treatments are worth the splurge. “They set the tone for the environment and can add height and coziness to your space. I recommend unlined linen in main spaces, then blackout lining for bedrooms.”

Save: Roman Shades

While it’s easy to end up over budget when going with custom window treatments, there are ways to keep the costs reasonable. Opting for Roman shades can be a great way to do this, according to Lauren. “Roman shades are typically half the price of curtains, as you need significantly less fabric and do not need to purchase hardware.” 


Was this page helpful?
Related Articles