A lot of challenges come with moving into a new home. There’s lots of unpacking and sorting to do, there’s an endless list of home improvement projects to tackle and every room will need needs furniture, lighting and accessories.
All of these things quickly add up and can become very expensive. Money is always something at the back of our minds when tackling any home design or improvement project.
Buying a new home is expensive and we’re always up for saving in any other areas we can.
So, how do you know when to splurge or save on your home and decor?
In an ideal world, we would never have to compromise but real life (for us at least) is different.
We’ve made more than our fair share of wrong purchases but through making these mistakes we learned where it’s worth saving money and where to splurge on your home and decor items.
This post contains affiliate links. We only recommend products we love and think that you will, too! Read our full disclaimer here.
There’s nothing more important than getting a good night’s sleep so investing in a high-quality mattress is essential to ensure you get the best possible rest.
Just think about how much time you spend in bed. Even if it’s not as many as you’d like, it probably still adds up to a lot of hours. There’s no nicer feeling than waking up after a really good night’s sleep and feeling completely refreshed and invigorated
High-quality mattresses can be expensive but many of the new ‘mattress in a box’ companies offer memory foam mattresses at much more affordable prices than traditional mattresses.
We have a Bruno mattress on our bed which we’ve had for about 5 years now and still absolutely love. In our guest bedroom, we have a Leesa mattress which we’ve had for about 4 years. It’s an amazing mattress, too and even my Dad raves about the Leesa mattress which is saying something!
Our newest mattress is an Emma mattress that we bought for the guest room in our new house. We wanted something luxurious and super comfortable and it certainly is!
While investing in a high-quality mattress is important, one area that you can save is the bed frame.
Essentially, a bed frame is just there to hold the mattress and slatted bed base off the floor. We bought our first bed for €30 at IKEA almost 15 years ago and we still use it now!
Admittedly it’s now been relegated to the guest bedroom but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it and with the addition of our luxurious mattress our guests are always more than happy to spend the night there.
When we moved into our first house in Manchester we had almost no furniture and bought an affordable sofa.
Almost as soon as it arrived I regretted the purchase. It looked okay but wasn’t really what we wanted and we settled for it because we didn’t want to splurge on the sofa that we would have really liked.
We learned our lesson the hard way and last year we splurged on our current Chesterfield sofa which is covered in turquoise velvet. It’s probably not everyone’s first choice but for us, it’s a total statement piece that we love. More importantly, it’s super comfortable, too.
It took us a long time to decide on the Chesterfield sofa because we were scared of making another bad decision.
Sofas are expensive, so are a purchase you want to get right the first time around. To help you avoid the mistakes we made, you can read our tips on choosing the right sofa for your space here.
Statement Pieces & Special Items
There are a few items in our home that we absolutely love. Some of them, like our Eames Lounge Chair, are expensive but it’s worth investing in statement pieces that you will keep for a long time.
We saved for years to be able to afford our lounge chair and we’re still so glad we took the plunge and invested in such an iconic piece of furniture.
I would also absolutely love a Tulip dining table but they are very expensive and it will take years to save for one. Will it be worth it? Probably not for most people, but I love it so much that I’m happy to wait and settle for our DIY resin dining table in the meantime.
You ultimately have to decide on what’s important to you but special one-off pieces can transform an interior. They don’t have to be expensive either.
One of my favourite pieces of furniture is the Esavian sideboard that we bought at a local second-hand furniture shop. It’s a perfect piece of furniture for my home office but it felt like a splurge at the time as we didn’t need it but it was a total bargain that we just couldn’t resist.
All Other Furniture
We love to browse antique furniture shops and buy second-hand items. You can find the most amazing and individual pieces that are often really high quality and much cheaper than anything you could find on the high street.
Interior design is all about creating a home that works for you and mixing different design ideas and styles makes it much easier to create a truly unique home. Yes, you have to be lucky and it can often take a lot of time to find what you’re looking for but it’s a great and fun way to save money.
Of course, you’re not going to be able to (or want to) completely furnish your home with secondhand finds but even making just a few savings here and there can allow you to splurge elsewhere.
Finding great pieces of furniture isn’t always easy so we put together a guide on how to find great second hand furniture that you can read here.
When it comes to paint you get what you pay for.
There’s nothing worse than cheap paint where you spend days painting because you have to apply what feels like dozens of coats to be able to cover the wall.
More expensive paints tend to use higher quality & quantity of pigments which means that you get a much greater depth of colour compared to cheaper paints.
Our general rule when choosing paint is to make a decision based on the colours we like and not on the brand or price tag.
It doesn’t have to be super expensive and overall it’s still one of the quickest and cheapest ways to completely transform your space.
We are fans of lots of the more expensive paint brands and love paint by Farrow & Ball and Little Greene who have an amazing choice of great colours but there are areas where you can save on paint, too.
When it comes to priming walls or ceilings we always use the same super-affordable white paint. We actually love it so much, that it’s our standard white paint that we use for all surfaces we want to keep white.
Our general rule when choosing paint is to make a decision based on the colours we like and not on the brand or price tag. It doesn’t have to be super expensive and overall it’s still one of the quickest and cheapest ways to completely transform your space.
Art & Accessories
There are so many amazing artists to discover and you don’t have to break the bank to find gorgeous art for your home.
Some of our favourite places to find new art include local craft fairs, markets, art & design degree shows, Etsy and by just generally browsing the internet.
Art is so personal and it’s all about finding things that you love and not about spending an absolute fortune on a masterpiece (although I’d love a little Degar Ballerina on my wall).
When you decide on whether to save or splurge on your home, don’t restrict yourself too much though. If you find a piece you love, take the plunge as you’ll probably regret missing out later on.
We bought our colourful silk batik while on holiday in Malaysia. We saw it on the first day but it was too expensive so we couldn’t make up our minds.
It took us the entire three-week trip to decide to buy it but we went back to the artist only to find that the painting had a sold sticker on it! I must have looked absolutely devastated and the artist sold it to us anyway!
I’m the first to admit that I hate buying rugs. Even the cheaper ones still feel too expensive and choosing the right rug feels ridiculously difficult.
We’ve also made mistakes buying rugs that have been too small in the past, which is probably why I find the whole rug-buying process so stressful.
High-quality rugs tend to last longer but they can be eyewateringly expensive and although I would love to splurge on a gorgeous rug for our home, it’s just not a priority any time soon.
Large and affordable rugs that look and feel good aren’t easy to find, but there are more affordable options available that look great, too.
For us, lighting is definitely another area that can be painfully expensive! And when I say painfully expensive I really mean it as I’ve just come across my dream light for our new living room which is a whopping $10500!
Needless to say, we don’t have a spare 10k lying around to spend on just one lamp (no matter how amazing it is).
Luckily there are great budget options available! How often do you touch your pendant lamps? Who cares if they cost £20 or £2000? As long as you like the way they look they’ll be fine!
We also like to make our own lampshades like the one in our dining room which is a great way of saving money, too!
Having said that, when it comes to floor lamps and table lamps we do like to invest in the occasional gorgeous lamp that works well for mood lighting. Our Tom Dixon Beat floor lamp is absolutely stunning and I fell in love with it the first time I saw it.
Another lamp we love is our Buds 2 table lamp. It was expensive but it looks amazing and is almost like a piece of artwork. It definitely adds a much-needed touch of luxury to the room.
Everyone has different priorities and “rules” are there to be broken. Think about how you use your home and what is important to you.
Our general rule when it comes to when to splurge or save on your home and decor is to splurge on things that you touch and save on things you don’t.
Something you use every day is going to have to be much more hard-wearing than something that just hangs on a wall or from a ceiling. And if you find something you truly love just go for it! Those are the things you’ll end up treasuring for a long time!
Where do you like to splurge and where do you think saving is a good idea? Have you ever fallen in love with something that you just couldn’t justify spending money on?