When to Save and When to Splurge

So, you are looking to spruce up your home, but you can’t decide how to best spend it?  Welcome to the predicament so many of our clients find themselves facing.  Lucky for you, we work with clients’ budgets all the time, and we know how to help you allocate your dollars in the best way possible. Here are the top three places to splurge and some tips on where to save!

1. Signature Fabric: When designing a room, one of the first things we select is the main fabric for the room – we call this “the signature fabric.” This is the fabric that sets the color palette, pattern and focal point for your space.  Now, to be clear, you do not have to spend a lot of money on your signature fabric, but you should love it.  So, if you are going to splurge somewhere, select a signature fabric with colors, a pattern, and a texture that you love.  If you are like many of our clients and happen to be drawn to a more expensive signature fabric, perhaps bite the bullet on that component and be creative on how you might use it, even if you use it in a small way.  For example, while it may be too expensive to use for draperies (more fabric  = more money), consider  using it on a few throw pillows on your sofa  instead.  And, if it if that is still an expensive undertaking, perhaps just cover the front of the pillows in that fabric and do the back of the pillows (which you will rarely see) in something less expensive.  There are so many ways to get creative and figure out how to make what you like work!  Moral of the story: splurge on the signature fabric and save by using lesser expensive fabrics to coordinate with it.  One designer fabric in a room, even if used in a small way, can make the entire room look expensive.

These Brunschwig and Fils drapery panels set the color palette for this family room.

chair

The embroidered medallion fabric on this custom chair creates a lovely and calming seaglass palette for this client’s formal living room.

2. Rug: If I had a dollar for every time I heard a client say, “I have kids, so I don’t want to spend a lot on a rug,” I would be rich. But, like in many situations, you pay for what you get and SOME things are worth investing a little money in.  What people often do not realize is that if you pay a little more on the front end for something of a higher quality, it will last longer and handle wear better.  For example, we sell a lot of washed out, Oriental wool rugs called Oushaks.  The beauty of these rugs is that wool is super easy to clean, and the patterns on them are great at masking those small stains that you cannot seem to kick (excepting that bottle of red nail polish).  Nine times out of ten, if you buy an inexpensive rug, its content won’t be as cleanable or as durable as a well-made, knotted rug.  So, splurge a little on the rug and have some peace of mind knowing that your munchkins actually cannot do as much damage to it as you may think!  And, a nice, hand-knotted rug like an Oushak will actually hold its value for years to come!  Splurge on the rugs in your high traffic areas and main rooms and save on the ones in your lower traffic area, less used spaces.

The teal and taupe Oushak in this space frames this beautiful room while serving the dual purpose of being durable and timeless.

3. Family Room Sofa:  Here’s the deal on where to spend and where to splurge on upholstery.  First, it is ever so important to spend money on quality upholstery in the room where you will spend the majority of your time.  Our definition of quality upholstery is well-made upholstery from a construction standpoint and upholstery with a good, durable, cleanable fabric content.  From a construction standpoint, we sell sofas that have drop in spring systems (“sinuous spring”) and sofas that have coil systems that are hand-tied together (“8-way hand tied”).  A sinuous spring system is one large coil system that basically moves up and down and side to side in one, large piece when you sit on it. An 8-way hand tied system is a coil system that is assembled by taking numerous, individual metal coils and hand tying them together so that when you sit on the sofa, they essentially rise and lower just in the spot where you are seated (that is the “Sinuous Spring vs. 8-way Hand Tied for Dummies” explanation, in a nutshell).  Generally, an 8-way hand tied sofa will last longer and maintain its shape longer than a sinuous spring sofa.  And, it will provide a more comfortable seat (but cost a little more money).   It is wise to splurge on a quality sofa that will get daily use because it will last longer and be more comfortable.  Then, you can save on the sofa that you just want to look pretty in the formal living room you may use twice a year.  Also, be cognizant of the fabric content you put on that sofa you will use regularly.  The most durable, cleanable fabric you can purchase is an outdoor fabric because, drumroll….., if it is made to survive outdoor conditions, it can also survive numerous human imposed conditions!  We are so fortunate to have tons of outdoor fabrics these days that look and feel just like regular fabrics.  USE THEM in your indoor applications because they will last and clean easily and be worth their weight in gold in that regard.  Cotton-poly blend fabrics and crypton fabrics are also great for heavy use.  Be careful about using 100% linen or silk on your “daily use” sofa!  Those can a little trickier to keep clean!

This 8-way hand tied sofa by Century Furniture is a beautiful and comfortable piece of upholstery.


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