Your Living Room: Where To Save & Where To Splurge

When it comes to decorating our homes, we are more influenced by what other people are doing more than ever before. It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game when we see beautiful homes in Pinterest, Instagram or in the pages of our favourite magazines. The inevitable blow comes when we tot up the prices of those must-have items just to achieve the latest looks.

There’s a good chance we don’t have the seemingly unlimited budget to purchase every high-end fabric or every luxury material we see. We may not have the architectural features so commonly presented as though crittall windows, ornate cornicing and original fireplaces grow on trees. We may feel hemmed back by a limited budget that we can’t simply go out and BUY ALL THE THINGS.

original rustic living room

However, there is hope. If you prioritise those things that you really love and what will give you the most value for money in the long-term and cut back on those items that are absolutely fine to purchase inexpensively, you’ll find your money goes further and you can get the look you wish to achieve.

But what should you splurge on and where should you save? Today, we’re going to have a look at the living room and decide where you should spend a little extra and those items where no one needs to know that they didn’t cost you two months’ salary.

Splurge: Sofa

nautical sofa with coastal furniture

The best place to spend wisely in your living room is on your sofa. This is where you’ll be spending most of your time whilst enjoying your room. Consider the build quality of the sofa you’ll be purchasing – from how the frame is built to the materials that are used to the cushion fill. The last thing you want is for a cheap sofa to be unsupportive and uncomfortable a year or two after you buy it. A great quality sofa will last you years and so dedicate the largest part of your budget to this very important piece.

Not sure where to begin when buying your sofa? Have a look at our guide, here.

Save: Cushions

original rustic furniture

On the other hand, you certainly don’t have to purchase wildly expensive cushions just to dress up your sofa. The easiest and cheapest way to get a fresh new look is by choosing some inexpensive trendy cushions from the High Street. Swapping and changing them for the season will give your room new life and you can purchase cushion covers in many places for less than a tenner.

Splurge: Coffee Table

alto coffee table

The coffee table is always going to be one of the centrepieces of the room and the last thing you’ll want is for wobbly legs or inexpensive materials to buckle under the frequent wear and tear this piece will get. Buy good quality materials that clean easily and can withstand the rigours of busy family TV nights.

Save: Accessories

coffee table

Image source: Swoon Worthy

The accessories you choose for your coffee table, however, need not be expensive. Consider an inexpensive tray, a selection of coffee table books (check out your local charity shops and 2nd hand bookstores to save some money) and perhaps a simple candle or potted plant.

Splurge: Book Case

quercus bookcase

If you are a book lover, be sure you have a piece of furniture that can take the heavy weight of your collection. Cheaper laminate bookcases may sag in the middle over time and the materials used will chip or scratch, making inexpensive pieces a false economy in the long run. Choose good quality pieces made of solid wood with no laminate or MDF – like our vast collection made entirely of oak and hardwoods.

Save: Plants

plants and bar cart

Source: Swoon Worthy

One of the biggest trends of the year is houseplants and the good news is that they don’t have to be expensive to add a bit of greenery to your home. Whether you choose to shop for plants at your local DIY store or your favourite garden centre, you can pick up plants of all kinds of varieties for as little as a few pounds. Take care of them and they’ll continue to thrive.

Splurge: Art

art in the living room

Source: Adore Magazine / Artwork Michael Bond/ Photography James Geer for Rebecca Judd Loves blog  /  Styling Aimee Tarulli

While filling your home with original pieces or limited edition prints can get very pricey, the difference it can make in terms of impact is priceless. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a few inexpensive or mass produced items to fill the odd wall, spending a little more on something you truly love will be an investment in your home. If you truly love a piece and it speaks to your emotions, you will find a way to make it work in your home no matter how much your tastes change.

Save: Curtains

sheer curtains

Source: Urban Outfitters

Floor-to-ceiling curtains can be a budget-buster even when buying ‘off the rack’ but when going custom, you might be looking at 3 to 4 figures for a single window. If you have more than one window in your living room or a large bay window, that can really add up.

Consider making your own curtains with an inexpensive fabric that works with the colours of your space or shop around for a local seamstress. Even inexpensive cotton and muslin fabrics can look lovely softly draped and streaming in the sunlight. One place you don’t want to save, however, is in the curtain length. Make sure your curtains touch the floor. If for any reason you can’t have full-length curtains, consider Roman blinds (check Pinterest for ideas to make your own) to soften the scheme.

Where do you splurge and where do you save in your own living room? Let us know!

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