Where to splurge and when to save while decorating on a budget

A frequent question that I hear asked is where to splurge and when to save while decorating on a budget. As the budget is something that can make or break any decor project this can become an important factor. All too often, this is also the reason that lots of projects go unfinished. But if we design with a plan in mind then we will make the best use of our money and our project will not come to a screeching halt due to unexpected expenses. Follow this plan to make sure that you are spending your money on the best possible things while decorating on a budget. 

Tip #1 Splurge on core pieces when decorating on a budget

Quality sofa to make a statement

I like to refer to the large furniture pieces in a room as the core pieces. These are usually the things that draw the most attention. Core pieces would be those things that are a must-have in the room. Such as a bed in a bedroom or a sofa in a living room. These are things that you must have or expect to have in the room. These core pieces are also the things that need to the most durable due to the amount of use they will get. They are usually one of the largest pieces in the room. 

Tip #2 Splurge on lighting with decorating on a budget

statement lighting

It doesn't matter how beautiful a room is if you can't see it.  No matter if it is overhead or lamps in the room good lighting can make or break the usage of the space. Don't be afraid to add multiple sources of lighting to your room. I once had a corner of my living room that was dark no matter what time of the day. This made the area totally dysfunctional until I added one extra lamp that totally transformed the whole area.  Remember - these fixtures also act as jewelry accentuating other decor items in the room. They can stand out and be a little bit flashy.

Tip #3 Splurge on flooring with your decorating budget

Hardwood flooring is durable flooring option

Your flooring will be one of the hardest working items in your room. Splurge on a flooring that is appropriate for the amount of traffic the room will get. Make sure that you take into consideration who will be using the room. Will it be kids that could spill drinks or adults that are more careful? Do the member of the home have allergy concerns? Hard surface flooring options will be more expensive but tend to last longer with proper care and maintenance than carpet. Pro Tip - the more you spend the longer your flooring option will last. 

Tip #4 Save on area rugs with your decorating budget

Budget friendly area rug

Budget friendly area rug

Gone are the days of keeping heirloom area rugs. Rugs use to be bought at high prices and then handed down through generations. These rugs were usually hand knotted and made from wool. Fast forward to the days of where everything changes in a fast-paced world. The days where the decor trends change out every year and we no longer buy items to last lifetimes. Now as fast as the times have changed so have area rugs. Rugs are now made of polypropylene fibers that are not as expensive and are easy to clean. This has made the ability to change out a rug with our decor easier and more affordable. With all the spills on a material that is likely to get damaged - why break the bank? Save on area rugs so that when you are ready for a change you are not stuck with such a large investment that you can't afford to make a change.

Tip #5 Save on wall art with a decorating budget

Wall art can take a chunk out of the decorating budget if you are not careful. Before you even go to the store or begin to look online for wall art check what you already have first. Now as this might seem like an obvious thing to do but we often miss this step. Look for things that you might not necessarily consider art. Such as items that represent a favorite hobby, a photo from a vacation. Art your kids made when they were young can attest to how far they have come. Look for accomplishments or milestone from your family.


Tip #6 Save on tables with your decorating budget

Smaller pieces of furniture such as end tables and nightstands can be saved on. These pieces are more for decorating and usually, the only function is to hold lamps, decorative items, and the occasional drink. Opt for a table that is not as expensive but that is still sturdy enough to hold things without being shaky. Look for colors and textures that will accentuate the room without breaking the bank. Make sure that you check the height of the table as they need to be easily accessible. Tables should be at the same height or close to the height of the bed or sofa. When tables are shorter than the adjacent item they become hard to use or reach comfortably. 


Decorating on a budget can be tricky but if you create a spending plan you are more likely to complete your design. When you spend your budget on items that don't have to last as long you are more likely to end in disappointment. The items that really matter and will get the most wear will get skimped on and so will their lasting performance. If you need help creating a plan for your room I have a free course that will walk you through taking inventory of your room and setting a budget. This will help you to create a plan of action for your room. If you don't want to try to come up with it on your own then I can help you create the plan through a one on one consultation