Find your style

Saving and splurging, it’s like yin and yang. When it comes to furnishing your room, you can’t have one without the other. Of course, you want your space to be filled with high-quality items, but your pocketbook says otherwise.

Here’s the thing, furnishing a room beautifully doesn’t have to mean spending top dollar on everything. By thoughtfully purchasing pieces, you can stay with your budget, while creating a striking design where everything looks like a splurge.

Spend smart, and don’t stray from these tips below. 

Splurge: Everyday Items

If you’re sitting, sleeping, or eating on a piece of furniture, chances are it’s a splurge item. “My general rule of thumb is, if you use it every day, you should definitely be investing more,” Havenly designer Dani Mulhearn says.

What’s more, making the investment on a solid bed frame or sofa will save you money in the long run—it’ll stand the test of time and remain comfortable night after night. 

When it comes to splurging on everyday furniture, “The difference in quality between a $500 sofa and a $2,000 sofa is undeniable!” Dani explains. The less expensive sofa may feel like a deal at the time, but it’ll fall apart faster, and you’ll likely have to replace it much sooner than a more expensive buy.

Save: Accents

You can cut corners in your budget with thoughtfully chosen room decor and accents. Spend a Saturday at your local flea market or thrift store, and you can score frames, bookends, and vases for a fraction of the cost of buying new. 

If you’re crafty, “don’t be afraid to refinish existing pieces of furniture with a fresh coat of paint or stain,” Dani suggests. “Even adding new hardware to cabinets and larger case goods can give a fresh new life to your space at a fraction of the cost!”

Splurge: Items You Can Grow Into

If your budget is small, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality, consider looking for investment pieces that you can grow into overtime. In Dani’s first apartment with her fiance, they invested in a modular sectional that meant they could add pieces over time as their space and savings grew.

“We just recently moved into a single-family home with tons more room and have added onto the sectional with another 2 pieces, doubling the size,” Dani says. “This, in the end, probably saved us thousands, along with the headache of what to do with a sectional/sofa we no longer needed.”

Save: Rugs

If you’re considering rugs in a high-traffic area, don’t spend too much. Depending on foot traffic and usage, you could end up replacing it in five years. You can find durable, 8×10 rugs suitable for homes with family and pets for under $300.

Splurge: Five-Star Reviews

Most of us are shopping online, even for big-ticket items like beds and sofas. But, seeing is believing and you don’t really know what you’re getting until the bulky item arrives at your door. 

To make sure you’re getting a splurge-worthy purchase, Dani recommends scouring the customer-submitted reviews, both good and bad. “If a lot of the good reviews over a span of time are saying ‘Gorgeous in-person! Well built and good quality. Very comfy.’ I will take that to mean it is a great piece and it also looks beautiful,” she says.

On the other hand, if reviews include comments about the products snagging, pilling, or color being misrepresented in photos, it might be time to look elsewhere. Keep your eyes peeled for negative comments around upkeep and quality, but don’t let general complaints about customer service or delivery sour a purchase; “These reviews can sometimes skew the overall rating of the item, yet, again, don’t really have anything to do with the item itself,” Dani explains.

Save: Lighting

You can find surprisingly affordable and interesting light fixtures if you don’t mind browsing a bit, says Dani. Also with the advances in LED and smart lighting, you can upgrade any fixture with smart bulbs. Their smart programming means you can change the color and temperature of the bulbs, creating a mood with the swipe of a finger.

Splurge: On Half of Your Decor

When you’re prepping the budget for your space, expect to spend at least half of your budget, or more, on those investment pieces. You’ll need somewhere to sit, sleep, and eat right away, and you shouldn’t hesitate to spend on these items to ensure comfort.

Think of it this way, investment purchases will often be immediate. But “with your save items, be prepared to wait or do a little treasure hunting over time,” Dani recommends. By spreading your purchases over time, you can hunt for deals and save money. 

Decorating a room can be exciting, and it’s easy to get carried away and let your budget fall by the wayside. But, with some thoughtful planning, you can feel confident splurging on the right things and sticking safely within your budget on the other stuff.

Not sure what style you’re ready to splurge on? Take Havenly’s quiz to see what decor style fits you best.

Words by Emma Diehl