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You don’t always need to spend a lot of money on furniture and accessories.
I have several theories about when it’s time to spend a few extra bucks and when its time to scale back. It’s a skill I have had for a long time and use in many facets of my life, but I find that it really helps out when I am working with a client who is trying to get a room totally designed on a slim budget.
First, I think it’s important to look at the perspective of the space you are trying to fill. What do you really see first and what stands out as the “important” piece in the room? Sometimes I find people get stuck on trying to pick the right end table with the perfect legs, when in actuality the end table is hiding in a small corner of the room. So take an inventory of what you actually will see. This is the piece to spend a few extra dollars looking for it.
When shopping for smaller items like accessories, boxes, picture frames and vases etc. don’t feel that you have to splurge on high end items. Take a moment to look at the quality of an item and how it is made. Most people don’t even notice where things come from (or even care) when a room is properly dressed. I recommend hitting stores like IKEA, Target, and CB2 for fabulous little treats to sprinkle around a room. Especially when you mix up the products and resource from different places, it gives the room a look that is more unique and interesting.
A note about end tables: Think about it…most of the time they are going to be covered with a flower arrangement, book, or by a guests cocktail or plate. So don’t be so picky about what the top of the table looks like. Instead make sure the legs are sturdy and that it’s light enough to move around the room. One of my favorites is this one from West Elm that you can easily tuck under the base of your sofa and slide it really close to yourself. Great for working on a laptop while on the sofa!!
And finally, ARTWORK! Now don’t get me wrong, I am a big advocate for original artwork, photography, and wall sculptures, but not everyone can afford a piece for $7,000 to hang over the fireplace. Sometimes that’s the entire budget for a room!! But here is where you have to be creative. The most important thing to think of is the scale of the wall you are trying to fill. One of my favorite tricks is to buy 8 picture frames of the same size and color and arrange them on the wall in 2 rows. This creates the illusion of one large rectangular piece of art on the wall. You can full the frames with something like different cut sections of a world map or even different samples of fabrics. Both are very low cost art options that make a big impact.
So where do you spend the money? Spend it on the main piece of furniture in a room (usually the one you sit on) . The sofa in a living room, mattress for the bedroom and dining chairs for the dining room. These are the furniture pieces that you will be using the most and that you need to really enjoy!