This post had good intentions when I first started brainstorming. But before I get your hopes up, there is no answer to “when to save vs. splurge”. That’s not what anyone wants to hear, but it’s just the truth. The right time to save on pieces is so subjective based on the room. One person might say you should always splurge on furniture pieces and save on accessories but another might say you could save on big pieces (maybe if you have young kids) and splurge on the accessories that make the room special. It comes down to personal preference.
Let’s dissect this space…
The budget friendly pieces in this room are those vintage mustard chairs ($300/pair), that vintage sofa ($150 sofa + $350 fabric + $750 upholstery labor = 1250 total, which is average for an 8′ sofa), that end table ($125), the round, vintage accent table ($175), the sconces (not pictured, $100/each), all of the accessories, throw pillows, and art prints from Minted. (There’s actually a detailed budget breakdown of this room here.) The splurge pieces in this space were the rug ($2600), custom drapes + hardware ($2125), vintage burlwood coffee table ($850), overhead pendant ($650) and mirror over fireplace ($450, not pictured).
I’m only rattling off those prices to show that there was no rhyme or reason as to what was a save or a splurge in this space. It’s a personal preference and depends much on the lifestyle of the people living in the space. If a space belongs to a family with three kids under age five, they might not want to splurge on sofa upholstery. However, if a space belongs to people who do not have kids, they might want to splurge on well made furniture that will last for years to come.
Also, it goes without saying that everyone has a different idea of what a save vs splurge is…… For the room above, $850 was a lot to spend on a coffee table, but that might be average to someone else.
Breaking down another space….
I know for a fact that striped rug (or an identical option) can be found at IKEA for $300. The kids’ table/chair also looks very budget friendly. I saw a horse lamp similar to that white one at Homegoods a few days ago, that mid century table could go either way (could be found for a steal on Craigslist or purchased new for more). However, I’m going to make the assumption that the piece of art over the fireplace was quite the splurge. The overhead lighting probably cost $$$ and the floor pillows look custom and well made. ……..See what I mean? This is just me making assumptions, but there are truly no rules for which pieces could/should be save or splurge pieces.
One more because this is fun.
The shelves flanking the window look pretty inexpensive. I think CB2 has a similar option. The overhead lighting looks like it could go either way. The coffee table was a splurge and same with the end tables. The sofa was likely an investment piece, although you could probably find a similar piece for less.
Bottom line: Be intentional about what you save and splurge on. If you have the urge to spend more than usual on a piece, put a lot of thought into it. Ask yourself if you can guarantee that you will love the piece in 5 years. Research if that item is predicted to be a trend or not……. Basically, don’t feel like you have to splurge on an item like a sofa just because some people say it should be an investment piece. And while some people would say accessories should be your save pieces, don’t take that advice too seriously.
Below is a little game of “get the look for less” to prove that most everything has a look alike that can be found for cheaper. Obviously cheaper is not always better. I can see the difference in a few of the look alike pieces below. Just saying that if you need to save on a specific piece, it can likely be done.
Save: Couch | Coffee Table | Floor Lamp | Accent Chair | Wall Mirror
Splurge: Couch | Coffee Table | Floor Lamp | Accent Chair | Wall Mirror
Do you have a guide you usually follow for save vs. splurge pieces? Or do you just follow your heart?