When to Skimp and When to Splurge When Decorating Your Home

In Budget & Financing by Robert Beck

Decorating a home can be exciting, but also expensive, leaving many homeowners asking themselves how much they should budget. The good news is creating your dream home doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag if you mix high and low-cost items.

There are certain items where it is okay to skimp, but others you should pay more to save money in the long-term, like items that get a lot of wear and tear.

When to Splurge

When you are decorating, it makes sense to splurge on certain items you use daily or that are installed in high-use areas like the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. Spending more on these things now will save you money in the long run because you won’t need to replace them as frequently.


Furniture, especially items you use daily like couches, beds, and barstools, is worth spending a bit more on quality.

With regular use, you want comfortable and sturdy furniture that will stand up to every-day living. Some splurge-worthy items to consider:

  • Frequently used upholstered furniture like couches and recliners
  • Stools with high use, like at a breakfast bar or kitchen island
  • Bed frames and mattresses
  • Dining tables

Smaller items that are cheaper to replace, like side tables, are a better choice if you want to spend less and possibly sacrifice quality.

Window Treatments

Window treatments like curtains and blinds are worth an investment. They are another frequently used item, and high quality means they will last longer. Window coverings also sometimes serve a purpose other than decoration, like black-out curtains, which are usually more effective if they are a better quality material.

You can also purchase energy saving treatments that will save you money on your energy bill, making the extra investment worth it.

It’s Okay to Skimp

Smaller items also have a tremendous impact on your overall design and can be a line item where you save money in the budget. If you want to make a seasonal refresh of your design, or your preferences have changed, you will want affordable options.

Decorative Items

Small decorative items are an area where it is okay to be frugal. These are things you can change frequently as your design tastes change; and you will be less likely to do so if you have a lot of money invested.

Decorative items where it is okay to be mindful of money include:

  • Picture frames
  • Throw pillows
  • Artwork
  • Lamps
  • Bedding and towels

However, if there are items you don’t want to compromise on, like high thread count sheets or luxury bed linens, it is okay to splurge a bit, too.

Accent Rugs

Rugs can be extremely expensive, and if you are someone who loves to change the look of a room, buying a lower cost rug can be a smart option. It is also better to save on accent rugs in high-traffic areas or rooms that are prone to spills. A lower cost rug makes it much less painful when you have to replace it for a spill or an accident.


Your cabinets in a new home probably come with hardware, but when you are ready for a change, it is a great way to create a new vibe of your bathroom or kitchen. And you can do it at an affordable price. You can also replace the hardware on dressers or tables to change the style without splurging for new furniture.

In reality, spending does usually impact quality. Sometimes this matters and sometimes it is okay to spare your wallet. Using high-low decorating with a mix of expensive and not so expensive items is a great way to decorate your home the way you want without blowing the budget.