Splurge vs. Save | Designers Sound Off

WE ASKED SOME OF OUR FAVORITE DESIGNERS ABOUT INVESTMENT FURNITURE. Which pieces deserve a splurge and which can handle a bit of scrimp? Some said to invest in antiques; some advise putting your money where your comfort is. But everyone agrees that you should curate and collect things that you love.

Mark Little Bailey
Grey Interiors
I advise clients to spend money on upholstered pieces. That is one area in which the old adage rings true: you get what you pay for.

Kathy Potts Decorating
Den Interiors
I tell my clients to spend money on upholstered pieces like sofas and chairs because those are things you don’t want to keep replacing. There are so many high performance fabrics out there that make it possible to keep a sofa or chair longer if the bones of the piece are really good. Case goods on the other hand such as tables can be easily replaced. Put your money in a nice sofa and chair and not so much in the side tables.

Ashley Hilbich
Curtains Blinds & Bath

We love clients to invest in a good-quality sofa—the place you and your guests sit the most should be comfortable, durable and of course, beautiful! We highly recommend pieces with flippable (unattached) cushions, to prevent the “flattening” effect you typically see in a less expensive piece… make sure you go shopping locally; if you’re going to splurge you’ll want to actually sit on the sofa first. The worst thing we see is when our clients, especially petite ones, don’t “fit” in their furniture because they’ve made the mistake of shopping online first. Don’t be afraid to ask about cushion upgrades either! Lots of places can substitute downfilled or wrapped cushions for basic fiber or foam to make them more comfortable. Our favorite tip to make the piece last is to choose “performance” fabric— even available in entry level fabrics… performance fabrics such as Krypton have come a long way and are very beautiful! Upgrading fabric is the perfect splurge for our clients with younger children and families with pets.

Troy Deacon
High Cotton Home Furnishings and Gifts

Splurge on antiques and scrimp on upholstered items. Antiques are timeless; they last forever, but upholstered pieces need to be redone from time to time and styles and patterns come and go.

Doug Wilson
TLC’s Trading Spaces

Put your money toward good dining room chairs—they get more wear than the table and there’s nothing more annoying than sitting down for dinner in a loose and wobbly chair. You don’t have to buy the set; there are lots of good, economical options for the dining room table, but buy the best chairs you can afford.

Miranda Dudley and Stefanie Deel
Designer Solutions, Inc.

Generally, you should splurge on your functional pieces or those that are most used—the sofa, dining furniture and bedroom furniture. Choose quality pieces that can withstand daily wear and tear. Accent pieces are a great place to save. You can add interest to a space or highlight a specific area with accent pieces that don’t break the bank. Of course, there’s always that one fabulous piece you find in a high-end furniture line that you just have to have!

Lia Melder
Reid’s Fine Furnishings

High quality furniture is an investment, but it’s an investment well worth making. When choosing where to splurge and where to save think about the pieces that get used most in your home. My top two recommendations are the living room sofa and chests of drawers. You will use these every day!

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