Design Tips | Robbing Peter to pay Paul

We have never been the design team that spends money to spend money.  Sure it's nice to have a hefty budget but we pride ourselves on finding and carrying lines that are stylish and well-priced and mixing in inexpensive, good-looking items with high quality, pricey pieces making it all come together in one, seamless space that flows and all looks expensive.

For that reason, we got super excited when we found this article about splurging and saving because it's so true!  There are just certain things that you really don't need to spend the money on and there are certain things and you really DO need to spend the money on.  So here's a list to help you make that decision next time you've got your eye on that piece you love and you can't decide whether or not to take the leap or keep moving.

This first one is a hard one because it's a really big ticket item but it really is a good investment.  Upholstery.  And we're not talking every single upholstered piece in your home, we're talking about the main pieces in your family room that you use almost every day.  These pieces should absolutely be quality made or else they won't withstand the test of time.  The good news about upholstery is that it can always be re-upholstered so, in theory, you could get away with never buying another sofa again!

On the flip side, accent pieces like side tables and cocktail tables are good pieces to save on.  These are smaller items that can be swapped out a little more frequently than the large furniture and it just doesn't make sense to spend a lot of money on them.  New styles and looks can be found just about anywhere and what's trendy may change quickly.  Save your money on these items they're really more functional/filler pieces anyway.


In the kitchen, your main focus should be a quality, classic cabinet.  Just like the upholstered furniture for the family room, a real wood cabinet can be refinished and refaced multiple times to accomplish different looks without having to replace the entire kitchen.  A fresh coat of paint or stain can give new life to interior pieces that were thought to be dead.  Don't underestimate the power of color.

Also in the kitchen but much less money worthy is the back splash.  Don't get us wrong, a backsplash IS important in the kitchen.  It's the finishing touch that takes the kitchen up just one more level, but the tile is not worth blowing the budget on.  There are SO many different tile companies, styles, and colors out there that you can absolutely find something lovely for your kitchen that doesn't put you in debt.  Trust us.  It's out there.


Finally, in the Dining Room, your money should go into your dining table.  This gathering piece is the heart of the family room.  Not to mention, it's the biggest item in there (usually) and gets the most "screen time".  Don't be scared to pick something that will be heavy and expensive.  It's the grounding piece for the whole room and needs to be just right!

However, the dining chairs on the other hand don't need to be something to brake the bank for.  Even the most expensive chairs have imitations and, again, they're just an accessory or way to accentuate that table so you don't want to pick anything that detracts.  There are plenty of options out there that for the amount of time they'll probably be used, don't do it.  Get something comfortable but cheap and cheerful and you'll come out ahead in the end for sure!

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Hope that helps you decide which items to focus on if you're doing your own design project.  It's all about balance and priorities.

Interior Updates | Make Your Money Go Farther

If you spend your money right, you can accomplish an expensive look by changing just one key thing.  Instead of a full-blown remodel, get smarter with your spending and pick something to change that will make a big impact and look like it carries a big price without breaking the bank!

This can work even more in your favor, if you have a small space.  Many people feel like small spaces translate into a less-expensive look....they are under the impression that bigger equals better, but it's not always the case!  Quality over quantity is what we say!  If you have a small room that you're wanting to update to make look like it's expensive, you'll be paying less for the material that goes into it so you can afford to select a more expensive finish!

Here are a few areas where  you can create a big bang for less bucks!

Tile.  There are all sorts of tile out there--wall & floor tile, mosaic, subway, floor tile, ceramic, glass, metal, natural stone.  The list could go on and on!  Since tile can be applied in a variety of areas, you can use it to your advantage and make it work with your budget.  Got a small bathroom that you're trying to update?!  Pick a wall that's visible and apply a great tile to it!  This could be the shower wall, if your shower walls are visible from outside of the shower or it could be a backsplash.  It could even be the floor!  Flooring says a lot about a space so a beautiful floor tile could easily transform the room into a high-end expensive-feeling oasis.  You won't need a ton of it if you've got a small bathroom, so it shouldn't break the bank, and it'll definitely change the feel!

Streamlining your backsplash.  The backsplash in a bathroom or kitchen is often the "extra" that people cut corners on.  Look at the backsplash as a way to make a statement.  Maybe scale back a little on the other stuff so you've got a little left to do the backsplash.  The backsplash is the place to go larger, even though it's not a large area.  A lot of people want to get really detailed in the backsplash with swirly designs and colors but this really isn't necessary.  Instead, keep the grout to a minimum.  If you can do one solid piece of material as the backsplash, even better!  It will create a sleek, classy look!  You may pay a little more for the material but less in labor!

Art.  So many people try to fill their walls like lots and lots of little things--shelves and hooks and picture frames.  Go with one big piece of art.  In the end, you'll probably spend the same amount of money as you would on a bunch of smaller pieces but the art will make a much bigger impact than any grouping of smaller pieces ever could!

Mirrors & Light Done Right.  Bring a little glisten and sparkle to your home with some larger mirrors.  Not only do they reflect natural light coming in through windows but they create the illusion of a larger space--now that's money well-spent!  Beyond that, they add a little sparkle to a room and can immediately brighten it up.

Lighting.  One, big, awesome chandelier does a home good.  Seriously, friends.  Get a cool light.  Lighting is like art--it's a statement piece that can be a little different and makes a HUGE impact on a room!  You may have to look carefully for a piece that fits your budget and meets the size requirements for the space it's going in, but it's worth the search!  Great lighting is the quickest way to make a room look expensive!