They say a man’s home is his castle, that home is where the heart is, and that there’s no place like home. In each case, the home sphere is depicted as a haven, a place of refuge where one can escape the demands and pressures of the outside world, interact with loved ones, and basically shed the mask of pretense often required to operate in civilized society (in other words, you can just be yourself when you walk through the door).
Of course, turning a house into a home requires more than simply throwing in a few random chairs and tables and calling it a day (unless you happen to be an eclectic minimalist). So you’ll probably want to spend some time decorating your interior spaces in order to create the warm and inviting rooms that speak to your unique sense of style and your ideals of beauty and comfort. In other words, you want your home to be 100% you. Unfortunately, this can be a pricey proposition if you splurge on every stick of furniture.
Furniture for Your Home: When to Splurge and When to Save
In truth, you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot in order to create the sanctuary you’ve been dreaming of. You might think that creating custom furnishings for every room is essential to making your home one-of-a-kind, but the mere fact that you’re in it will accomplish that goal. And rather than putting yourself in debt to secure high-end pieces, you should consider that there are plenty of cost-saving alternatives (estate sales, Craigslist, and eBay, for example). Not every furnishing in your home needs to be a splurge, although you should certainly be willing to spend a little more here and there when you find a truly exceptional item. And there are a few guidelines that can help you determine when to splurge and when to save when it comes to furniture.
Consider, for example, your dining table. Do you really need to overspend on a formal dining room set that features seating for 12 when you rarely entertain and your dining room is the size of a postage stamp? Probably not. Instead, get yourself a quaint set at half the size (and a fraction of the cost) that will actually complement your space, then keep a card table and folding chairs in the garage for those rare occasions when you’re feeding a few extra mouths). No one will mind, you’ll save money, and you’ll get a furniture set that functions better in your home on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, a family with 10 kids and a large home may benefit from spending a little more on a sturdy table and chairs for the dining room, especially if a lot of time is spent in this room sharing meals and socializing. There are ways to make your dining room look expensive, without breaking the bank.
Knowing where to splurge and where to save can be determined by use value, so if you are going to get a lot of use out of a piece it’s worth it to pay more to ensure that it will stand the test of time (and the physical demands of your family and guests). So you might want to spend more on a great mattress and bed frame while saving on extras like upholstered headboards and night stands. However, you will on occasion stumble across those one-of-a-kind finds that you just can’t pass up. The rule of thumb here is simple; if you’re going to put the piece on prominent display and get years of use out of it (with the intention of taking care of it and passing it along to your kids one day) then go ahead and splurge. If it will likely end up in the garage and eventually the donate pile because everyone but you thinks it’s ugly and uncomfortable, maybe you should pass it up.