Creating a space that reflects your personal style and provides comfort is a rewarding endeavor. And when it comes to home decor, making the right design decisions can truly transform a living space. While certain pieces, such as sofas, appliances, and mattresses, are clear investment items, how do you decide when to save or splurge? Luckily, this Redfin article has expert-backed advice to help you make the best decision.
1. A sturdy sofa
Investing in a quality living room sofa is critical when designing your home. “Sofas and couches get a significant amount of use and need to meet the demands of a busy home,” notes Cory Connor, owner of Cory Connor Designs. “When thinking about upholstery, consider using performance fabrics that can take the day-to-day wear of children and pets,” she says.
Additionally, selecting a neutral fabric allows you to switch out pillows, rugs, and window treatments as trends change.
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2. Paint with personality
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Paint is one of the most impactful parts of a home, so it’s essential to invest in it when renovating or redecorating. “While you can slowly invest in other decorations over time, paint is unique because it immediately adds personality and flair that makes a home yours,” comments Lily Zingman, owner of Lily Z Designs. “If you’re feeling bold, go for some accent wallpaper walls as well.”
3. Unique wallpaper
The team at Hygge & West believes that wallpaper can add a different dimension to a room. “We’re often asked for paint color matches for our wallpaper background colors, but we love the more recent trend of choosing an accent color from wallpaper to paint trim and accents,” they say. “We’ve been seeing this approach a lot more recently and think it’s a keeper.”
Don’t be afraid to play around with your wallpaper and paint colors to create a one-of-a-kind statement.
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4. Long-lasting furniture
Invest in sturdy, long-lasting furniture. When selecting your furniture, look for durable items that will serve a function in your home. “Avoid filler items that don’t have a use in your layout,” says Talita Mathias, Design Manager with Basile Studio. “Opt for fewer items and more open floor space to accentuate the beautiful furniture you own.”
5. A beautiful rug
One of the most impactful investments you can make in a room is a rug that correctly fits the floor. “Make sure to leave between 8” and 18” of space from the walls,” suggests Adam Charlap Hyman, Principal at Charlap Hyman & Herrero. “Rugs give clarity and strength to a space and allow it to breathe,” he says. “While you don’t want everything symmetrical, a bit of balance goes a long way in making a room feel ordered and calm.”
Stephanie Dyer, Creative Director of Dyer Studio, agrees that rugs are an essential investment piece. “Make sure to choose the correct size for your space,” she says. “Undersized rugs can make a space feel imbalanced or unfinished, especially in open floor plans. Choose the right rug to enhance your room’s function and style.”
6. Quality lighting
A priceless home decor and design item that is worth the investment is quality room lighting. “Art, furniture, and other pieces of home decor require appropriate lighting in order to give off their intended impressions,” says Danny Evatt from Texas Real Estate Source. “Even the finest furnishings won’t look very good in dim, dank lighting, so invest in it to beautify your home.” Good lighting can also increase your home’s value, which is helpful if you’re planning to sell.
7. Gorgeous wall sconces
A great choice for homeowners and renters is timeless wall sconces. “Sconces are gorgeous and make a difference in any space,” advises Kim Hawkins, president of Gardella Design Group. “They come in black, silver, and gold, can last 50 hours on one charge, and are often fully dimmable with a remote,” she says. “You can also often control the quality of light and use rechargeable bulbs to help reduce your carbon footprint.”
8. Quality staging if you plan to sell
If you’re planning on selling your home, investing in quality staging can dramatically increase your home’s value. “With a little refresh or upgrade, a potential buyer can really see the potential of the home,” says Jenny Bittner Borden, Director of Showcase Operations at The San Francisco Decorator Showcase. “Staging helps people feel at home and gives them ideas on how to use the space in a functional way that works for them.”
9. Antiques with a story
Antique furniture and accessories are important because they add depth and dimension to your home. “These pieces literally have history and a story to tell,” says Mark Phelps, founder and principal of Mark Phelps Interiors. “Regardless of your choice, your space will be enhanced by the antiques you select because they have had a journey of their own.”
10. Unique artwork
Art and photography are worthwhile investments. “Art has the transformative power to pull a space together, reflect your unique personality, and add warmth,” says Lisa Eryn Silverman, founder and Creative Director of These Fine Walls. “It’s what makes a space feel lived in, connects people, and tells a story,” she says. “Even if you move or decide to redecorate, art remains a constant you can easily move or rearrange to continue to make an impact.”
11. Natural and organic materials
The team at CT Exclusive Homes suggests investing in organic and sustainable materials. “The trends for 2023 are all about bringing organic, sustainable, and recycled materials into your home,” they say. “From natural stones, wood elements, and natural fabrics to blending antiques with modern furnishings. More than ever, we understand that our homes are our safe haven, and we love surrounding ourselves with the natural materials mother nature gifts to us-
12. Multifunctional spaces
Multifunctional spaces are worth the splurge. They are designed to be flexible, adaptable, and efficient, allowing people to maximize their living and working spaces. But how do you create them? Reiko Lewis, Principal Designer with Ventus Design, has a few suggestions to help:
- In larger rooms, create zones within a space by considering how you arrange your furniture. Invest in rugs, mirrors, and different lighting in set areas to help establish zones.
- If you’re short on space, invest in softer paint colors and remove anything that creates a partition. This way, your area will flow and feel more open and airier.
- Invest in dual-function furniture designs that you can use in several ways to suit your interior needs, no matter the space.