When it comes to budgeting for a wedding many brides are told to use the splurge and save strategy. The idea is to splurge in some areas of the wedding, and then balance that spending by cutting costs in other areas. This concept is meant to allow the bride to enjoy what she really wants on her special day in areas that are important to her, but keeps the budget under control by cutting back spending in areas that are not so important to her.

Well, lovely readers, the same general concept works for interior design too. Whether you’re thinking about giving a room a quick redo or renovating your entire house, it doesn’t take long to realize that if you really splurged on everything you wanted for your project you’d end up at best overspending or at worst bankrupt (yes, I could easily drive myself to bankruptcy if I purchased everything I wanted for our home).

It’s important to bring some balance to your budget by cutting back where you can, but also recognizing when splurging on certain items is what will really make the room work well for you.

The big question then is what do I splurge on, and more importantly, where do I save when I really want to splurge on everything? A professional interior designer is very good at figuring out this balance in order to keep your project in budget, and today I’m going to give you some general tips for knowing when to splurge and when to save.

when to splurge…

Splurge on items that are highlighted either because of their location or the architectural elements around them. This would be certain highly visible unique areas of your house, like a feature wall, alcove or bay window. In a living room, it may be above the fireplace. In a kitchen, it may be the breakfast area or over the sink. In a bedroom, it may be over the bed. In a home office, it may be the desk or a large built-in wall system. These are the areas people’s eyes are drawn to when they first walk into the room so put something fantastic in those areas.

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Splurge on things that are very unique. I’m talking about products that can’t be easily found somewhere else or would be very difficult to make on your own.

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Splurge on rooms you spend most of your time in. Why spend thousands of dollars renovating your screened porch which you only get to use in the summer when your kitchen that you use everyday could really use an upgrade?

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Splurge on things that will make your life easier or save you time. Things like storage and organizational items save you time and stress, and that’s worth the investment!

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Splurge on an item that will be the focal point of your design, though not necessarily the focal point of your room. Maybe it’s a rug that has the colors you are going to base the room around, or a family portrait over the fireplace that will set the color tone and warmth you want the room to have. If it’s an item that’s driving the whole design concept then it’s important.

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Splurge on anything that has sentimental value to you. If you have a certain memory related to that item it makes it more meaningful to you, and you know the money will be well spent because you will never get rid of the item.

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when to save…

Save on items that are trendy and you may want to change them out in a few years when trends change. While you may love that glass tile backsplash will you still love it in five years? Right now you may think a gold chair is really hip, but it may be outdated in a few years and thus a poor investment.

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Save on products that you could easily make yourself for much less. I can’t believe how many items out there are sold at a ridiculously marked up price in retail stores. Like why spend $118 for a shower curtain you could easily make yourself for $20? If you need some help finding DIY tutorials just search Pinterest or check out my ‘Projects’ tab in the menu.

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Save on the smaller decorative decor. Whether that photo frame on the nightstand is $40 or $5 probably won’t make much difference to you. Whether you have a good quality bed and comfortable mattress will. The accessories and accents in a room can easily be changed out when your tastes change, trends change or you just are tired of staring at the same thing so keep those more affordable. Having to replace the large items like furniture, lighting and flooring is a more expensive option though making them worth investing in from the beginning.

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Save in areas not often seen by guests. This could be areas like the kids’ bathroom, bonus room, laundry room or master bathroom. Do you want to spend money on the guest bedroom your rare overnight guests will enjoy, or the family room where all your friends and family tend to gather a lot?

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Save in areas that really aren’t important to you personally. I don’t have any curtains anywhere on the entire first floor of our home. The only window treatments I have are blinds. I’m sure a lot of people would say that adding some curtains would help to finish off the look of the rooms, but I have purposely chosen not to use curtains because I want to highlight the window shapes, and the rooms feel more bright and open without any added window treatments. My point is, when it comes to certain elements of your home it really does come down to preference, and as we all know, everyone has different preferences. Recognize if there’s a design element you really don’t want in your room or home, and then enjoy the fact that skipping that element altogether is going to save you some money!

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By the way, I have my first room makeover coming soon so stay tuned!

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