Splurge vs. Save Series: Key Investment Pieces for the Home


Many times people are in a rush to fill up a space and miss the mark with buying quality furnishings. They quickly want to decorate a room to make it look nice, skipping the chance of curating a space that’s filled with quality pieces that will stand the test of time.

This leads to less than ideal furnishings that will only last a season or two. So now you’re annoyed because you realized you should have been patient initially AND now you have to buy new stuff.

However; all is not lost. If you’re in the market to purchase new furnishings, this series is for you. Throughout this series I’ll discuss key investments pieces that you should focus on for each room. These are pieces that are transitional in nature that can follow you throughout different homes and design styles.

key investment for living room: upholstery

Upholstery pieces include your sofas and chairs. With upholstery its all about the bones of the sofa. Check out my Sofa Series post here and here to learn all about what goes into making a quality sofa.

The idea behind upholstery pieces being a key investment is that you can have them for years to come. A sofa or chair that was built with quality construction materials can be made new again by simply re-upholstering it with new fabric. Think about your grandmother’s 20 year old living room furniture that doesn’t seem to be falling apart any time soon.

A quality upholstery sofa will cost you around $3,000. And this is on the lower end of the spectrum. If this price tag makes you gag, perhaps a slightly more affordable alternative would be purchasing a vintage/antique sofa and having it re-upholstered.

Your local antique stores are a great place to source quality made furnishings. Additionally, websites like Chairish and FB Martketplace are also great options; if you don’t mind the shipping costs. Antique pieces are a wonderful option especially if you prefer a certain style of sofa. Again, think of your grandmother’s camel back sofa or settee; these styles may have been replicated but they don’t come close to the original!

Now some things to consider with an antique sofa is the actual cost of the furnishing and then the cost to re-upholster. Certain brands (i.e., Henredon, Chippendale) may be more expensive than others. Add to this the type of fabric you select for re-upholstering your piece. Obviously, you want to make sure you are covering your sofa with a fabric that is going to protect both the inside and outside from any damage. Couple that with the labor involved and you may or may not be at the cost to purchase new. However; nothing beats the reassurance in knowing that your sofa is built like a brick house; or a Ford if you prefer cars over song analogies.

Stay tuned for next week’s key investment!