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 realize 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 Ford tough if you prefer cars over song analogies.

If your goal is a timeless look, opt for a neutral fabric that can transition throughout your different decor moods and experiment with color and patterns through accent pillows and other low cost items.


key investment for bedroom: bed

So last week we talked about upholstery pieces being key investments. The next investment piece to consider is the bed. So many people skimp on this furnishing because they only use it for 8 hours a day. Well, those 8 hours are pretty important and its necessary to splurge in this area!

First off, let’s discuss its function. Your bed helps support you in getting a good night’s rest. You’re supposed to wake up feeling energized and ready to concur your day! You can’t do that if you’re sleeping on a crappy mattress and bed frame.

When picking out your bed, select the best that your money can buy. Style is secondary to quality. You should pick a mattress and frame that will support your body throughout the night. There are too many options to name, so I’ll leave the research to you. Just make sure you take your time testing and laying on those that appeal to you.

Once you’ve narrowed this down, its time to determine a style. Again, there is no right or wrong choice in this department. If however, you are wanting to go with a timeless look, try to stay away from those 3 piece combo bedroom sets. In my opinion, these combos lack style and personality. I would suggest to mix and match your pieces to create a more curated look.


key investment for dining room: dining table

The third and final room to explore is the dining room. The obvious splurge item in this space is the dining table and chairs; especially if this area is used to entertain guests or where you have daily meals.

You’ll want to find a quality wood table and chairs that you can have restored or refinished time and time again. This goes back to finding an antique piece or the best retail quality that your money can afford.

If the chair seating is upholstered, its so easy to change out the fabric when you get bored or if the current selection is worn down.

Save options

As for items that you can skimp on, they are pretty much the same regardless of the interior space. These items include:

  • Rugs

  • Decor pillows

  • Wall art

  • Decor accessories

These items are more forgiving and way easier to swap out than your bigger pieces. Classic and timeless design will always be en vogue. Make sure to keep this in mind when purchasing those key investments for your home!

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