Today I am so pleased to have a guest post from Traci Zeller, one of my favorite designers and bloggers! She was so kind to share some of her great tips with us! So kick back, relax, and enjoy!
“Buy Quality and You Only Cry Once”
Everyone loves the “high/low” magazine features where the editors create two very similar rooms with very different price tags. I think those features make people wonder, though, why they should buy the more expensive versions when they can get the “same” thing at a lower cost. Wouldn’t you wonder?
In no way is it realistic for you to ever spend the amount ($10,101, to be exact) that it cost the Style at Home editors to put this boudoir room together. So how are you going to balance my “high quality” mantra and the “reasonable budget” reality that almost all of us live? It’s easier than you might think: Buy quality, and you only cry once.
I strongly believe that you should buy the highest quality that you can afford. (Yes, this is personal; it’s not a “one size fits all” proposition.) This is especially true when you are buying bigger ticket items, such as a sofa or a dining room table. A high quality furniture piece will bring you pleasure for many years to come – and can be refinished or reupholstered when you are ready for a new look. By contrast, some of the more “disposable” pieces that you see may be fine for now … but your purchase will get wear-and-tear much more quickly and you may find yourself needing to replace it practically before the bill is paid.
To put it another way, what really costs more – a sofa that will last for 10+ years (maybe with a re-upholstery job) or one that looks worn after mere months? I always recommend saving your money until you can buy what will last (and what you truly love) instead of wasting money on something that is just OK for now but is destined to end up in a landfill. Remember, too, that cost is not always an indication of quality. Buying a vintage sofa, for example, and having it recovered is a fantastic way to get a high quality piece without the “brand new” price tag.
In this master bedroom that I designed several years ago, the splurge pieces were the Helena bed from Oly Studio and the custom window treatments and throw pillows. The duvet cover came from a big box retailer, the crystal lamps are from Restoration Hardware, and the chairs and bedside chests are vintage. The homeowner painted the chairs and bedside chests herself, and we had new marble tops (hint: remnant-sized!) cut for the chests. The end result is a gorgeous, elegant room – with a fantastic mix of new and old pieces – done on a reasonable budget.
Let’s get back to the Style at Home boudoir example. If I were doing a similar room in my own home, I would spend the majority of my budget on the chaise and the labor for the window treatments. I would look for vintage pieces for the mirrored chest and the side table, and I would choose mid-priced lighting (because this isn’t something you are likely to replace) and fabrics. I would save on the accessories by searching big box retailers, vintage shops and websites like Etsy. Of course, I would also take my time to furnish the space – which means I could save to purchase the items that I really wanted and also fill the room with pieces that are more personal to me. By the time I finished, I would have a beautiful room done on my time and my budget.
Tawna, thanks so much for having me here today. I hope your readers find my design “rule” both educational and inspiring!
Thank you, Traci! I know I have been battling between high and low priced items in our remodel, and Traci helped make my decision much easier!
P.S. If you are needing a little help turning the dream for your home into a reality, send me a message via my contact page.