It’s finally your turn. After the busy flurry of raising kids and caring for aging parents, it is finally time to give your home some of your love and attention. 

However, with retirement starting to appear on the horizon, you don’t want to get carried away. Instead, you want to update and freshen up your home without pushing the dream of a cozy retirement further away.

Follow along because I’ve got some great strategies, so you know where to invest hard-earned dollars, and more importantly, where to save. The key to making it all work is a balanced budget… 


Tip #1: Splurge on High-Traffic Items

First, I can’t stress the importance of investing in high-traffic pieces. Sometimes this is a hard sell for my clients. You may be asking, “Why should I pay more to get a sofa that looks just like the one at Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn?” 

Well, the simple answer is, you can’t judge a book by its cover. However, if you have read my post about selecting a quality sofa, you will know how to spot quality construction and know some of the perils of shopping online. 

Your big-ticket purchases should be the things you use the most. Right away, you should be glancing around the room at your sofa, your dining table, and your chairs. You likely use them every day, and they will take a beating. 

Consider these your investment pieces. Choose family-friendly fabrics and stain-resistant fabrics for these pieces because you will want them to last. Forever!


Tip #2: Spend Extra on Showstopping Details

Be sure to set aside a portion of your budget to splurge. While this may seem like improbable advice since I’ve just told you to invest in the key pieces, keep reading to the end. I’ve got solutions for you.

By setting aside funds from the start for accents and details, you can plan your project spending to get the best result and don’t run out of money before you get the wow factor you are looking for. This is where you get the biggest bang by allowing for those selections that will truly set your house apart.

Set aside a portion of your budget for accents, accessories, and artwork that will all work together to provide a show-stopping result and pull the entire design together. Pendant lights, chandeliers, pretty faucets, and decorative hardware all fall under this category if you are renovating.


Tip #3: Save on Every Other Element

You need to save on literally everything else to make it all work—the end. You don’t need an expensive well-crafted night table. Those drawers don’t open and close all day long. Look to resellers for previously loved pieces. Bonus: They will have lots of personality and character you can’t buy in a store. You can always paint a flea market find a fun colour, and it instantly becomes a great accent piece.

You don’t need an expensive hand-knotted Persian rug if you have fallen head over heels for a pretty synthetic rug. Our advice is to follow your heart and go for it! Your guests won’t know the difference, and there are so many pretty rugs at affordable prices. Best part? Synthetics resist stains!

While we are on the topic, you don’t need to spend a lot on those occasional chairs that are only used when your mother-in-law comes over. Instead, why not save a cast-off piece from landfill and reupholster it? There are so many for sale, and they are usually well-made.

A tip many designers use is to buy stock frames for photos and artwork from Ikea or Michaels. They are available in many sizes and at a great price, will allow you to create your own gallery of art at a great price.

When we work with our full-service homeowners, we pull out our spreadsheet of the low, medium, and high price estimates to create a budget and use three colours of highlighter to show you where we are going to spend, splurge, and save and juggle the numbers until we have a balanced budget – before we spend a dime!

What is one thing you are so glad that you splurged on in your home? How does it improve your life? Share with us in the comments below.