7 tips for deciding when to splurge vs save on home decor and furnishings! Invest your money where it counts to get the most for your budget.

Some things are worth paying a little extra for.

And I’m NOT going to tell you exactly what those things are!

Why? Well because I believe that those items are different for every person. For instance, many say always splurge on furniture so that you get good quality. But if you need a chair to fill an empty corner and no one is ever going to sit in it, do you really care if it’s quality so long as it looks perfect? Maybe not.

So instead of telling you exactly which items to splurge or save on, I’m going to tell you what you should take into consideration so that you can make the decision for yourself and do what’s right for your home and your budget! Think of this as a teach a man to fish moment…

The reality is that sometimes it’s necessary to splurge. If that means saving up to afford what you really want then do it. If that means using one of the tips I’ve shared for how to get high-end luxury items for less, by all means go for it!

But you never want to splurge on something only to later regret it and realize you could have been something that you saved money on. And the opposite is true, too!

If you save money by buying a budget item, but it falls apart within the year and you have to buy a replacement, did you really save money? Probably not.

Save or Splurge? How to Get the Most for Your Money

Who doesn’t love a bargain?! We all like to feel like we’re getting a good deal on our purchases, so a bargain is always a thrill. And it’s okay for your home to be a mix of price points and quality, depending on what’s best for your style and budget. But as much as we all love to save money, sometimes splurging is necessary.  The key is to know when you should splurge in order to get what you need, versus when you can save yourself a bit of money. So here are 7 tips for when to splurge versus save on your home decor and furnishing needs!

Inexpensive Doesn’t Mean Cheap

Before we get too far into this discussion, though, let’s clear something up.  There is a big difference between inexpensive and cheap. 

Inexpensive is a price point. Cheap is a look.

Inexpensive items can be quality, good-looking pieces, whereas cheap items often don’t look….well, cheap.

What one considers inexpensive or cheap will vary from person to person based on their individual taste and lifestyle, and our perceptions also often change based on the item considered for purchase.  But in general, here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to splurge or save on your home decor.

When to Splurge

1.  Quality/Longevity

Before purchasing an inexpensive item, look carefully at the quality.  Sometimes, you won’t be able to tell the difference, but other times, the item is less expensive because the materials and craftmanship are not great quality.  This is particularly important with regards to furniture, where quality construction will allow a piece to hold up better and longer.


Upholstered side chairs are a great example of the need to splurge. You can find all sorts of beautiful parsons chairs at discount stores offering great prices, but speaking from experience, I can tell you that the padding and seat don’t hold up as well as the more expensive ones, which have better craftsmanship.

If quality is important to you, you might have to splurge.

Numbered French dining chair closeup in dining room with purple and white flowers
My dining room chairs get a lot of use, so I splurged when buying these to ensure the seats would hold up well.

If you decide to Splurge, you can still do it on a budget! Here are 12 Ways to Save When Decorating.

2.  Authenticity/Brand Name

Brand name is important to some people and worth the splurge. Sometimes, a brand name item is truly better quality than a replica; other times, it isn’t, in which case, you’re paying for the brand name, not the quality.


Comparison of ghost chairs Philippe Starck and Casper
If you just want the look, the Casper chair will suffice. But for those who know brands, only a true Philippe Starck will do! {Source and Source}

3.  Uniqueness

Sometimes you’ll come across those rare or unusual items and often times, those come with a price!  If something is truly unique {or an antique}, you might have to settle for paying more if you really want it.

Pink roses in an antique ironstone sugar bowl on fireplace mantel
A traditional vase is inexpensive, but antique ironstone is unique and valuable and worth the splurge to me.

4.  True Love

This is one of those times where your purchase decision may not make financial sense, but falling head over heels in love with something is often a decision of the heart, not the head!  Expensive items often have more detailing than those that are less expensive, so pay attention to the details and if they matter to you, you might opt for the more expensive version.

You might be willing to pay more for something you love versus something you like

Elegant french master bathroom with freestanding tub next to shower with pony wall and white trim
I fell head over heels for this tub in my master bathroom and for me, nothing else could compare!

When to Save

1.  Nonexistent or minimal difference in quality

The advantage to discount chain stores and online sites is that they sometimes carry items identical to their more expensive counterparts but at a fraction of the price!  In this case, it just requires a bit of patience and determination to find what you’re looking for at a price you’re willing to pay.  Other times, there is a difference in quality but you might not be able to justify the cost difference associated with it, in which case you might as well go with the less expensive option.

French nightstand with french-wired crystal lamp and silver vase of roses
This French-wired lamp from HomeGoods was a fraction of the price of the RH one and the quality difference was negligible.

2.  Temporary or rarely used items

If an item isn’t going to get much use or you don’t plan to keep it for long, quality isn’t often a factor.  In these cases, so long as you love the less expensive option, go for it!

bedroom with twin beds decorated for Christmas with red plaid, black furniture
No need to splurge on a guest bedroom rug that was going to get minimal wear and tear!

3. Budget considerations

For most people, budget considerations factor into our purchase decisions.  When working within a budget, prioritize your wants/needs and allocate your funds accordingly.   You can read more about creating your design plan {here}.

French Farmhouse Family Room with EKTORP sectional
I saved on the IKEA EKTORP sectional given that I knew the kids would be hard on it!

Additional Tips & Tidbits

Keeping in mind that our perceptions of quality and price vary from person to person, in general, you’re usually safe if you:

  • Buy quality pieces (which are often more expensive) for your long-term foundation furnishings
  • Buy inexpensive accent and filler items

More Shopping Tips

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  1. Hi,
    Great post. Where did the rose come from? It’s amazing!!

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Nicole – Thank you! I bought it at HomeGoods and unfortunately, there wasn’t a tag on it that mentioned a brand…. :( Too bad because I want another for sure!!

  2. Kim…I love that your posts are always right on target with the issues we all face in decorating. I absolutely agree with your example of your dining room chairs…with pieces that you plan to have a long time, including sofas and tables, it’s best to get quality and pay for it. With accessories, if it’s something I truly love and know I will prize…I will pay full price. But I love knock offs and Homegoods is a great place to get something you would most likely pay more for elsewhere.

    I’d like to tell you something interesting…maybe it’s happened to you before. My daughter has her degree in Interior Design and currently divides her time working in a high end furniture store here in Chicago and designing rooms for clients. We were in Marshall’s recently and I spotted a Louis XVI chair (like your dining chairs) for $99.00. I thought it couldn’t be true. My daughter looked it over, it was a great sturdy chair and the upholstered seat and back was done super professionally. I asked her how? Why? $99.00???? She said that when a certain style, like this chair, is in hot demand, the manufacturers start a price competition. Selling 6 chairs at $99.00 is better than selling 1 for $350.00. And the quality and craftsmanship is equal. That really amazed me. So lesson learned…check out the cheap furniture! Ha! Oh yes, I bought it as a desk chair!

    Thanks for a great post, as usual!


    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Jane – So interesting! Thanks for sharing this info!

  3. Kim. What a great post! You are so right about quality chairs! I have learned from experience! I love a great bargain too… so for me, perfection is great quality at a great price!

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      The best of both worlds is ideal, isn’t it?!

  4. Agreed!!! This is a wonderful post :)
    Happy Friday.
    Hugs, Gee

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      :) Thanks, Marty!

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