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Where to Invest Your Furnishings Budget

Designer Miles Redd is credited with saying "buy the best and you'll only cry once," and I have to say, I agree with him! Not every item has to be a splurge in order to create luxurious environment, but, in the same way that a great pair of denim is a wardrobe staple for years, you can't go wrong in choosing timeless, well-made items for your home. Here are five areas where I always advise my clients to do just that -- buy they best they can afford in order to get the most out of their budget.


living room by Britt Design Studio

#ProjectAlwaysWright | Photo by Raquel Langworthy


A quality sofa. There is just no substitute for craftsmanship, and an eight-way hand-tied down-wrapped American-made sofa is our go to choice. We often choose a back that's just a touch firmer than the seat so the back cushions stay looking tidy, but your tush is comfy. This is definitely a place to go custom so that you can get exactly what you want in the shape, size, fill, and fabric of the item that will be the centerpiece of your space.


lounge by Britt Design Studio

#ProjectCitySlickers | Photo by Raquel Langworthy

Statement lighting. I always tell my clients that I can find a light fixture for $300 or for $3000 but you won't be able to un-see the better one. Lighting is just a game-changer in a space, and nothing will elevate or cheapen your design faster. Not only is it functional and will provide an atmospheric shift, it can also steal the design show in a room. Think of a dining room -- the fixture over the table is going to make a statement no matter what, so make sure it is the right one.


living room by by Britt Design Studio

#ProjectRidgewoodAveNotInRidgewood | Photo by Raquel Langworthy


Fabrics & rugs. These are the pieces in the room that are the most inherently fragile and that really take a beating -- especially if you have kids and pets. I like to splurge here so that we can choose the materials that will stand the test of time. If you choose cheap material -- viscose is a dirty word around here -- not only will you get cheap results, but you may ending up paying more in the end as you'll likely be replacing it sooner.

kitchen by Britt Design Studio

#ProjectMorningside | Photo by Raquel Langworthy

Anything not easily changed. We can shop for inexpensive accessories and build a collection of original art over time, but the first things that get an allocation of the budget should be tile, stone slabs, cabinetry, etc. And of course, any behind-the-scenes systems that need to be updated (new H-VAC is an unsexy line item, but it'll be worth it!). As much as I hate to cut from my pillow budget, I always want to be sure that we prioritize the items that are the most permanent.


bedroom by Britt Design Studio

#ProjectCitySlickers | Photo by Raquel Langworthy

Beds & headboards. We spend half our lives in bed (more if you're my tween-ager), so make those hours work for you by investing in a quality support system. A well-made bed will stay sturdy longer, and with so many mattress options on the market, there is just no excuse for waking up sore anymore. We may be able to save on the decorative top layer, but anything that supports you while sleeping (pillows and mattress) or touches your body (sheets are always a worthy splurge!) should be the best quality you can afford.

If you would like our perspective in creating a classic, comfortable, and stylish space in your home, please get in touch by filling out our design inquiry to tell us about your project.