Where to Splurge & Save
So where to splurge? Well, some of us are budgets don't allow a lot a lot of spartan splurging, but if I were going to say some of the places that I think it's most important to put your money, um, certainly again, the things that were priorities to you, yes, even if they're not priorities than anybody else in there life, those should be at the top of the list and things that you're going to feel it more excited splurging on those two uh, if it's something, you're going to use all the time. So, like we said earlier, the cost per cent, uh, a living room sofa that you're going to sit on every single day versus the cost per cent that my friends and in canada loves to say for a dining room chair is a lot different, and it can help you feel more comfortable about spending items in the places where you're really going to use it. And are you splurging again on something that you love to? Are you just getting an item? Because you think, it's what you should be buying so hopefully you always lo...
ve and you have love and function with every piece that you purchase investigating get upholstery, I think that's a great category to think about. In the areas that you're going to use all the time now, if it's a chair for a guest bedroom, of course it doesn't have to be that comfortable nobody's ever going to sit there for more than maybe fifteen minutes, possibly an hour? But I'm talking about the things that you sit on every single day, so I think you're really smart to think about getting a good sofa, uh and that's what you were saying as opposed to something inexpensive and you can keep it for years it's worth waiting for unique lighting fixtures in at least a place or two in your home can be great things to splurge on because they makes so much impact they become like the jewellery of the home and again, when you have something that's, a statement piece, then you don't need so many other things happening in that space to make it look beautiful. Where is the actual light in the it's in the top? And it shines down through all of its kind, like a chandelier in you? Very yeah, I see beautiful, so something like me in a home like this, of course they did have a nice budget, which was wonderful in this is an expensive light fixture we don't put them in every single room of the house that we just pick a place or two and let the light fixture be really significant and really important, especially in a space like some of you were talking about. Leslie, you said you had this, you know, to story space a lot of times, that whole upper plane we were talking about yesterday is a beautiful place to put some kind of significant, winding picture. It doesn't necessarily have to be expensive, it could just be something that's large and has a lot of impact, but certainly a place to think about doing something with the wow factor in your lighting in a place or two aa lot of clients come to me, and they say your projects are always so unique, and the lighting's always so cool, and I waited until it was time for the contractor to tell me to get the lighting, which is far along in the process, and we were paid basically already at the money about that point, so you have to plan ahead for these two and know that they're a significant item. You want to spend money on. A lot of people we've talked about put money in the bathroom, and I think it's a good decision if that's important to you, some people like to really invest in original artwork, and that didn't necessarily have to mean that it's super expensive right now, I encourage clients to buy the best that they can at any given time and if they really really love it and it makes them happy over time they'll have a really interesting collection of hopefully higher and lower pieces because when you're younger a lot of times you can't afford afford as nice of art obviously is maybe when you get a little older and maybe you're making a little more money in your budget is better and sometimes it's really what becomes the icing on the cake the real focal point so sometimes it is worth having a statement piece or two in your house I think for the most part window treatments or something that's really hard to skimp on a ce faras drapery curtains like these if you can't do them right and really have them lined and made wealth and I would often out of going for this style altogether I would just go to a simple room and shade or completely diff print style so see people try to do curtains long, dry free panels like thiss and they'll do something store bought that's really inexpensive that doesn't have a lining and it's not enough fabric on each end of the window and it just looks really, really skimpy where it would have been nice or just tohave a shade or a blind or roman shades something that looked nice and tidy and simple but looked better quality because you weren't trying to cut corners so often they're very functional if they control the light for you so they can be a good investment and have a good payoff so it's really the key like we said is to use enough fabric and if you're buying store bought dry pre panels, I suggest that you buy more than you, you know two or three times what you would typically by sensitive buying one panel for each side of a window by two or three of them and sew them together but have them sound together and put nice hardware on them and that'll at least make them look more expensive than the skimpy look if you just buy a single panel because typically for professionals we use at least what we could call one and a half wits so the fifty four inch wide fabric and at least half of another piece of fifty four inch wide fabric on each side of the window that's one and a half wits or two wits of it. So in the same way if you're buying single panels in a retail store usually there just one with the fabrics that you might need to double up two or three of those to make them look very nice if any of you use store bought drapery panels like that and do you find that they that they do look kind of skimpy? Sometimes you have no white control so in the bedroom ah, a few years ago, I wanted to put in some new window treatments, and I was having a lot of problems with light control, so I got some dark curtains from the store they weren't lined, and lights still came through that, and then the light peek out from the side because there wasn't enough fabric to cover them. So now I have this really horrible arrangement of a blackout shade that I bought, you know, from one store and then curtains that don't and it's just I think one of the things I've been thinking about it just ripping all of that out and making the investment for one really good piece of, um, custom drapery that has a really good blackout liner because in the bedroom that's so important, and I don't like having all these, like, five different things that I have to open and close just a get some light in the room. Yeah, you proved my point. Exactly. That is what I find with almost every single client or customer, friend or blogged reader that tries to with exactly the same scenario, they're not line, they don't control the light. They look skimpy. Um, you know, there's, everything that you just described, and then you have to go to five or six more steps and that's kind of what I was saying earlier, that if you're having to go through six steps to make something affordable to you, you possibly could have invested in a really good pair of draperies are at least half of the pair. You would almost be halfway there, so he spent all this time, energy frustration, and still don't have something that works for you. So I agree completely, and I think that this is why, for me, custom window treatments are a place that I don't want to scamp on. They get in the high category for me, where a lot of other things get in the low category, because it's really just difficult to make them work for you and have function if there just for looks that's, one thing, but if they need to control the light it's just almost impossible to purchase them and have that happen away in a hotel room. There's usually just one track, and you pull the whole thing is there's like a whole wall of windows like that and that's, basically, how our bedroom, mac wallace, and something like that would probably much better investment for me, like if I was going to do anything in that room, I think that's the one thing I would been some money on, and if you want something like that sort of like the track I showed, uh, yesterday or the day before on the ceiling so it's just that really simple track that they slide on like you're talking about. You can hide that, even with a piece of molding that looks like crown molding if you take them all the way to the ceiling and it can often be less expensive than buying the decorative drapery rods, because when you're getting two or three inch drive free hardware with beautiful, thin eels that can add hundreds or even thousand dollars to one window. And so that really simple, more utilitarian option and even using a little fabric valance aura would balance to cover it up can really help save a lot of money, and then you can put all the money into the fabric, which is what the fabric and the labor and the lining that's what ends up getting expensive as well. So I think those all sound like really good decisions. Um, so again, they can also just have other effects on your room, like we saw in that seven foot tall basement, how the drapery really elongated and and increase the ceiling height of the space so again I love to find things that have more than one purpose if I'm going to spend a lot of money on it I'd love it if it can do two or three things for me here if I can think of ways that I can use it um even just thinking about accessories and then if I really used them as a vase I use them when I'm entertaining to put on the center of the dining table and put fresh flowers and the rest of the time they look beautiful sitting empty that's a win win for me so I can use them in more than one way and all of those little floating pieces I love that move around the house and have dual purpose I think they're they're really great for adding function to and helping your budget. What kind of budget questions do we have now? It's interesting people sharing what they've done to sort of save money on the project's except it's really interesting a jackie two thousand just saying generally says since I want to be a professional doing all the planning so I want to I want to be a professional doing all the planning planning first is great advice she says she can do that for a client but you can't do that for herself it's really hard for a lot of people because we just can't help ourselves but to go out and purchase things that's what's really fun for us that's what and something about it when you can't go get all the things you want sometimes just buying a piece of it gives you a little bit of that thrill and satisfaction so it's people have a hard time being patient and waiting for that's not me that's just gone from our society I mean just in general you did used to wait for you you have to save up another everything so immediate now it's like I'm terrible like that I see something I have to have it now by everything instant download I get on my ipad and I want to see a new book and I buy it that second it's on my I just didn't used to think like that dangerous I am good at putting it at waiting for things that I really really want when it wants when it comes to the home because I've learned my lessons either in my own home are three clients homes are coming in a lot of times I'm the cleanup hitter for people they've spent so much money trying to do with themselves because they thought they couldn't afford a professional and then ultimately they hire a professional I saw quote about you know how pinterest has all those great little quotes and sayings there was one yesterday that said something like um you think a professional's expensive wait and see how much it cost when you try to do it yourself and it's really it really is because all of the the money the time you lose the mistakes that you make all the money you have to spend to try to remedy the mistakes and the loves how did you end up hiring a professional for parts and pieces of it anyway? So even if you're looking at a designer who just consults by the hour and can come give you some advice sometimes it's worth the money to pay someone one hundred fifty dollars an hour to come over and give you just a consultation on helping this, we're gonna talk this afternoon about where I think you should do it yourself and where you should use professionals to glamour coaches saying they found a couple of old garden chairs they actually they're made of iron, but they managed to spray paint them and then they got it they got the seat uphold now they actually make great seating in their walk in closet. So again, recycling stuff something that you know, maybe somebody else may not want anymore, but with the right touch you can turn it into something quite special agree so I love recycling and I love thinking of things in an unorthodox way like she did so she didn't wasn't distracted by the fact that they were garden chairs she's like, oh, that could work in my interior that could work in the closet that would be perfect in there. So, um, any any at things that some of you want to share, that you've done in your own spices that have been really, really budget friendly, like you've said, what things haven't worked for you, and you can share some more of those, too. I think it's, so important for people to hear because I consider here is a professional and show you really expensive homes, and we can say, oh, well, that's easy for tony to say that we should all go out and get custom drapery because she's working on with clients who might be spending one hundred thousand dollars not, you know, a thousand dollars, but at the same time, tio here people that have really life experience to say, ok, look, I tried the store fell trickery, I hate them, they don't function, I had to do ten other steps to make them work, they still not working. Now I'm going to invest in professional think that's so important, actually, but so on either side of the coin, what kind of examples have you all found for either saving or splurging that have really made an impact on your budget? Think re upholstering dining room chairs it's something that I've done a couple of different times with chairs and it's you know you totally fall in love you find fabric that you love it doesn't take very much you just it's easy tio you know it's easy to do it yourself I mean just the chair seat when the twingo witten chair and you have just the chair seat, huh? Yeah, yeah, I've done that with with a dining room set and then also just with you know, nice antique wooden chair was probably part of a dining room set and it just totally makes it pop totally just refreshes it and a really easy way yeah, I think those are great things I'm melissa, haven't you? What if he really found even on the set here other things I know you deal with all kinds of reclaims and salvage and found items. What are some of your big ah ha zar lessons I think you hit the nail on the head when you said just think about think outside the box when you look at something you can read you can cut a dining room table and make it a cool coffee table you know, cut the legs down or I moved into a space that had a probably a five foot by four foot near over the uh the fireplace and I took it off the wall and but really cheap crown molding and spray painted it gold and framed it in and it looks like a gallery mirror it's in my staircase now but it's those things where you get really familiar with home depot and you kind of see the value in in modifying things just a little bit and you know, possibilities really endless any place that you have had a discovery that maybe even though you originally thought it was not an item that you should spend money on, you've decided like the dry free that's something that you that really is worth the money. I think when you're looking at upholstered furniture you can buy I ke a stuff, but if you really re upholstering the ability to re upholster a piece of furniture, you're going to have your entire life think outweighs thie the the cost of it you could buy a nike a sofa, but it's not going to last forever and then you're kind of out, you know, eight hundred or whatever bucks rice, but you could just have something repulsive and it's it's amazing what the right people could do for things you can change things so just the way you khun taylor address differently and remove the pockets or change the the top or bottom of it you can make you know you khun skirt something that has legs or you khun you can change the cushion. You can go from three cushions to a bench cushion with just if that's what you prefer if you have the right upholster, that really knows what they're doing so you can alter things a bit in a good way. Another thing I found out if any of you have tried this that is really great on the budget is upholstered headboards, so upholstered headboards could be really inexpensive compared to purchasing a bed. So wooden bed or an iron bed often could be several thousand dollars, and upholstered headboards sometimes can be done yourself if you I have a really simple style, but even when I hire professionals to do them, even a king size upholstered headboard only takes four yards of fabric, and the labor is just not that much. So even with a high and fabric and a really quality, a pollster for usually a thousand dollars or so, I could get a really nice upholstered headboard where if we bought an entire wooden bed from one of my favorite furniture companies, often those retail for five thousand dollars, so he huge savings there, in my opinion, and you could get a lot of style, you can get it, have fun with the shapes of the headboard, you could put fun fabric on it. If a space is really kind of dreary that could be a great way to put a pop of color so they're definitely one of my favorite things to really to really save on a cz well being a student last couple days she's she says I'm just saying the champ feeling so sick that I am a little better home I'm so sorry lisa thank you for being with us but she says I made an upholstered headboard that had the fabric I love and it was a lot less expensive having one customer a lot less expensive another thing I love to do and I do this even in very high end homes is if I can't find a lighting fixture that I love that inexpensive and maybe it's just one of the kids rooms or secondary space so it's not one of those splurge lighting fixtures we purchased things from all kinds of companies like restoration hardware and paint them any color we could possibly imagine so if there's a cool lantern that's metal and like really more of your style like really rested but I wanted to make it really more my style which is really colorful we'll paint it we'll have it spray painted in kelly green lacquer something really really bright because I love the form in the shape of it so it's even in that veranda outside I don't know if we had the picture that showed the ceiling which was very interesting black and white stripes sort of a cabana style I had to restoration hardware lanterns in there that I painted bright turquoise and they look really really cool so when you're looking at things and magazines you're like oh that's so neat and it's so wonderful and I love how they have all these cool colors but you look at the price tag and it's four thousand dollars just take cues from that and go what could I find that's the right scale but that I could have painted or paint myself in a really bright pop of color and get sort of the same look for a lot less money so you have to sort of look beyond the surface of things and go what is it that I love about it is that the shape is the scale is the colors of the finish and how can I replicate that on something a lot less expensive so it's it's a great way to find inspiration that maybe then you do the the less expensive version of pure design is saying they invested in custom slip covers for their kitchen table chairs and transformed the whole space and it also protects the furniture of the same time I think I have leather furniture and leather although it's very durable eventually when it does we're out you can't really upholstering the slip covers are actually great solution for lever furniture as well it gives it a complete different shape? Yeah, there are some people that re upholster leather but it's tricky because leather is only sold in hides the size of a hide so you have to have someone who really knows what they're doing and then you have to try to source the goods you must spend. A lot of times you are better off, but you can re upholster leather furniture in upholstery in fabric if you want to. If it's something that works with that, we could take a leather sofa, and if the cushions and the springs and the or you know all the mechanics of it are still in good shape, you could recover it in something different than leather. Susie was saying she painted several accessory storage boxes white unless she uses them in her built ins that they really looked great and then they provide great stories so again a very simple solution. So yeah, that's another thing. Don't be distracted by the the color of things if you're out looking for storage containers or bins or even baskets, just look at the shape in the form, keeping in mind that you can paint anything any time, any color and repaint it later if you want it to be a different colors that's the great thing about pain because it's relatively inexpensive and a lot of times it is something you can do yourself and so change your mindset now when you go out and look for things and get the function piece but don't get so uptight about about thie the finish of the colors funny you say that because we were talking earlier about the eye care sort of cubbyholes, which are really, really useful, but they're very, very basic on I did actually one time just paint one an incredibly fluorescent blue, and it transformed it. Now they sell them in fluorescent blue, I wonder they I don't think they know that mikey was poking around my apartment, but but that's what I didn't like about them, they were just so drab, but very, very functional, but with the clicker pains, you can also take a really basic piece like that that was white cubbies and paint the wall behind it interesting killer and floated on the wall, and that might be a really fun wakes. It looks like them the back of the cabin. It happens to be that color, too, so you can see through it. So I like both of those ideas, absolutely susie's saying it's difficult for her to find just the right fabric to commit for custom drapery panels, and she said there, knowing that she feels obligated to keep them for several years since their expensive that's another thing to consider well and that's. Why? A lot of times and you'll see a lot of my projects where I have a lot of pattern and a lot of color, but I may put it on the chairs or cushions filled, throw pillows on, and then when I get to the drapery, I might do something really, really simple, like plain basic cream or white fabric, but even a little piece of trim on the edge. That's a certain color because that little leading edge the three inches of trim you could take that off. You could put a different color there, but the you know, significant part of the drapery, which might be sometimes thirty or forty yards of fabric, is something that you could have for a really long time. If it's a basic, neutral color thinking toby, I mean how many years two people typically keep there window treatments before getting tired. If you make really good custom window treatments, they could probably last fifteen or twenty years. They might be really dated by that time. So that's what she's saying, but I would think for sure they would last ten years, for sure. Ten years. And really far longer than that because when we do really wonderful custom homes with clients that have nice healthy budgets that as we loved to call them most of the time they tire of their interiors and want to re decorate before things have actually that we've made wear out a lot of times we'll take dr avery from from one room and use them in another room like leave them to a guest bedroom so they should last a long time if they're well made good to know on dh susie again is asking, you know when you re face cabinets for example kitchen, do you simply replace the door? Do you change the door and then re paint the whole cabinet? I usually change the doors in the drawer france, change all the hardware often and then paint everything white paint everything and then put the new hard world and a lot of times I also go from, um visible hinges to the concealed european in hinges that air inside so that they don't become something that gets updated as well. You can paint hinges if you want to but also just changing them out and change to the hidden hinges that area on the inside of the door so it's a much cleaner look and then paint everything and then put new hardware makes a huge huge difference really big difference absolutely anymore questions from our students leslie anything that's coming to your mind wafer we're solving all kinds of problems for you I have so many of them I you know, I now I'm thinking about my horrible sofa that I've told you about before and it really is still a very good sofa like when you were talking about the springs and is the structure of the sofa still good other than one of the legs popped off in a bad accident I mean the leg can be put back on but the the sofa itself is fine so I'm wondering, you know, it wasn't a super expensive so far in the first place I wanted at room and board which is like a moderately priced but because it's so so good do you think that that's worth the investment of re upholstering or what I do in that scenario and I have this all the time with clients is I go ahead if they're willing to free of charge come do an estimate I had and my I work the same a pollster on a regular basis so they're usually happy to do this but if you can find someone or an era insignificant fee if they would come over for fifty bucks and look at it I would have them estimate how much it's going to cost and that I would pick out of fabric and I would do the math and compare it to a new piece and if you think it is so comfortable or it fits the space so well that would be hard to find the execs base or if you're just feeling like you don't want to discard it for sustainability reasons and other things that if the price is comparable then certainly I think it's probably good enough for you to re upholster it but they'll know they want even just be ableto estimate the the yardage and the labour a good upholsterer can really look at the piece and tell you if it's well made and if they recommend that it's worth re upholstering uh and if you don't know what getting a holster I always get references from people so ask around it's always shocking how many people go I don't know anybody that does that and then they're like oh that finally after three years asked my friend and she was like oh yeah I've had ten pieces so just ask other people that you know if they because that's those were the best kinds of of situations to me is a referral from someone who's had really great experiences with another professional so it's worth it's worth pricing it d I y versus the expert you're gonna lose a lot more thoughts on which is going to be the best right? So this isn't necessarily me showing you dea project dio I projects this is just kind of playing into this conversation we've just been having of what things should you really be doing yourself and what do I find the like the draperies that it's really worth investing the money and professionals because there are certain things exactly like window treatments that people try to do themselves and then they often find that they have to hire someone to get them out of trouble and it's often more expensive for the professional to redo something than if they had just started from scratch so so yeah you don't want to make those kind of costly mistakes we also go uh some more information about maintaining your space yes, we have a process that we use in our company with our clients where we create in maintenance binders for an entire home that tells you everything you need to know to maintain your house I'm gonna give you a peek at what that looks like and concept so you can create this on your own system of and with reminders and other things to maintain your home because that's the thing if you're going to invest in nice things like drapery and upholstery you do need to do things to it periodically to get the life of out of it that it's intended to have it and we think about changing our oil in our car and servicing our cars but how many of us think about servicing our home in that way? Not many of the senate's worth doing so we'll talk about it