When it comes to decorating your home, there are a number of different elements to think about. From paint colours to prints, carpets to curtains, there are endless different combinations to help personalise your living space and transform your house into your home. In the end, the decisions often come down to money – we all know that decorating and furnishing a home can be a pricey task and that there are often trade offs based on budget and longevity. But when it comes to making those decisions, which areas should you hold back on and where is it worth investing?
As a parent to two under the age of four, and not forgetting the dog, there are certainly some areas that I would and wouldn’t focus on. Although I’ve shared before my top five things we think are worth investing in with your renovation work, they’re fairly chunky purchases and more geared around major building work. Here we share some of our thoughts on investments to go for (or not) in the finishing touches for the rest of your home, renovation or not!
Blinds & Curtains
Whilst it’s easy to think about scrimping on curtains or blinds, it’s one area that you really shouldn’t. Whether they’re open or closed, window dressings create a lot of the impact in a room (especially if you’re lucky enough to have multiple windows in one room!) and will be one of the first things that draw the eye. Fortunately, it’s a part of the room that’s unlikely to experience heavy usage or get damaged by little ones running around so you can feel a little calmer about spending the money on good quality rather than having to plan to replace every few years.
As I do up more houses, I appreciate made to measure window dressings far more. They’re designed from the word go to suit your space, so companies such as Couture Living are quickly becoming my go to thanks to their easy design services and unique fabrics. With options as to whether you measure yourself or get them in to do it, you can rest easy knowing that the hardest job you’ll have to do is pick out a fabric… although if you’re anything like me, that’ll be pretty stressful! My advice would be to order plenty of samples and tack them up or have them next to the window so that you can appreciate them at different times of the day and in different lighting. Once you’re happy, simply place your order and you’re away. The simplest way to make an impact on your room that you can appreciate for years to come – without the fear of small children damage!
Mattress & Bedding
Let’s break this down; on average we aim for around eight hours sleep a night. Which escalates to 56 hours a week or nearly 3,000 hours a year. Now, if you’re a parent to little kids then the chances are you’re getting about a tenth of that, but I digress. Let’s aim for the 3,000 hours. That’s a third of your year spent enjoying your bed, which is why it’s well worth investing in a decent mattress to enjoy it on, especially when you think that we’re meant to change them every eight years by which time you should have had nearly twenty four THOUSAND hours on it. 24,000! Really there’s nothing more that I need to say than that. Invest wisely, spend your time testing them out in shops or take advantage of trial offers such as those offered by mattress-in-a-box companies.
But let’s not stop with just a mattress, because it’s also worth investing in a good pillow to go with it (and duvet of course!). Choosing a pillow that helps to support you in your favoured sleeping position can enhance your sleep massively, as can selecting a duvet that’s well suited to the time of year and temperature that you like to be. Honestly, the investment is worth it… you deserve the gift of good sleep – even if it’s for less hours than you’d hoped. Your joints will thank you too!
Paintings & Prints
Is art worth the investment? I’d always say to go with your feelings on the artwork itself rather than the price tag. Can you see yourself still loving it in years to come? Is it something that will go in and out of style? Could it work in different places of your house? If the answer is yes to all of these then it could be well worth spending a little extra for that piece that you love – after all, it’s up on the wall and out of reach from little hands! However, don’t think that you have to spend hundreds on a piece of artwork if you can’t afford it. One of my favourite pieces is a poster print of a piece of original artwork that we had framed; because it’s a poster originally it’s pretty affordable. Conversely, we have a couple of prints by artists that we love and have had on display for nearly ten years… they’ve definitely been worth the cost! My advice is to go with what you love rather than focus too much on the price tag (within reason obviously!) but if a print or painting makes you smile when you see it then it’s always worth the investment.
But if that’s all worth investing in, what isn’t?
It may be an unpopular opinion but when you’ve got small children, it’s never worth spending huge amounts of money on carpets. Dropped food, spilt drinks, potty training, dirty shoes, chalks, colouring pens… the list of potential problems for your carpet go on! As someone who has their lounge fitted with an expensive, light coloured carpet chosen in a pre-children time, I can honestly say I’d rather we’d bought one at half the price and replaced it in a few years when the kids are out of the quite so brutal stage. That and the fact that the cheaper, harder wearing carpets that we bought for all the other rooms have worn wonderfully… nope, we say do your homework and save your money!