Money might be tight, but before you go rushing off to your nearest (and cheapest) furniture chain store, take a moment. Is cheap, disposable furniture really a good idea? Is spending less now going to cost you a lot more down the line? If you’ve just moved into a new home, it can be tempting to get it kitted out from top to toe as soon as possible… which, unless you’ve got money to burn, means buying up the cheapest pieces you can find. Unfortunately, low prices and high quality are rarely synonymous. Unless you want to spend the next couple of years replacing each piece as it falls apart, a more considered approach might be in order…. which is exactly where the concept of “investment” furniture comes into play. Sure, an investment piece will eat up more of your cash in the short term, but considering it’ll stick around for however long you need it to, the long-term gains more than justify the short-term pain.
So, what kind of pieces are worth splashing out extra for? And what do you need to consider before handing over your credit card? For a start, don’t buy anything you don’t love. If the love’s not there from the start, it’s unlikely to grow over the years. Secondly, don’t look for anything overly trendy or ultra-modern. Fashions come and go – stick to classic, iconic pieces that’ll stand the test of time. Versatility is also key – if you’re investing in a piece of furniture you hope to see you through a lifetime, look for items that have the function, style, and form to work in a variety of spaces… even if you don’t intend to move in the next 5 years or so, who knows where you might be living in another 20 years?
And as for the pieces worth investing in? These, for a start….
It may not be an obvious choice, but a rug is one thing you really don’t want to take the cheap and cheerful route with. As Décor Aid notes, a high-quality rug can instantly elevate a room to sublime heights, regardless of how cheap the rest of the furnishings are. It can also give a polished, pulled-together look to a room, uniting otherwise disparate styles and decorations in one harmonious whole… and who doesn’t want that?
As The Washington Post wisely observes, unless you’re a student, a futon has zero place in your home. And unless you want to pay the price with a bad back and a poor night’s sleep, be sure to invest in a high-quality piece that marries comfort with style. Mattresses should be the best you can afford, and the bed frame should be one that has enough timeless appeal to see you through the next decade or two. Maybe even three. Whether you opt for a modern, upholstered style or a rustic wooden or iron frame, just make sure the style is of a suitable size and style to carry you through any future moves – a huge, winged headboard may fit well in the space you have now, but might not be quite so appealing if you ever downsize.
Chairs – every home has them, and every home needs them. Look for ones made from a frame and fabric that’ll only look better with age. A classic leather club chair or a simple, wooden rocker are two classic items well worth the splurge.
While most of us could happily spend hours deciding on a sofa, shelves tend to get a lot less love. But as AD notes, if there’s one thing that deserves to be on your “buy this and keep it forever” list, it’s good shelving. Regardless of how many times you move, shelving can be broken down and re-assembled – buy it wisely now, and you won’t have to worry about re-buying anytime soon. To keep buyer’s remorse at bay, look for something classic, customizable, and suitable for a variety of purposes.
The dining table is the centerpiece of your kitchen or dining room – if you want the room to look as good as it can, getting the table right is key. Unless you have a big, formal dining room, look for a piece that’s small enough to fit the space, but large enough to stand up to as many different tasks as you intend to use it for, whether that’s homework, entertainment, work, or anything else.
Chest of Drawers
Sure, it may be a “basic” piece, but chosen wisely, a handsome, well-made chest of drawers will see you through the next few decades and then some. Considering how many functions a chest can serve (bedside table, display unit, TV stand, storage unit, etc.) and how many rooms it can brighten up (hallways, bedrooms, bathrooms, and so on), this is one piece you shouldn’t hesitate on spending a little extra on.
Cheap, throw-away fashions might be ok in your closet, but they’ve got no business hanging from your ceiling with a bulb attached. Poor quality lighting can lower the tone of a room in a second, whereas elegant, chic lighting can instantly transfer those same qualities onto even the dreariest of rooms. Opt for well-made fixtures from reputable designers – what you spend now will pay dividends down the line.
If you’re anything like the rest of us, it’s likely you spend a lot of time on your sofa. Why not make the experience as pleasurable as possible by forgetting the cheap, flat-pack options and investing in something that’ll not only offer a divine level of comfort, but that’ll effortlessly upgrade the style and look of your living room in one fell swoop? Avoid anything overly patterned or trendy, and stick to a neutral, classic look that’ll last the distance. If you can’t resist a bit of cutting-edge fashion, limit yourself to pillows and throws that can be easily removed if and when your tastes change.