Buying furniture for a new home is often one of the most exciting parts of the decor process, and in the age of social sharing sites like Pinterest and Instagram, there’s no shortage of design inspiration for every room of the home. Well-designed spaces make homes more livable, but it can be hard deciding on what to save and what to splurge on to help bring your vision to life and make your home function as efficiently as possible. Read on to discover what living room pieces Empire’s Senior Decor Manager, Christina Crupi, would save and splurge on.
Splurge On: A Sofa or Sectional
A staple furniture piece in a living room, sofas should be both comfortable and durable. “The world of furniture has come a long way, with sofas now available in a variety of stylish colors and textures. Invest in a classic, high-quality piece that’ll last you years, and remember, classic doesn’t have to mean boring — sofas and sectionals can be jazzed up with colorful or patterned throw pillows,” says Crupi. “After a long week at work there’s nothing more satisfying than changing into comfortable clothes and sinking into your sofa to binge-watch Netflix. This sapphire blue velvet sofa at Oldenburg is especially plush and cozy.”
Save On: Accent Chairs
Accent chairs, like the ones seen in our Woodforest model, offer a great opportunity to introduce a fun or unexpected design element into your living room — just don’t break the bank for them. Compared to a sofa or sectional, accent chairs are lesser used and are easier to swap out for something new when you want to change the look and feel of your space.
Splurge On: Multi-Functional Pieces or Items
Items that serve a dual purpose or can be repurposed down the road are ones that have lasting value. “A built-in shelving unit, like the one found in Atlanta’s Harlow community, can easily be transformed into a small workspace. Another great multi-functional piece worth splurging on is a coffee table with a retractable top, which can allow you to comfortably eat dinner while watching the television,” says Crupi.
Save On: Seasonal Items
“Items that will be rotated with the season — like pillows, throws and even accent candles — are where you can save. If you get the urge to redecorate, you won’t feel any guilt throwing them out,” says Crupi. Palm frond pillows add a cheery pop of color to our Summerlea Woods model in Binbrook, Ontario.
Splurge On: A Coffee Table
Given that the coffee table is often situated in the center of your living room, finding one that’s the right size and style for your space is important. Coffee tables endure daily use, so it’s worth the investment to ensure it can stand up to wear. While great coffee tables — including this rustic wooden showpiece found at our Venetian Pines model — can be found at a variety of price points, don’t be afraid to spend a bit more if you find one that appeals to you.
Save On: Side Tables
Unlike their coffee table counterparts, side tables demand less attention in a room, meaning you can get away with spending less on them. But like coffee tables, accent tables come in a variety of finishes, shapes and styles, so you’ll be sure to find ones that suit your budget. “Stackable side tables, like the ones shown in the Harlow model home, are great for smaller spaces as they allow you to maximize what space you have while adding an interesting design element to the room,” says Crupi.
Splurge On: Window Treatments
Tailored or customized window treatments, such as these color-blocked ones found at our Villas at Rowe model home, are one of the most impactful ways you can transform the look of your space and give it a luxe appeal. But if that isn’t enough to convince you to invest in window treatments, consider this: they help muffle sound, offer greater privacy and help keep out light and heat, which can in turn lower your energy bill.
Save On: Table and Floor Lamps
“A statement lighting fixture can make or break a space, but don’t gear your budget towards table or floor lamps, which can easily be updated or replaced in time. Lighting budgets are better spent on more permanent fixtures, including overhead lighting or wall sconces,” says Crupi. Pulley task floor lamps, like the one found at our Harlow model, are usually less than $300.
Splurge On: An Area Rug
The larger the area rug, the more it’s going to cost, so it’s worth the investment to have one that’s high-quality and can stand up to tread. Rugs made of natural materials — including cotton, jute and sisal — are among the most durable. In our Industrial Ranch model at Legacy in Breslau, Ontario, a sisal rug defines the living space.
Above all else, your living room should be comfortable and speak to your personal tastes. No matter what you choose to save or splurge on, be sure to purchase pieces that spark joy and have pride of place in your home.