Christy McCarthy – Interiors Revitalized

I was recently interviewed by Jacksonville Magazine on the topic of “spending versus saving on home decor” which is right up my alley since I do so much shopping for homeowners throughout Duval and St. Johns County. Here are the questions and my respective answers:

Our Suggestions on Spending Versus Saving on Home Decor

Why is it important to be able to distinguish which home decorating items are worth splurging on and which are worth saving on?

Typically, I recommend splurging on items that you use often or statement pieces. Your sofa, bed, and perhaps barstools are furnishings you use every day should be quality pieces. A unique dining light fixture or a beautiful piece of artwork could be something to splurge on to make a large impact in a room.  When considering what to save on, we choose pieces that may be trendy or that look expensive but are good deals such as pillows, lamps, and accessories that are on sale.

What are your go-to-places to get trendy items cheaply?

Online resources like Wayfair, Joss & Main and Overstock are great places to find great deals and they offer very inexpensive shipping. Locally, you cannot beat HomeGoods for high-end furnishings at a great price. Target is another source I use all the time, both in-store and online. They have very trendy items and are priced well. For good furniture, I  always end up at The Furniture Gallery in Orange Park. It’s a little place locally owned by two sisters, but they carry a ton of lines and the prices are very good.

What are your 5 top home decor items worth splurging on? Please explain your reasoning for each and any tips you may want our readers to know.

1.A good mattress would be my number one item. There are plenty of stores filled with mattresses to try out, but surprisingly, I’ve had very good luck online. There are so many reviews on good products, it makes it much easier to find a winner.

2.You can’t go wrong with a well-made sofa. This is typically the second most used piece of furniture in the home so why not get quality.  A sofa is one of those things that you definitely get what you pay for.

3.A dining room set is next on my list.  Now, I will say that it is not the most-used furniture in the home, but, if you purchase it right, you can use it forever. Tip- if you want this set to last forever, get a classic or transitional-style table. Chairs can be recovered or replaced but make sure you are going to love that table forever!

4.Higher quality fixtures go a long way. Faucets, door hardware, curtain rods – these are all things that if they are not higher- end, you can tell. They are also all the little things that add up very quickly in a remodel but go a long way. Sleep well at night and splurge, just a bit.

5.Great patio furniture is a must here in Florida and it again is one of those things that you get what you pay for. Honestly, I want to bump this one up to #3 because we spend so much time outside, but I’m an interior designer not exterior so I’ll go with it.

What are your top 5 home decor items that you think anyone can and should save money on?  Please give your reasoning for each and any tips you want our readers to know.

  1. Bedding. We’re going back to the bedroom with #1 because this is where we spend the majority of our time in the home. There are so many bargains to be had on sheets, pillows, etc that we would never pay full price… unless it’s something custom, of course. Tip you cannot go wrong with white. It’s very hotel-like; you can pop it with any color, and, if you have a furry friend, it’s bleachable.
  2. Anything that’s trendy. This category ranges anywhere from 6 months to 6 years. If it’s not going to be cool in that timeframe, either don’t buy it or it better be a great deal.  Accent pillows, chairs or accessories usually fall into this category because they usually have a fun print or color scheme going on.
  3. Rugs are a great thing to get a bargain on. Now you know designers love a good rug but there are bargains to be had. You can easily get a high-end looking rug or find something more trendy that you don’t mind replacing in a few years for a good price.
  4. Lighting is another thing you can get great deals on. The biggest reason why you shouldn’t go high-end on these is because finishes and styles change. Just as soon as you purchase your million dollar industrial-look in a fabulous oil-rubbed bronze-it’s out and the brushed bronze and mid-century looks are in. It’s heart- breaking!
  5. Artwork is nice to splurge on because it can make such an impact on your home, but if you don’t have the budget, this can be tackled affordable. If you don’t have some huge budget for original art, then get prints you love matted and framed. If you use a standard-size frame, this can be accomplished very affordably. Etsy.com is a great resource for cool original art and photography, too.

Do you have any additional advice on spending versus saving on home decor?

Always remember that paint and flooring make the largest impact on your home.  As a home stager, I believe that you will get the most bang for your buck with these. If they are great, it will totally transform your home. However, keep in mind that popular paint colors change. Put the trendy ones in kitchens or bathrooms where’s there is usually smaller wall space in case you grow tired of them. For flooring, the more cohesive, the better. Wood-look tile may be the best invention ever. You can carry it right into kitchens and bathrooms for a cohesive, larger-looking space.

~ Christy

Interiors Revitalized is a full-service home staging, model home merchandising, and interior design firm located in Jacksonville Florida.  In addition to Jacksonville, we serve the St. Johns, St. Augustine, Orange Park, Fleming Island, and Fernandina Beach areas. Contact us today at 904.625.2214 to discuss your home staging or interior design project.  We’ll make that first offer your best offer!

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