3 Living Room Items Home Experts Say Are Always Worth the Extra Money

updated Apr 9, 2021
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Let’s say you’ve finally saved up for a down payment on a house, or a security deposit on a new apartment. You’ve covered moving costs, which don’t come cheap, and you’re finally settled into your home. It’s time to furnish the place, and your first reaction might be to cut some corners on your budget. Moving into a new home has been expensive, right?

There are certainly ways to save money on interior decorating. It often comes down to striking a balance between long-lasting investment furniture and some trendier pieces that’ll make the home feel stylish. But in your living room specifically, there are a few things you should never skimp on. Ahead, home experts share where to splurge when it comes to the home’s central gathering place.

The couch 

Home stagers and designers agree unanimously on one thing: If you’re going to spend a little extra money on something, it’s gotta be your couch. 

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to investing in a good sofa: The construction, the look, the size, and how well it fits with your lifestyle. And because the sofa is one piece of furniture that will get more use than nearly anything else in the home, it’s probably a good idea to spend a little bit of money on it rather than opting for a budget version.

“A well-made sofa is an important long-term investment,” says Roxane Mosleh, an interior designer based in Bridgehampton, New York.

It’s not only smart for your bank account, but for your comfort.

“I’ve had my Baker Barbara Barry couch for 20 years and it’s still in great shape,” says Paula Z. Colbert, a Sotheby’s real estate agent based in Monterey, California. “More importantly, it’s comfortable. I go there knowing I can sit for hours and not have back pain when I get off it.”

If you’re nervous about your couch not standing the trend test of time, remember that they’re versatile. You can mix them up with funky throw pillows, blankets, or slipcovers. That way, even as trends change, you don’t have to spend a lot of money trying to keep up with them. 

“When it comes to custom-made sofas, there are endless fabric selections and a variety of fill choices for the cushions, so you can select just how firm or soft the cushions will be,” says Christine Cowles, owner of Styled & Staged in Santa Barbara, California. “My personal recommendation is to buy a slip-covered sofa in white, cotton twill fabric. When someone spills red wine on the sofa, simply throw the covers in the washing machine with some bleach and bye, bye stain!” 

A statement piece

“Buy one piece that makes you really, really happy,” Cowles continues. “Whether it’s a painting from your favorite local artist or a statement coffee table, treat yourself to one item that makes you smile when you walk in the door every day.”

Yes, spend some extra dough on something that isn’t practical. A statement piece will recoup its investment in contentedness and good cheer. After all, if you’re the one living inside your home, you might as well fill it with things that make you happy.

An ageless accent

Mosleh suggests investing in one thing that is timeless — and will last for years. 

“The Knoll Womb chair, for example, is a big investment financially, but it’s something that you’ll have for many years,” she says. 

Not only that, but investing in classic, ageless accents could mean that it’ll have some resale value in it for you when you no longer need it. Forget the disposable stuff, Mosleh says. “Classic pieces that only appreciate over time are well worth it.”