If You Only Invest in One Item for Your Home in 2023, This Is What Designers Say to Buy for the Most Bang for Your Buck

published Dec 18, 2022
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Credit: Cathy Pyle

Let’s say you’re looking to give your home a bit of a revamp and are OK with making a bit of an investment, but you’re having some trouble narrowing your focus. Should you purchase a new sofa? Hire a pro to paint the bedroom walls? There are so many routes to go, and it can be challenging to determine what to tackle first. But if you’re only going to make one upgrade in your space for the time being, you’ll want to buy wallpaper and window treatments, designers say. Below, three pros share why these are excellent areas in which to splurge a little.

First and foremost, wallpaper, whether peel-and-stick or traditional paste the wall, doesn’t appear to be going out of style any time soon and is an excellent place to splurge, according to the pros. “Wallpaper is here to stay,” says designer Molly Basile. “Splurging on a statement wallpaper can make such an impact in your space.”

Credit: Julia Steele

What makes wallpaper so great, you may wonder? “Whether it’s a bold, graphic print or a more subdued option, like a grasscloth, incorporating wallpaper adds texture and depth that can really elevate a space,” explains designer Elaine Burns of Pistachio Designs. A good wallpaper can turn any room of the home from so-so to stunning, and you don’t even have to cover all four walls. You can opt for an accent wall, as shown below, or you can work with the unique architecture of a given room, as shown with the wainscoting and wallpaper combo in the dining room above. Once you have that perfect pattern or texture in place, you’ll find you don’t have to do much else to make the space sing. “Even with simple furnishings, a gorgeous wallpaper can transform your room,” Basile adds.

Unsure how to best integrate wallpaper into your existing space? You can get creative when it comes to pairing it with painted walls or trim. “I love molding painted in an unexpected color, especially when it is complementary to a detail in a wallpaper,” Burns says. “An accent color from the print — like a cerulean blue or forest green — can be that much more impactful if used as a trim color.”

Credit: Emma Fiala

Perhaps you’re feeling a bit anxious about introducing wallpaper into your home, and that’s okay, too. Again, know that not you don’t need to cover every wall in a print if that doesn’t suit you; plenty of ways to ease into this trend exist, like, say, papering the ceiling. “I always find a wallpapered ceiling with a subtle, organic pattern as a good entry point into this design choice,” Burns comments. “It can provide just enough visual interest without overwhelming the room.”

The walls aren’t the only area of a room though that deserve a little extra love, according to designers. Designer Isabella Patrick suggests investing in window treatments. “Selecting window treatments is one of the best ways lift up and elevate your home for several reasons,” she explains. For one, you’re able to choose treatments that control light and privacy according to your personal preferences. “Managing and designing with light is a key ingredient to a successful design plan,” Patrick notes.

Additionally, the right window treatments will make your home look polished and complete. Plus, the customization opportunities are endless and can add major personality to a space, too. Feeling ready to move forward? Keep Patrick’s advice in mind as you plan out your purchases. “Most often we specify two tiers of shades — one that is more functional (like solar or roller shades) paired with a more decorative and stationery drape,” she says.