Having moved things around in my living room every few hours since we moved in almost four years ago, I fancy myself a sort of living room expert. There are a few things I wish we had dropped the money on from the jump to save myself the hassle. And then there are things that I should have just gone the cheap route on. You live and you learn. But here you are, reading this, being careful not to make the same mistakes. Good for you! After all, you work hard for your money. Now it’s time to make it work hard for you, especially when it comes to arguably the most important room in your home.
For most of us, the living room is the first room you see when you enter the home. You don’t get a second chance at first impressions, and I’m not talking about how your guests judge your decor. Every time I walk into my living room and assess the situation, it sets the tone for my entire day. If things are messy, not flowing well, and coming apart at the seams, my mind feels about the same. Hopefully, this guide helps you create a space in your home that is built to last, yet flexible. The key is to spend your money in the most high impact places, focusing on function and style. Then, we save in the areas that afford us a little more flexibility.
Where To Splurge On Living Room Decor
- A slipcovered couch in a high performance fabric. Seriously. It’s going to cost you an arm and a leg. But it’s one of those investments that you’ll pat yourself on the back for at least once a week. With every toddler spill, with every dog dribble, with every belly laugh that lands a splash of your red wine on a couch cushion, you will thank me.
- Custom throw pillows. This isn’t really all that much of a splurge, because Etsy is just filled with reasonably priced options. But they’re competing with Amazon, which is just not even close to the same quality. Most of the “designer dupes” you’re seeing on Amazon will deliver you a pixelated, stolen print on a paper thin fabric and a poorly sewn zipper. You will need to purchase your own down filled pillows, and you’ll probably end up spending the same amount of money. It’s not worth it. I love Little Design Co., but I also recognize that they are far from the cheapest option. Seriously, try this store on Etsy.
- Statement lamps. Any lighting that is going to sit at eye level, like right next to you on a side table, deserves to carry a little more weight.
- Your coffee table. The number one design mistake I’ve made over and over in my living room is skimping on coffee table prices, only to realize I purchased a wimpy sized, flimsy option that won’t carry the room.
- Rugs. Not pictured in the graphic above, but I love our wool rug. It’s a family heirloom that I would never be able to afford had it not been gifted to us as a wedding present. But after witnessing the quality of the cheaper versions firsthand, I may have had to take out a second mortgage for the cause. I love Milagro Collective!
- Art. I don’t have firm feelings toward custom and reproduction art. We have both in our home, and I love them the same. But at the end of the day, a whole room can be planned around the art, so choose wisely and pay wisely.
Where To Save On Living Room Decor
- End tables. There are so many gorgeous Wayfair options here, and I love an acrylic or glass top option to keep things feeling light and airy. You can find many under $100.
- Flush mounts. There are so many beautiful flush mounts on Serena and Lily that would make a gorgeous statement, but I’m going to be honest with you – you don’t need to spend your money on it. Wouldn’t you rather put a slice of that budget toward something bigger and higher impact, like a rug or couch?
- Decorative lighting (like these gorgeous wall sconces). Same goes for this one. Yes, there are beautiful designer options but with prices like this, theres really no need. Save a dollar.
- Decorative items. Coffee table books. Ceramic pieces. Caned boxes. All can be found at Amazon, Target, and Walmart for a fraction of the cost that you would find them in high end boutiques. These are small items that you can take your time curating and collecting, so there’s no need to break the bank. I would also highly recommend picking high impact decor pieces like fireplace screens from Wayfair. If you have the need, they can make a dramatic impact.