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Splurge vs. Save – Spend Your Design Dollars Wisely

by Suzanne M. Harvey

Splurge Save Tips

I recently had the honor of being interviewed by the Interior Design Society – a nationwide professional organization for residential interior designers & industry partners – about my design approach, inspirations and my go to basics ( It was so much fun to think about why I do what I do, the way that I do it. For all of my clients I take a splurge vs, save approach. It provides a beautiful, balanced design that doesn’t bust the budget.

My top 3 splurges for your home…

#1 – Furniture
Your furniture purchases will be some of the largest within most spaces. You want to get the most of out of your money so splurge on your furniture. Look for the best quality and the most classic lines that fit your style.

#2 – Appliances
Appliance purchases are another significant expense. You want these to last so take time to decide how you will use them to help determine the best options for you. If you are a chef you need the biggest & best stove. If you are a family of 10 you need the sub zero fridge to store all that food. If you host Thanksgiving and expect 30+ guests you need the double oven.


#3 – Flooring
Throughout your home, the one thing that takes the most wear and tear is your floor. As you consider your materials, look for options that will be highly durable (especially for high traffic areas), work with your lifestyle (do you have kids? pets? live on a farm?) and be easy to maintain. No one wants to spend hours cleaning the floors.

Splurges in these categories will be a wise investment. Spending the extra money will give you a longer life from these items. And you will have a space that you love and works well for you for many years to come.


And my top 3 saves…

#1 – Lighting

We all love a beautiful light fixture. The right lighting in a space makes all the difference. This is one area that you can save on your budget. With so many online stores & the great selections at big box stores this is an easy save for your budget. And you can easily find the look you want without busting the lighting budget.

*BONUS TIP:  The best way to maximize your lighting is with the right bulb. Make sure to select a bulb that provides the right brightness for the space (think about how you are using the space). Always opt for a soft white versus a daylight bulb. This will give you better control of the lighting and then you can adjust the wattage for your needs.

#2 Accessories

Accessories are the jewelry for your room. Do you wear the same pair of earrings everyday or do you like to match them with your outfit? Ladies I know you love to have jewelry for every occasion. It’s the same with accessories. This is a great place to save so you will have the flexibility to change the accessories seasonally or with the changing trends without guilt. 

#3 – Occasional Furniture

The smaller pieces of furniture in your space (think side tables, accent chairs, coffee tables, island chairs) are a great item when trying to save on the budget.  You can do something more trendy or a bright, bold fabric to accent the overall design. And the best part – if it goes out of style or you just get tired of it you can pass it on and replace it without stressing over what is cost. 

occasional furniture

With these simple saves you can rescue your budget from the brink and still have your dream design. And when you want a change you can find something new without feeling bad about what you spent.


I love helping my clients balance the scales between splurge and save. It is a fun adventure and creates a beautiful, guilt-free space. Everyone is happy.

And one last tip…

If you find something for your space that you absolutely love…ignore all the above and buy it!!! You should always love your choices whether to splurge or save. 




  1. Abby Buzon on August 11, 2019 at 12:51 am

    Love it! I tend to be a cheap a…annie LOL with EVERYTHING but as I’ve gone through couches and floors and hosted more Thanksgivings and Easters, I’m totally seeing what you’re saying. Plus, having a 270lb linebacker for a husband… I have to buy something STURDY, and “cheap” furniture does NOT = sturdy furniture. It’s also funny how much we inherit from our parents. I’m finally starting to break out of “well, my mom always had…”, and “my dad would probably like…”.

    • Suzanne M. Harvey on August 15, 2019 at 8:15 pm

      It can be hard to break out of how we were raised and how we think about splurges and saving. And yes living with a lineback husband will require good quality furniture.

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