Whether you’re moving into your first apartment or decorating your dream home, we know you have a budget in mind, so blowing it isn’t an option. With this shopping guide, you’ll be ready to hit the stores with serious home goods-savvy.

Guest post – Factory Direct Blinds

Here are five home decor items it makes sense to splurge on—and six more items you can save some cash on without making any sacrifices. Shop on!

Save on throw pillows and blankets

One of the easiest ways to change the look and feel of a room is to swap out the pillows and blankets you’ve thrown on a couch, chair or bed. You can find on-budget items that suit your style, no matter what that style is.

Another great place to save: trinkets, seasonal items and candles, which you can always find on sale at discount stores and during after-holiday sales.

Splurge on light fixtures

Since most of us aren’t wannabe electricians, you’ll probably be hiring out light fixture installation if you own your property. Make that investment worthwhile and splurge on a fixture that’s a well-made “wow” moment. And while you’re at it, add recessed lighting for additional overhead options that will fade into your ceiling.

Table and floor lamps are a different story. While you don’t want to rely on them for all your lighting needs, an inexpensive piece can add flair to a room and won’t put a dent in your budget.

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Save on countertop appliances

Coffee snobs, go ahead and covet that Breville espresso maker. Bakers, display your Cuisinart stand mixers proudly. But if you’re on the hunt for a basic kettle or toaster, there’s no need to break the bank. This is particularly true if you intend to use these appliances occasionally instead of every day. To ensure that a less-pricey appliance will get the job done, read online reviews before you buy.

Splurge on mattresses

How much is a good night’s sleep worth to you? How about a week’s worth of sleep? A month’s worth? Considering we keep mattresses for an average of 10 years, the value you place on your bed continues to compound. When you buy a new mattress, keep that in mind. To ward off sticker shock, purchase your mattress during a sale. Think: holiday weekends or early in the spring when new mattress lines are released.

Save on window treatments

When it comes to blinds, curtains, shutters and shades, consumers face an enormous price spread. If you own your home or have an investment property you want to furnish, you don’t have to stick with temporary paper shades to save a chunk of dough. Opt for less-expensive shades or blinds, for example, and this will help you save money without sacrificing practicality. Before you shop, create a list of must-haves, like cordless blinds or blackout shades.

Splurge on couches and chairs

The pieces you use most often, like the couch in your living room and your favourite oversized chair, are the ones you should spend more money on. Trendy side tables and floor poufs? They’re not in the same tier as these investment pieces. If you’re snuggling up on a piece of furniture 24/7—and you want to keep snuggling up on it—shell out more for it than you would an accent item.

Save on hardware

If you’ve ever changed the hardware in a kitchen, you know it adds up. Throw in door knockers, house numbers and door knobs, and you can have a pile of pricey hardware on your hands. Or…not. More inexpensive options lose little in terms of durability, but they can make a huge difference in terms of the amount of money you’re dropping.

The one hardware item you should spend more on? Exterior door locks.

Splurge on rugs

A plush rug that doesn’t pill, shed or completely surrender when facing daily wear costs serious money. If you want to save on a rug that will outlast years of pacing and pets, shop at secondhand stores and estates sales to find a deal on a well-made piece. Alternatively, look for rugs made from durable but inexpensive materials, like hemp or sisal. These are great options for entryways and halls.

Save on picture frames

Why spend a bushel on items that are hanging on the wall or sitting on a shelf? Frames don’t withstand much wear and tear, so you have nothing to lose by saving money here. If you love the look of an expensive frame, purchase one high-end statement piece and incorporate it into a gallery wall. Surround it with simple, inexpensive frames that will allow it to stand out.

Splurge on showerheads

For better or worse, a morning or evening shower can turn your mood around. A solid showerhead will always ensure that you step out of the tub grinning—or, at the very least, not grimacing. Pay attention to water pressure, flow and available spray patterns. While fixed showerheads are often cheaper, a handheld shower gives you more flexibility and maneuverability. It makes it easier to clean your tub, too.

Save on dishes

Everyday dishes don’t need to cost you a paycheck. They’ll make it from takeout Chinese to huge dinner parties just as well as a more expensive set. As you shop for dishes, focus on your needs. For example, if you use a microwave frequently, you’ll want to avoid melamine plates because they will melt when nuked. If you tend to break things, try porcelain instead of stoneware, which chips easily.

To decide where you should splurge in your home and where it makes the most sense to save, it always comes down to value. If you’re not sure what to budget for an item, ask yourself this essential question: What do I gain from spending more? Sometimes, it’ll be worth it to up the ante. Other times, though, you’ll pat yourself on the back for your savvy bargain hunt.

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