Where to spend and where to save

Aug 19, 2019 | Anoushka's Blog, Interior design and decoration

Hi Guys, I wanted to chat today about budget. Budget is always a massive factor when working with my clients on any project, from decorating a single room in a home to a full blown renovation, budget is always a big driver in our conversations, decision making processes and of course the final result.

Therefore along the way I’ve needed to understand where the best areas are to pull back in terms of spend and where you should spend on the best quality your budget will allow for greater return. But what does greater return mean to you? This can be different for each home/client, and it really depends on what you value most in your home. So have a really good think about what’s important to you and high on your priority list, this is where you should concentrate your spending.

Having said this there are some obvious areas that I encourage my clients to spend in, and other areas where I advise we pull back that work for most.


A trusted builder

If you’re gaining a few quotes and are basing your decision on price point this always sets alarm bells off for me. I’ve never had a good experience when a client has chosen their builder this way. Choose your builder based on trust, relationship and of course experience. Check out their reviews, go see their work, but don’t go for the cheapest. It’s amazing the difference to the quality of your renovation that you can achieve with a great builder on board.

My builders – Lifestyle Building & Maintenance


Hardware such as door levers, kitchen cabinetry runners and handles, sliding door tracks, locking systems, these are all things that you take for granted when the quality is there but are a real pain when they go wrong, don’t feel good to the touch or start looking shabby after a year. Spend well here, the reward far outweighs the dollars.

Image: Pittella

A good paint job

There’s nothing worse than a lovely home finished with a bad paint job, or a paint job that doesn’t stand the test of time. It’s amazing what a difference good quality preparation, priming and painting can make. From the trades themselves down to the tools and paint that they use, you can really see the difference. So don’t scrimp here, this is an important part of the end result.

Beds and seating

When thinking about furniture for your home these are the 2 areas to concentrate your budget on. You spend most of your time either sleeping in your bed or sitting on the sofa when at home so make sure you invest here. Go for quality and comfort, something that will last the test of time but also beautify your rooms.

Half strength in study



There are some really great cheaper options when it comes to lights and feature lighting. It doesn’t have to cost the earth to source a great fixture with impact. Don’t be afraid to buy online, this is where you’ll save dollars.

Lighting sourced from Emac & Lawton

Expensive bathroom fixtures

There’s no need for your fixtures to cost the earth. If you focus on mid level, good quality simplicity you can’t go wrong. Caroma is a great example of a locally owned company, who’s fixtures stand the test of time and sit at a great price point.

Image: Caroma Bath

Window coverings

Again these don’t have to cost the earth, unless you’re putting in plantation shutters at every window that is! That’s what this is about, where can you get away with simple but functional roller blinds, or choosing cost effective fabrics for curtains, versus expensive shutters or fancy blinds with lots of features. If you’re tight on budget opt for a nice mixture of roller blinds and curtains, utilising cost friendly fabrics and simple installation.


Artwork, rugs, cushions and throws needn’t set you back thousands. Sourcing high quality prints and having them custom framed, opting for flatweave wool rugs instead of plush highly desined cut pile rugs, off the shelf cushions and accent throws can all warm up a space, add layers and texture without costing the earth. Choose wisely, anything along these lines that I bring in I have to LOVE, no matter the cost, $50 or $500, there’s no point if you don’t love it.

Image: Weave Home cushions

NOTE: Images used under Fair Use, and the above commentary is a personal view and not commercial in nature, and were sourced from a variety of online sources and personal archives.

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