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Where to compromise – and where to not – when it comes to budgeting for your new home

By Janice Lopez
Just moved into a new home? Wondering where to splash your cash and where you’re better off budgeting?

It might be tempting to go all out on the most extravagant furnishings and homewares, but we assure you there are several parts of your home you definitely don’t need to blow your entire furniture budget on.

As well as creating a budget for your new home, doing the move yourself can also save some dollars. Picture: Getty

If you’re gearing up to furnish your new pad, here’s a room-by-room guide to where you should splurge and where you can get away with spending less.

Living room

Splurge: Rug

When it comes to rugs, there truly are endless options. Not only do you have a huge choice of designs, shapes and materials, but you’ve also got a number of price points.

But a cheap rug can often look exactly that: cheap. On the other hand, a slightly pricier one tends to be made with more premium materials and is often better able to withstand lots of foot traffic.

And if you’re tossing up between getting the more affordable smaller size or the more expensive larger one, you’re often best going with the latter (as long as it fits in your new space). A bigger rug improves the overall aesthetic of the room and makes it warmer and more soundproof.

Save: Couch

Wait, save on a couch? Almost every interior design expert will tell you to invest in the pieces that get the most use, including your sofa.

This couch delivers timeless style, form, function and incredible quality, and it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. In fact, prices start at just $990 and you can enjoy same day delivery in Metro areas.

If you’re a regular mover, the Lounging Sofa can also be disassembled and reassembled without completely falling to bits – meaning you can safely take it with you when you next relocate.


Splurge: Bed sheets

If you really want to feel like a boss, go all out on your bedding.

Premium bedding – including sheets, a quilt cover, pillow cases and blankets – makes your bedroom feel like more of a sumptuous sanctuary and less a place to simply shut your eyes for eight or so hours.

Plus, it tends to be able to withstand hundreds of washes and lasts for years to come.

Wondering how to approach sheet shopping? Go for a luxe material like organic cotton, Tencel or even French Linen,. The colour and design don’t matter; whatever makes you feel like the big cheese.

Save: Mattress

We can hear you reeling with confusion. Just like with your sofa, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a home expert who doesn’t advise shelling out a bit more on a mattress.

After all, a good one is almost guaranteed to give you a better night’s sleep.

But this is another area where you can get a heck of a lot of bang for a fairly low buck. Koala’s new SE Mattress delivers plush Kloudcell comfort, superior spine support, a highly breathable cover and luxe quilted topper, and Zero Disturbance technology – and prices start at only $575.

You also get to try your mattress for 120 nights with zero questions asked, and you can enjoy same-day delivery if you’re in a metro area.

Dining room

Splurge: Table and chairs

Your dining table is likely to bear all kinds of wear and tear: daily meals, hours-long dinner parties and the occasional red wine spill.

That’s why it’s best to invest in a good one; because high-quality pieces typically wear better and are able to handle years of use.

It doesn’t matter what material you go with: timber, glass, marble, solid gold. As long as the construction is sturdy, the joinery is neat and properly fitted, and the table doesn’t wobble at the slightest nudge.

The same goes for your chairs. You want them to be durable enough to handle everyday use and comfortable enough that your friends actually want to stick around for an hours-long dinner party.

Save: Dinnerware

Sure, you could fork out for fine bone china, but dinnerware definitely doesn’t need to be extortionate.

As long as your plates, bowls, serving dishes and cutlery are dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe and not made from single-use plastic, you’re pretty much safe choosing any inexpensive option.

Ceramic, glass and stoneware are good material choices for crockery (and can usually be found at major department stores), while stainless steel is your best bet for cutlery.

Adopt the same philosophy when purchasing glasses, especially wine glasses. It’s practically a given that you’ll break a number of them, so there’s really no use spending a tone.


Splurge: Anything you use for cooking

If you consider yourself a bit of a culinarian, it’s wise investing in decent cookware. This includes pots and pans, cast iron items and your knife set.

Cooking with a premium set of goods will make the experience that much more enjoyable. Plus, your cookware will be less prone to rusting, splintering, chipping and totally falling apart.

For items that you use on a daily basis, it’s worth investing money into them. Picture: iStock

This also applies to the cooking appliances you use most often. Think your blender, food processor and stand mixer.

Save: Storage

Storage containers for things like flour, sugar, rice, pasta and leftovers definitely don’t need to be pricey – they simply need to do the job.

You can find inexpensive kitchen storage practically everywhere (major department stores, supermarkets, even discount shops) in a range of materials (plastic, glass, metal) and it’s all usually pretty decent.

HOT TIP: Try and be consistent with the sets you buy. You’re almost guaranteed to misplace lids from to time, so if everything’s from the same range, it’ll be easier to mix and match.


Splurge: Towels

If your old towels feel more like strips of sandpaper than soft textiles, it might well be time to replace them.

We recommend spending a little more here. Much like your bedding, a high-quality towel will make you feel like a king or queen every time you hop out of the shower.

Go for materials like Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, Turkish cotton or bamboo. You also want to opt for a higher GSM of 750-900, which basically means the towels are thicker and softer.

There’s nothing better than stepping out of the shower into a fluffy cotton towel. Picture: Getty

And if your budget allows, choose bath sheets over bath towels – they’re bigger in size and a blessing in frosty winter temps.

Save: Bathroom accessories

While you may have the occasional guest who appreciates a swanky toilet roll holder, you really don’t need to spend a whole lot on your bathroom accessories.

This also extends to items like your toilet brush, toothbrush holder, soap dish and hand soap dispenser.

Many department stores sell bathroom accessories in luxe-looking materials, including stone, glass and marble, for not much at all. We promise that fancy-pants guest won’t be able to tell the difference.


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