Has it happened to you?
They are all capable of destroying pretty things; just ask my mum.
I still remember the day her beautiful new living room chairs were delivered only to have my little brother decide they were the perfect spot to eat his lunch on.
It was homemade Chili.
I can still see Mum holding back the tears as she tried to get the angry red splotches out of the baby blue velvet. Don't even bring up the marble table lamp friends from the Philippines brought us back from Manila. I can't remember which of the four of us kids can take credit for that one, but we were all offenders over the years.
My kids have since done the same at my house and I'm sure yours is no different.
The truth is: KIDS RUIN THINGS.
So do pets.
How many rugs have you had to saturate with Nature's Miracle, because your puppy left you a little reminder, they aren't quite house broken yet?
Cat lovers-- we hear you too.
But we love our kids and pets (obvi) so figuring out ways we can live with them, while surrounding ourselves with some nice things doesn't have to be an impossible task. If we know where to cut costs while still getting "the look for less," we can change things out and keep up with trends knowing we haven't broken the bank in the process.
So, for now, what should you avoid wasting your hard-earned cash on?
Why go through the misery of watching a pricey setting for 8 become a mismatched hodgepodge for 5 1/2? While I'm a big believer in "using the china" if it was passed down in the family, or a wedding gift, I'm also a big believer in going stylish but cheap for the stuff we use every day so we can relax at mealtime.
Buy white so that when the pieces become mismatched it's harder to tell since they still all blend into each other. White is also a good way to change out place settings for any occasion all year long because the food, tablecloth, napkins, and centerpiece can be the ever-changing star.
Dishes are a good place to "go Ikea" friends, from timeless styles to super modern, 12 piece sets range from less than $19.99 up to $64.99 for 18 piece sets.
Custom drapery is beautiful but the price tag isn't for the faint of heart-- or for sharp little kitten paws, or grimy little toddler fingers that will be sure to gravitate towards them. So why not worry less, and still be able to afford a summer vacation for your family by getting some good, cost-saving curtains?
I promise, these are not too good to be true!
These velvet drapes are heavy, weighted, lined and feel plush. They are also $60 a panel. I've used them in my office and passed the link onto at least 5 friends who have all given them rave reviews.
Never have there been so many options when it comes to lighting up your home, nor have there ever been so many dupes and inexpensive choices.
Lighting is such an easy way to change a room, fast. What an impact a statement light can make and some of my favorites are ones that cost the least.
Like this rattan light that completely changed a little girl's bedroom when she was switching from her nursery to her toddler room. Our client says she is always asked where she got it, and her friends can't believe it was only $45.
And look at this-- a giant rice paper sphere shade can give Boho vibes for $29. You can make it into a hard-wired fixture by adding a single-socket $10 pendant light kit made for lantern shades.
Big, inexpensive impact!
Often we jump on art we see at a discount home store that is beautiful, the colors work, but it is just meh once you get it up on the wall. It just feels too generic and as a result, you feel no connection to it.
Or, we spend our entire budget on an investment piece that is a wonderful contribution to the art world, but might be a better purchase down the road when our budgets are a little looser and larger furniture pieces are already in place.
Instead, why not make your own wall decor?
TikTok has lots of DIY ideas, like making art out of wall plaster and Spackle. REFRESH Social Media Manager Erica Wolf tried it out this past fall-- and LOVED the vibey results!
Frame your children's school art (my personal fave in a kid's bedroom or playroom) or make a gallery wall out of a combination of family photos and thrift store finds.
These will be much more meaningful ways to cover a wall because you'll remember the thrifting trip you went on or how old your child was when they lovingly painted the piece.
You'll also remember how little you had to spend on the gallery, too.
Look at that SWEET LITTLE FACE pressed into this comfy rug! Does it get any cuter?
I mean no, of course it doesn't.
But-- we all know what else can end up on our rugs ranging from pet related, to shoe related, to kid related, to meal related... you get the picture.
Why not explore something a little more durable, or at least, trendy, and inexpensive to get the job done?
Whether it's a Ruggable with the philosophy, "Life Matters, Spills don't," or one of the many Turkish rug options from the Rug Collective that are machine washable and as they advertise, "kid and pet friendly." It makes sense to either pay a bit more for something that is going to last and endure, or go cheap for something that won't but will look good going down.
Safavieh Farmhouse Jute rugs on Amazon are another good choice because they work hard, hide a lot, and are super reasonably priced. For example a 5 x 8 natural fiber rug is $120 and has more than a thousand 4 1/2 star ratings.
These FIVE THINGS are in most homes, and chances are, you're going to have to buy them again and again.
So decide where you are in life, and whether it's worth waiting a bit for high-priced homewares and decor pieces that might make you cry if they get trashed by whatever is running around your house these days.
You CAN make your space beautiful, functional, and cozy while keeping some pennies in the bank ;)