As I’m sure is the case with most first time homeowners, when going from an apartment to a house you realize how much furniture you need to fill your new home! And how gosh darn expensive that is. Just moving from a 500 square foot apartment in New York to a 1200 square foot apartment when we first moved back to California was an adjustment in itself. We had sold practically everything except our rock hard (but stylish!) CB2 couch. My husband actually moved to Sacramento two months before I did and my in-laws gave him a lamp and a chair to start with. That’s what I walked into when I arrived. Welcome home–one of you can sit somewhere besides the floor.
Flash forward, since buying our house (2 years ago this May) we’ve slowly been investing more in furniture that will last for years to come, but of course you can’t buy everything at once. I definitely don’t consider myself a professional in the design space but I’ve been having fun and, since you keep asking, I thought I’d address it in more detail–so here’s where we’ve splurged and saved.
Don’t underestimate the Ikea placeholder. | I thought my early 20’s Ikea days were over–guess again. After searching for and going without a dresser in the master bedroom for over a year, I ended up purchasing exactly what I was looking for at a fraction of the price… from Ikea. I told myself it would at least be a placeholder until I find “the dresser” but honestly I’m pretty gosh darn happy with it. So much so that I’m planning to snag another one to replace the cradle once we move Rex to his own room.
Splurge on lighting. | Unique lighting really makes a statement when you walk into the room. I learned this from working with our interior designer and friend, Deborah Costa of Design Alchemy.
Save on the trendier pieces and splurge on the everyday furniture (i.e.: couch). | I swooned and dreamed, and couldn’t get these chairs out of my mind after seeing them. I say get the pieces that make you happy but this is an area to save. Instead splurge on your couch–a piece that the room is most likely centered around and where you will spend most of your lounge time. And make your furniture feel fresh again for the new seasons with pillows. I put the darker colored and textured pillows I had on this duo away for winter and brought out these striped cuties (on sale! from Loomgoods).
Go vintage and take your family up on freebies. | When we first moved into our house and had more space everyone offered up furniture. At first you may think oh gosh that’s not the style I’m going for but if you accept the pieces as placeholders, you might be surprised / and fall for them. That was the case with most of the pieces we accepted from our family. Now it’s these pieces that give our house such a rich layer of stories.
Seek out sales on rugs. | Rugs not only make a statement and tie the room decor together, but if you have hardwood floors like us they’ll save your wood. You can find super cool rugs at great prices. Whether it’s the Alameda Flea, a decent priced Moroccan rug at my friend Ali’s shop (Kechmara Designs) or a hand-me down from your neighbor. Don’t be afraid to invest here, but if you’re looking to save I think this is also an area to find some great deals or wait for the sales. Be sure to also protect your rugs with foam rug pads.
Photography | Stephanie Russo