Published July 20, 2012
Decorating involves many choices within the home and for most homeowners this task can be very daunting. Cost usually plays a major role in where your dollars are spent. But where is it worth spending more and where can you cut corners?
Ultimately only you can decide where your dollar is spent however, it’s a good idea to make a list of items that you desire and put them in priority before you head out and do your shopping.
One idea is to look into various comparative low vs. high cost choices.
Flooring is probably one of the most important elements within the home. It sets the tone of the home upon entering and really sets off your furniture and cabinetry. If you choose to go the high route with hardwood you will end up with a beautiful, classic look that should last a lifetime. Genuine hardwood comes in a variety of colours and wood grains and is always a good investment. Alternatively, you may choose the very popular laminate flooring which has come a long way in terms of its look and durability. Laminate hardwood floors are fantastic in high traffic areas and clean up beautifully. The choices of colours are numerous and properly installed, this flooring can fool even the expert eye.
Furniture is also another key element in the décor of your home. Solid wood vs. Veneer is work investigating. If you are inclined toward solid wood, the cost is of course more however, the piece will last a very long time. The down side is that the wood must have the proper care and be aware of moisture problems and cracking. On the flip side are the more economical veneer choices. These veneers look remarkably like real wood and come in a variety of inlays such as marquetry and paneling. Cons include the fact that excessive moisture will cause the veneer to lift and may not be able to be repaired.
Decorating the walls with artwork is also another way to make a house really feel like a home. Unfortunately, art can be very expensive so it’s important to invest well in the real thing. The rewards lie in the quality of the colours and the fact that your art may increase in value over the years. If you choose to go the reproduction route, you can still enjoy beautiful art that you may otherwise not be able to enjoy. Lithographs and limited editions can also increase in value over time.
Kitchen cabinetry is probably the most important element in your kitchen budget. Along with appliances, the cabinetry is the focal point in the room. Choosing between real wood cabinets or less expensive faux wood versions is a difficult one. Factors to consider include plywood construction vs. half-inch particleboard, a quality construction vs. one that uses staples and glue and the fact that high quality cabinets usually have quite a few paint and stain choices as well as many accessories. The lower end cabinets tend to be more restrictive in their choices.
Whether you are building your dream home or just doing a little decorating, it’s worth your time to look at both the “high” and “low” alternatives for each choice. After doing a little research you may find the biggest “bang for your buck” doesn’t have to cost you the kitchen sink.