The Home Items You Should Never Skimp Out On

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Last month we contributed to this Apartment Therapy article about household items worth splurging on, and since we had some strong feelings on the topic, we decided to devote this week’s blog post to the topic!

When considering the best use of your money for household items, take your cues from the capsule wardrobe trend.  I myself am a follower of the capsule wardrobe approach, having converted after years of buying a gabillion fast-fashion tops and then only wearing my friends’ clothes and like, one pair of jeans.  And the principles behind the capsule wardrobe are perfect for achieving your ideal home! Organized, functional, beautiful, and lasting- you can achieve all this in your interior if you just apply the rules of the capsule wardrobe to the furniture and decor in your home.  You wallet and your sanity will thank you!

According to Susie Faux, who coined the term in the 70s, a capsule wardrobe is a “collection of a few essential items of clothing that don't go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces” ("Capsule Wardrobe").  Investing in a few well-made, high quality pieces for your home that will stand the test of time (read: not too trendy) will provide you a solid foundation which can be seasonally refreshed with more affordable and trendy accent items.  We recommend investing in the following pieces:

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  1. Rugs

    • A hand knotted wool rug can dramatically raise the sophistication of a room.  

    • For a beautiful, woven specimen that won’t blow your entire bank account, vintage is your best bet.  The signs of light wear will lend an old world patina to your space that a machine loomed rug can never come close to imitating.

    • Some of my favorite sources for vintage rugs are June and Blue, Rebecca and Genevieve, and Blue Parakeet Rugs.  

    • If you can’t spring for a vintage stunner in the size required for your space, one option is to layer a smaller rug over a larger natural fiber rug such as jute or sisal.  Significantly less expensive than traditional woven or hand-knotted rugs, natural fiber rugs like jute, seagrass, and sisal are durable and as an added bonus, their texture means they’re pretty great at disguising stains!

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2. One set of versatile dishes that work for everyday and more formal entertaining like these from Anthropologie.

  • Look for styles that will work year round and can be paired with a variety of table linens and decor (read: avoid busy patterns or bold colors)

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3. High quality wall paint

  • Choose an eggshell finish for easy cleaning and durability.  

  • I’m partial to Benjamin Moore - they offer consistently great quality and all of my tried and true paint colors are from their collection.   

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4. A sofa

  • Sofas are expensive- even the “budget” options.  So I tell my clients to either splurge for the sofa of their dreams or go with a true budget option until they’re ready to invest in a high quality model.  The in-between options are still fairly expensive and not nearly the quality of the higher end models, so they’re just not worth messing with. If you’re ready to shell out for an investment piece, leather is my number one recommendation, because it only improves with age and wear.  It’s also less prone to attracting pet hair and absorbing smells than fabric upholstery.

  • The Sven sofa from Article is a great leather option at a very reasonable price.  If fabric is more your style, I love the custom Carpenter Sofa from Shoppe Amber Interiors, which is a lux take on the laidback slipcovered style, making it a kid and pet friendly option.

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5. Kitchen appliances like a refrigerator and a gas range.

  • Nothing ruins the look of new kitchen cabinets and countertops faster than dated appliances.  And if you plan to do a significant amount of cooking in your kitchen, you definitely want a gas range.  

  • I’m a fan of this french-door counter depth refrigerator from Samsung and this stainless steel five burner gas slide-in convection range from Kitchenaid.  (I used both in my own kitchen remodel).

What would you add to this list? Comment to tell us what we left out!