Appliances, art: surprising things you can save money on when decorating

Sunday Times Home editor Leana Schoeman shares tips to help you decide where to splurge and where to save

06 November 2020 - 08:00 By Leana Schoeman
Many local artists and illustrators offer budget-friendly prints and posters of their original artworks.
Many local artists and illustrators offer budget-friendly prints and posters of their original artworks.
Image: 123RF/Katarzyna Białasiewicz

Spending your hard-earned cash furnishing a home can be a daunting task, especially when you're working on a tight budget.

While we all love a good bargain, when it comes to buying large pieces of furniture (like a sofa or dining room table), it is well worth spending more to get something that is well designed and of great quality. After all, you'll likely to have it for a long time.

To help you save money towards those key investment pieces, here are areas where you can get away with being thrifty:

WALL ART

Investing in good artwork and having it custom framed is definitely a goal worth working towards, but that doesn't mean it needs to cost an arm to get your dream gallery wall started.

Many decor shops and  local illustrators and artists offer beautiful prints and posters that are affordable. Another thrifty option is to have some of your favourite photographs professionally printed and frame them with store-bought frames.

DECOR ACCENTS

Trends change and so does our personal taste and that's why it is OK to save on smalls like ornaments and table lamps, and soft furnishings such as curtains. That way you won't feel forced to stick with something you no longer love just because you paid too much for it.

Being thrifty may also mean there's room in the budget to buy more than one set of things like scatter cushion covers, which you can then rotate as the seasons change or according to your mood. This is a fun way to instantly give any room a fresh look and feel. 

Switch out your soft furnishings to instantly change the mood of your space.
BEFORE Switch out your soft furnishings to instantly change the mood of your space.
Image: 123RF/Katarzyna Białasiewicz
Who said you could only have one set of curtains per room?
AFTER Who said you could only have one set of curtains per room?
Image: 123RF/Katarzyna Białasiewicz

Whatever you do, just be conscious of your consumption and don’t accumulate things just for the sake of it as you also don’t want to fall into that hoarding trap.

APPLIANCES

Buying or replacing appliances can be a costly exercise, but doesn’t have to be. There are such a wide variety of second-hand retailers like Gumtree and OLX where you can buy some of the best brands at discount prices — a move that's good for your pocket and the planet.

If you're not a fan of buying previously owned goods, there's the option of finding a factory outlet or retailer who sells demo models. These places tend to offer great discounts which will help your money go further, especially if you're buying more than one large appliance or unexpectedly have to replace one.

TABLEWARE

Crockery and glassware breaks, and even though some pieces break or chip less easily, it often has little do the with the price of them. That's why when it comes to tableware, you can afford to spend a bit less. 

There are so many retailers that offer great collections of tableware at a steal these days, so why not have fun  and opt to buy, for instance, four side plates in one pattern and four in a different one. This lessens the financial pressure of having to purchase a complete set in one go, and also allows you to get creative with your table settings by mixing and matching.