Monday, September 25, 2017

How to Mix High End and Low End Home Decor And Make It Work

Budgets are a tricky thing. On one hand, it's super easy to open up an excel spreadsheet, jot some numbers down and come up with a sum that seems reasonable for the task at hand be it grocery shopping, home renovations or managing a household. On the other, however, sometimes making those numbers into tangible things can seem overwhelming and impossible. 

Take for instance home decor. 

As you know we moved into our new home a little over 9 months ago. While on paper my budget for interior decorating appeared reasonable, once I set about trying to find specific pieces for each room that I loved within that budget I quickly realized that this process was going to take much longer than I anticipated. 

Don't be fooled, friends. Home decor bloggers and HGTV make home decorating look easy and like something that happens perfectly overnight, but the reality is that that is not normal AT ALL. If you have all the money in the world to decorate exactly how you wish? By all means, go on and out and spend that money but if you're like the rest of us, sit back, relax and get ready for long and slow ride.

During one of the very first conversations I had with an interior designer friend, she mentioned that on average the amount of money people spend to decorate a dining room is around $11,000. Friend, this is just one room we're talking about. Crazy, right? But look at how this breaks down: That budget includes a table, 6 chairs, a sideboard, chandelier, rug and miscellaneous wall decor. Of course, the size of your space plays a huge roll in the size and amount of furniture needed to furnish it which she reminded me was important to keep in mind.

Naturally I laughed and said something along the lines of, "what's above average?" That's when my jaw hit the floor. She said that those wanting a more high end luxury spin on their decor often spend upwards of $45,000 on their dining room furnishings. Holy smokes.

Right then and there I knew I had to shop smart and with patience. If I've learned anything from decorating a home it's that it's an incredibly slow process, one that's as enjoyable as it is frustrating. But by finding the right pieces, filling your home with items you absolutely love, you're decorating in a way that is both meaningful and authentic to you. In a way that creates a space welcoming, inviting and inspiring.

After 9 months of living here, I can say that of all the rooms in my home, roughly 2 of them are about 85% complete. The rest? Well, they're a work in progress, a process I'm learning to love and appreciate. 

Here are a few tips I've learned along the way on how to mix high end and low end home decor and make it work. 

Do not be afraid to invest in what will become the focal point of your room. Typically this piece of furniture will be the largest in the space. While you may be drawn to what's currently on trend, my suggestion is that you aim for something that is more timeless, something that will grow with you but is both stylish and functional. 

For our morning room, we chose this concrete top dining table from Gardiner Wolf Furniture. Not only did I fall in love with the clean lines and craftsmanship of this table but I could immediately picture my family gathered around it for years to come which made it's heftier price tag perfectly acceptable in my book.

This is where mixing high end and low end items comes into play. Sometimes spending more money on your wall decor and room accessories can elevate the space enough to make your budget furniture finds appear more luxury. When I chose the table and chairs for our morning room, yes, it would've been much easier to choose a set that was already grouped together however deep down, I knew that wasn't my style. 

In an attempt to stay authentic to my tastes, ultimately I ended up choosing pieces from 3 different vendors at varying price points to bring my vision to fruition. Our x-back side chairs are basic in both design and price but you'd never guess just by looking at them that they cost little more than $100!

Mixing materials, furnishings and finishes can often make a room appear more luxurious than it really is. This is why I chose to decorate with natural elements  in our morning room. By choosing pieces that incorporated concrete, wood, upholstery and greenery, I was able to create a layered look without everything being overly matchy-matchy. I absolutely love my demi-wing upholstered side chairs from Magnolia Home and at a middle of the road price point, they bring the perfect touch of casual elegance to this space. 

You can do this! Have patience, choose authentically and meaningfully. Welcome pieces into your home that speak to you. Got it. But where do you start when trying to find the perfect piece for your space? 

Shop local! 

Gardiner Wolf Furniture is a local retailer with brick and mortar locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. When shopping for furniture I think it's so important to get your hands on the pieces you'll be bringing into your home. These brick and mortar locations allow you to do just that and with friendly, helpful sales people and an incredibly knowledgeable design team, I can't imagine shopping for furnishings anywhere else.  

For a discount on your next online or in-store purchase, my friends at Gardiner Wolf have to put together this amazing promotion for all I Love You More Than Carrots readers! 

Happy shopping!

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