invest in- home kitchen

Invest in lighting, save on accessories! 7 spots in your home to splurge and save on

Here’s what to invest in and what to save on in your home design.

When designing an entire home, or working on one room, designers are often left with the question, “to splurge or not to splurge?”  In a perfect world, we’d all have unlimited resources and expenses to make our design dreams a reality, but in most cases, we have to balance bigger investments with more economical choices. But sticking to a budget doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on style.

Designer Emily England says it’s all the art of mixing high and low items. She shared which areas of your home deserve and investment, and also where you can save money.


Where to Invest

The Bones of Your Home

If you are building or remodeling, Emily advises clients to make timeless choices they love and stand the test of time. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive option but make a decision you can live with for a long time. You will not replace this item in five years—so if it is permanent part of the house (fireplace mantel, stair railing, countertops, tile, windows) make a choice you love and can live with.

Emily said, “Just cry once on these!”


Countertops that are timeless and lovely. You will not rip out countertops down the road without potentially damaging your cabinets and tile backsplash.


Emily thinks lighting is really the jewelry of a home. Investing in lovely lighting makes a powerful statement. The most important places Emily invests in quality and beautiful lighting is the entry, over the kitchen island, over the dining room or kitchen table, and in the primary suite.

Emily shared a hack if you are building or remodeling and finding it tough to fit lighting into your budget—have a contractor wire for the lighting you hope to have, and then cap it until you can afford those fabulous light fixtures. It is more expensive to add the electrical wiring later. It’s possible, but it’s more invasive than just adding the wiring when you are building or remodeling.

Large Seating

Sofas and sectionals are something Emily encourage clients to invest in because we sit on them. And it’s more than sitting—sofas and sectionals should be a place to relax and recover. It’s so important that these pieces are well made, with durable fabric, and that they are comfortable!

Where to Save

Smaller Furniture

“Case goods” typically refers to furniture made of wood. Side tables, coffee tables, consoles, etc. Emily finds vintage or antique case goods at flea markets, secondhand stores, Facebook market place, etc.

Cabinet Hardware

Cabinet hardware has a huge visual impact in a kitchen or bathroom but can easily wreak havoc on your bottom line. Emily feels this is an easy place to select beautiful but reasonably priced hardware. The trick it selects a finish that looks high end: polished nickel and an antiqued brass are my go-to finishes.


The last place to save money is on accessories. In most projects Emily does, her clients are more concerned with the budget by the time they get to accessories. Emily suggests incredible finds in flea markets, on Facebook marketplace, secondhand stores, and on great websites like Chairish if you know what you are looking for.

To see more of Emily’s work, follow on Instagram @emilyenglanddesign.

Add comment