I've felt it. You've felt it. We've all felt it. WHY IS DECORATING SO EXPENSIVE?
Frustrating, right? Especially when you're trying to ball on a budget AND feel proud of your surroundings. Been there, done that. Learned a little along the way.
Here's the thing: just like with every other thing you buy, you're paying for far more than the product itself. The design, the production, its materials, employees, packaging...the list goes on. Sometimes pricing for certain things feels pretty "fair" but other times we're left feeling like "NO WAY, I'm not paying that."
It's hard to decipher where our hard-earned money is best spent. Do we go cheap or splurge? Really what it comes down to is what we value and what we can afford. Sure, some people have a life where money is no object, but most of us have to pick and choose where we invest.
The best advice I can give you when decorating your space with new items is to remember the Pollylovely Quality Triangle. It's a theory that's not so fun to learn but really helpful to keep in mind when purchasing.
The quality triangle suggests that products, particularly for decorating the home, possess ONLY two of three sought-after qualities: a low cost, strong durability and a nice aesthetic.
So a piece that has a nice aesthetic and a low cost are typically lower quality and not very durable. Pieces that are durable and a low cost often aren't as aesthetically pleasing as you would hope.
Meanwhile, pieces with a high durability and a nice aesthetic usually come at a higher cost. Ugh, I know right? Maybe not the good news you were hoping I'd bring you. But I think we all know it deep down. We've heard it since we were young: you get what you pay for. Are there exceptions to the Quality Triangle? Sure, I'm certain there are. But they are just that: exceptions. The rule tells us otherwise.
But don't worry, there's still good news. We can still create beautiful homes on the budgets we have. The key is making a priority list of which items are worth the splurge and which items are not (at least not at this point). Then you can go through your list accordingly and spend your money where you see fit.
I look for high durability and a nice aesthetic in my "big ticket" items first. These are pieces that are utilized often and, therefore, need the durability and are seen often, therefore, needing the aesthetic I want. These are items like our sectional and our bed/bedding. Centerpieces of the room. Your eye goes there first as you enter a room and there's a good chance it will get used frequently.
Consider your "big ticket" items. The large pieces. Prioritize the rooms you use most often first. And go all the way down your list until you get to items that are the fun pieces, oftentimes accessories that don't need a ton of cash to get the bang for your buck, just perhaps some digging in stores and online.
If you're renting, the best thing you can do when making purchases is to consider what items you would buy no matter your next space. No matter what, you'll likely have a bed and a sofa and a dining table (though sizing can really differ here). Choose a style that you can picture yourself liking for years to come or, at the least, that can fit within various styles surrounding it.
There you have it! The Quality Triangle. Consider the trade-offs when shopping, assuming if the price is low it may be lacking in durability and so on.
And if you'd like help keeping track of your home decor budget, you can download my free, editable budget! Check out the Free Resources page on my site to find it!