You have planned the feel and look for the room or rooms you are decorating, met with the designer and briefed them and discussed the overall budget and goal for the project. And then, you see a key piece that makes your heart jump for joy – a sofa that is pure luxury, a piece of art that just draws you in, a once off creation that just epitomizes the feeling in the room that you are aiming for. But the catch is, it will compromise the remainder of your project if you buy it.

In this post I talk about the various options you can consider in this scenario. In essence there are two options:

Firstly, if your heart is well and truly set on this item and you consider it to be a wise investment in the long term, is there a way that you can adjust the remainder of the project so that you can have the item and still achieve the look that you are aiming for?

For example, you could consider purchasing the key piece and then use alternatives in other areas such as paint, wallpaper, curtains and lamps or other accessories to still end up with the same overall effect in the room that you were looking to achieve.

You may have to adjust and compromise on the accessories and the remainder of the project, but you will have the joy of the item that made you happy in the first place.

In this scenario you can also consider buying what I call “filler” items that are not a huge investment, but can be used during the time that you are completing the room and then possibly moved into other rooms or replaced with more luxurious items further down the line.

The second option, if the purchase of the item is going to completely undermine the whole project, is to consider alternatives.

Be careful when considering things like replicas, as sometimes they can appear similar at first glance but will not give you the same luxurious feeling that the original item does. In this case I urge you to stop and think about the project as a whole – explore other alternatives and designs, consider repurposed vintage or retro items such as sofas that can be reupholstered in similar fabric for example.

Paint can be used to great effect by choosing a deeper hue and combining it with wallpaper on one wall. If you have a chimney breast you can use this wall to create a highlight in the room to draw the eye with texture and depth, using a combination of paint and wallpaper or just the right shade of paint.

Consider the fabrics that you use. If the one that you love is going to affect the project, consider using it as a band at eye level and using an alternative fabric in a more reasonable price so that you still get a visual impact but you can stay within the project scope.

Decide what it is about the piece that makes you feel happy – whether it’s the texture, the colour, the shape, you can use this to see if you can find an alternative that gives you the same feeling and doesn’t compromise the rest of the project.

The key to a great space is laying down a good foundation that you can build on, based on things that you love and are wise investments.

One thought on “What to do if your first choice is just out of range

  1. Great post, I also agree if you love something, building around it is a totally plausible option. Like a favourite rug that brings together the ‘feel’ of a room. I’d love for you to check out our collection, we pick rugs that have personality and a story to tell. I think they’d go great with your interiors, maybe we can work on a concept together?

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