When people think of investing in their homes they usually lean towards renovating their kitchen and/or bathrooms to add resale value. As a designer, I feel it’s equally important to live in the now, love your space and avoid only decorating for its future occupants. Although your home should and can be a mix of both high and low end finishes, there are a few things I always encourage my clients to consider investing in. Things that add instant wow factor; that reflect their personalities and also provide the biggest bang for their buck!
One of a kind artwork is something many people suggest owning by the time you’re 30 and I tend to fall into that camp. It can be an investment and a bit of a slippery slope, so anything you buy should be something you absolutely love and can’t live without! I often recommend that my clients go to art galleries while on vacation, seek out local artists in Toronto, rummage through antique stores and attend auctions to find pieces they adore. Artwork tends to be subjective, what one person loves another might detest, so this can be a particularly overwhelming task for couples who may or may not agree on what’s best. If nothing else, an unbiased third party like a designer can take a step back to objectively help you make the right choice. Ideally, whatever you choose should work in several rooms or homes and be something you won’t easily grow tired of. If canvases aren’t your artwork of choice, consider photography, sculpture, antiques or other unique pieces that reflect your personality and travels to add instant character to your space.
I often refer to the floor as the fifth wall. Area rugs have come a long way and really are artwork in their own right. Investing in a beautiful rug can - but doesn’t have to be - an expensive purchase and is one I guarantee you’ll rarely regret. Rugs add warmth, texture, colour, pattern and personality to your home while providing a wonderful jumping off point for décor -much like your favourite artwork. Many high end rug providers in the city also offer discount showrooms with beautiful pieces at half their original price making them much more accessible. The better the rug, the longer lasts – many of which becoming investment pieces families pass down from one generation to the next.
I recently attended a designer exclusive event at W Studio, one of my favourite rug manufacturers and import/exporters. Through new technology they’re able to transfer their most popular high end designs onto more durable, synthetic materials that feel and look as good as their natural fiber predecessors at less than half the price. This opens up a huge realm of possibilities in terms of where and how we use area rugs to decorate high traffic areas like hallways, staircases, kids rooms and even kitchens! New technology like this allows Designers and homeowners to think outside the box when adding pattern, texture and warmth in unique and unexpected ways underfoot.
Lighting is the third and final way I encourage my clients to invest in their space. Often coined the jewelry or most important accessory to any room, lighting has become much more sculptural and art like in recent years. Although you can spend a fair bit on beautiful lighting, you don’t have to blow your budget to make an impact. Ranging from $150 to $1000 dollars and up, good quality lighting adds a mixture of metals and a higher end feel to any space that’s otherwise hard to recreate.
The ultimate compliment I receive from clients is when they can’t wait to get home after a long day or look forward to entertaining friends and family in their newly decorated space. Whether looking to spend a lot or a little, artwork, area rugs and lighting are great ways to add the kind of impact that also reflects your personality and best of all, they travel with you from one home to the next!