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Home And Living | Where to splurge and where to save on furniture

Where to splurge and where to save on furniture

Home decor can be very costly in Singapore. Here's our advice on where to spend your dollars and where to cut back cost.

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By Jamie Lim |    January 19 2018

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"Spend on the sofa"

Image credit: Jamie Lim

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"Spend on the dining table "

Image credit: Jamie Lim

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"Save on shelves and cabinets"

Image credit: Jamie Lim

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"Spend on energy-saving appliances"

Image credit: Jamie Lim

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"Save on coloured items"

Image credit: Jamie Lim

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"Spend on your flooring "

Image credit: Jamie Lim

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"Spend on your mattress"

Image credit: Jamie Lim

Funiture and home decoration can be very costly. Quality beds can set you back a few thousand and it can be tempting to go for cheaper alternatives to save you some cash. However, as with most cheap items, the quality may not be the same. In the short-run, you may be better off with the cheaper option but if you're planning to keep the item long term, it might be worth investing in more expensive pieces. Here is our little guide to help you decide on what you should save and what you should spend on. 

Spend on the sofa

Sofas are staples of every household. A great sofa and instantly transform a simple living room into an elegant chic one. Singaporeans traditionally shop at furniture stores to source for sofas but as online shopping gets more popular, many people are turning to online websites such as tao bao or Aliexpress for cheaper alternatives. However, the quality is never the same. We have heard horror stories of missing legs, a mismatch in shape, material and size of the listing and the actual sofas and many more issues. Hence it's always better to physically see and feel the sofa in person. It's not easy telling a difference in quality even in person. Some companies use inferior leather, some companies use laminates instead of full wood. For those of us who aren't experts of material, it is always best to consult an experienced and reliable interior designer who will be able to recommend the best sofa to suit your needs. 


Spend on the dining table 

Food is so central to us Singaporeans. We eat breakfast and dinner on our dining table with our family almost every day so of course, you should invest in a good quality piece! Having said that, we understand a dining set can set you back a few thousand and it's not always easy to fork out that kind of money. The alternative? Invest in an adaptable dining table! Certain dining tables allow you to double up as a work table or provide an extension for more guests. These adaptable pieces may be a little more costly but because it serves various functions, we believe it is a worthwhile investment in the long run. 


Save on shelves and cabinets

We were split for this one- on one hand, some of us felt that custom cabinets and shelves make better use of the spaces in rooms as well as gives the room a more flushed look. However, we also felt like, in terms of quality, pre-made cabinets from Ikea or Japan home were comparable even though they were much cheaper. If you are on a tight budget, we would definitely recommend purchasing cheaper shelves and cabinets.


Spend on energy-saving appliances

As much as you are getting haunted by Samsung's washing machine advertisement telling you to "Shen, Shen, Shen!", you should really heed that advice if you want to save on electrical and water bills in the future. Energy-saving air conditions can save you up to $840 a year! 


Save on coloured items

Assuming most of your larger items are neutral colours such a brown, beige, white, black or grey, the pieces which add a pop of colour should be smaller items such as pillows, ottoman, vases. Although it may be tempting to invest in intricate, quality statement pieces, these pieces generally go out of style quite fast and you may have to replace them in a few years time. Instead, you could think of purchasing second pieces such as second-hand art pieces of vases. You could also save by purchasing pillow covers instead of a new pillow. 


Spend on your flooring 

If you have been up to date with recent news, you would have heard of tiles buckling due to heat and expansion. If you want to prevent such problems it's always best to invest in durable materials and workmanship. Always consult a reliable and trusted interior designer to handle your flooring. After all, without proper flooring, you won't even be able to live in your house! 


Spend on your mattress

Mattresses are at an all-time high and with some beds costing tens of thousands. It's no wonder some people rather purchase $100 beds from mama shops. However, before you go down to your neighbourhood store, let's just step back and take a look at how many hours you spend on your bed and the implications on your health. An average person gets about 7 hours of sleep a day and during that time a lot of things can happen. Back pains, restless sleep, bed bugs- these are just some of the major issues you may experience from not investing in a good mattress. It might seem minor in the short run but studies have shown that quality sleep is necessary for longevity. So if you are serious about maintaining your health, do look into getting a good mattress. It does not have to be Posturepedic or memory foam, as long as you're able to get a good night rest. 


After reading some of this advice, we hope you have a clearer vision of where to spend and save on your household items. It's true that for the most part, you'll have to spend more than save especially when it comes to big-ticket items such as sofa sets. However, you'll thank yourself in the long run when you don't have to deal with your furniture falling apart and having to constantly replace items. 


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