Splurge vs. Save

It’s funny, all I keep reading is Splurge vs. Save on every blog, magazine, you name it, design related.  Us, eternally happy canucks would never admit recession, so instead we make it cool to save. Love it!  I’ve always been a bit conservative, having grown up on a VERY tight budget, making the most out of what you can afford is kinda my shtick.  Now that Halina and I are partners it’s a fun adventure appeasing her need for luxury and my innate inability to spend frivolously.  Any who, we’ve been balancing client budgets whatever they may be, with a calculated mix of splurges and saves.  Below is a roundup of a few examples.  All the photos below are of spaces we designed.

Save by keeping old cabinets and built-ins and painting them.  Here we used Farrow and Ball Lamp Room Grey for both the walls and cabinets giving a previously dated and tired room a modern refresh.

In an open-concept where the floor is a major focal point, splurge on the floors and play up the impact.  Here we chose a Brazilian walnut, with a natural oil finish to really enhance the beauty of the wood.

Save by using big box store cabinets in creative ways instead of doing custom built-ins.  Here, we designed using Ikea kitchen pantries to create sleek extra storage in their open-concept family dining room.

Save on big box store kitchen cabinets and splurge on a custom stone counter.  Here we created a waterfall edge Carrera marble counter, over simple white generic Ikea kitchen cabinets.  By adding high-end finishes, you elevate an other wise budget cabinet.

Save by keeping existing doors and upgrading with new paint and hardware.  Here we created a more current and high-end look by painting simple hollow core doors out in a rich black which tied in with the new ebony stained floors.

Save by using common materials so that you can splurge on the details.  Here we created un almost slab clad wall effect by using a Carrera  Marble 12×12 tile, but installing it on all the walls, floors and window casing giving it a high-end look.  Marble is a luxurious material, however Carrera is a very readily available and in a 12×12 size is significantly less expensive than other marbles.

Save by mixing high end and mid range materials in one kitchen.  Here we used an entry priced black granite counter with square edge on the main surfaces, allowing us to splurge on the Statuario marble island counter with an upgraded edge profile.

Save by using a laminate floors in basements and high traffic areas like play rooms.  Here we used a 7.5” laminate from our PLANK collection which does not compromise on style and design, but is an extremely well priced material.  Laminate is perfect for over radiant heating, a very popular choice in most new basements.

Save by doing applied panel molding instead of custom raised paneling.  Here we applied a simple 1 ½” profile trim, and painted it out the wall colour to give a modern interpretation of a classic look.