The living room is one of the most important rooms in the house. Most of us spend a lot of time eating, relaxing, watching TV and entertaining guests in it. In fact, the only reason why it’s not THE most important place in our home is because the all-important toilet reigns supreme (and no one can really argue with that, yes?).
So yes, it goes without saying that furnishing the living room in your new home can be an exciting event. So many things to buy, colors to choose from and designs to think about!
Budgeting is very important (unless you bear a “Datuk” honorific before your name) so let’s examine what are things you can skimp on and what are necessities that you should absolutely spend a bit more money on.
1. Sofa: SPLURGE!
I literally LIVE on the sofa. 80% of the time I spend at home is spent either sitting, lying, or leaning on my couch (the other 20% is spent thinking longingly about my sofa whenever I am more than 3 feet away). So yes, you can probably imagine that I have splurged quite a bit on getting a super plush and comfy sofa to park my derrière on.
If you’re like me (high five!), you may consider spending more on your couch too. You don’t really need to unload all your savings at a high end furnishing store (some places have been known to demand an arm, a leg and your firstborn), but you should probably take more precaution in selecting one that you reallllly like.
Alternatives to sofas may be cost-effective too.
2. Coffee Table: SKIMP!
For something that merely needs to be sturdy enough to hold a few cups of coffee (and donuts, mmmm donuts…), coffee tables are something you need not splurge on.
Suggestion: Scour flea markets or preloved furniture sellers for affordable coffee tables that suit your living room design. And if you’re good at DIY, upcycling isn’t such a bad idea after all. You can even turn a reclaimed door or window into a coffee table that costs free million dollars!
Is it a door, a table or an excuse to show off your DIY upcycle skills? 😀
3. TV and Sound System: SKIMP/SPLURGE!
I love my gadgets, so naturally I set aside a wee bit of money for a good flat-screen LCD and sound system so that I may The Game of Thrones in all its beautiful glory.
However, prior to that, I was quite happy streaming TV shows on my laptop so if you could do without spending a few K’s on an idiot box (now that it’s way flatter, is “box” still applicable?), you could be equally content without a TV in your living room.
TV brackets save more space than you know, so do use it.
4. Bookshelves: SPLURGE/SKIMP
As a bookworm, I have long lusted after bookshelves that line the pages of fancy furniture catalogues, but in time, I’ve come to accept that it’s the contents (read: amazing books) that matter. 😉
Therefore, it’s completely up to you whether you choose to splurge or skimp on bookshelves as long as there’s one in your living room. Not to mention, books do seriously liven up the space in a marvellous manner.
The evolution of an affordable Ikea spice rack into a bookshelf!
5. Light and lamps – SKIMP
Lighting solutions can be quite affordable if you choose wisely. Obviously, designer lamps would cost a lot more but if you have the dough, by all means spend it on something you absolutely love.
For those who prefer to spend their money on other vital aspects of life (holidays, new clothes, more donuts), there’s always the DIY path to consider.
You’re only limited by your imagination.