Cheap Home Solutions vs. Long-Term Design Investments

How do you know when cheap home solutions are a bad idea? We came face-to-face with this question a few weeks ago in our abandoned, flipped, 90’s home. A house like ours needs a lot of help. While we’ve chosen some cheap home solutions to get our space feeling a more comfortable and clean, there are some items I’d rather invest in right off the bat.

Cheap Home Solutions Vs. Investing In Long-Term Home Design

One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced in our new home is falling into the trap of buying what’s cheap and convenient.

We were preparing our basement to host our first guests last month, and needed a storage solution for toys. We found these storage cubbies for our girls’ shared closet over the summer. They’ve worked wonders for organizing their clothes. So we decided to get two more for the basement.

Headed out the door, I just couldn’t stop thinking, “We’re about to spend $100 on furniture we won’t want in a year.” It didn’t sit right with me.

July 2023

When you’re furnishing your home on a budget, there’s a fine line you walk between the cheap/temporary/fast solutions and investing in quality for the long term.

When we moved into our new home, we were planning to replace our living room furniture. You can’t tell from photos, but our couch is worn out and our TV stand is as old as our marriage. But our closing costs and home maintenance costs have been much high than we expected after moving in June.

first week in our new house

Our focus for so long has been just getting our home clean and comfortable with small updates as we can. We’re choosing to be content with the furniture we have until the future.

But these basement storage cubbies was our first exception.

Thinking Long-Term for Your Home’s Design

Nathan and I sat down, car keys in hand and kids headed out the door, and talked it through.

We asked ourselves: Will we want this in a year? How long will it last? How much more expensive is a quality design solution? Will it fit into our budget?

In a home like ours, budget is a big deal. Sometimes it feels like we’re lighting our budget on fire left and right with the amount of updates we’ve needed so far – planned and unplanned.

We decided it was time to invest in a long-term piece of furniture for our home.

We could spend a little more on something that would make our home more beautiful and functional at the same time. This was a much more sustainable option too.

Instead of buying cheap storage cubbies for our basement, we decided to upgrade our TV stand instead. We moved our old TV stand downstairs, and now we have much more storage in both spaces!

We didn’t specifically plan for this upgrade, but knew the extra spend was the right call this time.

Our Living Room Got An Upgrade!

They say furniture makes the room.

And I can confirm, this is so true! We’ve been meaning to replace our old TV stand for years – I’m shocked it made it through a cross country move. I knew ours wasn’t the right shape or size, and we finally had the opportunity to replace it.

Our living room is narrow, and we needed a piece that was low and long. I wanted an option for closed storage to hold games and store items we need. Our budget was small but I found one with a mid-century modern look that fits with our other furniture pieces.

Let me tell you, the impact of having the right size and shape furniture in a room is incredible. Even though this tv stand is bigger than our old one, it feels like we have more space in here. We gained storage, tabletop space for decor, and it fills the wall much better. Game changer.

Eventually our basement will be our main media space. Even though it’s currently unfinished, we decided to go ahead and move our TV down there. We mounted it to studs and straight up use camping chairs for family movie night. It works!

Removing the TV from our living room has been a good gift to ourselves. We’re reading more, talking more, and getting to bed earlier. We’ll still go down to watch a movie or show together, but it feels a lot less mindless.

Our upstairs feels more peaceful and set up for connection.

There are times it makes sense to stick to your budget.

There are other times it’s worth going a little beyond, if you can, to invest in a long term solution for your home.

Cheap solutions often are temporary, like this one. And sometimes end up spending MORE money in the long run, because you end up replacing those cheap, temporary purchases.

Do what you can with what you have! Be content with the rest. Enjoy your home in the process.

P.S. (We loooove our new TV stand! We found it at Home Depot for $340!)

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