24 Aug Inside Design – Choosing Investment Pieces
Like most fields of design, interior design is an industry that experiences trends – this year something that is a ‘must have’, next year will not be so desired, or desirable. That fact can make it daunting to invest significant amounts of money in to interiors, but actually that doesn’t need to be true.
My design philosophy has always been ‘less is more’; fewer, high quality investment pieces are far preferable to many inexpensive, ‘disposable’ items – those disposable items are a classic case of false economy as you need to replace them time and time again.
So, how do you know what you should invest in? Well, there are some pieces that are definitely worthy of investment, either because of their function or because of their design.
An original Hans Wegner Wishbone chair is the ultimate forever piece - a true icon of furniture design
Pieces that experience heavy duty wear are definitely worth investing in, especially if you want them to last for a significant period of time – that just makes sense. More emotive, however, is choosing pieces based on design. You want your forever pieces to be those pieces that ‘talk’ to you, that you want so much to live with, and that you have handpicked with thought and love. Key pieces that speak for themselves – a fabulous dining table, a gorgeous light fitting, a chest of drawers or armoire, a rug, a beautiful bed, even art – are the pieces that you should invest in. I always say “buy once, properly”.
This dining table is a fine example of choosing a 'forever piece' that perfectly suits its environment
If you have avoided investment pieces because you don’t want to get ‘stuck’ with something that you might tire of, I have some tips for you:
- Investment pieces are an investment – they hold their value so, in most cases, you can re-sell.
- There are myriad ways to update pieces like lounge chairs, etc, with accessories and soft furnishings.
- In some cases, again thinking about, say, a lounge setting or a bed, you can freshen them up (or even overhaul them) with new upholstery, staining, or refinishing. Joinery pieces can be updated with new handles, which can be like jewels enhancing a piece.
There are, of course, some items where – if you are clever – you can make them seriously cost effective. For example, curtains and blinds using wide width linen that is not expensive can be made luxurious with a border in a gorgeous, indulgent fabric. It may be more expensive, but you need some much less of it.
You can bring the price down on furniture too by making clever modifications, for example a bespoke sofa can be made with less down in the feathers, or with a hard edge front instead of sprung with coils; you can choose inexpensive fabric to cover a sofa, but splurge on fabric for your scatter cushion – they act like jewellery for the furniture, completely brightening a neutral or more basic sofa fabric.
In terms of furniture, I always advise buying pieces slowly so that you do not end up with a lot of disposable items, but instead own exquisite pieces that you will treasure forever.