Interior designers shared their advice on what to spend money on when you buy a home.
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  • Buying a house is a big investment, and a huge milestone for most people.
  • Making a house truly a home is the next step, and investing in the right furniture is a key part of the process.
  • Insider asked interior designers what people should splurge on when they buy a home.
  • The experts said a nice couch and a comfortable bed are both worth investing in because they are used so often. Dining room tables, accent chairs, and statement decor pieces can also set the tone.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Start with your living room furniture.

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"The most important pieces for your first home will be the furniture you use most," Ashley Moore, the founder and principal designer of Moore House Interiors, told Insider.

"Living room furniture is definitely worth investing in, as it will receive the most wear-and-tear," she said.


A couch for the living room should be one of the first items you buy.

Interior Marketing Group

Christina Slater, the senior designer for Interior Marketing Group, advised new homeowners to select a sofa first.

"It's the piece you'll use the most and it will have the biggest design impact on your space," she said, adding that she always opts for neutral-toned sofas with layered textures because they will never go out of style.

However, you can also use your sofa as a statement piece if you're a fan of bold colours.


It's also worth it to spend a little more on a rug for your living room.

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Rugs are important because of how large they are and how much of a difference they make in the overall look of your space. A decent-sized rug that you love can remain in your home for years.

"Many people either don't buy them or try to save money by purchasing low-quality rugs or rugs that are the incorrect size," Moore said. "Spend the money on quality rugs that are properly sized for your space."

Slater agreed that the size of your rug can make or break your space. "Always, always, always go bigger on your rug," she said. "A bigger rug defines the space and makes rooms look much larger than you think."


Invest in your dining room table.

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After you pick a couch, Slater suggests getting a dining room table that will last you for years to come. The piece will be important for both your own eating needs and for entertaining, so you don't want to buy something cheap.

"Main living areas are definitely a priority. You want your main living areas to be the focus, especially if you entertain." Moore said.


You'll thank yourself later if you splurge on your mattress and bed frame.

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Both Moore and Slater said that a sense of relaxation in your bedroom is crucial to feeling at home.

Your bedroom should be your oasis, and it can't be a place of relaxation if you aren't comfortable in your bed.

Plus, your bed will take up a large portion of your room, so you want to make sure you like it since it will likely set the tone for the space.


Nice bedding is also important.

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Bedding does have to be replaced every few years, but you won't have to buy it as often if you spend more money up front.

Picking bedding you really like will help your room feel like a place of comfort.


Accent chairs are a great way to bring your personality to your space.

Interior Marketing Group

"You can get a simple sofa, but really beautiful accent chairs can add character and texture to your space," Slater told Insider. "This is where you can have some fun."

Accent chairs will have the same impact in a bedroom or dining space as well.


Functional accent pieces, like nightstands and coffee tables, are also important investments.

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"Invest in accent pieces you'll use every day, like nightstands, a coffee table or ottoman, side tables, and lamps," Moore told Insider.

"Save money by not buying 'tchotchkes' or hodgepodge accessories," she said.

Although accessories can be fun to buy, Moore said homeowners should "focus on bigger pieces first."


Skimping on artwork can make your space look cheap.

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"Art is important to make a home feel complete and personalised," Slater said. "Empty walls or poorly selected art can make a space feel bare and immature."

She advised homeowners to stay away from stereotypical art with quotes like "Live, Laugh, Love."

"Instead, select pieces that reflect your personality and the life you plan to create in your new home," Slater said.

Moore also pointed out that people often waste a lot of money on art pieces they don't really care about. "People love to go wild... buying knick-knacks and 'cutesy' items," she said. "Save your money and focus on what your space needs first."


Instead of cheesy art, spend some money on a nice mirror.

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"Mirrors are always a good idea," Slater said. "They open the space, reflect the light, create depth, and can be found at very affordable prices."


Curtains should be on your list of must-buys.

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Curtains are important because they serve a function and make a room look complete. It's important, though, to make sure you get the right size curtains for your space.

"Drapes should go as high as possible; the closer to the ceiling, the better," Slater said. "This creates the visual appearance of higher ceilings and more of a custom look."


Don't forget to invest in storage.

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Slater explained that "you can't really ever have too much storage."

"Create storage while still remaining design-focused with an enclosed media unit," she said. "You can hide your remotes and other knick-knacks."


Most importantly, spend money on the items that will make you feel happy in your home.

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"Make it yours," Slater said. "Invest in the pieces that mean the most to you, whether it be statement art or a comfy, cozy sofa."

Moore also said it's OK to take time decorating your home; it's yours, so there's no need to rush.

"After you've invested in your key pieces, live in your home for a while," Moore said. "See what you really need, figure out how your spaces are used, get a feel for your style, and then consider decorating."

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