12 Home Splurges That You’ll Never Regret, According to Interior Designers

Illustration: Julia Abbonizio/Getty Images

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Budgeting for home renovations or designing your new digs from scratch is like planning for a wedding: You set your budget, but then you just have to have that Champagne wall. Or in the case of apartment or home upgrades, it might be a custom fabricated sink for a powder room or perfect accent chair for your living room, says Katie Winnington, principal designer of C&E Furniture + Design on Fenwick Island, Delaware. “I always like to explain to my clients early on that there will be something at some point that will be worth splurging on,” she explains. “It’s going to be the thing that you are so excited about,” she continues, noting that whenever that occurs, she knows it’s worth it for the client, and they’ll be able to pare back elsewhere.

Along with material upgrades and bespoke furnishings, design pros deem larger appliances and smart electronics as another category worth shelling out extra cash in home renovations. “Appliances that simplify life and exude refinement are definitely at the top of the list of frequent splurge-worthy investments,” says Deborah Costa, principal of Design Alchemy in Sausalito, California. Since people’s lives are hectic, says Costa, creating personalized and luxurious spaces that prioritize comfort, convenience, and the pursuit of excellence is always a win. Below, read about 12 such additions that are probably going to be worth every penny.

A luxurious bathtub

<cite class="credit">Photo: Rob Melnychuk/Getty Images</cite>
Photo: Rob Melnychuk/Getty Images

If you know you’ll be indulging in extra TLC as a result of the investment, you’re getting more bang for your buck. Mimi Meacham, founder of Marian Louise Design in Houston, calls her nightly bath routine a sacred time that she cherishes each day after her kids are tucked in bed, the kitchen is cleaned, and she has a moment to slow down. “When selecting a bathtub for our newly built home, I knew I wanted it to reflect beauty and femininity, and stand up to daily use,” she says. Indulging in this big-ticket purchase meant Meacham was happily able to cut corners elsewhere: “Due to the beauty and prominence of the tub in our primary bathroom, I was able to hold off on adding a pricey light fixture and was able to go with a more simple and less expensive countertop material.”

Brass fixtures

Another place in the bathroom to spend more liberally? The fixtures. Elizabeth Vergara, founder of Vergara Homes in New York City, asserts that gold brass assets like outlet and light covers, faucets, shower heads, and towel bars are a pricey but a worthwhile addition to your bath. “Not only do they add a touch of elegance, but they also offer durability, resistance to corrosion, and easy maintenance,” she says. “Coordinating all fixtures in the same finish creates a cohesive and visually appealing design, enhancing the bathroom's value and making it more inviting to potential buyers.”

A full backsplash

A backsplash by LeeAnn Baker Interiors.
A backsplash by LeeAnn Baker Interiors.
Photo: Sozinho Imagery

LeeAnn Baker of LeeAnn Baker Interiors in Seattle has often seen clients regret buying expensive side or drink tables (too tippy on carpets!) and statement lighting features with impractical color temperature, but she’s never seen them regret full-height backsplashes. In fact, Baker considers this feature a must-have for kitchen and bar areas. “Contractors typically have a four-inch backsplash in the same material as the countertop in the original budget,” says Baker. “But we love splurging to fill the whole wall, which makes a much more dramatic statement in any room.”

A steam oven

Costa believes a steam oven is worth the sticker shock as it provides a modern and efficient cooking solution that prioritizes flavor, nutrition, and culinary creativity. “The gentle and even heat of the steam oven allows for precise temperature control,” she says, adding that this makes it well suited for everything from baking and roasting to steaming and sous vide. “Not to mention, it’s amazing at boiling an egg or refreshing leftovers.”

Statement woodwork

Statement woodworking by Studio Todd Raymond in an NYC home.
Statement woodworking by Studio Todd Raymond in an NYC home.
Photo: Studio Todd Raymond

Todd Raymond, principal of Studio Todd Raymond in New York City, sees major upside in upping your spend on custom millwork. We approach millwork as a way to give a cohesive through line to an entire home, says Raymond. For a Chelsea apartment, the client splurged for custom millwork in the dining room, kitchen, family room, and primary bedroom. “We unified the spaces by having the same finish throughout and tied together elements of Japanese design per their request,” he comments.

Elevated fireplace materials

If you’re going to have a fireplace, make a statement. “The hand-selected, marble slabs cladding [a] fireplace give the space a natural beauty and warmth that can’t be matched with other materials,” says Karen Frome, founder of Rise Projects in New York City. “The natural stone will wear well in perpetuity and is of course fire-resistant, so safe to place near the flames,” she elaborates, further stating that the stone compliments the wood and upholstered accents to exude “ease and elegance.”

Custom art

Katie Winnington, principal designer of C&E Furniture + Design, worked with the client and artist to decide on the best composition and color for the piece.
Katie Winnington, principal designer of C&E Furniture + Design, worked with the client and artist to decide on the best composition and color for the piece.
Photo: Keyanna Bowen

“If you love it and can’t stop thinking about it, it’s worth it,” says Winnington. Such was the case with this commissioned art, for which Winnington’s client worked with the artist to decide composition and color. It “did so much to bring the space together and anchor the colors in the room,” Winnington adds, noting how the piece tied disparate components of the living room design into a cohesive look. (To minimize your spend, but still get something completely bespoke, several online art retailers offer custom services.)

Accessories in colors you love

Kate Figler, owner of Kate Figler Interiors in Nashville, always urges clients to zoom in on one “moment” in each room that they want remembered, and then they can find more budget-friendly options elsewhere. For one home, their client’s love of green led to sourcing custom-colored pendants to hang over the kitchen island. “The pendants’ color is unexpected and brings so much personality to the design,” says Figler.

Custom drapery

Custom drapery by Re: Design Architects.
Custom drapery by Re: Design Architects.
Photo: Re: Design Architects

Despite the higher upfront cost, Natalie Rebuck, principal designer of Re: Design Architects, in Brooklyn and Long Island, is a fan of custom drapery. It's a way to make a statement in a space, as it allows you to select something dramatic or bold, and ensure the curtains really fit the windows and the room, says Rebuck. “This ultimately can lead to helping cut energy costs,” and drapery tailored precisely to your room’s dimensions can help keep AC and heating within the room, she adds.

Upmarket countertops

Countertops can make all the difference in a room—especially in the kitchen, says Alexis Elley, founder of Textures Interior Design in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. Elley opted for quartz in one home project, emphasizing that there is a wide price range when it comes to this material. “We chose it because it was a bit more durable and practical than marble for this home with young children,” says Elley, sharing that selecting luxurious countertops over builder-grade truly does elevate your home and especially makes a difference in the parts of the room that you use the most.

Built-in grill counters

Andrew Franz, principal of Andrew Franz Architect in New York City, lives by the mantra that if you spend extra on things that you use regularly, maintenance will be easier. “Rather than trying to balance your prepped foods on the small work surfaces of small grill carts or adjacent surfaces and losing your grill-ready prepared dinner to the lawn, built-in exterior counters of masonry, stone, or even stainless [steel] make grilling outdoors an efficient treat,” he adds.

Natural stone

<h1 class="title">Kitchen with a marble island in a modern home</h1><cite class="credit">Photo: Goodboy Picture Company/Getty Images</cite>

Kitchen with a marble island in a modern home

Photo: Goodboy Picture Company/Getty Images

Olma Fuentes, principal of Deni + Dove Interiors in West Caldwell, New Jersey, is Team Natural Stone all the way. “Incorporating natural stone into your home—whether it's through furnishings, countertops, decor, or a feature wall—is a costly splurge that’s worth the price tag because of the grandeur and elegance it adds to any room,” she says, adding that its varied colors and unique veining make it a focal point wherever it's placed and provide excellent juxtaposition with other materials. “Marble is almost always the most expensive choice, but other stone options such as travertine and limestone are more reasonably priced and look just as great,” she adds.

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest