Interior trends may come and go, but making smart homeware choices from the outset will always be a timeless (and savvy) investment.
Yes, they'll set you back more initially, but you'll save a fortune further down the line by avoiding quick-fix or trend-based home solutions and sourcing efficient buys instead. Here are four things you should invest in now to help save money in the long run.
1. Mess-Proof Paint
Fact: Life is messy. Instead of regularly repainting, spend a little more cash on a stain and scuff-resistant paint that simply requires a wipe over to remove dirt. Available at most hardware stores, many paint brands now develop hues with additional pigments designed to prevent spills from staining.
Paying more for heavy-duty walls isn't just recommended for family homes — newer paints can prevent the build-up of mold in damp spaces too.
2. Solar Panels
With electricity prices continuing to rise, it pays to be smart about your home's energy options. Going green will also mean your household is doing its part for the environment when it comes to sustainability. For instance, in Australia, real estate group Mirvac has a long-term commitment to sustainability through its "This Changes Everything" plan for the future. Energy and water efficient appliances are standard in Mirvac homes, with solar and batteries available as upgrades. The company's aim is to install Solar PVs on all new homes by 2020 and batteries by 2025. With residents taking part in Mirvac's trials showing a 70 percent reduction in electricity bills, there's proof going solar is a worthwhile investment.
3. A Livable Sofa
When shopping for a new sofa, it pays to think ahead. The showroom's crisp white sofa may look amazing right now, but it won't remain as chic once little ones decide to climb all over it. Leather lounges, while more expensive, are typically easier to clean and designed to deal with more wear and tear, improving with age like a fine wine.
Think about your lifestyle — and bad habits. Dark or patterned fabrics will disguise any accidental stains if you're prone to spilling food or drinks. Likewise, upgrading to removable machine-washable covers can be easier to clean than spot treating individual spills. It's all about being realistic and thinking, "What will your couch be exposed to?"
Remember cushions and throws are a great way to change up the look and feel of a sofa and, if you invest in a well-made sofa frame now, it can be reupholstered to suit changing tastes in years to come.
4. Power-Saving Light Bulbs
Minimize that quarterly or monthly anxiety at bill time by being proactive in your usage. One of the fastest (and easiest) ways to help decrease your home's energy use is to ensure your light bulbs are energy-efficient. Switching to LED or CFL bulbs can wipe off up to 80 percent of your energy bill, with CFLs requiring only a fraction of the energy that an incandescent light bulb does. While they may cost a little more upfront, they'll last between four and 10 times longer, meaning you go through fewer in a year.
This story was originally written by Homes to Love editors. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.