Buy the Best { Affordable Interiors vs. Cheap Interiors }
Thursday, March 20, 2014 by {darlene}

Buy the Best

Affordable Interiors vs. Cheap Interiors

 the surprising way to save: Buy the best! A chat about affordable vs. cheap via Fieldstone Hill Design

When I posted last week about tricks for decorating a designer room, for an affordable price tag… I was itching to elaborate on: what exactly do I mean by “affordable?” So, I thought I would play the role of Merriem {Dar}ster, and give you my designer definition on what I mean by “Affordable.”

Well, first of all …. most of all, affordable is not the same as cheap.

This sounds like a contradiction right off the bat, but the the truth of the matter is: there is a HUGE difference between affordable/practical/frugal and CHEAPOLA. I want you to free yourself from the following terms:

rock-bottom. close-out. bargain-basement. buy one get one free. dirt cheap. CHEAP.

And instead, embrace your new term: Affordable.


Here are the subtle {but oh so important} differences between these two terms:

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Affordable means that you keep a standard of beauty and quality, but you work within your means, sometimes waiting longer for the end result.


Cheap means, you only buy what is the least expensive and fast, and the overall beauty is sacrificed for the sake of cost.

* * *


Affordable is “waiting patiently and hopefully for what you love to go on sale.” Or, spending the money if you decide the item is a love-affair, deal-changer, room-maker.


Cheap is “buying what is on sale, regardless of whether or not it is what you wanted.”

* * *


Affordable ALWAYS means quality. Affording means enduring. And if you get it for a song, of course, that is even better. Just be sure it is not “cheap.”


Because, ultimately, cheap means bad quality. And it does not matter if it was 2 bucks, or even free…. bad quality costs you in time, energy, and discomfort. It probably cost you more in gas and coupon clipping time to end up with cheap-that-needs-to-be-replaced-in-a-year.

* * *


Affordable means buying what you LOVE, even if the price is a wee bit more than you wanted to spend. And then, wait for sales on other less important items in your room, to make up for the pricier-but-worth-it item. 

{“But I don’t KNOW what I love,” you say?? Oh, my love! You MUST Find your own personal style and start saving money and LOVING your home. Stat.}


Cheap means buying inexpensive {or even expensive!} items because SOMEONE ELSE told you that item is what you should have in your home, and you are not even sure you like it – let alone love it. Cheap is not knowing your own style, and settling All. Of. The. Time.


How “Affordable” Saves You Money:

Quality and Satisfaction. Sounds like a commercial, but it is true. If you purchase items that are quality, you won’t have to buy it twice. If you don’t settle for the cheap version of what you really love, you will be satisfied with your space. You won’t have regrets.

There is nothing worse than wishing you had paid just a little bit more to have exactly what you loved, and instead, you settled for a subpar version that just reminds you of the purchase you SHOULD have made.



In honor of the Affordable vs. Cheap debate, I just had to share this

free Printable

One of my favorite quotes, of course! … Shocking. I know.:

Buy the Best Printable, via Fieldstone Hill Design

{To Print: Right click on the image above and save it to your computer. Print it directly from your computer.}


Yes, Miles. Yes.

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For those of you revving up to add gorgeous and affordable rooms to your home, I recommend starting here:

1. Find your own Personal Style

2. Hop over to this Post to find out How to Create an Affordable, Designer Room

3. Get yourself some amazing inspiration and then dive in:

These are my favorite design books, y’all.  All guaranteed to be Non-cheapola and Very GORG. {affiliate links, thank you, darlings. But, the love is all mine.}

These Design Books are game changers




Time for you to weigh in!

I would love your thoughts/stories on Affordable vs. Cheap!

Any stories on when you went cheap, but paid the price later??





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Take daily, bite-size steps toward living in a home you LOVE: Be sure to subscribe to FHD via email, bloglovin, your fave reader, and follow Fieldstone Hill on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

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I LOVE MY OILS!!! I use Essential Oils to help my family stay healthy, my home stay clean, and my rooms to smell wonderful. Click here to learn how you can get  top quality Essential Oils.  March special for a free orange oil:

Essential Oils

Also, read up on some ways to use Essential Oils in your everyday living.

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Labeled: lessons in design


  • Darlene, I would love to see your book list, but the link in my email takes to a blank Amazon page, and I can’t even find the link when I access your blog via the Internet. Is this because I am using a tablet, or do you think it’s a glitch? Design books are a weakness of mine, so my hubby would probably prefer I never see your list at all.;)

  • Love this, what a great explanation and distinction between the two. Right now, we are on the look out for a new sofa and have been for months. It’s got to be affordable, but I’m not willing to get a cheap sofa and am willing to wait to find the right one and save up a little extra money for it. When we first got married and got a cheap sofa. Within a year it felt like we were sitting directly on the inner wood and springs! Lesson learned!

    • ugh! sofas are the worst! They are SO expensive, but if you go cheap, you pay twice. This is a piece in the home that I advise my clients to save up for!!! It will be worth dropping the extra {gulp} $1000. So sad that it has to come to that!!
      My own sofa solution? vintage. They make them so much better. But this is still not cheap. Reupholstering is super pricey, and cleaning costs are there too. All of the sofas in my home are vintage. Two are awaiting recovering. But wait I shall!

  • Great advice and wisdom!! I’ve learned that I’d rather have blank spots than have to deal with something for a quick fix- not fun when we’re moving all.of.the.time.!!!

  • Say. It. Again. Sister. Oh my!!! Love it. Twas a long, hard lesson for me to learn, but learn it I did!!

  • Darlene, I could not agree with you more! I have been reading your blog for almost three years and have followed your advice about waiting for what you love. With your help I figured out my design style and stopped buying things that ended up in my basement storage within a year (I need to have a massive garage sale)! I utilized your e-design services over a year ago and you helped me choose lighting for over my kitchen island. I was in love with a pair of pricey pendant fixtures that busted the budget but that I was willing to wait for. You encouraged me to purchase what I love and reassured me they weren’t too large and I am so happy that I went for it. I patiently waited until they went on sale and put off other lighting purchases so that I could splurge. I still love those fixtures as much as I did when I first spotted them two years ago and don’t regret my decision for a second. Since then I have made some other large home decor purchases and have done so with confidence and without regret thanks to your advice! The secret has been to define my style and wait until I can spend the money.

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