compromise vs. budget

Okay, I’ve been giving some thought lately to a quote from an interior designer who was being interviewed on a design website.

When asked by the interviewer whether people should have a vision for a room and how closely they should follow that, he said something like, “Never compromise. Keep looking for the perfect piece for the situation.”

So how do you balance the perfect piece with your budget?

Both J and I are design junkies. We love good design in all kinds of areas, even though sometimes we really love the right kind of bad design as well. We both like poring over design websites and magazines and art critiques and shows and things. And both of us are big believers in surrounding oneself with good design.

I have this requirement of “remember this is a rented flat.” We want to spend as little hard cash as possible, since we may not be in this flat for more than a year or two. On the other hand, I also have a thing about the rooms I live in – if they don’t feel right to me, especially the bedroom, then I don’t feel right in general.

Our bedroom is long and narrow. I need to avoid making it feel like a claustrophobic bowling alley. That means avoiding too much opaque dark mass on the sides of the room, keeping the height of most things low, using a calming monochromatic color scheme and lots of reflective and clear surfaces (as in, mirrors, chrome, silver, and glass). I also want to make sure that this most private of our rooms has a space where J can work if he needs to run away while we have guests (his job often requires late night hours).

Clearly then (ha ha), we need a glass table, and the place for that seems to be at the right of the bed, serving as both a bedside table, dressing table, and work surface. We have about 45-50″ to work with width-wise, and depth-wise we can deal with about 24″-25″.

This appears to be, in a week’s worth of searching, about the only table that meets the requirements — size, materials, quality…all except the ones about the budget and temporary nature of our home.

The place we’ve found to buy it is the least expensive we’ve found as of yet. And it’s still about £100 more than I’d planned on.

What to do? What to do? On the up side, there’ll be NO problem finding a future home for it. It’s a great table, and I know a lot of people would love to have it, whether we choose to temporarily re-home it, sell it, or give it away. It’s good design, and totally classic. But I keep getting stuck on that price tag. Do I bite the bullet (or allow J to)? Or do I compromise on the design of the room? Your thoughts, please!

4 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. 1

    If you’ve got the money to buy it I vote you buy it.

  2. 2

    Well, I’m a bit of a cheapskate regarding furniture, but I do know that living in a home that is not only temporary, but FEELS temporary, is a sure-fire route to misery. (I mean, it’s fine for a while. But I think you have had enough temporariness in your life already, yes?) So… I’d say, don’t rush it. Keep looking around just in case you manage to find a bargain somewhere. But if you don’t, or when you can no longer reasonably put it off, then hell yes. Bite the bullet.

  3. Zina #

    I guess that’s part of the problem — one, I’m really over temporary, as you point out so cogently, Robynn. And two, this *is* the bargain… *sigh*

  4. Zina #

    And Dawne, I guess part of the problem is also that yeah, I sort of have the money…but I’d have to take it out of the budget from elsewhere. Admittedly, that may have happened given that so many pieces have cost so much less than we expected, but that was supposed to be a bit of a bonus, actually… :)

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