What to Splurge On
Today's manufacturing capabilities are at such a high level, it's easy to find, good-looking materials everywhere. "But it's the long-lasting things that belong in a house," Bruce says. Spend your money on quality, solid objects in the home that you and your guests interact with—things that move and things you touch every day, such as doorknobs and doors, he says. "You just feel good about the place when the things you're moving have a sense of quality to them," he says.
Designers will know where to get the best materials for the best prices, and Bruce says it's designers' editing knowledge that is crucial in the renovation process. "Talent, if so instructed, can show you levels of material in the market that you would never be able to parse on your own," he says.